Monday's five most fascinating stories printed on wood pulp:
Minnesota is facing a more than $4.6 billion budget deficit and now Gov. Tim Pawlenty has sent lawmakers back to work to devise a plan that will get through the Legislature with Pawlenty's approval. He vetoed the DFL tax plan, which included several tax increases to help relieve the deficit, early Saturday morning. Now Democrats have to figure out what's next.
A Minnesota man has been accused of talking to suicidal people online and coaxing them to kill themselves. He was already linked to one death in Canada and now there are others coming forward in Britain claiming he was also coaxing people there too. He told an officer he thinks he convinced five people to commit suicide. He asked to watch on a webcam, but never actually did. He could face up to 15 years in prison for encouraging someone to kill themselves.
A bill in the Minnesota legislature would be the first to regulate the tattoo industry in the state. Tattoo artists and shop owners are mad that they weren't consulted about the bill and argue that the industry is largely self-regulated as the artists takes their job's permanence and safety risks very seriously. Some of the nitty-gritty provisions are really bugging some: The bill would regulate how far apart chairs must be set, that there be a sink in all of the tattoo areas, and requiring certain lids on garbage cans.
Michael Sontoya's trial started last week in the death of Gabriela Romo last September. The woman died after a night of extremely rough sex that left her bleeding to death at Sontoya's apartment in St. Paul. The details of the death and alleged murder are quite graphic.
Several schools in the metro area are trying a new tactic in closing the achievement gap between black, Hispanic and white children: longer days. The schools keep students until 5 p.m., arguing that many would go home in the mid-afternoon to an empty house. Instead, they are keeping the students longer to cram in more educational activities. But whatever happened to students developing outside of the classroom too?