MAC to vote on new flight plan: Noise Oversight Committee approved routing system devised by FAA; it concentrates flights over parts of Edina and Minneapolis. (Steve Brandt)
Bar manager pleads guilty in tax refund scam: A manager of the 400 Soundbar could be deported to her native Liberia after helping to steal $550,000. (Dan Browning)
Seat licenses prevalent in the NFL: The governor's concern over any use by Vikings might have more to do with their potential cost. (Mike Kaszuba)
City likely to support more resignation transparency: City officials took some heat recently for claiming that a new state law doesn't apply to top Minneapolis appointees. But the city's lobbyists are likely to push for more transparency at the Legislature next year. (Eric Roper)
Don't reroute freight trains, St. Louis Park residents plead: More than 300 people packed City Hall in St. Louis Park, most hoping to convince officials that a plan to move train traffic from Minneapolis is a "lose-lose" for the city. (Kelly Smith)
Six light rail stations to close for weekend (Paul Walsh)
Holidazzle parades resume full schedule (Paul Walsh)
Governor lambasts Vikings over stadium details: Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday wrote a stern letter to the Minnesota Vikings' owners threatening to undo the stadium deal if they pass on the building costs to fans. (Rachel E. Stassen-Berger)
Towering plan for North Loop: Long home to hipster lofts, condos and restaurants, development of Class A office space has lagged somewhat in the burgeoning area. But Houston-based Hines, a global real estate developer, is pitching an office tower of that ilk called 350 North Fifth for a spot adjacent to the home of the Minnesota Twins. (Janet Moore)
In this voting precinct, you can cast votes with a fishing pole: Intrigued by the lack of results posted after Tuesday's election for Ward 10, Precinct 3B, a reporter inquired of City Clerk Casey Carl where they were. Carl pointed to the redistricted precinct map -- which shows 3B lying entirely in the east half of Lake Calhoun. (Steve Brandt)
Charge: Tot tossed "like a sack of potatoes": The 21-year-old suspect admitted throwing a 21-month-old girl on a bed. She suffered a severe spinal cord injury. (Randy Furst and Paul Walsh)
Board clarifies conflict of interest for elected officials (Steve Brandt)
Single-sort recycling debuts for 30,000 households (Eric Roper)
When it comes to conflicts of interests, serving on the planning commission and representing another public body is different from representing a business.
That's the gist of an opinion last week from the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board on a joint request brought by the city, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Board of Education.
They sought advice on whether their members are conflicted in cases in which the Park Board or school board seek an action from the Planning Commission. The law requires disclosure of conflicts in cases where a public official's duties involve an action that affects the official's financial interests or those of an associated business.
The board said that public jurisdictions don't meet the definition of a business in the law nor that in common usage.
That may seem like a common sense approach, but the question has come up several times at the commission and "we always like clarity," said Steve Liss, the school district's general counsel. For example, the planning commission on Oct. 29 denied a rezoning and several related actions involving a school district attempt to convert to parking some residential property on a block adjoining its headquarters. Under the ruling, Richard Mammen, the school board representative to the commission, had no conflict is voting against the denial.
At least one planning commissioner also has raised the issue of whether Hennepin County's appointee to the commission should vote on county-related issues. The city is due to release recommendations about planning commission ethics next week.
Reimnitz win caps improbable school board race: Upstart candidate Josh Reimnitz won all three of the precincts where defectively printed ballots were counted by hand, posting 51 percent of the overall vote. (Steve Brandt)
Tattoo of cop was satire, suspect's family says: Family members of a man charged with a felony for posting a graphic tattoo directed at a Minneapolis police officer on Facebook said Friday that he was merely expressing frustration about the officer, and they questioned why the officer was involved in the man's arrest. (Abby Simons)
Vikings fans may face seat licenses to help pay for stadium: Faced with the need to make a nearly half-billion dollar contribution to build their new downtown football stadium, the Minnesota Vikings may tap their most loyal fans to help foot the bill. (Richard Meryhew)
Cities at odds at freight train reroute for Southwest LRT: Light-rail trains won't be clamoring through Minneapolis and the southwest suburbs for several years, but Minneapolis and St. Louis Park are already sparring about where noisy, heavy freight traffic will end up. (Kelly Smith)
Hennepin and 8th goes from Shinders to Shea: The nationally known marketing and design firm will have offices on the second floor. A new restaurant called Union will open on the first floor, lower level and rooftop deck. (Janet Moore)
18-year-old charged in death of man found in burning house (Nicole Norfleet)
Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones announced Wednesday that his office is sending a detailed questionnaire this week to 12 restaurants on or near Nicollet Mall to determine whether they are wheelchair accessible or otherwise complying with federal law requiring accommodations for people with disabilities.
Jeanne Cooney, a spokesperson for Jones, said the U.S. Attorney’s office periodically looks into different types of venues to see if they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She said the office works with the businesses to help them meet the ADA standards, but it also has the option to file a lawsuit. She said restaurants are expected to meet the ADA requirements that were in place at the type of the restaurant’s construction or latest renovation.
She said her office cannot investigate all restaurants in the state, so it picked a small group in the same area. Other restaurants may be added to the inquiry. She said the U.S. Attorney’s office has no advance information about whether restaurants on Nicollet Mall are complying with the law.
Among the questions the restaurants will be required to answer are:
Is there a telephone device for the deaf available at the host station so a restaurant can take reservations from people who are deaf or have a speech impairment?
Is the route through the main entrance and into the restaurant accessible to persons with disabilities?
If the restaurant has a bar or counter, is any portion of it lowered so as to be accessible to someone in a wheelchair?
Does the restaurant have written policies on how it will handle people with hearing disabilities or use a wheelchair? Does it have a written policy specific to persons with disabilities who use service animals?
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