Cold Spring

Mayor resigns because of change in residency

The mayor of Cold Spring unexpectedly resigned on Tuesday for a pretty good reason: He no longer lives in Cold Spring.

Bob Thelen had been renting an apartment in the Stearns County city, but his family moved to Bloomington. Thelen was unable to renew his lease and announced his resignation to follow the laws on residency, City Administrator Brigid Murphy said.

Council Member Fran Ramler was appointed to fill the office until a new mayor takes office in January. Murphy said city officials hope to appoint another council member for the remainder of the year to round out the five-member council.

Thelen, who did not run for re-election, was a longtime council member before taking over as mayor in 2014.

Mark Brunswick



School district settles for $50,000 in bias case

A female custodial worker will receive $50,000 to settle a claim that she did the work of a custodian but was classified and paid as a custodial aide.

The settlement was announced by the Minneapolis office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the agency, an investigation revealed that the Montevideo School District failed to pay the female custodial aide wages equal to that of a custodian, the position held by her male co-worker, even though the two performed job duties that were the same or equivalent in skill, effort and responsibility.

The custodial aide position is an hourly position and pays about half of the salaried custodian position.

The employee, whose name was not disclosed, will be reclassified as a custodian. The school district also agreed to provide nondiscrimination training to all its employees.

"In this day and age, it is unfortunate that women still have to fight for equal pay," said Julianne Bowman, director of the EEOC's Chicago District Office.



Thousands of jobs open in outstate regions

There were 97,000 job vacancies waiting to be filled in Minnesota in the second quarter of 2016, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced last week.

While more than half of those job openings were in the Twin Cities, another 43,616 positions were vacant in outstate Minnesota. The DEED survey tallied 8,055 vacancies in the Arrowhead, 839 in the northwest, 7,242 in central Minnesota, 1,503 in the southwest and 8,174 in the southeast.

Those figures are down from the same period last year, when employers were trying to fill a near-record 98,000 vacancies, DEED noted. The industries with the most positions to fill were health care, food services, retail, manufacturing and construction.

Jennifer Brooks