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Search for Ty Hoffman shifts to Prior Lake

The search for accused murderer Ty Hoffman continues to dominate the news. The search today focused on the Prior Lake area, near the Mystic Lake Casino. Per the Star Tribune’s Karen Zamora and Paul Walsh, “The renewed search… came after possible spottings of Hoffman in the woods Tuesday night, in the casino the next morning and yet again while getting into a fleeing SUV. … But late Wednesday afternoon, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle’s owner ‘quickly made contact with law enforcement officials’ and ‘no connection exists between the vehicle’s owner and Ty Hoffman.’”

In other crime news, reports surfaced today of an armed robbery of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild exhibit at the State Fair. Mara H. Gottfried of the Pioneer Press has the details of the robbery, in which two workers were tied up and more than $10,000 were stolen. According to State Fair police public information officer Brooke Blakey, while there have been robberies before at the fair, this was the first armed one. 

Today in apologies: Both Gov. Mark Dayton and his opponent in the governor’s race, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, spoke to the general session of the Association of Minnesota Counties in Alexandria Wednesday. But according to the Strib’s Patrick Condon, it was Dayton who made news, apologizing for the troubled rollout of MNsure, “In bringing up MNsure unprompted, Dayton was also upfront about an issue he said he knows is a sore spot for some county leaders. Many counties were closely involved with MNsure as the front-line administrators of government benefits.” 

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is celebrating its 50th birthday. At MPR, Dan Kraker takes a detailed look at the political battle to pass the Wilderness Act, which protected the 1 million-acre wilderness area, and particularly the role played by nature writer Sigurd Olson: “ ‘There were times in the ’20s and ’30s that Sig and his neighbor and business partner Pete Peterson would go to an outfitters meeting, and the feelings were running so high that their wives wondered whether they’d come back alive. It was pretty tense,’ [Listening Point Foundation vice president Chuck] Wick said.”

If you’re already tired of the ongoing battle over Southwest light rail, you might want to gird yourself for streetcars. MPR’s Bob Collins draws attention to a CityLab post on the fundamental problem with streetcar systems in the United States: they don’t run often enough. As Collins points out, “Minneapolis is considering a streetcar line on Nicollet Avenue from Lake Street to Fifth Street NE. St. Paul is noodling on a streetcar line on Seventh Street between Randolph Avenue and Arcade Street.”

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