Minnesota Senate negotiators have agreed to spend a full 6.6 million dollars from the state budget to secure the entire federal grant to make Minnesota’s election system more secure. The House already approved the complete amount under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), but Senate leaders were reluctant, saying they wanted to make sure the money is used effectively and responsibly. Republican Senator Mary Kiffmeyer from Big Lake says it’s now up to Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon to use the funds to keep Minnesota’s elections safe and secure.
The measure is part of a larger budget bill that awaits action in an upcoming special session.
Governor Tim Walz has signed into law a bill establishing a fund for prevention and treatment of opioid addiction in Minnesota, paid for by fees on drug manufacturers and distributors. Willmar Republican Dave Baker, whose son died from an opioid overdose, choked back tears as he told fellow lawmakers just before the legislature passed the bill Monday night, “We had to tell our children, Olivia and Alex, about their older brother, Dan, who wasn’t coming home…. I remember seeing my dad and mom walking in the door, and they had lost their grandson.”
The bill would raise 20 million dollars a year from registration fees on opioid manufacturers and distributors. Fees on some companies would be reduced in five years if the fund reaches 250 million dollars, either from fee collections or a large settlement in a national lawsuit.
There’s no word yet whether a special session to wrap up the state budget will be Thursday, Friday, or after the Memorial Day weekend. There’s speculation that Governor Tim Walz might call lawmakers back late tomorrow. Walz, Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman stepped in to wrap up overall agreements on the E-12, public safety, environment and tax bills — no real surprises there — but everyone is watching to see how soon the massive health and human services bill is wrapped up, along with the state agency funding bill.
To have a one-day special session, Democrats need help from House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt — but there’s no indication yet whether they have any agreement. Daudt says, “For me, the one day special session hinges on how they [Democrats] act between now and special session.”
(Anaheim, CA) — The Twins did all of their scoring in the final four innings as they pounded the Angels 8-3 in Anaheim. Marwin Gonzalez homered, doubled and drove in three runs for Minnesota. Luis Arraez also went deep for the Twins, who have won seven-of-eight. Michael Pineda tossed six frames of three-run ball to get the win. Mike Trout homered for the Angels in defeat. Trevor Cahill tossed five frames of one-run ball in a no-decision, and Luke Bard took the loss. The Halos have lost three straight games. The teams will wrap up the series tonight in Anaheim with an 8:07 P-M first pitch.
The Minnesota Twins are 32-16 and have beaten the Angels in four straight.
Martin Perez takes the mound for Minnesota against the Angels Matt Harvey. The Twins have won five of six so far on the west coast trip. While the Twins are off on Thursday they will open a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday at Target Field.
The fire that destroyed a 90-year-old pavilion in Minneapolis last week is now being investigated as a crime. Minneapolis Police today released city camera footage of a man and a woman loitering near Lola on the Lake restaurant at Bde Maka Ska the night the fire broke out. Minneapolis Police Sergeant Darcy Horn says the two are “people of interest that the investigators would like to speak to.” Anyone with information is asked to call the department’s arson investigation tip line at 612-673-3070. Information leading to the identification of these individuals may qualify for a reward. No one was hurt in the fire.
The Los Angeles Angels likely will be without their No. 3 and No. 4 hitters in the lineup when they take on the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night in Anaheim, Calif.
Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and shortstop Andrelton Simmons were injured two pitches apart in the eighth inning Monday night during the Angels’ 3-1 loss to the Twins.
Ohtani was jammed by a 94 mph fastball from reliever Taylor Rogers, and the pitch hit his right ring finger as Ohtani struck out.
Simmons then tried to beat out a grounder on the right side of the infield. He landed awkwardly on his left ankle as he lunged for first base, and he had to be helped off the field.
X-rays afterward were negative for both players, but Simmons will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine if there was any ligament damage.
“More concerned now about Simmons’ injury than Shohei’s,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “I feel like Shohei by all indications should be fine, a quicker timeframe. We don’t know what Simmons’ timeframe is, but that’s probably the bigger concern right now.”
Simmons, a four-time Gold Glove winner at shortstop, bats cleanup and leads the team in hits (56) while batting .298 with 21 RBIs.
