Uh, oh. Never mind the State Fair. Now you’re talking about messing with the grandest function on earth. Andy Rathbun of the PiPress says, “Black Lives Matter St. Paul is planning a ‘Shut Down Action’ along the light-rail line in St. Paul before the Minnesota Vikings home opener in Minneapolis on Sunday. The group announced on Facebook Thursday that it plans to interrupt light-rail service at a gathering beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the TCF Bank location at Lexington Parkway and University Avenue.”
In the Strib, Libor Jany writes, “The so-called #BlackRail protest will begin about 9:30 a.m. near the Lexington Parkway light-rail station on the Green Line, where Metro Transit officers tried to arrest Marcus Abrams on Sept. 2. Abrams had been standing on the light-rail tracks and didn’t hear officers’ orders when they approached him because he was wearing headphones, his mother said after the incident. … The group stated it chose Sunday to protest because it’s the Vikings’ home opener — a ‘big money day, so what better day to shut the light rail down and disrupt business as usual.’” I’m not sure, but I believe the NFL has the wherewithal to summon down bolts of searing lightning in cases like this.
Growth up north. And not just trees, beards and waistlines. Says John Enger for MPR, “Earlier this week, researchers at St. Cloud State University released a study showing increased economic growth across most of Minnesota. It’s a hopeful look at the state’s business climate, especially given the sluggish end of 2014 and low commodity prices. Even better, the numbers suggest Minnesota is poised for another six months of growth. … Northwest Minnesota rocks. While most of the state saw economic improvements in recent months, [King] Banaian said northwest Minnesota showed the largest growth. More than 600 new businesses popped up from April through June in the region, which includes Moorhead, East Grand Forks and Bemidji.”
Hmmmm. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik reports, “North Memorial Health Care violated federal law when it withdrew a job offer after the applicant sought a religious accommodation, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in a lawsuit. The EEOC said the Robbinsdale-based hospital offered Emily Sure-Ondara a position as a registered nurse. Sure-Ondara, a Seventh-Day Adventist, then requested she not be scheduled to work from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday in accord with her religious practices.” How much you bet Mike Huckabee will be here by the weekend?
I’m smelling that Super Bowl championship. Rachel Slavik of WCCO-TV says, “This time next year, the Minnesota Vikings will be playing their first game in the new U.S. Bank Stadium. Crews hit a milestone Thursday in the construction effort. The Vikings celebrated the ‘topping out’ of the building, marking the point when the highest or last steel beam is put into place. Twenty-one months in and little has slowed the construction on the new Vikings Stadium.”
Wonder if he will he ever campaign against “career politicians”? For KMSP-TV, Lindsay LaBelle writes, “Lakeville’s 30-year-old mayor has elected to forgo running for a third term. Instead, he’s running for the Minnesota Senate. [Matt] Little spent two years on the Lakeville City Council before becoming mayor in 2012 as a second-year law student at the University of Minnesota. Little won 12,175 votes, 44 percent of the 27,700 ballots cast. At 27, he became the youngest of the nine mayors Lakeville has had since it was formed in 1967.”
Well, the weather’s been great and the bugs weren’t quite as bad as the sci-fi levels of 2014. The Forum News Service says, “A post-Labor Day report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shows a trend is continuing for significant increases in visitation and camping at state parks. Through Sept. 7, one-day permits in 2015 are up 16 percent over the same time period in 2014, and sales of year-round permits are up 12 percent. Overnight stays also are up by 9 percent compared with last year. These results continue the trend of steady increases over the past several years.”
A “slow steady pace,” they say. In the Strib Adam Belz writes, “Minnesota’s job market posted solid gains in August, making up July losses and setting the state economy on track to roll into 2016 at a slow, steady pace. ‘I think our trajectory is flattening out,’ said Steve Hine, the labor market analyst at the state. Minnesota employers added 7,300 jobs in August. The increase announced Thursday, combined with July figures that were revised upward by 2,800 jobs, brought job gains in the state to 38,037 in the past 12 months … .”
Tack on another couple bucks for your midday espresso and salad. The PiPress’ Tad Vezner tells us, “It’s looking as if one group of people will be hitting St. Paul’s popular Grand Avenue shopping district with a lot more frequency: meter enforcers. During a presentation Wednesday by St. Paul public works director Kathy Lantry to city council members, Lantry made clear the city has singled out Grand Avenue as the subject of its new ‘neighborhood commercial district’ pilot parking program. The proposed area, between Dale Street and Ayd Mill Road, is expected to bring the city about $400,000 annually.”
Walker DeathWatch: Newsflash, it was CNN’s fault. In Politico, Eliza Collins says, “Scott Walker’s campaign is furious with what they say is CNN’s agenda-driven coverage of the Wisconsin governor. … His campaign nonetheless released a series of statements praising his performance as leading the debate conversation. ‘He delivered a flawless performance, winning the debate by aggressively outlining his plans to wreak havoc on the status quo in Washington and reminding people of his unmatched record of leadership and achievement in Wisconsin,’ Campaign Manager Rick Wiley said in a statement Thursday night. ‘He put Donald Trump in his place early on, and the billionaire never recovered.’” Which is kind of ironic when you think about it, since it is billionaires who have kept him in the places he’s had up until now.