On today's MPR News Update we're checking into the new federal rules for public school lunches, what to do about the dangerous amoeba in a Stillwater lake, the government not being able to keep your email address secret, and an Austin e-book author moving titles by the trucklod, and more. First up:
Where's the beef?
New U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines limit student lunches to 650 calories for younger students, and 850 for those in high school. That means smaller burgers and buns, and students can forget about topping that burger off with cheese. So, sure, school lunches are going to be more healthy when the kids head back to school. But Tim Post reports that doesn't necessarilly mean anyone's going to actually eat the required heaps of vegetables and fruits -- even though he found a couple of experts who cheerfully bit into a serving of snap peas.
'Get rid of the subsidies'
"Get rid of every last stinking subsidy and get rid of the TARP and the bailouts for Washington bankers and the stimulus that goes to corporate CEO's," Kurt Bills said yesterday at his FarmFest debate with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. "Get rid of the subsidies for oil, get rid of the subsidies for farm." Well, not all the farm subsidies, Mark Steil reports. Bills said crop insurance should stay, but said the degree of federal subsidies for the program should be examined. He said the farm bill spent too much money.
More from on the Lily Lake tragedy
We've learned some more about the amoeba infection that killed 9-year-old Jack Ariola Erenberg after he swam in Lily Lake near Stillwater. Tim Nelson spoke with William Pomputius, an infectious disease consultant with Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, who said the infection "proceeds at a terrifying pace" in the brain. "The other thing that's disconcerting to us is that there are very few survivors, even in cases where they've been recognized early," Pomputius said. "This is a very, very virulent organism once it's in the brain."
Mail call (yours)
Like a lot of cities these days, Roseville has an online program (here) where residents can sign up for email alerts covering everything from city contract bids and RFPs to public golf course updates. But as Curtis Gilbert reports, the state's data privacy laws are written in a way that make it impossible for Roseville, or any other Minnesota minicipality, to keep those email addresses private. And one man has taken advantage of that law, much to the chagrin of city administrators.
Amanda Hocking:'I'm not that exciting'
Austin, Minn., is hardly a hub of book publishing. And Amanda Hocking doesn't exactly fit the stereotypical image of a book author. But as Euan Kerr found out, that hasn't stopped her from becoming a sensation in the world of e-book lit with her tales of vampires, trolls and mermermaids; Hocking's as stunned by the whole two-year-old phenomenon as anyone. "I still don't think of myself as that interesting," she said. "So when people want to talk about it, I'm like, 'I don't know. My life isn't that exciting.'" With a half-million book sales under her belt, that appears about to change.
Cleanup in aisle three
The Daily Circuit's Kerri Miller hosted a segment yesterday about something that impacts us all: The future of grovery shopping. Did you know that more Americans are buying their groceries at Wal-Mart these days than anywhere else? That's spells nothing but trouble for companies like Minneapolis' Supervalu. Last month, the company ousted its CEO Craig Herkert and reported dropping first-quarter net income and revenue. "If you're in the supermarket business, it's a little bit like watching a train wreck in super slow motion," said Jim Hertel, a supermarket consultant. But he says that in the end, consumers will benefit from the changes.
Also on the site: Hot enough for ya?
Meteorologist Paul Huttner writes, "2012 is now the hottest year on record so far in the USA," and the nation's average temperature "is running at a high grade fever, a full +4.3 degrees vs. the 20th century average for the 1st seven months of the year." On top of that, 2012 has been hotter than the Dust Bowl years.
Minnesotans in London
Jon Gordon has been leading the charge on our Olympics blog, where today he notes that Brittany Viola, the daughter of former Twins great Frankie "Sweet Music" Viola, failed to qualify for the for the finals in the 10m platform women's diving. Check out what Jon's writing about by clicking here, and don't miss our daily edit of the best photojournalism coming out of the London games by clicking here. Our lead off photo today: New Ulm's Ali Bernard, who unfortunately lost her first match in women's 158 lbs. freestyle wrestling competition.
The Jimmy Williams lawsuit against the U and basketball coach Tubby Smith appears to be over with news that the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned Williams' $1 million award by way of a Hennepin County jury. Williams quit his Oklahoma State assisstant coaching job in 2007 because he thought he had sewn up a position on Tubby's staff, but the job didn't pan out. Alex Friedrich has a copy of the U's statement here.
Nice work if you can get it
In News Cut today, Bob Collins wonders how folks without a job are going to react when they read The New York Times story about Shakopee Mdewakanton leader Stanley Crook. "We have 99.2 percent unemployment," Crook told the times. "It's entirely voluntary," thanks to the bounty of casino revenues.