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Minnesota News Briefs

McDonald named interim president at Minnesota West

WORTHINGTON, Minn. - Barbara McDonald, provost at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, has been named interim president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

McDonald’s appointment becomes effective July 1.

The 15-member Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board of trustees unanimously approved Chancellor Steven Rosenstone’s nomination of McDonald.

“Dr. McDonald is extremely well prepared for the position. She understands rural Minnesota, and understands what it means to work across multiple campuses,” Rosenstone said.

McDonald will serve until June 30, 2015. She succeeds Richard Shrubb, who has announced his retirement. A national search will be conducted to find a permanent replacement.

McDonald has been at Itasca Community College since 2000, serving as provost since last year. She also has served as dean of academic affairs and student services, and as director of institutional effectiveness. Before her tenure at Itasca, she was a faculty member and assessment coordinator at Rainy River Community College.

McDonald holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a master’s in teaching English as a foreign language from the American University in Cairo and a doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota.

Committee considers 'baby steps' toward ending ban on Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota

ST. PAUL - A Minnesota Senate committee is considering "baby steps" that eventually could lead toward Sunday liquor sales.

Bills sponsored by Sen. Roger Reinert, D-Duluth, would allow Sunday refills and sales of beer jugs, popularly known as growlers, and allow taprooms to be open. The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to include the provisions in an overall liquor bill it will pass in coming days.

“These are baby steps towards full repeal of the Sunday liquor law ban, but they also represent important issues of equity," Reinert said. "Currently, vineyards across the state can sell their product on Sundays; these bills would allow craft brewers to do the same."

Reinert has fought for years to allow Sunday liquor sales, but has not found the votes to pass that measure.

A representative of Canal Park Brewing in Duluth testified that inability to sell growlers on Sundays significantly inhibits the ability to bring in revenue.

“The craft brewing industry contributes immensely to Minnesota’s economy," Reinert said. "In 2012, it helped add nearly $742 million to the state economy, and in 2013 it contributed nearly 8,000 jobs."

Minnesota panel backs bill to expand sex offender registration

ST. PAUL - A House committee unanimously supported a bill with its roots in western Minnesota that would require any sex offender who is required to register elsewhere to register when he moves to the state.

The bill by Rep. Jay McNamar, D-Elbow Lake, would expand Minnesota law to require registration by any sex offender who must register under federal or tribal law or by another state's law, even if the person did not commit a crime that would have required him to register in Minnesota.

John Kingrey of the Minnesota County Attorneys' Association said the bill stems from a Traverse County case. A North Dakotan convicted of indecent exposure, who was required to register in his home state, moved to the county and authorities did not have the power to make him register in Minnesota.