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Group opposing Southwest Light Rail alignment files suit

PLUS: Baby zebras, lottery winners, a new name for the Saints ballpark; and more. 

Lakes and Parks Alliance of Minnesota members Mary Pattock and George Puzak, center, during Monday's press conference.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

And we’ve reached the lawsuit stage. As expected, a group of Minneapolis residents opposed to the recently approved Southwest Light Rail Transit alignment filed suit in federal court today. “The Lakes and Parks Alliance of Minneapolis filed the 24-page complaint in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, naming the Federal Transit Agency, the Metropolitan Council and its chair Susan Haigh as defendants,” writes the Star Tribune’s Janet Moore. “The Alliance charges that the Met Council … and other governmental bodies violated national and state environmental laws when approving the light-rail route through the ‘environmentally sensitive’ Kenilworth corridor in Minneapolis.”

Cenex and the city: The St. Paul Saints new, yet-to-be-completed baseball stadium, has a new name: CHS Field, named after an Inver Grove Heights-based agricultural coop. From MPR’s Tim Nelson: “CHS President and CEO Carl Casale said the company is known better for its brands, like Cenex fuel, than its corporate name. He said the stadium name could boost the public’s awareness of the brand. The St. Paul-based agribusiness has 75,000 farmer members and about 1,100 co-ops that own stock in the company. ‘If there’s anything more American than agriculture and baseball, I don’t know what those two things are,’ Casale said.

Who will be the PiPress’ Glen Taylor? City Pages Aaron Rupar digs into the ad placed by the union representing many of the workers at the St. Paul Pioneer Press urging the paper’s current hedge-fund owners, Alden Global Capital, to sell to a local investor: “Alden ‘is more interested in dismantling the newspaper to increase profits than in investing in the future,’ the ad says. ‘The Twin Cities deserve better. The Pioneer Press needs a new owner who cares about the community it serves and will be a responsible steward of Minnesota’s oldest news organization.’ Reached for comment, Dave Orrick, spokesperson for the PiPress guild, tells us that since Alden subsidiary Digital First Media took over operations of the paper, ‘We’ve seen an incredible emphasis, an alarming emphasis, on simply trying to squeeze money out of the PiPress and others newspapers owned by DFM, with Alden as the controller.’”

The Strib’s Shannon Prather and Paul Walsh have the goods on the couple that won the state’s tax-free lotto jackpot. “The Bethel couple struck it rich Saturday night, when their Hot Lotto numbers were drawn, a string of digits worth $11.71 million. … Joe Meath, 53, a boiler and turbine operator for Xcel Energy who retired about three years ago after a back injury, bought the ticket Saturday at a Shell gas station in East Bethel.”

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From the PiPress’s Frederick Melo, meet the Terrible 20, aka the worst streets in St. Paul, complete with a handy map. “Beginning Monday and continuing through mid-October, work crews will tackle segments of Fairview, Hamline and Grand avenues, as well as portions of Wabasha and Rice streets, Lafayette Road and Johnson and Wheelock parkways. Beginning Sept. 22, crews will work on segments of Cretin Avenue and 11th and Eustis streets. … Work in any given stretch typically takes two or three days. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has proposed a $54 million road repair budget for 2015, that, if approved by the city council, would repair the remaining nine streets on the ‘Terrible 20’ list in addition to several arterial avenues.’

Cute animal alert. CBS Minnesota has what will surely be a staple of TV news broadcasts tonight: a zebra was born at Como Zoo Sunday morning. “When zookeepers came in on Sunday they found the baby up, walking and following its mother.‘There were no complications and mother and baby appear to be doing great,’ Allison Jungheim, senior zookeeper at Como Zoo, said. Zookeepers said the sex of the foal has not been determined. This is the second baby zebra the zoo has welcomed this year.”