Short Takes

Taking advantage of a second chance


Marshall Area Technical Education Center graduated its largest class ever with 15 earning diplomas. Torin Squires-Shaw was among those graduating. In fact, he was the class speaker. His message should be motivating for area students who are struggling with their education and life in general. “In my own past, I have not been the best decision maker,” Squires-Shaw said. “I was impulsive and usually did what I wanted. There are tons of examples of poor decision making in my life, but I’m not going to bore you with that. Instead, we’re going to focus on moving forward. The things in your past don’t necessarily define you.” Squires-Shaw admitted he had dropped out of school and didn’t see a bright future for himself. However, MATEC offered him a second chance and he eventually took advantage of it. He thanked the staff. “Our future would not be so bright without you,” he said.

Constitutional crisis at state capitol


According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the conflict between Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-led Legislature is snowballing into a constitutional crisis. Dayton on Tuesday vetoed the Legislature’s operating budget in an effort to force the Republicans to reopen disputes over taxes, education policy and immigration. That followed a decision by Republicans to approve a bill that would have terminated funds for Dayton’s Department of Revenue had the governor not signed off on their tax cuts. These recent events set up a political and legal dispute that could linger for months. “The Minnesota Constitution gives me authority to line-item veto appropriations,” Dayton said. The Republicans disagree, saying Dayton has overstepped constitutional separation of powers.

Paying a little more for recreation


The good news for outdoors enthusiasts in Minnesota is that the Department of Natural Resources received most of the money it requested from the Legislature. However, hunters and users of parks and waterways will be paying more. Fees went up slightly. For instance, a fishing license will cost $4 more and a license to hunt white-tail deer also went up $4. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr reported that the DNR only received $15 million out of the requested $33 million for construction and maintenance. Landwehr said the DNR has a maintenance backlog of $330 million.