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Karl Rove Speaks at University of Minnesota

Karl Rove, who served as senior advisor to former President George W. Bush spoke at the University of Minnesota Thursday.

Rove spoke to an audience of about 100 people hosted by the University of Minnesota College Republicans, the Minnesota Daily reported.

In his speech, Rove criticized President Obama and discussed the 2008 election, health care reform and the conservative voices on college campuses, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Rove spoke for an hour, but only allowed news cameras for five minutes of his speech, saying he wanted to focus on the students and not the media, Kare 11 reported.

Rove was interrupted a few times during his speech by student protestors, including one who made up a rap, Kare 11 reported.

Como Zoo Gorilla Dies

Gordy, one of three adult male gorillas at St. Paul Como Zoo died last Monday.

Zoo officials say the cause of Gordy's death is unknown pending an autopsy report, the Star Tribune reported.

Zoo staff found Gordy collapsed and unresponsive, and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the gorilla with chest compressions and a dose of epinephrine, Fox 9 News reported.

The most common cause of death among gorillas is heart disease, and the average lifespan is between 25 and 35 years, Fox 9 News reported. Gordy was 23.

Gordy arrived at the Como Zoo in 1991, after living at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Star Tribune said.

Minneapolis Adopts New Parking Meter System

The City of Minneapolis is planning on installing a new parking meter system.

6,800 new parking meters will be installed by 2010 that will allow drivers to pay for parking with coins, credit cards or smart cards, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The new meters will also send electronic messages to meter monitors letting them know when they are expired, the Star Tribune reported.

The upgrade will begin in September and will cost $6.6 million, the Star Tribune reported.

The current meters are almost 20 years old, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Stolen Student Data Found

Personal data stolen from a St. Paul student loan organization in March has been recovered.

Two safes containing the information stolen from Education Credit Management Corp. (ECMC) were recovered in a Minneapolis trash bin, the Star Tribune reported.

Police recovered the safes on March 22 and were storing them in an evidence room, the Associated Press said. They were unaware the safes contained the stolen data.

The safe was full of 650 CDs that contained names, addresses, social security numbers, and other personal information of 3.3 million student loan borrowers, the Star Tribune reported.

It appears as if the data on the CDs was not compromised, the Associated Press.

University of Minnesota Student Stabbed

A University of Minnesota student was stabbed Monday night during an attempted robbery.

Jeffrey Kang, 23, was approached by a man on 11th Avenue Southeast and Sixth Street Southeast who demanded valuables before staving him, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Kang is in stable condition and suffered no organ injuries, just soft tissue damage, the Minnesota Daily reported.

In response to the attack, the University of Minnesota sent out a text message Monday night to students subscribed to the TXT-U emergency alert system, the Star Tribune reported.

Minneapolis Considers Organics Recycling Program

Heineken County officials are turning to organics recycling as the answer to growing landfills.

Organics recycling was at the top of a list of recommendations give to the Hennepin County Board by Environmental Services in a strategy to manage the county's solid waste, the Star Tribune reported.

An increase in the recycling of organics, or food and its associated products, in the county could reduce landfill waste to its 1994 levels, the Star Tribune said.

The county has already implemented programs to encourage public schools to voluntarily recycle organics. Many Minneapolis Public Schools are composting lunch waste in partnership with Americorps and through a county grant, the Daily Planet reported.

The county is considering both education initiatives and mandates to increase organics recycling, according to the Star Tribune.

Kowalski's Makets Voluntarily Recalls Store-Brand Ham

Kowalski's Markets issued a recall Saturday of all of its Kowalski's Signature Smoked Ham.

The store-brand ham was voluntarily recalled as a precaution after producer Lorentz Meats found Listeria in some of their products, reported Kare 11. The contaminated hams are thought to already be isolated.

The Listeria microorganism can cause flu-like symptoms, the Pioneer Press explained.

Kowalski's is offering a full refund for the return of them ham, or they will deliver a new ham to their customers, reported Pioneer Press.

The recall does not affect Kowalski's Easter dinners, Kare 11 reported.

Pawlenty Signs 'Angel' Tax Credit Bill

Gov. Pawlenty signed a bill Tuesday that provides tax incentives to high-tech homegrown startup companies.

The Small Business Tax Investment Credit will reward investors with a 25-cent tax credit for every dollar invested in hopes of keeping small businesses in the state, reported the Minnesota Daily.

"We need to be doing things to encourage more job growth and economic development in the state and this bill takes a big step toward that," the governor is quoted as saying in the Med City News blog.

Bordering states already have similar programs, and has been a factor in many companies leaving Minnesota, reported the Minnesota Daily.

The tax credit will be funded by removing credits from a program that helps low-income Minnesotans pay for gas, said the Med City News Blog.

Student Loan Data Stolen From St. Paul Organization

The theft of personal information of 3.3 million student loan holders was reported last weekend by the St. Paul-based ECMC.

Personal information in the data includes names, social security numbers, addresses and dates of birth, the Star Tribune reported.

The theft is though to be the largest case of student information theft in the country. ECMC believes that it affects 5 percent of students with federal student loans, the Star Tribune reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the theft was of a portable device, and hacking was not involved.

Most of the students affected by the theft have student loans in Oregon, Virginia and Connecticut, the Wall Street Journal said.

University of Minnesota Faculty Senate Approves Pay Cuts

The University of Minnesota faculty senate approved a 1.15 percent pay cut Thursday.

The pay cuts are just one piece of a budget plan introduced by University President Bob Bruiniks. Other items include a 2.3 cut for administrative salaries and three required furlough days for wage employees, the Minnesota Daily explained.

The pay cut will save the University about $18 million, MinnPost reported.

The pay cut approval is a response to a $132 million budget shortfall at the university. Much of the problem was caused by a $36 million unallotment by Gov. Pawlenty, MinnPost said.

The rest of the budget shortfall is expected to be made up through layoffs and project delays, MinnPost said.

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