“I mean, it’s tough, especially back-to-back like that,” two-time American League MVP Mike Trout said of the injuries. “You guys saw the replay (of Simmons’ injury). We’ve just got to hope for the best and hope it’s not too serious.
“It kind of deflates you when you see guys go down, especially (Simmons), who has been having an unbelievable season so far. His reaction said it all. He obviously was in a lot of pain, so it’s just tough.”
Angels right-hander Trevor Cahill (2-4, 6.95 ERA), who lost his last start at Minnesota on Wednesday 8-7, will oppose right-hander Michael Pineda (3-3, 5.55) on Tuesday.
Cahill, who is 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA in nine career games and seven starts against the Twins, has failed to finish five innings in five of his last six starts. He allowed six runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings at Target Field last week.
Pineda, who is 1-1 with 6.08 ERA in four career starts against the Angels, comes in off an 11-6 victory at Seattle on Thursday night. He threw a season-high seven innings, allowing five hits, including three solo home runs, to snap a personal three-game losing streak. He has allowed 13 home runs in 47 innings this season, his first since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017.
The eighth inning on Monday night was much more enjoyable for the Twins, who have won six of their last seven games, thanks to a two-run homer by Miguel Sano that broke a 1-1 tie and turned out to be the game-winner.
“Just a good swing,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He stayed through the ball well and drove it out that way (391 feet to right-center). … He has the kind of strength where, regardless where you’re playing, he can drive the ball out anywhere. It’s just a big hit. It’s a game-changing type of at-bat for him and great for us.”
Minnesota House Republicans are threatening to drag out a planned one- or two-day special session later this week unless Democrats give them more say in the final state budget. The people who cut the budget deal — Governor Tim Walz, Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman — need House Republicans’ approval to fast-track bills in a special session, and to pass a bonding bill for roads and bridges. House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says, “I don’t think that they actually think that they need us, but I can make it a five-day special session or a one-day special session, and I can include a bonding bill in that special session or not at all — so hopefully they understand and appreciate that.”
Daudt is talking to Democrats, but fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka says, “My guess is, by the time we get to Friday, people are gonna say, you know, I really like to get done. We can get done. We’re gonna be able to have seen the bills for a long period of time. My guess is, people are gonna want to be gone.”
The Minnesota Legislature did not finish its work before last night’s (Mon) midnight deadline to adjourn, meaning a special session will be needed. Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says they’re “very close” to wrapping up most of the budget bills for a special session. “We all want to get done Thursday or Friday, want to be done in front of Memorial Day weekend,” he says.
House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt blames Democrats for putting the legislature into overtime. “They passed one budget bill to the governor’s desk — one budget bill. The last time they passed only one budget bill or less was 1985,” Daudt says.
But the reason why the legislature missed its deadline is because Republicans as well as Democrats and the governor couldn’t agree on the budget until Sunday.
The University of Minnesota softball team defeated Georgia 8-1 in a regional final on Monday afternoon at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. Minnesota, 44-12, jumped out to 3-0 lead in the first inning after a Natalie DenHartog home run and never looked back as pitcher Amber Fiser went the distance and struck out seven.
The Gophers finished the regional with a 3-0 record and posted wins against North Dakota State and Georgia twice. With the win, Minnesota advances to a super regional for the first time since 2014 and for only the second time in school history.
“The one thing we have been all year was balanced,” head Coach Jamie Trachsel said. “I think this weekend showed the balance of this team and that we can win in different ways. For our offense to come out and put up runs on the board and have two blow up innings was huge.”
This time however, Minnesota will host a super regional for the first time in school history as the No. 7-seed Gophers will welcome No. 10-seed LSU for a best-of-three series starting on Friday. Minnesota has played LSU twice in the last 10 years and won both games on the road. The Gophers beat the Tigers 3-0 in 2017 and 1-0 in 2014.
This weekend’s Minneapolis Regional of the NCAA Softball Tournament was one of two across the country pushed to a Monday finish because of rain.
However, the Sunday washout didn’t dampen the spirits of freshman sensation DenHartog. The Hopkins, Minn., native got Minnesota on the board early as she launched a three-run home run off the light pole in right center field in the top of the first inning. The Gophers, despite hosting the regional, were the visiting team in the matinee. Had Minnesota lost the game, it would have been the home team in the second game.
