Duluth News Tribune
With so much noise in St. Paul over taxes, fixing Minnesota's opioid crisis, protecting seniors in care facilities, funding transportation and public infrastructure, and more, advocates for affordable housing fear they're being forgotten. So they fanned out over the past couple of weeks, representatives from the 214 organizations statewide that make up the Homes for All coalition, to meet with newspaper editorial boards and reporters.
Nearly four full weeks remain in the 2018 session of the Minnesota Legislature, and it apparently isn't too soon to start prodding lawmakers about getting their work done. On time. And without the mad scramble at the end, the closed-doors meetings, the secret late-night deals, and the votes on bills no one has had time to read. All of these unsavory, not-the-way-to-conduct-the-people's-business practices have marred recent sessions and even seem to be emerging as a disappointing norm.
For more than 30 years, every state bordering Minnesota — Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota — has allowed cameras in its courtrooms, boosting the public's understanding of legal proceedings and its confidence in the criminal-justice system. And how many documented instances have there been of a witness or victim reluctant to come forward for fear of being on camera? Zero, according to Mark Anfinson, a lawyer for the Minnesota Newspaper Association.
Maybe starting all over is just what's needed, even if that's precisely what a state agency executive director warned against last week. And maybe her objections — after more than eight years of patience and toil, after tens of millions of dollars of cost overruns, and still without a computer system that actually works right for registering and licensing vehicles in Minnesota — are precisely why heads ought to be rolling now.
A 14-year-old girl died Sunday afternoon after falling off a cliff at Palisade Head, located along the shore of Lake Superior northeast of Silver Bay. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office received word of the incident shortly after 1 p.m. A sheriff’s report said the girl was visiting the North Shore landmark with friends when she accidentally fell.
After yet another legislative session in which there were calls to do away with MNsure in favor of Minnesota joining the federal health exchange, MNsure CEO Allison O'Toole and its public-affairs director Jeremy Drucker traveled the state this week to deliver a clear message. "Nothing came of it. We survived again," O'Toole said in a meeting with the Duluth News Tribune Editorial Board.
Even if a bit guarded — and even if a bit tempered by the responsible recognition of uncertainty and challenges at the fore, both for our Northland and for our nation — there is optimism as we get ready to celebrate New Year's. It can be welcomed after decades of dark days and dismal economies in the wake of the industrial collapse of the 1970s and 80s, Duluth wounded like so many other blue-collar Midwestern cities. And it can be welcomed after the more-recent, sometimes too-exuberant embrace of our rebound and recovery.
The Hollywood gossip machine set its sights on the Northland on Thursday, amid reports that Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and their kids stopped at the International Falls airport just a day before Jolie filed for divorce. Pitt, Jolie and their family flew into a Minnesota airport on Sept. 14 — and gossip website TMZ, citing unnamed sources, reported that the stop came after Pitt became verbally and physically abusive to his children while on the private flight from France to the U.S.
No doubt you’ve already noticed: the streets are more congested during the morning rush to work and the afternoon drive home; yellow buses everywhere; and kids galore, on bikes, on...
Give Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith credit for their 87-counties-in-86 days tour around Minnesota. No leader can know or accurately gauge the needs of residents, border-to-border, without ever leaving the comforts of the capital. Even a whirlwind swing — especially if exhaustive, as this one seems to be — can prove quite beneficial.