Today on the MPR News Update, we keep score on the wolf hunt, report on the high number of Twin Cities teenage athletes using steroids, look back at SJU coach Gagliardi's long tenure as he retires, and relay the Mall of America's ban on unaccompanied teens for Black Friday.
WOLF KILL NUMBERS SURPISE DNR: There are 147 fewer wolves in northern Minnesota forests today. That's the final tally for the early wolf hunting season that ended Sunday. The Department of Natural Resources set a limit of 200 wolves for this part of the season. Hunters and trappers will get another chance when the second part of the season begins on Saturday.
MUSCLE MASS: University of Minnesota researchers have found that Twin Cities teens are using steroids and muscle-enhancing substances at higher rates than previously thought. The findings came from a survey of more than 2,700 adolescents enrolled in middle school and high school in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
IN 4,000 WORDS, GOPHERS WR SAYS HE QUITS: The Golden Gophers leading receiver says he's quitting the football team after a dispute with the head coach over an ankle injury. A.J. Barker posted a lengthy, and bitter, letter to his blog on Sunday, blasting coach Jerry Kill while explaining why he was leaving.
GAGLIARDI CALLS IT A CAREER: In more positive football news, John Gagliardi, the St. John's University's football coach who holds the national record for most college football wins ever, is retiring. "Seventy years is a long time to be doing the same job," Gagliardi said in the story posted on the school's website.
MOA: TEENS NOT REALLY WELCOME: The Mall of America is tightening its parental escort policy for some of the busiest parts of the holiday shopping season. Mall spokesman Dan Jasper says unsupervised teenagers won't be allowed in the mall on Thanksgiving night, all day on Black Friday and the entire week between Christmas and New Year's.
ABOVE AVERAGE: Thirty-two American students were named Sunday in the newest group of Rhodes Scholars and will be awarded scholarships to study at Oxford University. Two students from Minnesota were among those selected for the prestigious awards, which provide all expenses for up to four years of study at the university in England.
DFL LEADERS TAKE A PASS ON AMENDMENT TALK: The defeated amendments to ban same-sex marriage and require voters to show photo ID were blamed by some for costing Minnesota Republicans their legislative majorities by driving opponents of the measures to the polls. Now, Democrats taking over the Minnesota Legislature are avoiding bold promises to change the state's constitution.
FLINT HILLS ENERGY WANTS A CHANGE IN AIR QUALITY RULES: Flint Hills Resources wants to spend $400 million to upgrade its refinery in Rosemount, a plan that would improve the facility's efficiency but also increase its output of greenhouse gases. The company filed an application Friday asking the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to amend the air-quality permit for its Pine Bend Refinery.
WALZ WANTS FARM SUBSIDIES IN FISCAL CLIFF TALKS: As President Barack Obama and congressional leaders begin to negotiate over the series of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes known as the fiscal cliff, some members of Congress say a bill to extend food stamps and farm subsidy programs could help bridge the impasse. U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., is among them.
GOD AND MAN IN MADISON >: An atheist group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could receive almost $70,000 in student fees for programming costs, an apparent first for the college and student atheist groups nationwide. The Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics said its mission is to promote the discussion of faith and religion on campus.
UNIONS UNDER ATTACK, DAYTON SAYS: Gov. Mark Dayton told several hundred janitors, security officers, airport service workers and retail cleaners on Saturday that they won't get the wages they deserve unless they negotiate for it. Speaking at the SEIU Local 26's Contract Convention in St. Paul, he said the role of unions is under attack.
HOCKEY PENALTY: Businesses and workers in downtown St. Paul are worried about a lost hockey season. The National Hockey League has cancelled all of its games through the end of the month in an ongoing labor dispute with players. And it's possible more games could be cancelled soon.
WOMEN, MINORITIES BUILDING THE STADIUM: The five-person authority building a new stadium in Minneapolis approved a set of targets for women and minority-owned businesses to participate in the design and planning of the new facility. Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the architectural firm, Dallas-based HKS, had agreed to the goals.
PAY FREEZE: Supervalu is freezing pay and cutting back on retirement plan contributions for some 10,000 non-union workers. Meanwhile, the struggling grocery giant continues to talk with several parties interested in buying some or all of Supervalu's stores. All this has the grocer's union workers thinking a lot about what their future could be under a new owner.
STATE HEALTH EXCHANGE COSTS GO UP: A state health insurance exchange will cost $54 million in 2015 to operate, the Dayton administration now says. That's a change from the $30 to $40 million previously expected. The state would not have to find the money until 2015, when the state exchanges are required to be financially self-sustaining. But the cost rises to $64 million in 2016.
LIVING AT THE BREWERY: The former site of Schmidt Brewery is on track to become a mix of businesses and residences, with hundreds of affordable artist lofts and an art-themed miniature golf course as part of the mix. The Plymouth-based Dominium Development said Friday it finalized a deal to redevelop the site on the city's west end.