- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Minn. Orchestra, locked-out musicians OK contract

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Orchestra and union musicians ratified a new contract Tuesday, ending a bitter, 15-month lockout that saw renowned Finnish maestro Osmo Vanska quit as conductor last fall.

The three-year agreement takes effect Feb. 1, the two sides said in a joint statement. The orchestra’s first performances back on the Orchestra Hall stage in downtown Minneapolis are expected in early February.

“This ratified agreement reflects that both the musicians and the board made concessions on issues of importance to them, which was necessary in order to bring the organization together again,” said Richard Davis, chair of management’s negotiating team. “Our success now depends on our ability to move forward with positive spirit as one organization, and we are very pleased to begin this work with the musicians and to engage our audiences with music again.”

Clarinetist Tim Zavadil, a negotiator for the musicians, said the musicians are ready to work with the orchestra’s board “to begin the hard work that lies ahead.”

“We know that there is a great love for this Orchestra throughout the community, and we are confident that this community will, in fact, continue to support world-class music in the Twin Cities,” Zavadil said in the statement.


Police in standoff at house in southern Minn.

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) - Law officers are negotiating with at least one person still inside a house during a standoff in Austin.

The Austin Daily Herald (https://bit.ly/1alQni0https://bit.ly/1alQni0 ) reports seven people so far have exited the home Tuesday.

A child wearing pajamas left the house around 2:25 p.m., followed moments later by a young woman and a man. Two men and two women exited the house earlier.

Austin police and the Mower County sheriff’s office surrounded the house around 9:30 a.m. Police have used a loudspeaker to communicate with people inside.

Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger (KREE’-gur) would not say what the standoff was about.


Minn. LG Prettner Solon says no to 2nd term

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Yvonne Prettner Solon made her biggest splash as Minnesota’s lieutenant governor when she parachuted onto the Capitol lawn to show support for military families. But little else she did drew much attention, and Prettner Solon - who worried openly about being relevant when Mark Dayton asked her to run with him in 2010 - said Tuesday that one term was enough.

“I’m ready to move into the third phase of my life and take on new opportunities,” Prettner Solon, a psychologist, said as she recounted her journey from Duluth city politics to the lieutenant governor job.

Prettner Solon said she will finish the final year of this term. She said Dayton didn’t ask her to stay, nor did he ask her to step aside. The governor was in Washington for a conference during Prettner Solon’s announcement, but she said she wanted to deliver the news by herself anyway.

Her departure sets Dayton up for an interesting choice of a No. 2 as he seeks a second term, but it’s probably not as critical a decision as four years ago. Back then, Prettner Solon brought northern Minnesota appeal to Dayton’s campaign. This time around, Dayton doesn’t have to worry about a primary challenge, where geographic diversity of his ticket would matter more.

Possible successors include the leader of the state’s Iron Range development agency, former state Rep. Tony Sertich; Assistant Senate Majority Leader Sen. Katie Sieben of Newport; and Dayton chief of staff Tina Smith. Sertich declined comment and the other two didn’t return messages Tuesday. Dayton could also go outside government for his pick. He has until early June to decide, though aides expect the process to move faster.


Police: Victim in NE Minn. was strangled

BABBITT, Minn. (AP) - Authorities in northeastern Minnesota say a man who died after he was found unconscious in the street was strangled.

Babbitt Police Chief Chad Loewen says preliminary autopsy results show that 55-year-old Paul John Bulen of Mahtomedi (mah-toh-MEE’-dye) died of “manual strangulation resulting in asphyxiation.”

Babbitt police were called late Monday morning about an unconscious man found in the street. Bulen was taken to a hospital in Ely (EE’-lee), where he was pronounced dead.

The police chief says a 24-year-old Babbitt man was taken into custody at the home. The suspect was booked into jail in the city of Virginia.

A formal complaint is expected later this week from the St. Louis County Attorney’s office.

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