St. Paul schools struggle to attract students to local schools

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun
St. Paul

Local schools a tough sell in St. Paul. In the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges writes, “Three years into a school-choice overhaul designed to steer students to schools closer to home, St. Paul has yet to embrace its local elementaries. … Some of the least-wanted St. Paul Public Schools options for incoming kindergarteners are community schools that used to be magnets. Once able to offer free busing to a wide area of the city, those schools now must rely on parents to buy into the notion that the best place for their child to learn is just down the street. … As for why more parents don’t consider local schools first, [St. Paul Public Schools parent Clayton] Howatt said the mind-set seems to be, ‘My kid is extra special, so I need to find the program and city that’s perfect for them.’

Friday night totally blew. For MPR, Tim Nelson and Jon Collins report, “High winds and heavy rain swept across central Minnesota and western Wisconsin Friday night. The National Weather Service reported straight-line winds as high as 70 mph. … The storms pushed over trees and knocked out power for as many as 250,000 Xcel Energy customers across the region. Power was still out on Monday morning for about 2,500 residences in the area, although Xcel spokesperson Patti Nystuen said power will likely be restored by noon. ‘Work has gone very well, and crews are still in the field and they will continue to work until the last customer is back in,’ Nystuen said.”

Think the Mall of America, only more so. “When the Mall of America begins to pull back the curtain next month on the biggest addition in its 23-year history, it won’t have a lot to show,” writes Kavita Kumar in the Star Tribune. “The $325 million expansion on the north side of the mall was initially expected to be completed in August. Instead, it will open in stages and much of it may not get filled until next year, well after the upcoming holiday shopping season. … Eventually, dozens of new restaurants and stores are expected to fill the 163,000 square feet of new retail space, joining the 520 shops already in one of the nation’s top tourist destinations. But the mall’s executives haven’t yet announced any of the new stores and are still in active negotiations with prospects.

The Vikings Stadium gravy train chugs along. In Finance & Commerce, Brian Johnson writes, “After testing the waters with other designers, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Friday approved a deal with Vikings stadium architect HKS to design the West Plaza for the $1.083 billion stadium under construction in Minneapolis. … Dallas-based HKS agreed to do the design — along with some additional work — for $400,000, which is half as much as it initially proposed before the MSFA opened the work up to other bidders in April. West Plaza design work was in limbo because there was some question whether it should have been covered as part of HKS’s base scope of work for the new 1.75 million-square-foot stadium. … But the MSFA said it agreed to sweeten its design services agreement with HKS by $400,000 to avoid a potential legal battle and to keep the project on track.”

In other news…

A timeless truth: “If you put a street sign up there that has 420 on it, the kids will steal it.” That’s according to Goodhue County Engineer Greg Isakson in a Post-Bulletin story about Goodhue County’s battle to protect the street signs for “420th Street.”

Today’s list: Route Fifty ranks the 50 states by… gravitas of their named-street location in Washington, D.C. Yeah, we don’t quite get it either, but Minnesota ranks somewhere near the middle of the pack.

IDS Center going green or greener, anyway. [MPR]

A march to remember slain Minneapolis artist and activist Susan Spiller. [WCCO]

How the inventor of Southdale came to hate shopping malls. [Quartz]

Nye’s doesn’t close till January, but the going-away party is next month. [The Journal]

Interesting:

RIP Code Savvy founder Rebecca Schatz

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