Slowly, slowly, the Minnesota judicial system moves closer to the openness in Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota courtrooms. A pilot project on video and audio coverage of criminal proceedings proved successful, so the Minnesota Supreme Court this month appropriately made permanent most of the rules tested over the past 2 1/2 years.
Bills passed during the Minnesota legislative session and signed into law by the governor typically take effect Aug. 1. This year four laws had a July 1 date. Three you could consider tweaks to existing laws, but one is of particular note for parents of young athletes: Trainers now need a license.
Three crashes on Wisconsin roads killed five people over the 2018 Memorial Day weekend. Not to be outdone, Minnesota had six deaths in six separate crashes.
You can expect conditions to intensify starting this week as the season officially changes with the summer solstice. The earth is tilting on its axis, heat is rising and storms surely are ahead. Voters need to dress, prepare and act accordingly. Here's a short list to consider before heading out: • Sunscreen
Cheese and chili, milk and strawberries, rivers and water skis. Music, street dances, craft fairs and food. The annual festival march through summer has begun. For many of us, the season officially begins with the first community celebration, then weekend after weekend of community events fill our calendar. Bringing families, friends and cultures together, these festivals keep traditions alive and create new memories. Locally and regionally, the list includes: • Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest, June 14-17 • Afton Strawberry Festival, June 23-24
High school prom. The big dance. Seen by some as a must-do event in the step from childhood to adulthood, the annual spring ritual is upon us. Park High School students will dance the night away starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 21. Both Woodbury and East Ridge schools will celebrate on Saturday, April 28. Most area high schools will celebrate prom in April, but on nearly every Saturday from now through early May you can expect that some of the region's students and their dates will be on the road.
Uber suspended its trials of all self-driving vehicles nationwide after the recent pedestrian death in Tempe, Arizona, but the push toward driverless cars remains at full throttle in some parts of the country. That's not the case in Minnesota, thankfully. The state has yet to let such vehicles loose on streets with general traffic, said Jay Hietpas, state traffic engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Any trials or demonstrations have been conducted in controlled settings.
This is Sunshine Week, the seven days each year since 2005 when people who believe in transparent, accountable government draw special attention to the laws that • allow us to know what our local, state and federal governments are doing every day of the year, and • point out where laws could be stronger to ensure open government today and tomorrow.
How annoying. The driver ahead slows down to 40 mph, then suddenly races ahead before lazily switching lanes with no warning two minutes later. When you pull alongside him at the stoplight, you look over even though you know what you'll see. Sure enough. The idiot is on his cellphone. As maddening as such moments are, the greater truth is that they are dangerous. Deadly, in fact.
The First Amendment protects people's right to say hateful things — including hurtful and false words about minorities, religious groups, men, women and more. We call that freedom of speech. As long as such incendiary words aren't spoken in a setting that evokes violence, just about anything goes, as courts have confirmed over the years. But just because someone has the right to say something doesn't mean that person has a right to have those thoughts published on this page.