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Romney, promising 3 million jobs and $1 trillion in new revenue, stops here

Kurt Bills switches from Ron Paul to Romney; Willmar mayor backs voting amendment; drought worsening here; and more.

Before rolling into the Twin Cities Thursday, Mitt Romney promised 3 million new jobs and $1 trillion in new revenue. Julie Pace and Matthew Daly of the AP report: “Seeking to reset his economic message, Republican Mitt Romney pledged Thursday to create 3 million jobs and more than $1 trillion in revenue by ramping up offshore oil drilling and giving states more control over energy production on federal land. Romney, reviving a long-elusive goal pushed by presidents and presidential candidates for decades, said his plans would make the U.S., along with Canada and Mexico, energy independent by 2020. ‘This is not some pie in the sky kind of thing,’ Romney told voters in Hobbs, the heart of New Mexico’s oil and gas industry. ‘This is a real achievable objective.’ Romney’s schedule Thursday includes a stop in the Twin Cities for a pair of fundraisers co-hosted by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz.”

For what good it will do, GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills is admonishing the troops to support Mitt Romney. At MPR, Mark Zdechlik writes: “In a statement being distributed by the Republican Party of Minnesota, GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills states, ‘In order to defeat Obama and his lieutenant Amy Klobuchar, Republicans of all stripes must stand together. We cannot afford to squabble, and mustn’t equivocate. We need to unite — standing on our shared principles — to win in November.’ Bills was elected as a Ron Paul delegate to the Republican National Convention, which is slated to begin Monday in Tampa, Fla. Bills is not attending the RNC so he can campaign at the Minnesota State Fair as much as possible.”

I’m not sure how much pull he has outside Willmar, butDavid Little of the West Central Tribune writes: “Willmar Mayor Frank Yanish has declared his support for the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would require voters to present a photo ID in order to vote. The amendment will appear on the ballot in the Nov. 6 general election. The mayor told reporters Wednesday morning at his South First Street tire business that he felt he needed to take a stand in favor of the amendment after mayors in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester this week declared they opposed the amendment. ‘We need a photo ID to cash a check and drive a car. Nobody makes a fuss about this,’ Yanish said. ‘I felt in the interest, because we are talking in the city a lot about transparency, I wanted people to know where their mayor stood in this particular issue.’ Also attending the press conference were amendment supporters State Sen. Joe Gimse and State Rep. Bruce Vogel, both Willmar Republicans.”

After dodging the drought most of the summer, Minnesota is now feeling the effects. The AP says: “New data from the U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday, Aug. 23, shows more than half of Minnesota is now rated at least abnormally dry. Fifty-two percent of the state is now either abnormally dry or formally in drought, up five percentages points from last week, as dry conditions spread into part of central Minnesota. Thirty-six percent of the state is in a moderate-to-extreme drought, up one point from last week. The drought is affecting northwestern and southwestern Minnesota and extends across the southern tier of counties. Only a small part of the far southwestern corner of the state is in extreme drought.”

The GleanThere’s no need to worry. The Galleria is safe. Janet Moore in the Strib reassures anxious readers, saying: “For 40 years, the Galleria shopping center in Edina has been a fixture at 69th and France Ave. in Edina. The upscale mall, home to premium brands Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and Crate & Barrel, local merchants, such as Ampersand and Twill by Scott Dayton, and eateries Good Earth and Pittsburgh Blue, among others. Occupancy rates have long hovered above the 95 percent mark — the envy of retailers throughout the metro area. … But when news came down recently that the center had been sold to Texas-based Hines Global REIT Inc. for $127 million, some wondered whether the change would result in a new management team. Not to worry, according to Galleria spokeswoman Susan Evans.The same management team will stay intact.”

Allegiant Air is moving into the St. Cloud market. Kevin Allenspach of the St. Cloud Times says, “The company confirmed to the Times that it is the airline that will return scheduled commercial air service to Central Minnesota. A news conference [was] set for 2 p.m. today at the airport. Allegiant Air had St. Cloud listed as a designation on its web site Thursday morning, and a company spokeswoman said the listing was accurate. Eric Fletcher, Manager of Airports for Allegiant, will be on hand to make the official announcement this afternoon. Allegiant listed its first flight to Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport on Dec. 15 at a one-way cost of $89.99. The return trip would be $135.99 for a total round-trip cost of $225.98. Checked bags will cost up to $35 each and a carry-on can cost up to $25. Allegiant Air offers nonstop, all-jet service involving 79 cities and 181 routes. It owns a fleet of 58 MD-80 aircraft and six 757s.”

Not that I ever get past pork chops on a stick … . Rick Nelson of the Strib is tweeting his Long March around the Fair’s food booths. A few highlights from Day 1:

“Red Velvet Funnel Cake at Jurassic Dogs (Murphy/Underwood): $8 is too much for burgundy fried dough.

Lamb chop on a Stick, Lamb Shop (Food Building): Basic, but doesn’t need anything else. Terrific.

Ragin Cajun (The Garden): Breakfast Sliders Trio. A whole lot of breakfast, for $5.

Split scone smothered in sausage gravy at French Meadow (Carnes/ Nelson). Fab artery-clogging bfast.”

I hope the Strib has an EMT unit following him …  

Finally, does this guy have problems, or what? The Duluth News Tribune reports: “A 25-year-old man was charged Wednesday, Aug. 22, in Duluth District Court in the alleged assault of a police officer in the Hermantown Walmart parking lot. Bryan James Hathaway, who has no current address, was charged with fourth-degree assault upon a police officer; obstructing the legal process, fleeing on foot and possession of stolen property. In 2007, Hathaway was sentenced to nine months’ probation after he was convicted of sexual contact with a dead deer. He had been found guilty in April 2005 of felony mistreatment of an animal after he killed a horse with the intention of having sex with it.