NEWS DAY | Erlinder - in jail, hospital, court / Census hires help MN unemployment numbers / more

UPDATE: Peter Erlinder granted unconditional bail in Rwanda - may be released as soon as tomorrow. He was back in the hospital yesterday, with high blood pressure. His medical problems may be exacerbated by suspicion of food and medicine furnished by the Rwandan government, given past threats to his life from that government. MPR reports:

"He's not been taking his medication because they're in normal pill bottles, and he's concerned that someone might be tampering with them," said [his brother] Scott Erlinder. "We've now sent blister-pack medications -- I don't think they've arrived yet -- to make sure they're individually wrapped."

Scott Erlinder said it's hard for the family to assess his brother's medical health.

"We've never been able to talk to him," he said. "All we get is the government's information on that side. And we can only go through what the lawyers have been telling us, but they're not medical people. So who are we to know what the true situation is?"

Erlinder has a court appearance scheduled for today (June 17) to appeal the previous denial of bail, with a verdict expected in the afternoon.

 

Temporary census jobs helped Minnesota unemployment figures in May, as unemployment declined slightly from a seasonally adjusted 7.1 percent in April to 7.0 percent in May. According to today's DEED announcement, Minnesota saw an increase of 5,600 jobs. Government jobs were the biggest factor - with a heavy emphasis on temporary census enumerator jobs, which also drove up national figures during May and will disappear by the end of the month.

In Minnesota jobs in the government sector were up by a net total of 3,000 in May. That figure represents an increase in federal government jobs by 5,300, offset by a decrease in state and local government jobs by 2,300.

 

Street food is heading for St. Paul, according to Steve Brandt's Star Tribune article. Why? Minneapolis licensing slower than molasses in January, which is not prime time for street vending. Brandt cites two businesses, Chef Shack, and an Ethiopian veggie-vendor, both among the impatiently waiting vendors stalled by city licensing slowdowns:

"They're all telling me 'wait,'" Benti said Wednesday. "Then winter will come."

But she's not waiting. She and her brother got a St. Paul mobile vendor license in one day instead, for one-quarter of what they paid in Minneapolis on May 3 for a license they've yet to get.

 

Oops, says AFL-CIO. The state labor federation held its endorsement screening for governor yesterday, and decided to endorse no one - after sending out a press release endorsing Margaret Anderson Kelliher. What happened? It's all a mistake, according to the AFL-CIO, but rival DFLer Mark Dayton wasn't buying that explanation. According to MPR, Dayton "dismissed the explanation that the news release was a mistake. He pointed out that Kelliher was quoted in the release, but no one had contacted him for a similar quote."

 

Ready for a tug at the heartstrings? Ruben Rosario's column today features a mother who died saving her daughter and a new playground for low-income kids built in her honor. Great read!

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Mary Turck's picture
Mary Turck

Mary Turck (maryturck [at] gmail [dot] com) is a freelance writer, editor, teacher, and lifelong activist, and former editor of the TC Daily Planet.