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Lifetime Fitness sold for $4 billion

Plus: Carver citizens push back against Met Council housing plan; Poison Center funding in peril; driver crashes into Grand Ave. former Twisted Fork restaurant; an early start to the fire season; and more.

Sure, they’re all excited about it now, but you know in three months they’ll have totally stopped going. Twin Cities-based Life Time Fitness has been sold to two private equity firms for $4 billion, reports Mark Reilly in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The details of the deal:

The merger agreement prices Life Time at $72.10 per share in cash, more than $5 over the closing price Friday. The company will go private after the deal.

Life Time is No. 29 on the Business Journal’s list of 100 largest public companies in Minnesota; its revenue of just under $1.3 billion would have ranked it at No. 25 on the Private 100 list of Minnesota companies.

Did anyone mention they’re unelected? In the Star Tribune, David Peterson catalogs Carver citizens’ objections to the Met Council’s plan to add affordable housing to their city and other similar exurbs. Take Carver resident Laura Talvitie: “I feel that Carver is a quaint, simple community. And that is its appeal. There is no ugly big block store, there’s no towering apartment buildings with cluttered parking lots, there’s not much traffic … There’s a ratty-tatty post office and some historical homes. … The appeal of Carver as a unique little town will die with this project. It will be just like any other suburb.”

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Whatever your feelings on the size of the government, having a Poison Center seems like a good idea. MPR’s Lorna Benson reports on the financial woes facing the Minneapolis-based Poison Center, a clearinghouse for poison information that also works with emergency services. The center’s best hope is the Legislature: “Minnesota currently provides half the money needed to run the Poison Center. If lawmakers approve the center’s $800,000 request, it will restore the program’s budget for now. But it won’t assure the Poison Center’s long-term future.” What would Mr. Yuk do?

A 30-year-old woman crashed her car into the former Twisted Fork restaurant on Grand Ave. in St. Paul on Saturday night. Alcohol suspected, reports the Pioneer Press’ Marino Eccher. This seems like as good a time as any to remind you that rides on all Metro Transit buses and trains are free on Tuesday. [WCCO]

The Glean

The buzzkills over at the DNR are in with the downside of this amazing weather we’ve been having lately: It probably means an earlier forest fire season. WCCO has the advice of Minnesota Interagency Fire Center coordinator Tom Fasteland: “Because the snow is disappearing quickly, we urge people to check fire conditions and burning regulations prior to doing any open burning and to use extra caution when burning.”

In other news…

The bikes are back. Nice Ride bikes to return to Twin Cities streets April 1 [City Pages]

Exploring the roots of animus toward former Timberwolf Christian Laettner (and Duke) [NPR]

An artsy sled race in Mankatothe Duct Tape Derby [Mankato Free Press, h/t Bob Collins]

Sad news in St. Paul“Charles Senkler, owner of Fabulous Fern’s, dies” [Pioneer Press]

If you haven’t gotten your free ice-cream cone yet, it’s not too late.