MINNESOTA--Metro East Cable Telecast Plagued by Technical Problems

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Metro EastCable telecast plagued by technical problems: Basketball fans across the nation were treated to a first-round NCAA men's tournament double-overtime thriller between Kentucky and St. Bonaventure, but MediaOne customers in the St. Paul area missed both overtimes because of technical problems that plagued the service all Thursday afternoon. Kentucky won the game 85-80.

MediaOne's Metro East customers hoping to watch the first day of tournament action saw snow on their television screens more than basketball Thursday afternoon. The games flashed on and off throughout the afternoon along with the entire MediaOne menu of television offerings.

Customers who called MediaOne to complain heard a recorded message acknowledging technical problems. Staffers at the MediaOne marketing office said they were unaware of the problem and could not say what caused it.

The court's action allowed a Court of Appeals ruling to stand.

Conant and Neuville unsuccessfully argued that the fees legally belonged to the state and not the law firm that wrested a $6.1 billion settlement from the tobacco industry in May 1998.

Last November, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Albrecht rejected that argument, saying it would be unfair to deprive Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi the money it earned for representing the state.

The appeals court ruled that taxpayers do not have standing to challenge costs and attorney fees defendants pay to a special attorney appointed by the attorney general because the dollars are not ``public funds.''

Attorney Mike Ciresi, who is now seeking the DFL nomination for U.S. Senate, had argued that his firm's fees are not coming out of the state's share of the settlement, but from a separate agreement with the tobacco companies.


-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), March 17, 2000

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