The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 21, 2013

KEYC first major business atop the hill


In 1962, Carlson moved his growing business to a new building in North Mankato and renamed it Carlson Craft, but that new building was near Highway 169 in lower North Mankato.

It wasn’t until 1973 that Carlson Craft, still expanding, first climbed the hill. That Taylor guy was no longer running the stamp machine. By then he was in management and two years later began buying the company from Carlson. The sprawling Taylor Corp. and its subsidiaries sprouted across upper North Mankato in the decades that followed.

Q: When we see drivers education cars around town for teaching kids to drive, the instructors all look so young. Are there any qualifications for them, or do they just have to be 21?

A: They have to be 21 or older and they are required to have been a licensed driver for at least three years to qualify as a driving instructor under Minnesota law. Also, convicted murderers can only serve as driving instructors for students older than 21.

Just to be clear, Ask Us is not suggesting that any local driving schools hire convicted murderers. Schools can set much more stringent criteria than law requires, and Ask Us is confident that they do. We’re just saying that state law technically allows murderers, other violent offenders and people convicted of sex crimes to serve as driving instructors for all but the younger driving students.

Also, to be clear, the state doesn’t have to issue a license to convicted criminals. State law requires instructors to undergo a background check, and former criminals can get an instructor license only if the state “determines that the crime doesn’t directly relate to the position of instructor or ... the person has shown competent evidence of sufficient rehabilitation and present fitness to perform the duties of instructor.”

There are other requirements to be a driving instructor, but they aren’t age-related. All instructors must have a valid drivers license and a high school diploma, and they must be able to “hear well enough to conduct a normal verbal conversation with another at a distance of five feet.”

Contact Ask Us at The Free Press, P.O Box 3287, Mankato, MN 56002. Call Mark Fischenich at 344-6321 or email your question to; put Ask Us in the subject line.

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