School board member hires daughter to help campaign

Incumbent Minneapolis school Board Member Rebecca Gagnon has hired her college-age daughter to be her paid campaign manager.

Campaign finance records show Gagnon's campaign has already paid $1,120 to her daughter, Samantha, and still owes her $3,000. Samantha Gagnon is a sophomore at Loyola University.

Rebecca Gagnon has raised $10,902 so far and is the only candidate who reported paying a campaign manager. She chose her daughter instead of a seasoned campaign pro because she has "quite a bit of experience working with campaigns," including a mayoral campaign.

Gagnon said her daughter is also very in tune with the issues facing the district.

"Some of the candidates do not know what is happening in our schools," she said. "She was actively involved in the district, and she's a great asset."

Alejandra Matos


City Council gives nod to Sunday taproom sales

Starting in September, St. Paul brewers will be able to sell their beer where it's made on Sundays as well as the rest of the week.

The St. Paul City Council last week approved an ordinance to allow taprooms to sell beer produced on the premises from 10 a.m. Sundays to 1 a.m. on Mondays, subject to a special $200 license.

The ordinance also permits the establishment of "cocktail rooms" at microdistilleries, where liquor produced on site can be consumed or sold. The council will vote later this month on a proposed licensing fee of $605 for microdistilleries.

The door to Sunday taproom sales was opened this year by the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton, who signed a bill permitting such sales if approved by the local jurisdiction.

The bill stopped short of allowing liquor stores to open on Sundays or grocery stores to sell wine and liquor.

Minneapolis and St. Louis Park have already acted to permit Sunday taproom sales.


Oak Park Heights

State Patrol seeks help finding driver in hit-skip

The State Patrol is asking for help in finding the driver of a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash last week in Oak Park Heights that killed one bicyclist and left another critically injured.

Mai Yang, 35, died Monday from injuries she received when she and her husband, E. Xiong, 37, both of St. Paul, were struck head on as they were riding west along a frontage road, 60th Street N., west of the intersection of Hwy. 36 and County Road 24.

Xiong was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with extensive leg injuries.

Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol said the department doesn't have any leads.

The couple were riding on the road about 11:50 p.m. Saturday when the vehicle, traveling east, struck both of them. Xiong has no memory of the crash, Roeske said.

Surveillance camera footage in the area is being studied.

Anyone who saw what happened or has additional information is asked to call authorities at 651-539-1151 or 651-439-4723.

Jim Anderson


Mayor Tom Furlong will not run for re-election

Chanhassen Mayor Tom Furlong has announced that he will not run for another term as mayor.

Council Member Denny Laufenburger has filed to run for mayor. He has served on the council since 2011.

During Furlong's tenure, Standard & Poor's upgraded the city's bond rating to the best rating available, one that fewer than 20 cities in Minnesota hold.

Money magazine has consistently ranked Chanhassen among the top 10 on its "Best Places to Live" list. And in a recent citizens' survey, 97 percent of the respondents rated the city's quality of life as excellent or good.

Furlong was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

Staff report