“I was trying to stay back, trying to see it well and pound whatever she gave me,” Natalie DenHartog said.
The Maroon and Gold stretched its lead to 7-0 in the top of the third when it plated four more runs. The inning was highlighted when pinch hitter Anne Miller lined a two-run single to right.
Georgia cut the score to 7-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Minnesota answered in the top of the sixth to make it 8-1 on a Hope Brandner RBI-single to center to score MaKenna Partain. On the score, Partain tied the Gophers single season runs record. She has 65 this year to tie Rachel Nelson’s 1996 mark.
Fiser, who was the Big Ten pitcher of the year, improved to 29-7 this season. Her 29 wins is fifth most in a single season in program history. The junior pitched 22.0 innings in the regional and allowed just 10 hits and two earned runs, while striking out 27 and walking just three batters.
“I have worked my whole life to get to where I am today. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the team I have behind me,” Amber Fiser said. “The offense today was on fire.”
Season Ticket Holders: Monday, May 20th at 2:30 p.m.
Gopher Score Members: Tuesday, May 21st at 9:00 a.m.
Public (if available): Wednesday, May 22nd at 9:00 a.m.
Single Game Tickets (if available): Thursday, May 23rd at 9:00 a.m.
Super Regional Pricing
Adult General Admission Bench: $35
Youth/Senior General Admission Bench: $30
Standing Room: $30
Single Game (If Available)
Adult General Admssion Bench: $20
Youth/Senior General Admission Bench: $15
Standing Room: $10
U of M Students: $5
2019 NCAA Softball Minneapolis Regional Notes
Monday, May 20 | Jane Sage Cowles Stadium | Minneapolis, Minn.
#7 Minnesota 8, Georgia 1 (Gophers advance to Super Regional)
–Minnesota wins a Regional at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium for the second time. The Gophers also won an NCAA Regional at home in 2014, defeating Green Bay, NDSU, and Auburn to advance to the program’s first Super Regional appearance. Georgia, which advanced to last year’s WCWS, ends its 2019 season at 42-19.
–As the No. 7 overall seed, Minnesota (44-12) will now host a Super Regional for the first time in program history when 10th-seeded LSU (43-17) visits Minneapolis next weekend (May 24-26).
–The Gophers won their third straight game in the series with UGA, improving to 4-4. The pair of games this weekend were the first-ever postseason contests between the teams, and also the first time the teams have played in Minneapolis.
–Minnesota improved to 23-27 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, while Georgia fell to 69-39.
–The Gophers improved to 8-9 this season versus teams ranked in the Top 25.
–As the visiting team in today’s game, Minnesota was situated in its normal location for home games, the first base dugout.
–MaKenna Partain scored twice to tie Minnesota’s school record for runs scored in a season with 65. Rachel Nelson scored 65 times during the 1996 season.
–Natalie DenHartog provided what proved to be the winning runs with a three-run home run with one out in the first inning. The blast to right-center was the 17th of the season for the freshman. She added a double, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and three RBI.
–Minnesota starting pitcher Amber Fiser went the distance for the third time this weekend, allowing five hits, one run, and striking out seven. For the weekend, Fiser worked 22.0 innings, allowing 10 hits and just two earned runs, while striking out 27 and walking just three batters.
–Fiser improved to 29-7 this season, increasing her personal best for wins in a season after winning 27 times as a sophomore. Fiser’s 29 wins rank as the fourth-most in a single season at Minnesota.
Miguel Sano’s two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Twins over the Angels.
Sano has homered twice in the past three games. He missed the first 41 games due to a right heel laceration before making his season debut last Thursday.
Eddie Rosario singled with one out in the eighth before Sano hit Ty Buttrey’s fastball over the wall in right-center. It is the first home run Buttrey (2-2) has allowed in 38 relief appearances over two seasons.
Sano’s go-ahead shot came after the Angels tied it in the seventh on Tommy La Stella’s two-out single to score Brian Goodwin.
Taylor Rogers (1-0) allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings and Blake Parker got his eighth save.