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After Deadline: Muñoz crusades for everyday heroes

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Superintendent Michael Munoz appears as Batman during the annual welcome to staff members. Munoz said all of them can be superheroes to the district's students.

Holy education, Batman!

Let it not be said that Rochester Superintendent Michael Muñoz hesitates to get into character when there is a larger point to be made. So last Tuesday, with the theme music from the "Dark Knight" playing, Muñoz strode on stage before 2,500 Rochester Public Schools faculty and staff members dressed as the Caped Crusader for the annual "Superintendent's Welcome."

Muñoz told the audience at Mayo Civic Center that Batman had always been his favorite superhero growing up, but his reason for donning the costume was to drive home the larger point about the role of heroes in people's lives.

Heroes can be everyday folks. They don't need to wear a cape or jump over tall buildings in a single bound, he said. All they need is opportunity.

"The truth is anyone has the potential to be a hero," Muñoz said. "You can be a hero by paying attention to everything around you. And if there is an opportunity to make something better, then you must decide to take the initiative and do something that will make a difference."


School begins for Rochester's 16,500 students on Tuesday.

— Matthew Stolle

Butt-dialing the po-po

PINE ISLAND — The 911 call came in at 7:15 p.m. Aug. 18 from a northeast Pine Island address: "Open 911 call, could hear yelling in the background, and someone saying people were throwing things," according to the report from the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy reported arriving at the scene and finding a parent who said two juveniles were playfully wrestling in the backyard, and they were supervised.

"Advised to wrestle without phones in pockets," the deputy reported.

Case closed.

— John Weiss


Gilliss finds connection despite distractions

The University of Minnesota Rochester wrapped up its UMR Connects summer season last Tuesday on a sweltering night with On Being's Senior Editor Trent Gilliss speaking about the stories and interviews that have marked the weekly national show on Minnesota Public Radio.

Gilliss delivered some great snippets from interviews over the years and captured the month's theme of spirituality and world religion well.

But in an outdoor venue, there are challenges.

The venue is the Peace Plaza, so folks come and go as they encounter the event on their strolls. At one point, the crowd grew enough that more chairs were needed, so UMR staff hustled out, including Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle, who hoisted a pair of chairs. Later, he was bringing out more, barely breaking a sweat.

Gilliss adapted well, too. At one point, a flock of birds screeched over head, so he paused and looked, noted they weren't a threat and continued.

Later, the Pedal Pub raucously rolled south on Second Avenue Southwest in front of the Kahler Grand Hotel. If you've seen the pedaling imbibers, you know you can hear them long before you see them. Gilliss again paused as the voices grew loud. But this time, the pedalers saw an event was going on and shushed one another as they rounded the turnaround and headed north.

It gave folks a little chuckle.


You should catch the programs in September. These are indoors at University Square and free.

— Mike Dougherty

Rochester's 'svelte' mayor

Sen. Amy Klobuchar showered Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede with compliments on his weight loss.

"You look so thin! Skinny mayor!" Klobuchar said during a visit last week to the University of Minnesota Rochester. "You must be on the Mayo Clinic diet."

Brede has lost 73-1/2 pounds using Medifast. Klobuchar continued praising the mayor as she stood at a podium preparing to start a news conference focused on cuts to medical research funding.

"I was saying how svelte (Brede) looks. He wants to make Rochester a medical destination," she said.

Brede yelled out from the crowd, "That's right!"


— Heather J. Carlson

After Deadline is a weekly column of notes, gossip and observations that didn't make it into news stories last week. Got a tip for After Deadline? Send it to news@postbulletin.com.

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