- 5/24/13;Reminder that the Forest City CSD will have a one (1) hour early dismissal on Friday, May 24th.:
- 5/25/13, ANNOUNCEMENT; Family Fun ride has been rerouted: from Waldorf College, down J Street to Golf Course Road, to the Golf Course. At the Golf Course, families will enjoy the build-your-own Trail Mix station and compete in put-put golf then return for the pasta feed and games at Waldorf College. :
LEGISLATURE-GAY MARRIAGE-RALLY Minn. gay marriage supporters rally at Capitol ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Hundreds of gay marriage supporters packed Minnesota’s Capitol rotunda as they start a push for its legalization by the Legislature. No official count of Thursday’s crowd was immediately available but it appeared to easily exceed 1,000 people. Speakers included DFL lawmakers and religious leaders who say last fall’s statewide defeat of a constitutional gay marriage ban cleared the way to repeal the existing state law that bars same-sex couples from marrying. Governor Dayton restated his support for same-sex marriage rights in his State of the State speech, and DFL legislative leaders have been increasingly open to the prospect of taking up the issue later in the current session. Gay marriage foes say the ban’s defeat doesn’t prove widespread support for legalizing it. They plan their own Capitol rally March 7th.
STATE EMPLOYEE CONTRACTS Legislature OKs raise for state employees ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Tens of thousands of state employees will soon get a 2 percent raise. The House Thursday approved a new contract for state workers, which includes the first raise in more than 3 years. It passed the Democratic-controlled House by an 83-44 vote. It now heads to Governor Mark Dayton, who is expected to sign it. The Senate, also controlled by Democrats, ratified the contract last week. The contract covers about 35,000 employees from seven different working groups, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. The new deal will expire June 30th. Dayton says he will push to include same-sex domestic partnership benefits in the next contract.
SCHOOL FIGHT-MINNEAPOLIS-SCHOOL IN SESSION Mpls. high school will be in session after brawl MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minneapolis South High School will be in session Friday, the day after police used chemical spray to break up a brawl involving hundreds of students. The school says it is implementing a safety plan “to ensure that there is support for a safe learning environment.” Additional counselors and support staff also will be on hand. The school will remain on lockdown Friday. Students will have to stay in their classrooms during class and access to the building will be limited. But the school will operate on a normal schedule. Police say up to 300 students fought after a food fight got out of control Thursday. Three students and a staffer were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. No one was arrested but police will study surveillance video for possible charges.
SCHOOL FIGHT-MINNEAPOLIS Hundreds of students brawl at Mpls. high school MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Police say hundreds of students brawled at Minneapolis South High School after a food fight got out of control. Four people, including one staffer, were sent to hospitals with minor injuries after the fight broke out during lunch early Thursday afternoon. Minneapolis Police spokesman Sergeant Bill Palmer says 200 to 300 students fought and no weapons were used. He says about a dozen officers were on the scene and used chemical spray to break up the fight. Palmer says there were no arrests, but police will review surveillance video as part of their investigation which may lead to charges. The school was put on lockdown after the fight, meanings students had to stay in their classrooms. But school dismissed at the regular time, and afternoon athletics went ahead as scheduled.
MINNESOTA-TAX BILL Minn. Senate backs matching some tax deductions ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Senate has unanimously approved a bill that will let some Minnesota taxpayers claim recently enacted federal tax deductions on their state taxes too. The Senate approved the bill unanimously Thursday. It’s slightly different than a version passed earlier this week in the House, and must go back for a final vote of approval there. The bill affects 250,000 tax returns. It includes teachers claiming deductions for education expense, homeowners taking itemized deductions for their mortgage insurance premiums and college students or parents using higher education tuition deductions. Republicans in both chambers failed to include more deductions, as Democrats refused while citing the high cost.
TATTOO EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS Deputy candidates disqualified for tattoos (Information in the following story is from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Six applicants for a job as a Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy were disqualified in a recent round of hiring. The reason for the disqualification comes down to their tattoos and where they’re located. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek changed his department’s policy about two years ago to limit tattoo visibility for new hires. Deputies already on the job are exempt. Tattoos cannot be visible when deputies are wearing short sleeve uniforms. Many law enforcement agencies have similar policies, arguing that officers need to maintain a professional image and that some tattoos can provoke the inmates. Ryan Stevens passed a written test for a job as a Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy, but was one of those disqualified. The 31-year-old Stevens says that the policy has shut down opportunities for him.
MAYO EXPANSION Mayo expansion bill eases past 1st Minn. committee ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Mayo Clinic proposal for government help toward a major expansion in Rochester has eased past its first of many committee stops in the state Legislature. The House Jobs and Economic Development Committee heaped praise on the concept before endorsing the bill Thursday. Mayo says it will invest billions in a substantial development plan if the state commits to defraying some public infrastructure costs. Mayo officials propose diverting a slice of future tax revenue to pay for more than $500 million in upgrade costs. Officials insist the money wouldn’t directly feed construction at the clinic itself. Mayo representatives testified that the risk was largely on them, but lawmakers say they are mindful that they could be setting a precedent that other companies and communities would come to expect.
FLU-MINNESOTA 9 more flu deaths confirmed in Minnesota ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota health officials confirm nine more flu-related deaths. The nine deaths were confirmed last week. That brings the number of confirmed flu-related deaths in Minnesota to 136 since the influenza season began. Hospitalizations due to flu continue to decline in Minnesota. Health officials say 72 people were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza last week, compared with 108 the week before. So far this season, Minnesota has seen 2,703 hospitalizations. Three nursing homes reported confirmed outbreaks of flu last week while 22 schools reported outbreaks. Health officials have said the flu season has peaked in Minnesota. But they’re still encouraging Minnesotans to get vaccinated.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER-CLEAN UP USDA to spend $59 million on Miss. River clean up MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it’s spending another $59 million this year on an initiative that works with farmers and other landowners to reduce pollution in the Mississippi River basin. The agency says the new funding raises its total investment in the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds initiative to about $289 million since 2010. The initiative works with farmers and landowners to encourage voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says in a statement to The Associated Press that the program is an example of how voluntary conservation practices in small watersheds can help improve a larger river system by reducing sediment and nitrogen runoff. The USDA plans to issue an official announcement later today.