St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL - There were 137,000 job vacancies reported by Minnesota employers in the final three months of 2018, a 20% increase over the year before. According to a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, vacancies greatly outnumber the state’s unemployed. “There are essentially two job vacancies for each unemployed person in Minnesota, ” DEED spokesman Shane Delaney said. Minnesota’s current unemployment rate sits at 3.2% seasonally adjusted.
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 24, to conspiring to distribute nearly 200 pounds of methamphetamine, a record drug seizure in Minnesota. Fernando Ramos-Meza, 34, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Ramos-Meza as well as his co-conspirators, Peter Martin, 34, Javier Lopez-Lopez, 47 and Juan Daniel Valdez-Mendoza, 24, all were indicted on drug-trafficking charges last November.
MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will hold a special meeting Friday to discuss and possibly act on proposed name changes for four buildings on the Twin Cities campus. President Eric Kaler has recommended scrubbing buildings named for Lotus Coffman, Walter Coffey, Edward Nicholson and William Middlebrook, citing the former university leaders’ racism or anti-Semitism while in office. But several regents expressed opposition at a meeting in early March, raising doubt as to whether any building will be renamed.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has fined a California-based health insurance agency for mailing more than 600,000 misleading letters to elderly Minnesotans, the department announced Tuesday, April 23.
ST. PAUL -- Boys will be allowed to compete on Minnesota high school dance teams beginning next school year. The Minnesota State High School League recently sent out a memo to school activities directors announcing the change. The competitive dance teams had been all-girl, prompting a lawsuit by two boys wanting to compete. The League “has agreed to a settlement of the recent lawsuit that will allow boys to participate … beginning with the 2019-2020 season,” the memo states. The deal avoids a protracted legal fight, the message continues.
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — The family of the 5-year-old boy thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America on April 12 said he remained in intensive care and under sedation Tuesday, April 23. “We have an important week ahead with more milestones to accomplish,” attorney Stephen Tillitt said via conference call. He read from a prepared statement written by the family. “God’s hand is working. Your prayers are working.
Thanks to gains in construction, Minnesota added 1,300 jobs in March. Yet the state’s unemployment rate rose to 3.2%. The state’s jobless figure, which rose 0.1 percentage point from the month before, remains below the national rate of 3.8%.
ST. PAUL — A second grader took a loaded handgun to a St. Paul elementary school on Wednesday, April 17, according to police. Someone at Highland Park Elementary became aware of the gun and a staff member called police about 10:20 a.m. to report it was in a student’s backpack. A school resource officer responded and took the gun, which had a trigger lock on it, said Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman.
ST. PAUL - The head of Minnesota’s largest higher-education system has agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him on the job through July 2023. Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra took over for the retiring Steven Rosenstone on an interim basis in 2017 after a failed search for a permanent chancellor. The Board of Trustees dropped the interim label after a second fruitless search a year later.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Wild extended their lease with the Xcel Energy Center through 2035 — a decade longer than previously agreed to. “This is our city, and we’re proud of it,” Wild owner and chairman Craig Leipold said Tuesday during a media event at the Xcel Energy Center to mark the continuation of the partnership. “We are St. Paul. Most of our people live in St. Paul. …We believe in the city.”