The explosion of social networking and the ability of each of us to access billions of pieces of information and connect with literally millions of individuals over the Internet can be viewed as beneficial to society as a whole. But technology advances much faster than our system of laws and the rules of the judicial system can react or accommodate them.
Following a rash of assaults on the University of Minnesota campus and the nation-wide increase in stolen cell phones and other portable devices, the Senate set out this session to find legislation that would offer cell phone owners some new protections. After working with college students, law enforcement and college campus leaders, two bills emerged as possible answers.
This old cell block at the historic Missouri State Penitentiary is spooky and has a checkered past. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)
As I write this, people around the world are talking about the botched execution of a death-row inmate in Oklahoma on April 22. Less noticed was an execution of a man in Missouri the following day - the same day I toured the historic Missouri State Penitentiary, including the gas chamber, and learned that being gassed was ordinarily the most painful death an inmate could experience.
My interest in writing happened by accident. I’m like the Post-it note of journalists.
When I was a 14-year-old freshman in the Edina School District, I had a sudden urge to write about the Minnesota Twins and pro-basketball legend George Mikan, and subsequently created a free blog to accomplish this goal.
What did they teach me in J-school? Never become a part of the story.
But now, I’m here, tasked with an introductory column about me, Mike, the new reporter for the Bulletin and Roseville Review, and the rule is broken so I’d might as well keep going.
As we finally emerge from the cold dark winter, our thoughts turn to spring — and green. Not the green from our grass or the leaves on the tree, but to mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and green is the color being used to symbolize awareness.
Mental health is a continuum, from having very good mental health to having a serious mental illness. Good mental health means being able to learn, express a range of emotions, form and maintain good relationships and cope with change and uncertainty.
The week of April 28 to May 2 was recognized as Jury Appreciation Week in Minnesota. Judges and court administrators are keenly aware of the financial stresses that may accompany jury duty for some citizens. Therefore, we express our thanks to our all jurors of the past year. U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Harlan, who served from 1877 to 1911 called the jury system “one of the principal excellencies of our Constitution.”
On April 30, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation that allows authorities to remove firearms from anyone who is subject to a civil order for protection or is prohibited from possessing firearms due to a criminal conviction related to domestic abuse.
For many Minnesotans, May 10 marks the beginning of a season full of fishing with families and friends. This great day is even more welcome this year, given our truly rugged winter. I spent many days of my youth on beautiful lakes and rivers in our great state and I encourage you to show other young Minnesotans the joys of fishing.
I recently read an article about ordinances in some states that make annoying conduct illegal. Such ordinances have frequently been found unconstitutionally vague and, therefore, unenforceable. A least one Minnesota city had its “no loud music” ordinance found unenforceable because of vagueness. Why should it be illegal and chargeable for teens to play loud rock music while driving through downtown at midnight, but probably not illegal or chargeable for a senior citizen to play WCCO news at high volume when driving downtown at midday?