Eichten Day, Santorum’s sweater vests, Sviggum’s conflict, elusive walleyes

Happy Gary Eichten Day!

MPR’s Gary Eichten signs off for the last time

KARE11 :Venerable public radio personality Gary Eichten is hanging up the headphones for good this week, after more than four decades behind the microphone at MPR.The long-time host of MPR’s Midday show will make his final appearance on the air Friday, so he can spend more time with his family and do some traveling.”

Gary Eichten reflects on a lifetime on the radio

MPR News: “Minnesota Public Radio host Gary Eichten reflects on his 45-year career in radio, as he approaches his retirement on Jan. 20, 2012.”

Gary Eichten and the craft of journalism

BrauBlog: “The most sincere tribute co-workers can give a retiring colleague is that, as his workdays draw short, everyone looks like their dog died. The MPR newsroom air was thick with wistfulness Wednesday, the day before the day before Gary Eichten’s last broadcast.”

‘Made in Bemidji’: Santorum campaign has local touch

Bemidji Pioneer: “Thursday the first batch of 25 special edition grey Santorum sweater vests were shipped to the candidate in South Carolina from the Bemidji Woolen Mills, which next week will start production on another 1,000 sweater vests – a backlog a previous company couldn’t fulfill.”

Editorial: Conflict is clear in Sviggum’s two roles

Star Tribune: “Serving as a U regent and top legislative aide doesn’t mix.”

Chairman’s spending decisions on insiders helped lead to GOP debt

MPR News: “A Republican leader with 25 years of hard-earned respect from the party that prides itself on fiscal discipline, awarded contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to consultants, lawmakers, candidates and party insiders over the course of nearly 30 months as state party chairman, contributing to the financial wreckage the party is trying to fix today.”

Mankato area, state post job gains

Mankato Free Press: “Job gains in the Mankato area the past year rose 2.3 percent asMinnesota¹s unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent by the end of December.” More on new statewide jobs numbers here.

Essar Steel financing in place

WDIO: Essar North American President Madhu Vuppuluri has “announced that the final financing is in place now, for the $1.1 billion dollar taconite facility.”

AG sues health care service firm for alleged patient privacy violations

MPR News: “Personal health data on thousands of Minnesota patients was shared with a debt collection company that shouldn’t have access to such information, Attorney General Lori Swanson said Thursday.”

Ecolab is cutting 500 jobs in wake of merger

Business Journal: “Ecolab Inc. said Thursday it is eliminating 500 jobs and will incur one-time charges of $480 million over the next two years as it restructures the company in the wake of its purchase of Nalco Holding Co.”

Local e-book demand up at library system

St Cloud Times: “It appears Kindles, Nooks, iPads and other tablets and e-readers were left under more Christmas trees than ever. And the recipients have been downloading library books by the thousands since the holidays.”

Are walleyes key to Ely tourism?

Ely Echo: Last summer was particularly difficult for people who were attempting to catch walleyes. From Shagawa to White Iron to Birch to Basswood, fishing was tough. And that made for unhappy customers at area resorts.

Resort owners want the DNR take a look at how stocking programs are working and make changes where they are not. But the DNR measures the success of its stocking program on the results of gill net testing, not how many are put on stringers or caught and released.

Still, new Tower area fisheries supervisor Edie Evarts heard loud and clear on Tuesday that people were not happy with what happened in 2011.

“It happened statewide, fishing was slow. So there were probably a lot of yellow perch that were competing with people’s baits,” said Evarts. “We don’t know that but when you see a trend that’s statewide, it’s not like all of the walleyes disappeared from all the lakes.”

Dogs rescued from home of alleged Warroad hoarders

KARE11: “Police Chief Wade Steinbring confirmed to the Warroad Pioneer that the animals had been kept indoors for nearly 3 years, and that the basement of the home occupied by a male owner and his female companion was filled with an estimated two to three feet of feces.”

Op-Ed: Who owns my ticket?

New York Times: “We call on the Federal Trade Commission, along with state attorneys general, consumer-protection agencies and legislators, to investigate the growing threat of restrictive paperless-ticketing practices for live events. Perhaps the threat of an investigation will spur the industry to reform itself.”