Duluth News Tribune
Proclamations of great achievement started pumping out of St. Paul early Tuesday, not long after the clock ran out on Minnesota's latest lawmaking session. "The 2017 legislative session will be one of the most productive in recent history," Minnesota Senate Republicans declared in a public statement. "(We) have reached an agreement," DFL Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed. But why the boasting?
It's called charitable gaming because the tens of millions of dollars raised in Minnesota every year from raffles, bingo, and the sales of pull tabs help support Little League neighborhood baseball, scholarships, police dogs, local zoos, Animal Allies, youth football, food shelves, and other community needs and niceties. But Genny Hinnenkamp, the gambling manager for Irving Community Club, the largest charitable-gaming nonprofit in Duluth, has another name.
In an editorial last week, the Duluth News Tribune praised Edina for becoming the first city in Minnesota to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. (Other cities were) urged to follow suit. "Better yet," the newspaper opined, "the Minnesota Legislature can (make) the sensible move of raising the age statewide. Legislative action would reduce the number of young Minnesotans who take up the habit by 25 percent."
Whether you're a supporter of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, you can agree: The guy is a bit of a bulldog, not shy about boldly stating where he stands on everything from early-childhood education to spending the state surplus to carbon emissions. His staff is quick to pump out statements and releases packed with numbers that support his positions. His department directors even routinely travel the state to push for his priorities.
There was a bit of good news in last year's failed tax bill, vetoed by the governor after it was found to contain a typo that would have cost Minnesota taxpayers $100 million. The good news was that the bill contained $35 million in tax breaks over the next three years for the tobacco industry that now won't happen.
Those enjoying free Vikings games from lower-level luxury suites controlled by the body that operates shiny new U.S. Bank Stadium seem to see at least a gray area of such a perk. Eleven of 12 suite users identified publicly this week by the authority wrote $200 checks for their seats — but only after attending the game and only after the Star Tribune started asking questions. In addition, the purpose of the suites is marketing, authority members said in the Minneapolis newspaper's report this week.
So how did you do? Not that you can let down your guard now. On the heels of a four-day weekend filled with door-buster deals, early bird specials, shop-local guilt and Black Friday sales comes today's Cyber-Monday discounts. Which raises the question: How are you — and your pocketbook — faring so far this holiday season?
A man suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot by a St. Louis County Sheriff's Office deputy early Tuesday morning following a high-speed chase on the Iron Range, authorities said. The...