- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Dayton elevates Judge Hudson to Minnesota Supreme Court

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton elevated Appeals Judge Natalie Hudson to Minnesota’s Supreme Court on Tuesday in a pick that maintains diversity in the top ranks of the state judiciary.

The Democratic governor announced his selection to fill the seat coming open because of Justice Alan Page’s retirement. Hudson, who like Page is black, has been a member of the Court of Appeals since her 2002 appointment by then-Gov. Jesse Ventura and will move up the ladder sometime this fall.

It is Dayton’s third Supreme Court appointment. He said that achieving ethnic and gender diversity among state judges is important to him.

“Her qualifications in her own right are just absolutely outstanding and her interview with me directly was outstanding so I don’t want to infer this was a position where she was selected because she is a person of color,” Dayton said. “That was certainly one of the overall considerations I think is important for the court.”

Standing beside her husband and mother, Hudson, 58, said she was humbled by the opportunity.

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Lawmakers revive auditor critique with county complaints

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - County officials and state lawmakers aired their grievances Tuesday about the state auditor’s handling of a new law curbing her office’s power.

They focused on State Auditor Rebecca Otto’s recent request that counties enter into a three-year contract for annual evaluations - even as they’re allowed to start hiring private firms for the routine financial audits.

To county officials such as Chisago County Administrator Bruce Messelt, the auditor’s request felt more like a demand than an invitation to the bargaining table. Republican State Rep. Bob Loonan likened it to “bullying.”

Messelt said his county plans to continue contracting with Otto’s office but called the tactic “puzzling and confusing.” Other county officials said they’ve asked the auditor’s office for more information and received little to no response.

It’s just the latest chapter in the battle over the state auditor’s duties that helped drag the Legislature into a special session this spring. Majority House Republicans pushed to allow counties to hire private auditing firms, eventually winning out over Otto’s insistence that it would eliminate much of her office’s budget and Gov. Mark Dayton’s initial veto threats.

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Zimbabwe man charged for helping to kill lion illegally

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe has charged a man on whose land the well-known Cecil the lion was shot by American dentist Walter James Palmer in July.

Charges have not been filed against Palmer, according to prosecutors, while in Minnesota the dentist has reopened his practice.

Prosecutors on Tuesday accused Honest Ndlovu, whose property is near the vast Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe, of allowing an illegal hunt on his land.

Ndlovu allowed Palmer to hunt and kill Cecil with a bow and arrow without a quota for a lion hunt on his farm, which is separated from the park by a railway track, said prosecutors.

Ndlovu is free on $200 bail and the case has been postponed to Sept. 18. The charge carries a one year jail term or $400 fine, Ndlovu’s lawyer Tonderai Mukuku told The Associated Press by phone. Palmer was named in court as the hunting client but there was no mention of charges against him, said Mukuku.

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Dayton elevates Judge Hudson to Minnesota Supreme Court

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton has elevated Appeals Judge Natalie Hudson to Minnesota’s Supreme Court in a pick that maintains diversity in the top ranks of the judiciary.

The Democratic governor announced his selection Tuesday to fill the seat coming open because of Justice Alan Page’s retirement.

Hudson, who like Page is black, has been a member of the Court of Appeals since her 2002 appointment by then-Gov. Jesse Ventura.

It is Dayton’s third Supreme Court appointment. He has said that diversity among state judges is important to him.

Dayton interviewed three finalists forwarded to him by a special screening panel. All are women.


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