- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014
Teacher funds in St. Paul, Duluth could get boost

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A bill headed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk would provide $14.3 million a year to the Duluth teachers’ pension fund and another $7 million per year to the St. Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund.

The funding was part of a larger bill the Senate passed Thursday, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported (http://bit.ly/1rSUAlmhttp://bit.ly/1rSUAlm ). The House passed the measure last month.

The St. Paul fund needs assistance because it doesn’t have enough assets to cover its liabilities, said Senate President Sandra Pappas, DFL-St Paul. She said the Legislature had decided in 1978 to help the district by allowing it to reduce its payments to the fund, but the end result was a long-term shortfall.

Republican senators argued that the funding amounted to bailouts for St. Paul and Duluth. They proposed amendments to reduce or block the payments but were unsuccessful.

The state aid would continue until the pension plans are fully funded. That’s predicted to happen in 2042.

___

Minnesota fish-poaching cases going nowhere

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Federal officials promised an aggressive crackdown on fish poaching from lakes in northern Minnesota but the court cases have languished, raising concerns that unchecked poaching could ruin the catch for law-abiding anglers.

U.S. prosecutors announced 10 federal indictments last year, but four cases were dismissed, four more were overturned at a judge’s discretion and two remain on hold, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported (http://strib.mn/1kCAsBxhttp://strib.mn/1kCAsBx ).

The 10 men were accused of illegally catching and selling hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of walleyes and other fish from the Red Lake and Leech Lake Indian reservations. Other people were charged in state and tribal courts.

The federal cases haven’t gone well, though. Prosecutors themselves requested dropping four cases because the language of the indictments was flawed.

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim overturned four others, citing a 177-year-old Indian treaty that he said trumped the case brought by federal prosecutors. That ruling has led to an appeal, and the remaining two cases have been placed on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.

___

Theft charges for worker at Minnesota nursing home

Story Continues →