(Update) Minnesota News Roundup: Vikings stadium funding plans introducedMinnesota News
-- Three state senators unveil a Vikings stadium funding plan this morning (10am).
ST. PAUL - Three state senators unveil a Vikings stadium funding plan this morning (10am).
Roger Chamberlain, David Hann and Pam Wolf, all Republicans, introduce a plan that would generate some of the funding for a new Minneapolis stadium through ticket surcharges. Meanwhile on Wednesday, Republican Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake introduced a bill calling for a roofed stadium to be built at the Vikings' first location choice, in Arden Hills, with funding coming from electronic bingo and pull-tabs. The Vikings have not yet offered any comment on Hamilton's stadium plan.
A Lakeville man is again saying he wants to be reunited with the 11-year-old son he's accused of abandoning. Steven Cross was at a hearing Wednesday where he agreed to cooperate with the boy's mother on a joint-custody arrangement. Still, a court-appointed doctor has recommended against a reunion between father and son right now. Prosecutors say that Cross abandonded his son in their home in foreclosure last summer, leaving him a note saying to grab his video games and go live with a neighbor.
Another Republican has joined in the effort to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth). U.S. Army veteran Pete Hegseth acknowledges it's going to be a tough battle. Hegseth says Klobuchar has been too cautious in a time of major political challenges. The 31-year-old Hegseth is Stillwater resident who has never run for political office, and he's joining the race late after recently returning from an Afghanistan deployment. Hegseth is one of four Republicans vying to challenge Klobuchar. The other three GOP challengers include Joe Arwood, Anthony Hernandez and Dan Severson.
Minnesota home sales are off to a strong start in 2012. According to the Minnesota Association of Realtors, closed sales were up almost seven-percent in January, while pending sales rose 14-point-five-percent. Sale prices were holding relatively steady, as the median sale price was down just one-half-of-one-percent. That's the smallest drop since the housing decline began.
The number of Minnesota children living in high-poverty communities continues to grow. Kara Arzemendia with the Children's Defense Fund says new data shows that while not all the children in those neighborhoods are poor themselves, their surroundings can affect their development. She says the number of children living in high poverty neighborhoods almost doubled over the last decade. Arzemendia says that outside of Hennepin and Ramsey Counties all of the Minnesota counties with high poverty neighborhoods are in Greater Minnesota. She says Beltrami has the worst rate in the state followed by Blue Earth County.
Locked-out union workers from a tire plant in Ohio are joining locked-out American Crystal Sugar employees on a six-state tour, dubbed the "Journey for Justice" tour. The union locals from the five Red River Valley Crystal factories hosted a rally in Moorhead Wednesday to kick off the trip. It will end in Finlay, Ohio where Teresa Brown and other steelworker union members were locked out of the Cooper Tire plant in November. She says they were told that their Thanksgiving break was extended and to leave the property immediately. Then, later that day, they were locked out and not able to get into the company's parking lot. Union leaders say there are similarities - both Cooper and Crystal were reporting record profits ahead of the lockouts. Before starting the trip, Moorhead workers attempted to turn in thousands of petitions supporting Crystal workers at the cooperative's corporate office. They were turned away by security.