Minnesota News Roundup: Senate backers still think a Vikings stadium is possibleMinnesota News
-- Backers are trying to revive a Vikings stadium bill in the Minnesota Senate after it was voted down in a House committee Monday night.
Backers are trying to revive a Vikings stadium bill in the Minnesota Senate after it was voted down in a House committee Monday night. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Tom Bakk says he's asked top Republicans to schedule a hearing and hopes to "be able to still move the bill in the Senate." Senate bill sponsor, Fairmont Republican Julie Rosen, says there could be a hearing possibly by Thursday. But a key Senate G-O-P strategist indicates Democrats will have to help by putting up votes necessary to pass the stadium bill. Steve Sviggum notes only one Democrat voted for it in the House committee -- where it failed Monday night.
The Minnesota Senate has passed a bill that would legalize fireworks in Minnesota similar to those allowed in Wisconsin. St. Paul Senator and former police Chief John Harrington warn unregulated fireworks are "absolutely a hazard" in urban areas. He says is it really worth it if someone loses an eye, hand or a house? Bill sponsor, East Bethel Senator Michael Jungbauer says it will still be illegal for minors to possess or purchase fireworks and adds government can't keep "dumb parents" from giving fireworks to their children or keep "dumb people" from setting them off in cities.
More than 200 National Guard "Red Bull" soldiers return to Minnesota today (Wed) from a deployment to Afghanistan. Members of the First Bridge Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division will be welcomed home at armories in Pine City (10:30am), Cloquet (11:15am), Duluth (12:35pm), Hibbing (1:10pm), Anoka (9:50am), St. Cloud (11:15am), Brainerd (12:50pm) and Bloomington (9:25am). The Minnesota soldiers helped train the Afghan Army in counterinsurgency operations. The first wave of 38 troops arrived at airports across the state yesterday (Tues) afternoon.
An ex-nurse found guilty of encouraging two depressed people to commit suicide is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn his conviction. Oral arguments are scheduled for today in the case of William Melchert-Dinkel. The southern Minnesota man was convicted last year of aiding the suicides of a British man and a Canadian woman. Melchert-Dinkel acknowledges he went online and gave the victims advice on how to hang themselves, but his attorney says he was exercising his free speech rights.
Police think a Minnesota boy is behind a series of long-distance bomb threats which resulted in several Walmart stores closing in Alabama. The most recent call was traced to the city of Andover and police say the parents of the 13-year old are aware of the situation and are cooperating with police. No other details have been released in the case.
Eight Minnesota companies have made the "100 Best Corporate Citizens List" of 2012. Corporate Responsibility Magazine ranked Austin-based Hormel 19th -- while Mosaic, 3-M, General Mills and Medtronic also made the top-50. Best Buy, Target and UnitedHealth Group followed further down on the list. The top companies, based on environment, human rights, employee relations and philanthropy were Bristol-Myers Squibb, followed by I-B-M.