American Crystal impasse; Dream home nightmare scenario; Vampire theocracy

20120607_american-crystal-rally_33.jpeg Locked-out American Crystal union members gather for a rally Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in the Moorhead Center Mall parking lot across from American Crystal headquarters in Moorhead, Minn. The contract dispute has lingered for 10 months, since American Crystal last Aug. 1 locked out about 1,300 union workers at sugar beet processing plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The two sides have not met since February. (AP Photo/The Forum, David Samson)

Union workers rally outside Crystal HQ

AP: “Locked-out American Crystal Sugar factory workers have completed a 200-mile journey by foot and hay wagon in advance of an expected Friday meeting between union officials and company representatives.”

MPR News reporter Dan Gunderson: “When the lockout started 10 months ago, union members picketed around the clock at the Moorhead factory. Now on most days, a handful of picketers show up only for morning and afternoon shift change. Many workers have taken new jobs to make ends meet, or are going to school to learn a new skill. On a recent morning, Cary Bergene was one of four picketers outside the Moorhead factory. The 55-year-old Fargo resident worked at American Crystal for 29 years. Now he is taking classes in computer technology and looking for temporary work. Bergene is getting by on unemployment, which is about 40 percent of what he was earning at American Crystal. In a couple of weeks, his unemployment benefits will run out.”

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Winning dream home could be financial nightmare

Forum of Fargo-Moorhead: “On the southern edge of this city sits a house worth $500,000. It’s a dream home, its builder says, and on Saturday, someone will win it.”

Monthly costs of living in the giveaway home:

• $898.09 mortgage payment on $200,000 (to pay income tax)

• $741.32 for property taxes

• $353.12 for special assessments

• $145.83 for insurance

• $290 for utilities

• $416.67 maintenance

TOTAL: $2,845.03 per month

Bachmann inspires ‘vampire theocracy’ for True Blood creator

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Garden of your Mind – Fred Rogers (remix)

By the numbers

MPR News: “On average, the University of Minnesota system spends about $12,000 a year to teach an undergraduate.”

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