NEWS DAY | Bad boys in blue / SPPS still says no / Good MN employment news

Bad boys in blue Some 10 to 12 Metro Gang Strike Force cops committed crimes reported the special state panel headed by Andy Luger, a former assistant U.S. attorney, and retired FBI agent John Egelhof. The panel has turned the information over to the FBI, whose investigation into criminal activity by the Strike Force continues. The Star Tribune reports:

The state inquiry into the disbanded Strike Force uncovered “substantial evidence of misconduct” that went well beyond revelations previously reported by news media or uncovered in earlier government investigations.

The panel’s report, issued Thursday, said that Strike Force employees repeatedly took home seized property for personal use and that many of the seizures themselves were improper.

Luger characterized the behavior as “serious misconduct — misconduct that was appalling and outrageous.”

Licensure? We don’t need no licensure! The St. Paul Public Schools said that Suzanne Kelly will continue as superintendent, even though the Minnesota Board of School Administrators refused to reconsider its ruling this spring. In June, the TC Daily Planet first reported the story that the Board said that the Board ruled that Kelley was unlicensed, that she did not qualify for a waiver of licensure rules, and that she was not authorized to serve as an interim superintendent.

According to the Pioneer Press:

Kelly, chief of staff to former superintendent Meria Carstarphen, was selected as interim because of her detailed knowledge of district initiatives and because she made it clear she will not be a candidate for the permanent job, district leaders said.

Two other administrators in the top tier of Carstarphen’s administration — chief academic officer Valeria Silva and chief of schools Nancy Stachel — have superintendent licensure, as do 21 other district employees, according to the state Department of Education

Unemployment down slightly For the first time in 12 months, unemployment fell slightly in Minnesota. Figures from the Department of Employment and Economic Development showed July unemployment at 8.1 percent, down from 8.4 percent in June, with employers adding 10,300 jobs in July, though there are still 7.7 jobseekers for every unfilled job.

Eight of the state’s 11 industry sectors gained employment during the month, led by leisure and hospitality, which added 3,900 jobs. Other gains were posted by government (up 2,800), manufacturing (up 1,700), professional and business services (up 1,700), education and health services (up 1,200), construction (up 700), logging and mining (up 200), and financial activities (up 100).

Job losses occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (down 1,300), information (down 500) and other services (down 200).

AP describes one consumer strategy for coping with the recession: “ditching items before they are rung up.”

Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but Burt P. Flickinger III, a retail consultant, estimates that in 25 percent of shoppers’ trips to the store, they’re ditching at least one item. In the recession of the early 1990s, it was 15 to 20 percent. In good times, it’s more like 10 percent.

The Star Tribune warns that people need to be careful about another recession-busting strategy, selling household surplus at garage sales. A new federal law makes it a crime to resell anything that has been recalled by the manufacturer, and feds are cracking down on resale of children’s toys and other items that could put kids at risk.

Electric Fetus hit hard by tornado Wednesday’s tornado activity damaged the roof of the Electric Fetus, and the store has to reamin closed until the roof is repaired. That’s bad news in tough economic times, but you can still shop online, says the Fetus:

We hope to be at least partially up and running in the next 4-7 days. Web orders will take a few extra days to ship, so thanks for your patience. You can also shop our digital store at Think Indie. Thanks for your support these past 41 years. We couldn’t be here without you!

(Hat tip to Erica at Fresh MN for the heads-up.)

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