August 31 - September 4, 1998

Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Another Week


Monday, August 31

The midway business is big business. Across the country each year, carnivals generate millions of dollars in revenue at state and county fairs. But being a carny is more competitive than ever and its no different on the Minnesota State Fair's Mighty Midway. Minnesota Public Radio's Lynette Nyman has this story.

Minnesota Public Radio's Campaign 98. From now to the primary in September, we're presenting in-depth interviews with candidates on the issues. This week we're focusing on crime. In this segment, Minnesota Public Radio's Laura McCallum talks with Reform Party gubernatorial candidate Jesse Ventura.

Pilots for Northwest airlines are walking picket lines for the third day in a row today at the airline's hubs in Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis St. Paul. Northwest has canceled all domestic flights through Tuesday and canceled all international flights through Wednesday, even if pilots and management settle. The company could announce even more cancellations later today. Minnesota Public Radio's Elizabeth Stawicki reports from St. Paul.

The strike by Northwest Airlines pilots is now in its third day, forcing thousands of passengers to scramble to find travel alternatives. It was pretty quiet at the Twin Cities International Airport over the weekend, but with the start of the business week things may get a little more hectic. Minnesota Public Radio's Bill Catlin is at the airport and he joins us now.

Mary Hisley, a spokesperson for U-S West, talks about how fast things will get back to normal now that the strike is over.

To help travelers re-arrange their plans during the strike, Twin Cities-based Hobbitt Travel was open all day and night on Friday and Saturday. George Wozniak is the President of Hobbitt Travel. He says it was a pretty hectic for a while there.

MPR's Chris Farrell looks ahead to the week on Wall Street.

Jon Austin of Northwest Airlines and Paul Omodt of the Pilots union discuss the latest on the lack of negotiations, etc.

Tuesday, September 1

It is day four of the Northwest Airlines pilots’ strike. Northwest Airlines chief executive John Dasburg and pilots’ union President Steve Zoller are in Washington today to meet with US Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater. Slater hopes to persuade them to return to the bargaining table. Minnesota Public Radio's Mark Zdechlik reports.

The Kittson county sheriff says an autopsy confirms 16-year old Julie Holmquist was a homicide victim. Sheriff Ray Hunt declined to release any details about the crime. Nearly 1000 people, including Governor Arne Carlson, gathered in Hallock yesterday to mourn Julie’s death. Mainstreet Radio’s Dan Gunderson reports.

Minnesota Public Radio's Campaign 98. In these last weeks leading up to the primary, we've been presenting in-depth reports and interviews on the issues. This week, we are focusing our attention to crime prevention policies of the gubernatorial candidates. In this segment, Minnesota Public Radio's Karen Louise Boothe reports on the views and policy proposals of Mike Freeman.

In a poll, released today, State Attorney General Skip Humphrey is the favored DFL Gubernatorial candidate by most DFL voters expecting to vote in the this months' primary. There are a couple of surprises that emerge from the numbers---DFL endorsed candidate Mike Freeman has slipped to THIRD...and Department Store heir Mark Dayton--once considered a dark horse--has emerged as a competitor. Minnesota Public Radio's Karen Louise Boothe reports.

DFLer Mark Dayton is running the richest campaign for governor in Minnesota this year, followed closely by Republican Norm Coleman. All seven gubernatorial candidates opened their ledgers yesterday to meet a campaign finance reporting deadline. Minnesota Public Radio's Martin Kaste takes a closer look at the numbers.

The state's two teachers unions have accomplished what their national organization could not: a merger. The Minnesota Education Association and the Minnesota Federation of Teachers officially become one today. The new organization is called "Education Minnesota." Union leaders say ending their competition over who'll represent which teachers means more time to focus on teaching students. But opponents say the merger is mainly a political move. Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire reports.

It's the fourth day of the Northwest Airlines pilots strike, and no new negotiations are scheduled. All domestic flights have been canceled through tomorrow; international flights are canceled through Thursday. That means fewer people are using the Twin Cities International Airport. As a result businesses at the airport are suffering. Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, spent yesterday checking in with airport merchants and he joins us now.

