MINNEAPOLIS — When Minnesota legislators passed the Public Safety Finance Bill during this year’s session, they included measures to shore up the state’s criminal background check system and to fund school-safety programs. However, the legislation falls far short of the kind of measures gun control advocates wanted to see passed — most notably, expanded background checks for gun sales. Still, proponents of the bill applaud it, noting several measures designed to prevent keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
ST. PAUL — The powerful tornado that ripped through Oklahoma Monday, killing 24, has focused attention on the safety of Minnesota school children during violent storms. At least seven of the dead in Moore, a suburb south of Oklahoma City, were children taking refuge in a school, according to the latest reports. In Minnesota, schools are required to have plans in place in case a tornado strikes. And one Minnesota school destroyed by a tornado three years ago was rebuilt with twisters in mind. By law, Minnesota schools are required to hold a variety of safety drills every year.
DULUTH — Tiger Brown Bull has traveled great lengths to earn his masters degree. In two years he has put 40,000 miles on his car to make 20 weekend trips from Kyle, S.D. to the University of Minnesota Duluth for meetings that compliment online classes. Brown Bull, who lives on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, works for his tribe’s education agency. He’s one of 22 graduates in UMD’s Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program, the first of its kind in the nation. The graduates received their degrees on Thursday. "It’s a 12-hour drive for me.
ST. PAUL — State lawmakers have passed legislation that would bar many employers from asking job applicants if they have a criminal record in the early stages of the hiring process. Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill, which would "ban the box," on many applications. If so, the law would go into effect in January. Among those the law would help is Bruce Craig of Minneapolis, who has been out of prison for a decade. When it comes to his job prospects, he says it’s as though he never left.
ST. PAUL — Zebra mussels often elude human inspectors that search boats being hauled into and out of Minnesota lakes.
ST. PAUL — As a bagpipe player, Dick Hensold can deliver the piercing wail of the Scottish Highland Pipes, a sound many are familiar with. But his specialty is the Northumbrian smallpipes, which create a rounder, softer tone with more notes. The instrument is the perfect vehicle for the 54-year-old Hensold who is devoted to traditional Celtic music.
ST. PAUL — If your medical records aren’t in electronic form, they will be soon. Spurred by the Economic Stimulus Act and the federal health care overhaul of recent years, hospitals and clinics are replacing paper files with sophisticated electronic health records. Although some systems can’t share information with each other, potentially a serious problem in an emergency, smartphones are starting to bridge that electronic gap. Farzad Mostashari, coordinator for health information technology at the U.S.
ST. PAUL — As the nation’s hospitals and medical clinics increasingly rely on electronic medical records, many patients may want to use smartphones to access their personal health information through phone apps that include Medicare blue button.
ST. PAUL — A bill passed by the Minnesota House that would increase taxes on alcohol has the hospitality and alcoholic beverage industries in an uproar. Supporters of raising the excise tax on alcohol say it’s long overdue and the state could bring in $200 million a year if people paid just seven cents more per drink. Alcoholic beverage producers pay the excise tax. Supporters say those producers could recoup the expense by passing it along to their customers.
ST. PAUL — The economy is supposedly on the mend, but companies continue to look for opportunities to trim expenses. Businesses are still as committed to cost-cutting as they were during the Great Recession, despite rising revenues, according to a study by the consulting firm Deloitte. Some companies are examining their commercial real estate footprint as a potential cost to cut. Businesses increasingly are moving away from individual offices and high-walled cubicles to more open environments.