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Green Line LRT: 48 minutes from Union Depot to Target Field

More Minnesota money for Mayo; Graves 601 Hotel sold; big bucks for incumbent Dems; and more.

This is better than 67 … . Frederick Melo of the PiPress tells readers, “Metro Transit has published a departure and arrival schedule for the Green Line that lists 23 station stops in 48 minutes from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul. … How much of the new schedule is set in stone, and how much is hopeful thinking? Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland said travel times have continued to improve as training for 120 Green Line operators continues.” MPR’s Bob Collins notes this is not an outrage.

Heather Carlson of the Rochester Post-Bulletin writes, “Millions of state dollars soon will start flowing to Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to support a new regenerative medicine partnership aimed at finding cures for illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and heart disease. Tucked within a budget bill passed by the DFL-led Legislature this month and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton is $4.5 million for the regenerative medicine partnership and ongoing annual funding of $4.4 million.” Perfectly good money that could have gone to tax relief for job creators!

Former Michele Bachmann opponent Jim Graves is selling the Graves 601 Hotel on Block E to some New York swells, the Business Journal’s Jim Hammerand reports. Graves execs touted a “high-water mark for value” but did not disclose a price, while noting the sale “creates revenue for new development … that result in an even higher rate of return.” Translation: not the awesomest property.

With a possible GOP wave election coming at the federal level, MPR’s Brett Neely notes U.S. House Democrats are promising $2.6 million worth of TV ads to defend Congressmen Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan. That’s a lot of money, and Neely notes it’s not being spent to switch the seat of Minnesota GOP U.S. Rep. John Kline.

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These two just keep on giving … . At WCCO-TV Esme Murphy adds more to the story of our ersatz “Scottish royalty.”  “Investigators in Hennepin County are now looking into allegations [Colin and Andrea Chisholm] defrauded hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors. … Business plans for [a Caribbean TV network] list an impressive group of officers and advisers, including a former Campbell Mithun CEO, former vice presidents of CNN and Fox News … .” The definitive story to date on these two is still Jesse Marx and Allie Conti’s at City Pages.

You’re known by your friends … . The Tea Party Express has made it official. Julianne Ortman is their candidate. Lloyd Grove of the California-based group writes, “Candidly, our endorsement did not come easy. Our CCC team thoroughly and critically examined the field of candidates, and Ortman rose to the top. … With the GOP openly warring against the Tea Party, Ortman is the only candidate in the race who has reached out, meeting with over 50 Tea Party groups. How refreshing and encouraging.”

Speaking of the Grand Old Party … . Bill Salisbury and Doug Belden at the PiPress write, “The 2,200 delegates to the GOP state convention this weekend in Rochester must show they can endorse candidates for governor and U.S. senator who are capable of winning elections. If they don’t, future contenders likely will skip the cumbersome route of courting party activists and jump directly into primaries. ‘This may be the year when the Republican endorsement process is given a burial’, said Larry Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.” I believe the “Express” is planning a cremation.

Are you ready for a lush, groomed … Roseville? Sarah Horner of the PiPress says, “Roseville residents are about to see what $19 million looks like. After years of conceptualizing and planning, the city is finally ready to start moving in the bulldozers and getting to work on its massive park system makeover. … It will pay for new park shelters at six locations, tennis court refurbishments, trail connections, playground replacements, natural resource restoration and site work citywide … .”

The latest in the coach-hunt by the Timberwolves … . Marc Stein of ESPN reports, “Former Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro has emerged as a serious candidate for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ vacancy, according to NBA coaching sources. Sources told on Thursday that Del Negro, who is also being considered for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ job, was spotted last week interviewing with Wolves president and part-owner Flip Saunders and is firmly in the mix for the post after the collapse of Minnesota’s talks with Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger.” Hey, he won while working for Donald Sterling.

Dagnabbit! Paul Walsh says, “The last of five Minnesotans, a 13-year-old Edina middle school student, fell out of the running Thursday in the semifinals of the 70th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Mark Kivimaki, a seventh-grader at Valley View Middle School … correctly spelled his Round 5 word, ‘ebullition,’ defined as a state of bubbling up or boiling.  … [he] then stumbled when he misspelled ‘Ananke,’ which means ‘personification of ultimate fate that gods must yield to.’” Uh, I knew that.