Dear Mr. President, please save us from invasive (formerly “Asian”) carp … . In the Strib Corey Mitchell says, “A bipartisan water transportation bill that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam — a move that officials say is critical to stop the spread of invasive carp — has sailed through the Senate and awaits President Obama’s signature. The $12 billion measure included a provision championed by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar that would require the lock to be locked down within a year.”
Also from the same bill … . Henry Jackson of the AP says, “A diversion project that could relieve the chronic flood threat in Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, was included Thursday in a massive water projects bill approved by Congress and headed to the White House. The Senate voted 91-7 to approve the Water Resources and Development Act, after the House passed the legislation on Tuesday. It includes authorization for up to $846.7 million in federal funds for a diversion project in the Red River valley.” Thanks, Congress. You must be exhausted from doing something worthwhile. Take a few months off. Please.
Related … . Dan Gunderson of MPR says, “The tax bill signed earlier this week by Gov. Mark Dayton builds in $10 million more a year in state spending targeted to local governments for programs to fight the spread of aquatic invasive species. Counties and lake organizations say that consistent funding source, which starts this summer, will give their efforts a big boost. It’s a turning point in the effort to protect lakes and rivers, said Jeff Forester, executive director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates.”
And now, North Dakota stands alone … . The AP says, “Federal lawsuits filed this week in Montana and South Dakota leave just one state — North Dakota — with a gay marriage ban that’s not facing some form of legal challenge. State marriage bans have been falling around the country since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Now, in 30 states, judges are being asked whether gays should have the right to marry.”
At Forbes, Jon Springer says our local media has failed a Minnesotan in Mongolia. “It is a reasonable hope for citizens of any country that if they are working or traveling abroad and get into trouble, they will get help from their home country. For American Justin Kapla, he was able to engender a brief moment of support from his hometown local Minnesota media three months into his now 19 month exit ban from Mongolia, but then the local Minnesota media dropped his story.” Who will be first to be scolded in to coverage?
And good luck with this gig … . Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib reports, “Pete Hegseth, who ran for the U.S. Senate endorsement in 2012 and had been oft mentioned as a possible candidate for other offices, will become the Minnesota Republican Party’s finance chair, the party announced late Thursday. Hegseth, a military veteran, is often seen on Fox News, contributing analysis and political commentary. ‘As Finance Chair I look forward to helping the Republican Party of Minnesota reach the next level,’ Hegseth said in a statement.” And that level would be what? Solvency?
If the weather’s a disincentive, maybe this will help. Mike Cronin of the AP says, “Military service members and spouses trained as teachers, police officers, hair stylists and other professions requiring state certification could begin working immediately if they relocate to Minnesota through a new law that grants them temporary licenses. Now, those honorably discharged and their husbands and wives will be eligible to work in their chosen fields while they pursue Minnesota’s certification requirements … .”
Chalk up a victory for the small business crowd … . Out in Stillwater, Mary Divine of the PiPress reports, “The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it has decided to add right-in-only access from westbound Minnesota 36 to the north frontage road near Joseph’s Family Restaurant, which is known for its award-winning pies. Jon Chiglo, project director for the St. Croix River bridge, said the decision was made after business owners along the frontage road expressed concerns. Another factor was the low number of accidents at the intersection — only two in the past 15 years, he said.” This was collateral damage from the mega-bridge now under construction.
Remember “Northern Exposure”? John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune reports, “Sgt. Bernie Mettler has responded to a lot of calls in his 21 years as a St. Louis County sheriff’s deputy, but until this week, never a moose rescue. Mettler was called to the north side of Aurora on Monday morning after reports from residents that a moose was on the loose and apparently unable to find its way back into the woods. … ‘I had seen a couple wolves just outside that part of town earlier that morning, and I have a hunch the moose got chased into town by the wolves,’ Mettler said. The moose ‘didn’t want to go back that way at all.’”
Mike Florio of MNBC Sports puts it succinctly, “The decision to give the Super Bowl to Minnesota in the first year that the team’s to-be-opened stadium was eligible to bid for the game has sent a clear message to all other NFL cities that may be considering giving public money to the construction of a new stadium: If you build it, the Super Bowl will come. Quickly. There’s another message that’s being sent to the potential Super Bowl cities that already have their stadiums: If you’ll be going up against a city with a new stadium built in part by taxpayer dollars, don’t bother.” We really should get another one in the pipeline for LIII or LIV.