MPR's Chris Farrell talks about the stock market crash and what's next. Erica Whitlinger says its not the right time to bail out of the market.

Wednesday, September 2

Thursday, September 3

US Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater has ordered two Northwest feeder airlines to resume flying. The move means 17 small communities in the Midwest and south will now have air service again, six days into the Northwest pilots strike. Minnesota Public Radio's Laura McCallum reports.

Analysts estimate the pilots’ strike is costing Northwest up to 15 million dollars a day. Despite the cost, the airline was clearly prepared for a strike. When its 6,200 pilots walked off the job last Friday night, Northwest had a 3 billion dollar war chest, and had done exhaustive planning that has helped minimize the number of stranded passengers. Minnesota Public Radio's Bill Catlin has this look at why the airline is willing to take a strike.

Minnesota Public Radio's Campaign 98. From now to the primary in September, we're presenting in-depth interviews with candidates on the issues. This week we're focusing on crime. In this segment, Minnesota Public Radio's Amy Radil talks with DFL gubernatorial candidate Doug Johnson.

Last April, the notorious Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot died in his sleep as an old and broken man. But Pol Pot lives on in the minds of those who survived the Khmer Rouge reign of terror he led in the 1970s. One survivor is the poet U Sam Oeur. Since the 1970s, Oeur has written about his experience at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Now, his poetry is the basis for Krasang Tree an opera opening tonight at Theater de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis. Minnesota Public Radio's Lynette Nyman has this story.

Minnesota's plans for establishing a statewide gang strike force are almost complete. Southwest Minnesota will soon become the last region of the state to link law enforcement agencies for the purpose of tracking gang members and their activities. Forty percent of residents in rural Minnesota believe gangs are present in their community according to a recent survey by the Blandin Foundation. In southwestern Minnesota, that number is more than 50 percent. Mike Handevidt is an investigator with the Jackson police department. He's setting up the Southwest unit of the Minnesota Gang Strike Force.

Friday, September 4

Northwest airline's regional partner Mesaba says it will not resume flying despite an order by the secretary of transportation. Mesaba flies as Northwest Airlink to smaller cities in the Midwest such as Duluth and Fargo. Mesaba says it's not financially possible for the airline to resume flight operations when Northwest airline pilots are on strike. Minnesota public radio's Elizabeth Stawicki reports.

The Minneapolis school district has launched a 5 million dollar effort to improve its students low test scores. Classes in the state's largest school district began Thursday under a revamped system for teaching kids to read, and keeping them reading. The effort could also rekindle an old debate about how kids should learn to read. Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire reports.

A three-way DFL race for Attorney General is heating up as the primary approaches. DFL'ers Mike Hatch, David Lillehaug and Ember Reichgott Junge discussed crime, HMO's and the Northwest Airlines strike last night on the Minnesota News Network and the candidates got testy. Minnesota Public Radio's Laura McCallum reports.

After seven days, the Northwest pilots' strike is beginning to send ripples through the region's economy, particularly among those who work at Minneapolis/ Saint Paul International airport. Minnesota Public Radio's William Wilcoxen reports on the taxi-cab drivers who've seen their income plummet this week.

Northwest Airlines' relationship with Mesaba is a major sticking point in the 7-day-old pilots strike. Mesaba, like other regional airlines, has been increasing its fleet of regional jets. Northwest pilots say that threatens their job security because Northwest intends to replace their routes with the smaller aircraft flown by lower-paid pilots from Mesaba. Skip Smith is a professor of aerospace engineering at Penn State University. He says traditionally, regional airlines used turbo-prop airplanes while only the major airlines used jets.

For many families the upcoming Labor Day weekend means one last chance for a summer vacation. But the seven major candidates for Governor aren't likely to be taking a vacation, at least until after the September 15th primary. In our continuing quest to learn more about the candidates, we asked each of them to tell us where they like to go and what they like to do on vacation. We start with Norm Coleman.

Mark Seeley talks about why smoke from fires in Alberta and Saskatchewan drifted through the Twin Cities this week. Plus, the holiday forecast.

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