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PolyMet still can’t say how long water treatment needed

State to pay for Dayton’s Super Bowl trip; increased efforts to stop sex trafficking; Met Council cites racial disparities; snowmobilers rescued; suspicious credit-card charge; and more.

MPR’s story on PolyMet’s environmental assurances, reported by Dan Kraker and Elizabeth Dunbar, says: “Debate over the need for long-term water treatment has dominated public testimony surrounding PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine, but the agencies studying the plan didn’t ask the one question seemingly everyone wants the answer to: How long exactly will that treatment be needed? … PolyMet officials said it’s very uncertain, and they say they won’t know enough about potential contaminants until they begin unearthing them and monitoring their impact.”

What? You thought the NFL was going to pay for a plane ticket? Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib says: “The state will be paying Gov. Mark Dayton’s way to this weekend’s Super Bowl in the New York area, Dayton’s spokesman said. ‘He’s going out there to bring the Super Bowl back to Minnesota,’ [Matt] Swenson said. The costs to the state will include lodging and Dayton’s flights. Swenson said the governor considers the trip official business. Swenson said Dayton will not be attending the game itself.”

The president will indirectly give a boost to Minnesota’s campaign to stop sex trafficking. Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “The sex trafficking of minors is getting intensified attention in Minnesota and on the biggest of national stages this week, namely Tuesday’s State of the Union address, officials said Monday. With $1 million in funding from the state Department of Human Services, various organizations are being contracted by the agency to provide emergency shelter, transitional and supportive housing for young people caught up in sex trafficking.”

Racial disparity in income, employment and other key indicators has the attention of the Met Council. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh said the trends that make Minnesota the envy of states across the country — living-wage jobs, low unemployment rates and high rates of homeownership and high school graduation — are not transferring over to many residents of color. During her State of the Region address Monday, Haigh pointed to a draft of a new Fair Housing and Equity Assessment report posted on the Met Council’s website. She said the disparities between whites and nonwhites are worse in Minnesota than in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, D.C.”

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I bet that was comfy … The AP reports: “A Twin Cities father and his adult son have been rescued after being stranded overnight in blizzard, subzero weather while snowmobiling in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Michigan State Police 1st Lt. Donald E. Horn said that searchers found 40-year-old Benjamin Jenney Sr. and 19-year-old Benjamin Jenney Jr. on Monday afternoon in Ontonagon County. The site is near the Porcupine Mountains State Park in western upper Michigan.”

Probation … Jenna Ross of the Strib says: “A 16-year-old boy apologized in a Willmar courtroom Monday for his role in the robbery and murder of a friend’s grandmother, a crime that will require he perform hundreds of hours of community service and remain on probation until he turns 21. Devon James Jenkins, the youngest of three defendants charged in the gruesome stabbing and strangulation of Lila Warwick, 79, is the first of the teens sentenced for the attack that police and prosecutors contend was planned by her own grandson.”

I think Whitey Bulger had $800K on hand. Says the Strib’s Pam Louwagie: “Authorities seizing assets of a convicted Duluth head shop owner hit a jackpot in the bathroom. Law enforcement agents found $767,346 in currency, most of it wrapped in plastic and ‘hidden in a small space concealed behind what appeared to be a cabinet in the lower level bathroom’ in the home of Last Place On Earth owner Jim Carlson, according to federal court papers filed Monday.  They found $5,000 in a ‘Buddha-type decorative item’ on a living room shelf, $6,500 in a dining room hutch and $302 tucked between the master bed mattress and bedrail, the filing said.” It could have been buried in 55-gallon barrels in the desert.

The guy who alerted the world to Target’s data breach has found something curious and suspicious. Kathy Kristof at CBS Moneywatch writes: “Wondering if your credit card number could be in the hands of a crook? Look for a charge for $9.84. The Better Business Bureau issued a fraud alert last week about a raft of consumer complaints all reporting the same niggling charge. The business levying this fee may purport to provide ‘customer support,’ or it may simply identify itself as any one of a number of different websites. The fraud, uncovered by a former Washington Post reporter who writes an investigative blog called KrebsOnSecurity, apparently relies on consumer carelessness.”

A heavyweight steps aside … Jim Buchta of the Strib reports: “Longtime Edina Realty Home Services President and CEO Bob Peltier will step down from the day-to-day operations of the company and become chairman emeritus, Home­Services of America announced Monday. HomeServices, parent company of Edina Realty, said Greg Mason, another longtime executive, will take over the daily functions.”