Nick Wicker


Committee votes down tuition freeze

University of Minnesota leaders made their eleventh-hour pleas to state lawmakers Wednesday, requesting funds to hold tuition flat for some students over the next two years.

Businesses call for regulation changes

Majdi Wadi came to the United States from Jordan in 1987 with a dream of taking over his family’s business.   In 1994, Wadi took over the business, Holy Land Bakery, which now has two locations in Minneapolis.

Officials look to curb fare evasion

After an audit discovered that light rail fare evasion costs Metro Transit up to $28,000 per week, city officials are discussing potential solutions to cut down on financials losses. Metropolitan Council officials discussed next steps for the mass transit service at a meeting on Wednesday, which could include educating more transit riders rather than simply cracking down on those who dodge fares.

Minneapolis receives Ebola preparation funds

In the wake of the Ebola epidemic last fall, some city officials say Minneapolis should be more prepared for future outbreaks. The Minnesota Department of Health gave the city $40,000 last week to ensure safety and preparedness in the future and to help residents whose family members fell victim to the disease overseas. Minneapolis Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant said the rash of Ebola cases in the U.S. gave the city a sense of how it can better prepare for future outbreaks, such as with improved communication between city departments and hospitals.

Minneapolis to promote tech training

Minneapolis recently joined 20 communities across the nation in an initiative to offset future technology job shortages. The “TechHire” initiative aims to promote technical training programs by providing crash courses in coding, or “coding boot camps,” and connecting students with local companies. Minneapolis will partner with three organizations in the state, including Concordia University in St. Paul, Prime Digital Academy and IT-Ready. The boot camps are part of a national tech initiative that President Barack Obama rolled out earlier this month.

Gordon eyes minor crimes

In an effort to combat racial profiling by law enforcement officials, two Minneapolis City Council members are asking the city to repeal certain low-level offenses that impact minorities at higher rates. At a City Council meeting Friday, Ward 2 Councilman Cam Gordon announced that he plans to repeal ordinances that made lurking and spitting on sidewalks illegal. Changes would go into effect after next month’s full council meeting if the measure is approved.

Metropolitan Council water plan gets feedback

A new plan aimed at preserving water resources in the metro area is set to begin next month. A public hearing for the Metropolitan Council’s Water Resources Management Plan, which is part of a larger 30-year plan, called Thrive MSP 2040, was held Tuesday. The council will adopt the new water resources plan in April, and it will address treatment of waste water, as well as prescribe steps to protect surface water and conserve water supply, said Judy Sventek, Metropolitan Council’s manager of the water resources assessment.

Land sale processes could change

There are hundreds of vacant lots and houses in Minneapolis — a result of what some city officials say is a restrictive approval process for land sales. The application process includes multiple steps for approval, all of which must be granted before a transaction is finalized. Now, city officials are considering changes to the land sales process in an attempt to move more residents into vacant city lots.

Minneapolis receives $3M federal health grant

Minneapolis will use a nearly $3 million grant to combat the spread of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke in the city. A City Council committee on Monday accepted the Minnesota Department of Health’s Healthy Living Grant, which will be awarded to local clinics. The full council will vote on it later this month. The grant money will be dispersed over the next four years. The state obtained the money from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Patty Bowler, director of policy and community programs for the Minneapolis Health Department.

Suspicious bag left in Willey Hall

A University of Minnesota student entered a Willey Hall classroom Thursday afternoon and dropped a backpack in the front of the lecture hall before running away. The student, who is believed to have mental health issues, was located and taken into custody Thursday around 5:30 p.m., said University police Sgt. Ryan Rivers. He was then transported to a nearby hospital for mental care.