Three times the size … MPR reports: “The Metropolitan Airports Commission is considering tripling the size of Terminal 2, known as the Humphrey Terminal, at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Lindberg Terminal, also known as Terminal 1, could also see an expansion from 117 gates to as many as 135 gates in the next 17 years, Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission told MPR’s Daily Circuit Tuesday. The airport’s long-term plan predicts the number of passengers will grow from about 33.2 million per year now to more than 50 million, he said.”
Tom Petters’ final legal act has been filed. Dave Phelps of the Strib says: “The fate of Tom Petters’ request for a new, reduced sentence is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle. Attorneys for Petters and the U.S. government made their final arguments for and against a lesser sentence which Petters claims was on the table unbeknown to him before his 2009 conviction and 50-year prison sentence. It is uncertain how long before Kyle will rule on the matter. An evidentiary hearing on the issue was conducted two weeks ago and attorneys for both parties have submitted multiple briefs on behalf of their differing positions, including the closing briefs, which were due by noon Tuesday. The government’s six-page brief went directly to Petters’ character as perceived by federal prosecutors. ‘Tom Petters is a liar,’ the government said.”
Very bad year for sugar beet farmers … . Dan Gunderson of MPR reports: “A glut of sugar in the world market will mean a big cut in the price farmers are getting for their sugar beets, American Crystal Sugar leaders told farmers this week. Last year’s crop brought farmers $68 for each ton of sugar beets. But this year’s payout will be $38 per ton, American Crystal Sugar President David Berg said. … North Dakota State University researchers say the sugar beet industry has a $4.9 billion annual economic impact in the region. Study author Dean Bangsund said two-thirds of that money flows into Minnesota, and about one-third to North Dakota.”
Also in Big Ag news … The AP says: “Cargill Inc. says it will start labeling beef products that contain finely textured beef after the ingredient came under attack as ‘pink slime’ last year. The Minneapolis-based meat company says the new packages will appear before next year’s grilling season and is in response to consumer demand. It says packages will note when a product ‘Contains Finely Textured Beef.’ Finely textured beef is made by separating the bits of meat that are stuck on fatty trimmings. Those bits are treated to kill bacteria; the resulting product is mixed with ground beef.” Did they consider “Prime Slime” and “Choice Slime”?
So where do we get our synthetic mistletoe, synthetic Valentine’s candy and synthetic Easter bunnies? The Duluth News Tribune reports: “Duluth’s Last Place on Earth is to remain closed for at least one year, a judge ruled today. Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Shaun Floerke issued a permanent injunction in the city of Duluth’s nuisance suit against the downtown Duluth business, ordering owner Jim Carlson not to sell synthetic drugs within the city. Carlson cannot reopen his store at 120 E. Superior St. for one year, and is prevented from selling synthetics out of any other location within the city.”
Also in the News Tribune, John Myers writes: “The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board is expected to approve a $5.9 million loan to Delta Airlines on Thursday to renovate and modernize the company’s ticket sales call center in Chisholm. The center, the last vestiges of a massive state economic-development deal for Northwest Airlines nearly 20 years ago, is among the larger employers on the Iron Range, with 418 workers answering telephone calls from the flying public and each earning between $22,000 and $48,000 per year. Atlanta-based Delta, which absorbed Twin Cities-based Northwest in 2008, wants to refurbish the 40,000-square-foot facility to ‘transform the center into a modern, state-of-the-art customer engagement center and to refurbish the infrastructure of the facility.’ The company will add 107 positions at the Chisholm center once the project is completed.” Make ’em put that in writing.
You can bet someone will argue that notification is a violation of their sacred Second Amendment right … The AP says: “An advisory committee on Minnesota Capitol security is preparing recommendations that could include a new notification process for handgun permit holders who want to bring firearms into the building. Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, the panel’s chairwoman, said Tuesday that she will propose a standardized form that gun owners would have to fill out prior to carrying a gun in the Capitol. It would be more precise than a current system of notification.”
He had been told to stay away … Matt McKinney of the Strib says: “Tyrone Washington, the 27-year-old homicide victim gunned down at Epic nightclub early Sunday, had been ordered by a Hennepin County judge to stay out of downtown following his guilty plea two weeks ago to a charge of terroristic threats for the benefit of a gang. The order, known as a ‘geographical restriction,’ has been in use for several years, mostly to put a dent in drug dealing, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. ‘If we had found him downtown we would have put him back in jail … The irony is that if he had been in custody he wouldn’t have been killed,’ he said.”
I hope you’re sitting down. Ol’ Sooch agrees with squishy, nanny-stater euphorians who think the nickname of Washington’s football team needs to go. Making no reference at all to property taxes, Soucheray says in the PiPress: “[T]he words red and skin are problematic. Braves, Blackhawks and Indians are lesser on the radar — the president, who would change the [team] name, … just honored the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks at the White House with no reference to their changing that name. [Team owner Dan] Snyder could get out in front of the issue by changing the name before it looks like he had to change the name to please the likes of the lowly Minneapolis City Council members who are only taking advantage of the name to endear themselves politically. … People in positions of power behave gracefully when they do not, for their own profit and amusement, name anything after anybody who is not in a position of power. That is the closest I can make myself sit next to a Mysterian, or any other grandstanding activist for that matter. Sometimes they are right.” People, people, give the man some room, a stiff drink and a warm towel for his forehead.