The Mysterious Partisan Squabble Over Early Education

Categories: Education

Photo by William Creswell

With state Republicans taking control of the House again, the early childhood education committee is no more.

Instead, Republicans have restructured committees with an emphasis on higher education finance, leaving early education proponents on the other side of the aisle grasping at efforts to maintain focus on closing the state's achievement gap.

Apparently, the realignment of education priorities along party lines comes up with every power shift in the House. The early childhood committee emerged in 2007 while Democrats reigned, then Republicans did away with it the first time when they captured the majority in 2010. Democrats resurrected the committee in 2012, and so it goes.

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Is It Wise to Further Criminalize Attacks on Nurses?

Categories: Crime, Health Care

Photo by xersti

On November 2, a patient at St. John's Hospital in Maplewood attacked four nurses, severely injuring two before police tackled him. One nurse came away with a broken wrist, another a collapsed lung.

This and other violent hospital encounters inspired State Rep. Joe Atkins to propose a nurse protection bill that would increase penalties for people convicted of assaulting nurses. Under the new bill, a particularly nasty patient could serve up to three years in prison and pay $6,000 for hitting a health worker.

"The law already allows for patients convicted of this crime to be put in jail. This would just allow them to be jailed longer and be fined more," Atkins said.

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Wayne Odegard Sentenced to Six Months in Jail for Shooting Gay Bar Patrons With BB Gun

Categories: Crime, GLBT

file photo
Two men kissing made Wayne Odegard angry enough to shoot at them with a BB gun

Yesterday Wayne Odegard was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation for firing a BB gun at two men outside of the Saloon in downtown Minneapolis this summer.

According to the charges, Odegard was furious after he saw two men kissing on the sidewalk outside of the Saloon a little after 11 p.m. on September 25. He called the two men "fucking faggots," whipped out a BB gun, and fired several shots at the couple, hitting one man in the leg.

See also:
Wayne Odegard Allegedly Called Saloon Patrons Faggots, Shot One With BB Gun

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Chat with Chief Janee Harteau: An Evening at the 2nd Precinct

Categories: Police

Ben Johnson
The 2nd Precinct Building in northeast Minneapolis

Embattled Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau held the first in a series of monthly "Chat with the Chief" events at the 2nd Precinct in northeast Minneapolis yesterday. The idea, hatched after three public forums last month, is to give each city resident five minutes to sit down with the chief in a one-on-one setting to air concerns.

"Maybe people weren't comfortable standing up in front of 100, 200 people to say what they want to say," said Minneapolis Police Public Information Officer John Elder last night. "We want to everyone to have an opportunity to give feedback in an environment where they're comfortable."

See also:
Chief Janee Harteau Bails on Public Meeting

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The Numbers Don't Lie: Twin Cities Is Best Place for Millennials

Categories: Economy

Ben Johnson
Millennials have it pretty good in the Twin Cities

Over at Vox, writer Matt Yglesias crunched the numbers and found the Twin Cities offer the best economic conditions for millennials in the country.

Yglesias wrote that the metro's high median household income, low cost of living, housing affordability, and high level of economic mobility all factor into the Twin Cities' top ranking.

See also:
Minnesota Will be the Best Place to Live in 20 Years, Gallup Study Says

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Ramsey County Eliminates Day Treatment Centers for Mentally Ill Sex Offenders

Categories: Crime, Health

Photo by Susan Du
ABC Mental Health Therapy's Dane Jorento and Janet Martin fear their patients won't have the option of group therapy under Ramsey County's new plan for sexual offender rehabilitation.

Denied key government contracts, all nonprofit day treatment centers for mentally ill sexual offenders in Ramsey County are doomed to disappear by the end of the year. ABC Mental Health Therapy, which has treated this specific population for nine years, plans to close its doors on Friday.

ABC's 15 remaining patients -- those who have not already walked out -- will have to seek treatment elsewhere in a community of dwindling options. The center's team of eight mental health social workers and interns will lose their jobs.

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Father Gerald Funcheon and the Croisers at Center of New "Public Nuisance" Lawsuits

Categories: Religion
Still from Jeff Anderson & Associates video
Gerald Funcheon doesn't know how many children he sexually abused as a priest. Maybe 12, he responded two years ago in a taped deposition. Maybe 18. "I can't give you an answer on this. Okay?"

However, internal church documents released Thursday by attorney Jeff Anderson show the number of abused children may actually be as high as 50. Five of them have filed "public nuisance" lawsuits against Funcheon and the Croisers religious order, which ordained the man in 1965 and spent decades moving him across the country.

See also:
Jeff Anderson Files "Public Nuisance" Lawsuit Against the Diocese of New Ulm

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Anthony Simons and James Butchee Charged with 3rd-Degree Murder for Selling $40 Worth of Heroin

Categories: Crime, Drugs

Hennepin County Sheriff
James Marione Butchee was charged with third-degree murder yesterday for selling a $40 bag of heroin. A mugshot of Anthony Simons was not available.

Drug dealers beware: Selling even a small amount of heroin in Hennepin County can get you charged with murder.

Yesterday Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman held a press conference to trumpet third-degree murder charges brought against Anthony Allyn Simons and James Marione Butchee for selling a $40 bag of heroin that caused the death of a man in Maple Grove last summer. Simons and Butchee could spend up to 25 years in prison.

See also:
Twin Cities has the Cheapest and Strongest Heroin in the Country, Officials Say [PHOTOS]

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Al Franken Grills Uber Over Privacy Policy

Uber Press Kit
Uber stores data about where you've been and Senator Franken wants to know why

Sen. Al Franken wants some answers from Uber after a BuzzFeed story quoted one of Uber's top executives suggesting the company should dig up dirt on journalists critical of the company.

Franken, the chair of a Senate subcommittee on privacy and technology, sent a letter to Uber's CEO yesterday asking 10 pointed questions about Uber's privacy policy.

See also:
Mpls Approves Lyft/UberX Regulations; Blong Yang Casts Sole 'Nay' Vote

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Society of Professional Journalists Calls Out KSTP for #Pointergate

Tony Nelson
KSTP continues to get hammered for #pointergate

KSTP is still getting publicly pounded for #pointergate almost two weeks after the ill-fated segment aired.

Yesterday the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) issued a statement asking KSTP to disavow the story, calling it "fundamentally flawed and based on a faulty premise -- that a silly gesture made by the mayor in a candid photo amounted to a gang sign."

See also:
#Pointergate Photos Point Fingers at KSTP

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