University of Minnesota service workers authorize strike


Mia Laube at KSTP-TV says, “Service workers at the University of Minnesota have authorized a strike. The results of a strike authorization vote initiated by the workers at the end of September were announced Monday afternoon, with the vote passing by a 93% margin. The union represents around 1,500 service workers. Brian Aldes, secretary-treasurer and principal officer of Teamsters Local 320, says the union will formally file its intent to strike Tuesday morning. The union says the workers it represents could then strike as soon as Oct. 22, which would affect university dining services, residence halls, bathrooms, exercise facilities, grounds and more.”

At MPR News, Kirsti Marohn reports, “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has settled a lawsuit filed by a former employee who raised concerns about how the agency handles petroleum leak sites. Mark Toso resigned last year after nearly 30 years at the MPCA. He spent the last decade as a hydrologist in the petroleum remediation program, which is responsible for investigating, evaluating and removing risks from petroleum releases from storage tanks.  Toso sued the agency in Ramsey County District Court last November, claiming he faced retaliation for his repeated complaints that the program was failing to protect groundwater and endangering public health.” picked up an Oct. 6 story from Lakeland PBS by Mary Balstad that says, “As part of Minnesota’s Autonomous Rural Transit Initiative (goMARTI), five self-driving shuttles will aim to increase not only accessibility for residents and visitors, but also mobility as the cars wind down the streets of Grand Rapids hands-free. The autonomous vehicles, provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and its partners, will cruise down the paved streets this fall. These vehicles will be on Grand Rapids roads for an 18-month pilot program. One major reason for bringing these shuttles northbound is to decrease isolation and increase mobility for those with disabilities.”

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An AP story says, “A horticulture teacher from Minnesota set a new U.S. record Monday for the heaviest pumpkin after raising one weighing 2,560 pounds. Travis Gienger, of Anoka, Minnesota set the new record and won an annual pumpkin-weighing contest in Northern California. Gienger drove the gargantuan gourd for 35 hours to see his hard work pay off at the 49th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.”

For Sports Illustrated Joe Nelson writes, “After a season marred with injuries, the Minnesota Twins have dumped their head athletic trainer. Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey announced Monday that Michael Salazar has been fired after three seasons with the team. Falvey also said there are no plans to make changes to the coaching staff under manager Rocco Baldelli. Twins players spent a total of 1,573 days on the injured list this season, highlighted by oft-injured Byron Buxton, top prospects Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach, and nearly every member of the starting rotation: Sonny Gray, Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Chris Archer, Chris Paddack and Tommy Mahle.”

This from Stribber Richard Chin, “In July of 2022, Keith Yearman was browsing a vendor’s table at the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago. An old camera sitting among used books and electronic gear caught his eye. ‘I just had to have it, for some reason,’ Yearman said. He bought it for $20. … A week or so after he bought the Brownie, Yearman opened it — and was surprised to see a roll of film still in it. The film, which was tightly wound around a metal spool with a wooden core, was a now-rare Type 116 film, first introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1899.”

A BringMeTheNews story says, “… a new report from, which compared data from well-known small towns across the county and ranked each spot based on ‘metrics of cozy town friendliness.’ Points were awarded to towns for characteristics such as the length of the winter season, number of bookshops, parks, cafes and bakeries — towns on the list each ‘provide sanctuary and warmth while winter rages on the outside.’ In fairness, having a lengthy winter season counting as a positive makes it a little unfairly weighted in Minnesota’s favor, so it’s no surprise that the Land of 10,000 Frozen Winter Lakes featured three times in this incredibly scientific study.

  • Grand Marais, Cook County (#27)
  • Perham, Otter Tail County (#56)
  • South Haven, Wright County (#59).”

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