In Brief

Published 12:15 pm Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dayton team urges two-way street on adopt-a-school

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota’s new education commissioner wants an adopt-a-school concept her boss laid out to be a two-way street between districts and local businesses.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius told a gathering of superintendents Friday that they should reach out to chambers of commerce about Gov. Mark Dayton’s idea.

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In his inaugural address Monday, Dayton said businesses can show their commitment to public education by adopting a school and helping it out.

Cassellius is amplifying Dayton’s call with remarks of her own. “If people can adopt a highway, I think they can adopt a school,” she said at the Association of Metropolitan School District meeting.

Guthrie hosted Minn. high school thespian fest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hundreds of aspiring young actors and theater technicians displayed their skills Saturday at the 2011 Minnesota State Thespian Festival at the Guthrie Theater.

More than 400 students from 21 Minnesota high schools were expected to attend.

The young theater students took part in workshops in acting, movement, stage management and technical theater.

Students also presented their work in one-act plays on the Wurtele Thrust Stage and in National Individual Events Showcase performances.

There also were backstage tours, scholarship auditions and vendor and college booths.

The festival ended with an awards ceremony at 5 p.m., followed by an open mic and dance party.

Snow cancels St. Paul Saints’ Iceball event

ST. PAUL (AP) — The St. Paul Saints’ outdoor winter game at Midway Stadium has been canceled this year. The reason: too much snow.

While the team says playing conditions on the field would likely have been perfect for the Jan. 29 softball tournament, the problem is the mountain of snow in the parking lot. The Saints say the Crispin Iceball Adventure Series includes tailgating contests, concerts and other games in the parking lot.

The Saints say snow from around the city has been dumped in the Midway Stadium parking lot as St. Paul runs out of room for all that snow.

The team says the softball tournament will still go on as scheduled as a St. Paul Winter Carnival event. The game will be played at Arlington Fields by Arlington High School.

Dayton inaugural ball to fete Minnesota themes

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton capped his first week in office with an inaugural ball in Minneapolis featuring a flexible dress code and popular State Fair cookies.

Dayton hosted the “People’s Inaugural Ball” on Saturday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The new Democratic governor planned to greet guests throughout the evening.

The party featured music, dancing and Minnesota-themed food, including wild rice and mushroom appetizers, walleye cakes and local cheese and sausages. There was also be a milk bar serving Sweet Martha’s cookies, a longtime hit with State Fairgoers.

The dress code ranged from blue jeans to black tie, with the new governor expected to appear in jeans.

Tickets were $30, with a $15 option for students and those with low incomes.

Duluth mayor looks to spiff up iconic stone tower

DULUTH (AP) — Duluth’s mayor wants to direct local tourism taxes toward repairing an iconic observation tower that overlooks the city, and hopes it can be rededicated by the king of Norway when he visits Minnesota later this year.

Enger Tower has been perched on the bluffs overlooking Lake Superior since 1939. The 80-foot-tall structure and its land was a gift to the city from Bert J. Enger, who emigrated from Norway to Duluth and made a fortune selling furniture. Its dedication ceremony was attended by a Norwegian crown prince and princess.

Mayor Don Ness wants the city council to approve about $372,000 from local taxes to spiff up the tower for the first time in its 72 years. He said he hopes to lure Norway’s King Harold V to rededicate Enger Tower during his scheduled visit to Minnesota in October.

Ex-Minn. revenue auditor charged in $1.9M theft

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former Minnesota Revenue Department auditor is accused of stealing nearly $2 million in state funds by creating false tax refunds.

Fifty-eight-year-old Pamela Dellis of Lindstrom is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of money laundering.