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50-story tower planned for TCF Bank site in downtown Minneapolis

Plus: lawmakers don’t reflect Minnesota’s diversity; USA Today discovers Stillwater; Bob Dylan was a hip-hop artist; and more.

The Glean

It’ll be a big one. Kristen Leigh Painter of the Strib says, “The owner of the TCF Bank Building plans to replace it with a new 50-story skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis. Franklin Street Properties, a Wakefield, Mass.-based real estate investment trust, revealed new details about the project in its third-quarter earnings report Tuesday. The group plans to co-develop the tower, which will include a full-service hotel, apartments and office space.” Just please, no flat tops.

I’m pretty sure there’s a maximum age cut off for Lumbersexualism. WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy says, “Minnesota-made products and Minnesota style are suddenly red hot. Red Wing boots are now being carried by national retailer J Crew. And Minnesota-made bags by companies like Duluth Pack are featured in high-end department stores in New York. This weekend, a pop-up store called Northern Grade, which features those and other Minnesota products, will return to Minneapolis. In the past year, Northern Grade has been a hit from Moscow to Washington, D.C.” And SPAM is everywhere.

The state is getting on the solar garden wagon. Says Dave Shaffer at the Strib, “The Dayton administration said Tuesday that it is seeking bids for electricity produced by large shared-solar projects with the aim of reducing power costs and the carbon footprint of the State Capitol complex and other government buildings across the state. Xcel Energy, the state’s largest utility, recently began allowing such projects, called community solar gardens, in Minnesota. Xcel customers now have the option to subscribe to a share of the electricity from a centrally located solar garden, rather than install their own rooftop solar panels.” Chateau Lambert is on board.

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A Special Place in Hell, Volume 52. Says Paul Walsh for the Strib, “With an open and nearly empty bottle of rum nearby, an unlicensed and drunken motorist was going at least 50 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone when his car ran a stop sign in an Inver Grove Heights neighborhood and fatally struck a nurse and mother of three in her minivan, according to charges filed Tuesday.”

Gee, I had never noticed. Tim Pugmire at MPR reminds us, “Many more people of color will need to win elections to the Legislature for it to look like the state at large. Right now, the Minnesota House and Senate don’t come close to matching the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s population. The current roster of 201 legislators includes 10 minority group members, less than 5 percent, representing a state where about 19 percent are people of color. There are theories but no absolute explanation for the lack of diversity in the state’s political class.” Well, look who they’d have to hang out with.

Corn, eh. From Clay Masters at Iowa Public Radio we learn this: “For decades, many presidential candidates campaigning in Iowa have made sure to offer their loud support for ethanol — the fuel made from corn. Ethanol is an important industry in Iowa. The state is the top producer of ethanol in the nation, accounting for 28 percent of national production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But this election cycle, ethanol is not the campaign force it once was.”  

Jewelry store heists just aren’t what they used to be. From KMSP-TV we have this:  “A Florida woman and a pair of Michigan women are accused of using fraudulent credit cards to purchase expensive diamonds and other jewelry at stores in Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. The string of thefts came to an end when employees at a Jared jewelry store in Burnsville, Minn. recognized the scheme and called police. The manager at Jared told police that corporate loss prevention had notified jewelry stores in the region that a woman was going state-to-state and making purchases with a fraudulent American Express card. When the scanned card was denied, the woman would provide a code from her phone to force a successful transaction.” 

Love a good lazy list. Amy Unrau in the Grand Forks Herald writes, “A Minnesota town is disputing a recent article that’s labeled them as lazy. According to, Detroit Lakes is the 7th laziest town in the state, but people there say they are anything but. … Some other local towns were on the list. Fergus Falls ranked 22nd and Moorhead came in at 110.”

Speaking of lists: Mary Divine of the PiPress writes, “The experts at USA Today Travel have figured out what Minnesotans have known for years: Stillwater is one of the most picturesque small towns in the country. A shot of Stillwater’s Main Street accompanies the article … . Other Upper Midwest communities singled out by the newspaper include Bayfield, Wis., Bellevue, Iowa, Rapid City, S.D., and Medora, N.D. Having national recognition like this from a key publication such as USA Today is ‘fantastic news’ for the Stillwater area’s tourism industry, said Christie Rosckes, marketing director for the Stillwater Convention and Visitors Bureau.” And Lumberjack Days are back!

Bob Dylan, hip-hop master. Proud millennial (I assume) Jay Boller at City Pages says, “Have there been think pieces about how Bob Dylan is ostensibly the first-ever rapper? The dude spits verses with rapper-like swagger and wordplay; put a trap beat under “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and see what happens. In August, when NPR played Highway 61 Revisited for millennials, I was sure one of them would say as much, but they opted for Cold War Kids comparisons instead. Ugh. Anyway, Boomers are objectively the worst, so we’ll let those kids skate.  Where were we? Ah, yes: Genius, the crowd-annotated lyrics website founded in 2009 with an emphasis on hip-hop. Since then, the site has exploded in popularity and scope, and yesterday it revealed a neat Bob Dylan project, the Evolution of a Song, to coincide with the November 6 release of the sprawling Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 box set.”