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In Duluth debate Dayton calls Johnson a ‘huckster’; Johnson calls stadium deal ‘a disaster’

Plus: A new effort to find Jacob Wetterling; gas in Minnesota dips under $3 a gallon; $25 million puts “Masonic” in U of M Children’s Hospital name; and more.

Now now Governor, we must rise above such language. The AP’s Brian Bakst covers this morning’s gubernatorial debate up in Duluth. He writes, “In the first one-on-one debate of the campaign, Dayton labeled Johnson a ‘huckster’ for promising mining permits on the Iron Range before environmental studies have been completed as a way to endear himself to a Democratic voting stronghold in northeastern Minnesota. … The Hennepin County commissioner called Dayton a decent man whose privileged roots have shielded him from having to scrimp like many families to pay a mortgage or college tuition.” Our Cyndy Brucato reports here.

For the PiPress Bill Salisbury says, “Johnson rattled off numbers indicating that in the past year Minnesota is near the bottom among states in creating good-paying jobs. Dayton and the DFL-controlled Legislature have ‘created a tax climate that is so uncompetitive with the states that surround us and a regulatory climate that is just overbearing,’ he said. The governor replied that Minnesota is better off now than when he took office, and a ‘preponderance of the statistics’ confirms that claim. He accused Johnson of ‘being so desperate to find something to make Minnesota look bad that you jump on whatever (numbers) you can find.’ “

For the Forum News Service, Don Davis writes, “When talking about a Vikings football stadium that costs more than $1 billion, half funded by tax money, Johnson explained the situation that was similar to other issues: ‘This is another example of how we are going to differ as much as we can possibly differ.’ On the stadium, Johnson said taxpayers should not have paid for it, citing a new New Jersey stadium construction project that involved no government funds. ‘This whole deal has been a disaster.’ 

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We’re No. 1! … in farmed elk. John Enger of MPR writes, “Minnesota’s herds of farmed elk might be the largest in the country, but they’re not large enough. Demand for elk meat and other elk products is at an all-time high, according to Brenda Hartkopf, executive secretary of the Minnesota Elk Breeder’s Association. Elk farmers are bombarded with orders.” Apparently elk has gone “artisanal.”

How potboiler mysteries begin: Paul Walsh of the Strib writes, “Human remains “several decades” old have been unearthed at a construction site in east-central Minnesota, authorities said Tuesday. The discovery was made about 10:30 a.m. Monday in the 15000 block of Sunset Trail, a road dotted with lakeside homes just west of Pine City, according to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office. ‘It appears the remains have been at that location for several decades,’ read a statement from the Sheriff’s Office, issued late Tuesday morning … .”

Coincidentally enough … Jenna Ross of the Strib writes, “Billboards will blanket the St. Joseph, Minn., area in a new effort to find Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted 25 years ago this month. Officials will announce the new campaign at a Tuesday news conference in St. Cloud. The six billboards will feature a photo of Jacob as a kid and a picture of what Jacob might look like at age 36.”

Them who gives the money gets to give the names. At The Business Journal’s Jim Hammerand writes, “The Minnesota Masonic Charities will put its name on the University of Minnesota’s children’s hospital with a $25 million donation. The renamed University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital will use the gift to support pediatric research in neurobehavioral development, rare and infectious disease, and stem cell therapies.” Remember stem cells as a culture war issue?

The Glean$2.81 in Duluth. Says Dave Shaffer in the Strib, “Minnesota’s av­er­age price for un­lead­ed regu­lar gaso­line dropped be­low $3 this week, ac­cord­ing to pric­ing ser­vices and the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. … GasBuddy’s chief oil an­a­lyst, Tom Kloza, had pre­dict­ed gas prices would drop dra­mat­i­cal­ly this fall through Christ­mas. He said in an inter­view Tues­day that it has hap­pened rap­id­ly, and may not be over.” The Saudis wouldn’t be trying to take the investment thrill out of fracking and deep sea drilling, would they?

Kind of cool … A time-lapse of the sod going down on the Saints’ new Lowertown ballpark. Says MPR’s Tim Nelson, “[Nick] Nelson shot the time-lapse with a GoPro camera installed in the stadium stands just behind home plate. The CHS Field got about 95,000 square feet of sod installed from a Wisconsin farm. It grows the turf for Wrigley Field and Miller Park, as well.”

Does the U of M have legal standing to prevent any sight of the Washington team name in TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 2? City Pages’ Jesse Marx thinks so. “ … the actual contract between the university and the Vikings … suggests that the university would be within its rights to prevent the [name] and logo from appearing in the stadium. Consider this: The section in the contract laying out advertising and sponsorship restrictions says the Vikings cannot engage in any action or use any language inside the stadium that might reasonably be expected to offend contemporary community standards, such as use of words regarding sexual acts, defamatory language, or language that might denigrate any class or group of people.”