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Today's News: Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Courthouse shooting reveals darker side of Grand Marais
Beth Kennedy first heard the stories 34 years ago. Not long after she moved to Grand Marais with her husband and 11-year-old daughter, people in the community told her that older men were pursuing and having sex with high school girls…Such relationships also can have serious mental-health consequences for girls, according to a new study led by University of Minnesota sociologist Ann Meier.
Duluth News Tribune

Changing times require rethinking rural leadership roles
Rural communities need more leaders and more volunteers to keep things running than urban areas, but changing times are leaving rural communities "leadership-distressed."…According to a study designed by Ben Winchester for the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, rural communities are experiencing a decline in membership of traditional community organizations, and an increasing number of organizations requiring leadership.
Marshall Independent

Filling the learning gap helps close the achievement gap
When discussing how to close the achievement gap, typically the focus is on what happens in the classroom…A benchmark social return-on-investment study conducted by the University of Minnesota and the Wilder Research demonstrates a $5 return on every $1 invested. And, if state grant money is considered, the return on investment is $15 to $1.

Business and Politics

Supreme court prepares for battle over human rights liability of corporations
America's top human rights lawyers are gearing up for a crucial supreme court battle that will determine whether US-based and global corporations can be held liable for genocide and other violations of international law…Jennifer Green, a professor at the University of Minnesota law school who has helped draft a legal brief to the supreme court over the Kiobel case, said that ATS cases had had a significant ripple effect that has "improved the human rights practices of corporations.
The Guardian

Internet classes in region cater to small businesses
University of Minnesota Extension, as part of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities program, will host a variety of Internet classes in the region starting this week.
Worthington Daily Globe

Matt Kenseth and Best Buy Car Win Daytona 500
Wisconsin native Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 overnight in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opener that was delayed by rain, fire and wrecks. Kenseth took the checked flag in the No. 17 Best Buy car – one of several NASCAR teams sponsored by a Minnesota company…Stephen Ross, sports marketing professor at the University of Minnesota, says buying the ad space is always a win because the logo is highly visible and it's more likely people will remember it.
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Fundraising efforts spring up from anti-racism groups
Groups around Duluth will not only rally to ignore those coming to the Civic Center Plaza on Saturday, they are collecting money based on every minute the Supreme White Alliance stays in the area around City Hall…Students and staff members at the University of Minnesota Duluth are handing out pledge sheets. Donations are being sought for every minute the group is on the plaza Saturday.
Duluth News Tribune

UnitedHealth launches new mobile app for customers
UnitedHealthcare is taking another step into the burgeoning mobile health care field with a new app that aims to help people tap into their own health care information…The mobile applications allow patients to know the balance of their deductibles, to know the prices of generic and brand-name drugs and to comparison shop among doctors for the best price and health outcome, said Steve Parente, a health finance expert with the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Star Tribune

People and Lifestyle

Drainage design: ‘Controlled’ field drains being adapted in Red River Valley
All right, so you’re installing tile drainage to improve yields on your farm. Now you might want to think about adding tools for drainage water management, said Gary Sands, an associate professor and engineer from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul, who spoke Feb. 22 in Wahpeton at one of the drainage design workshops organized by the extension services at North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota.
Grand Forks Herald

Farmer fined $12.5K for decimating pelican nests
A southern Minnesota farmer has been fined $12,500 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service in a wildlife program for a rampage last spring in which he destroyed thousands of white pelican eggs and chicks…Linda Wires, an expert on water birds at the University of Minnesota who was among those who discovered the destroyed colony, said the penalty was unusually stiff for such cases.
Star Tribune

Cooking classes for low-income Minnesotans offer healthy, tasty tips
In a fully-equipped kitchen at Johnson Senior High School in St. Paul, a group of girls surround CeAnn Klug, who is about to try to change their cooking and eating habits…Not one of the girls looks thrilled. But that doesn't deter Klug, an instructor for Cooking Matters, a nationwide program run in Minnesota by University of Minnesota Extension in which local chefs volunteer to provide free classes to low-income kids and adults.
Minnesota Public Radio
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Indian Tribe’s Dispute Heats Up in California
For two months, following a disputed election, the fight for control of the Chukchansi Indian tribe was a standoff: two groups from the tribe each claimed the be the rightful tribal council, each holding separate meetings and appealing to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for recognition as the legitimate tribal government…“Power struggles seem to be more common than not in Indian country,” said David Wilkins, a Lumbee Indian and professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota.
New York Times

Commentary and Opinion

Obama Sale of First Family Photo Tests Campaign Rules
The first family has yet to appear together on the 2012 campaign trail, but the faces of the foursome are now officially for sale in President Obama’s campaign store…“It prohibits political activity that imposes an additional cost on the government,” said Painter, now a law professor at the University of Minnesota, adding that the use of an existing official photo would not meet that standard.

Sviggum: I’m bringing my own legal opinion to the board
I talked to University of Minnesota regent Steve Sviggum earlier this morning about the conflict-of-interest inquiry he’s facing from an ad-hoc committee on Friday.
Minnesota Public Radio On Campus

Updates and Events

Trial In Fatal ‘U’ Hit-And-Run Begins
Lawyers made their opening statements Monday morning in the Timothy Bakdash case — the trial of a deadly hit and run that happened in Dinkytown…Police say he purposely ran over three University of Minnesota students last April.
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The Benjamin Britten Peace Project
This Thursday night, March 1st, the University of Minnesota School of Music commemorates the 50th anniversary of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem.
Minnesota Public Radio
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U of M Awards Contracts for New Gopher Baseball Stadium
The University of Minnesota's baseball team is getting an upgraded field, and PCL Construction and DLR Group have been chosen to design and build it.

U of M Alumni Association VP Named Robert G. Forman Fellow
A University of Minnesota Alumni Association vice president has been named a 2012 Robert G. Forman Fellow.