Daily Digest: Vikings grow impatient, chess powerhouse in Brooklyn, deformed sea creatures

Posted: Wed, 4/18, 12:45pm, Updated: 2 years ago

 --Even with a major setback Monday, the Vikings are determined to get a stadium bill passed this legislative session.

A House committee voted down the Vikings stadium bill Monday night, which may have extinguished any hope that a stadium bill would be passed this session with only weeks left. Gov. Mark Dayton, a stadium supporter, said the bill may have to wait until next year.

"There is no next year," Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley told Minnesota Public Radio. "We were told by the last governor in 2006 when the Twins bill and the Gophers bill were moving forward that the Vikings were going to have to stand down, we'll come back next year. That was six years ago. After 10 plus years and an expired lease, we need to get this issue moving, get it done this year. Get it to the floor, let all 201, because there is support to get it to the floor, and let all the legislators get a shot at it because there is support in this building to get this done this year."

Stadium bill co-author Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, said the committee rejection Monday was not a “deal-killer.”

Legislators hope to leave the Capitol by May.

 

--The New York Times has a story of the Brooklyn middle school that won the United States Chess Federation’s national high school championship on Sunday in Minneapolis.

More than 60 percent of the students at Intermediate School 318 live below the poverty line, but its stairways are adorned with chess trophies — mementos of the victories over high school chess powerhouses like Stuyvesant in Manhattan and Thomas Jefferson in Alexandria, Va.

The program began as a small after-school program, and school administrators hope the win Sunday will prevent budget cuts to the chess team.

“The difference in mental development between a junior high school kid and a high school kid is impossible to overstate,” said Elizabeth Spiegel, the school’s full-time chess teacher.

 

--Gulf of Mexico fishermen and scientists are encountering an alarming amount of deformed sea creatures, which likely resulted from the BP oil spill there in 2010, according to Al Jazeera.

BP has used dispersants to help clean up the oil spill, which resulted in 4.9 million barrels of oil being spilled into the gulf in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. But those dispersants have been known to be mutagenic, according to Al Jazeera, and could be the cause for some mutations.  

"Some shrimpers are catching these out in the open Gulf [of Mexico]," commercial fisherman Tracy Kuhns said. "They are also catching them in Alabama and Mississippi. We are also finding eyeless crabs, crabs with their shells soft instead of hard, full grown crabs that are one-fifth their normal size, clawless crabs, and crabs with shells that don't have their usual spikes … they look like they've been burned off by chemicals."

An official response from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said seafood from the gulf continues to go through extensive testing to make sure it’s safe for human consumption.

BP said the seafood in the gulf is just as safe now as before the Deepwater Horizon explosion. 

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