St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — The committee tasked with recommending finalists for the next University of Minnesota president has identified a small number for further vetting. The group said Friday, Nov. 16, it had interviewed nine candidates from an applicant pool of 67. Among those nine were five women and three people of color. A smaller number of those interviewed were selected for further vetting, including reference and background checks and credentials verification.
ST. PAUL — An autopsy determined a University of St. Thomas student who was found dead in her dorm room in October had asthma, which caused respiratory distress and sudden death, according to the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office. A roommate of Katherine “Katie” Mullen, 19, found her unresponsive in her bed in Morrison Hall the morning of Oct. 19.
DULUTH, Minn. -- A 60-year-old balsam fir from Nemadji State Forest has been cut and will decorate the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul this holiday season. “This year’s tree is absolutely gorgeous — tall, full, and almost perfectly shaped,” Jean Mouelle, the DNR forester who selected it, said in a statement. “It’s an impressive example of a balsam fir.”
SHAKOPEE, Minn. - A former Shakopee school superintendent pleaded guilty to corruptly soliciting a bribe, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Thursday. Rodney Keith Thompson, 53, entered his guilty plea Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A month after undergoing back surgery, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton remained hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic Thursday, Nov. 15, with what he described as “damage to my lungs” from a “post-surgical complication.” Last month, Dayton, 71, underwent two surgeries at the Rochester hospital that involved fusing vertebrae in his lower back.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota’s unemployment rate held firm at 2.8 percent in October as the state’s labor market gained thousands of jobs, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “With an overall 2.8 percent unemployment, employers are working harder to attract and retain talent,” DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement. A total of 86,118 Minnesotans are unemployed, according to DEED.
ST. PAUL - A federal agency has given a key approval to the Southwest Light Rail Transit project, clearing the way for the start of construction on the 14.5-mile, $2 billion link between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. The Metropolitan Council said the Federal Transit Administration gave the approval on Wednesday. The action means the Met Council can move forward with awarding a construction contract for the project, the largest public infrastructure investment in state history.
ST. PAUL -- Jeff Johnson, the Republican candidate for governor, plans to leave politics after his term as a Hennepin County commissioner ends in 2020. Johnson, originally from Detroit Lakes, was defeated by Congressman Tim Walz in last week’s gubernatorial election. It was Johnson’s third failed bid for statewide office.
ST. PAUL -- A blaze in a St. Paul garage where multiple electric scooters were charging was not caused by the scooters, as a fire investigator initially thought possible. The investigation showed the fire in Highland Park started at an electrical outlet and was possibly ignited by a loose electrical connection, which could have been caused by wear and tear or improper installation, St. Paul Fire Capt. Joe Blank said this week. While the scooters didn’t cause the fire, they could have been a contributing factor, Blank said.
BELDEN, Minn. -- After five days, Pine County law enforcement officials suspended their search for a hunter who went missing, saying they’ve found no sign of him. David Peltier, 59, was reported missing Sunday by members of his deer hunting party in northern Minnesota, according to the Pine County sheriff’s office.