Sherco 3 is back! Dave Shaffer in the Strib says: “Minnesota’s largest electric generator is back in full service after a catastrophic accident and a 22-month repair effort costing more than $200 million, plant operator Xcel Energy said Monday. Most of the cost to repair Unit 3 of the Sherco power plant in Becker will be covered by insurance, Xcel said. But the replacement power that Xcel purchased from other generators cost $64 million, according to an August estimate, and that expense is passed on to ratepayers.”
There’s always been an element missing from this story. Janet Moore of the Strib says: “A new twist has emerged in the messy legal battle between the owner of the Downtown East plaza adjacent to the Metrodome and the public body in charge of building the new $975 million Vikings stadium. Plaza landowner Minneapolis Venture LLC and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority are feuding over a 2003 agreement that permits Vikings gameday events on the public plaza — until Oct. 31. If an extension agreement is not reached by then, the plaza won’t be available for the team’s four home games in November and December or any playoff games, although that appears unlikely at this point. … The broader issue is whether the stadium authority will buy the plaza, and if so, for how much. The plaza itself is not needed to construct the new stadium, but because it’s home to the busy Downtown East light-rail station as well as an underground parking garage, it’s considered a crucial part of the area’s overall development.” So has the Authority ever made an offer?
Interesting collection of statistics in a piece by Adam Belz at the Strib: “Everyone agrees that manufacturing jobs are an important part of the economy, but in Minnesota, we should be glad they aren’t a bigger part of the economy than they are. … one of the reasons Minnesota has weathered the downturn and recovery so much better than its eastern neighbors … is precisely because manufacturing is not as ‘crucial’ here as it is in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.”
Who doesn’t like a good gas prices story? At KSTP-TV, Jay Kolls says: “ Gas prices at the pump are down over 60-cents a gallon across Minnesota, but there is an abundance of oil worldwide. So, we asked the top financial guy at the American Petroleum Institute (API) why gas prices aren’t even lower if there is a strong supply of oil around the globe. John Flemy, API Chief Economist, tells us the price is tied to weather, demand and three factors he calls, ‘China, China, China.’ … Flemy says it is very hard to forecast what the world economy will do over the next six months, so it is hard to know if gas prices will stay where they are or go down even more.” Uh … yeah.
Business has been so good … Nancy Ngo of the PiPress says: “Duluth Trading Co.’s first Minnesota retail store in Bloomington is just more than a week old, and already the company is looking to expand in the state. The Madison, Wis.-based retailer is known for heavy-duty work and outdoor wear, including popular Longtail T-shirts and Ballroom Jeans sold mainly through catalogs. It would like to add another Twin Cities location and one in its namesake city.”
It’s a lot of pain for a $1 million payment. Paul McEnroe of the Strib says: “Hennepin County has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit by a mentally ill inmate who stabbed himself in both eyes last year after being held in the county jail for 40 days without proper psychiatric care. The settlement is believed to be the largest for medical neglect of an inmate in a Minnesota jail or prison. The terms are expected to be formally approved by U.S. Magistrate Arthur Boylan next week, according to a source with direct knowledge of the case. … [Michael] Schuler, who is now blind in his right eye and severely impaired in the other, used a pencil to stab himself in his cell in May 2012, according to court records reviewed by the Star Tribune. The records also show that Schuler was denied antipsychotic medications at one point, and they detail his steady mental deterioration during weeks of incarceration with minimal psychiatric evaluation.”
Ignore that earlier item … Mike Creger of the Duluth News Tribune says: “The 2014 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is back on. A group of mushers and sled-dog-racing enthusiasts came to the Beargrease’s board of directors meeting Monday night and announced that they would like to take the race over and hold it in January. Board members agreed that the race needed a change in management. They also agreed to a transition within the next week.” Could that also be a “pack of mushers”? A “clutch of mushers”? A “murder of mushers”?
Marty Seifert is giving it another shot. Tim Pugmire of MPR says: “Republican Party of Minnesota members will have five announced gubernatorial candidates to pick from this Saturday when they fill out a straw poll ballot at the State Central Committee meeting in Blaine, but there will also be an effort to add former state Rep. Marty Seifert to the mix as a write-in selection. Beltrami County Republican Chairman Ken Cobb launched a ‘Write in Marty’ Facebook page and Twitter account to help drum up support for Seifert in advance of the straw poll. ‘We know that there are a lot of Marty supporters among the Republican rank and file,’ Cobb said.” I would imagine the “rank and file” would be a lot hotter for Tony Cornish.
The headline of the day: “Have Barack Obama and Eric Holder Caused an Increase in Mass Murder?” Since it comes from John Hinderaker at Power Line, you kinda know the answer: “Holder is telling us that since he took over as AG, mass shooting incidents have tripled. … But of course Holder didn’t take any responsibility for the trend he described. As far as I can tell, Democrats are interested in crime only when it serves as an excuse for gun control; never as a reason to consider more effective law enforcement measures, or to step up prosecution and punishment of criminals. … one wonders: why has the Obama/Holder administration seen a tripling in attempted mass murders, even as the overall homicide rate has continued to decline? It might be coincidence. But it also may be that the hysterical publicity given to each such incident has encouraged others. During the last few years, the Democratic Party news media have enthusiastically promoted stories about ‘shooters,’ hoping to aid the Obama administration in its gun control initiatives. That effort has been unsuccessful, but it may have had the unintended effect of encouraging other unstable individuals to seek the same sort of immortality that the Democratic media have conferred on, for example, Adam Lanza — a murderer who himself was clearly inspired by the fame that had been accorded his predecessors and idols.” I assume Lanza gave Hinderaker an exit interview.