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New lawsuit against Southwest light rail

Plus: U.S. Steel cutting more Iron Range jobs; VA hospitals not doing enough for female veterans; young-voter disaffection; Minneapolis scores low in traffic congestion; and more.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Council

Chug-a-chug-a, chug-a-chug-a, sue, sue! A group of Minnetonka residents is the latest to launch a legal challenge to the planned Green Line extension. The Star Tribune’s Kelly Smith explains, “The lawsuit was filed by the Opus Woods Conservation Association, a group of residents who live in the Claremont Apartments less than 100 feet from the proposed light rail line, which will go from downtown Minneapolis through St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. … In the lawsuit, the association claims that the Met Council violated federal environmental laws and the state’s municipal consent process for light rail projects by seeking approvals for the line before an additional environmental review was completed and made public.” 

More jobs lost to the iron ore glut. For the Duluth News Tribune, John Myers reports, “U.S. Steel on Tuesday announced it will ‘adjust operations’ at its Minntac taconite iron ore facility in Mountain Iron, and Iron Range lawmakers said 700 Steelworkers will be laid off. … U.S. Steel said the move was forced by an oversupply of iron ore and continued low demand for American-made steel — a problem made critical in recent weeks by the ongoing flood of foreign steel made with cheap foreign iron ore.”

VA hospitals are not doing enough to meet the medical needs of female veterans. That’s according to MPR’s Trisha Volpe, who notes, “More than 200,000 women nationwide — 30,000 in Minnesota — have served since 2001; 20 percent of the nation’s military recruits are female, according to a recent report from the group Disabled American Veterans that highlights growing concern the VA hasn’t adjusted fast enough to the needs of females, who are the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in VA health care.

A perennial question, raised this time by Secretary of State Steve Simon: Where are the young voters? The secretary was in St. Cloud in order to talk to St. Cloud State students and faculty about what might drive this problem, Kirsti Marohn reports in the St. Cloud Times: “He heard a range of opinions, from students who said Minnesota should allow ranked-choice voting like Minneapolis or put potential laws to a statewide referendum like California, to some who said negative campaigning has left young voters feeling disillusioned and distrustful.” So we just have to get rid of the negative campaigning. 

In other news …

Check your police department’s “clearance rate” with this new tool from NPR 

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Minneapolis is the 127th most congested major city in the world, according to the latest rankings from GPS firm TomTom.

Just another reason to stick to online, member-supported publications (cough, cough): “Minnesota AG sues subscription renewal firms, alleging fraud” [Star Tribune]

Hockey helmets don’t work [City Pages]

Wisconsin Republicans apparently trying to repeal weekends [The Cap Times]

AARP discount for this show? “Rolling Stones headed to Twin Cities for June 3 concert at TCF Bank Stadium” [Star Tribune]

Heyday’s Jim Christiansen named “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine [Kare 11]

“Man shoots would-be robber in foot in St. Paul” [Star Tribune]