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Minneapolis moves forward on makeover for impound lot

Plus: Minnesota’s expensive housing market; patients weigh in on medical marijuana; Lafayette Bridge complete; and more.

Perhaps an espresso machine and fresh, warm croissants?  Says Eric Roper in the Strib, “That unexpected and expensive trek to the Minneapolis impound lot ranks among the most maddening experiences in a snowy city. Now city leaders want to make the visit more pleasant. A City Council panel on Tuesday advanced a long-awaited plan to upgrade dismal waiting facilities at the impound lot, where owners retrieve more than 32,000 cars each year. The plan would spiff up the waiting area for motorists who crowd the site after street sweeping and snow emergency towing. It also reduces its overall footprint as a compromise with neighbors. The $7 million overhaul would get underway in 2017, if approved.” $7 million is a lot more tow jobs.

In case you forgot why you’re moving to South Dakota, WCCO-TV reports, “A report released Tuesday from Coldwell Banker shows that our state ranks 4th in the nation when it comes to the average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house. It found that Orono was the most expensive market in Minnesota, with the average home there costing about $1.3 million dollars. Orono was the only city outside of California on the list of the top 10 most expensive housing markets in the country. It ranks 9th nationally.” What? Greenwich, Connecticut?

It’s a coach feud. Says Mark Craig in the Strib, “Jeff Fisher has a voice, too, and he used it to defend himself, his defensive coordinator and his team against the fury that was unleashed upon them following the hit that concussed Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday. The Rams coach took his strongest lash at Rodney Harrison, the NBC analyst and former Chargers and Patriots All-Pro safety. As for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s criticism, Fisher’s comments weren’t as biting, but they were wrapped in condescension and intentionally directed downward from the 57-year-old with 21 years as a head coach to the 59-year-old coach in his second season in that job. ‘A good a lesson to be learned from this is control your emotions immediately after the game and go back and look at the tape before you jump to conclusions,’ Fisher said.” That’s the problem. Everyone looked at the tape.

Wouldn’t the wiser move be to just legalize the stuff? Stribber Jennifer Brooks writes, “Thomas Shedd was one of more than 600 Minnesotans who enrolled in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program in its first months. The question now is whether the state will expand the fledgling program to potentially thousands more patients suffering the sort of intractable pain that does not respond to standard treatments. The decision will be up to Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger. An eight-member panel of health experts recommended against the idea, by a 5-3 margin, worried that opening the program would open up more opportunities for abuse and misuse of a drug that is still illegal at the federal level.”

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68,401 fewer jumping in front of your headlights. Says Sam Cook in the Duluth News Tribune, “According to preliminary totals, Minnesota’s firearms deer kill was up 8.2 percent from last year in Northeastern Minnesota (100-series units) after the first three days of the firearms deer season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday. The state’s firearms deer season opened Saturday and continues through Nov. 22 in Northeastern Minnesota. The majority of each fall’s deer harvest occurs during the first three or four days of the season, DNR officials say. Statewide, the preliminary firearms deer harvest for the opening weekend through Monday was 68,401, up 6.3 percent from last year.”

And the human toll is rising as well. The AP says, “Authorities say a second hunter was accidentally shot and wounded during the opening weekend of Minnesota’s firearms deer season. The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office says 58-year-old Dale Verner Fenrich of Litchfield was shot in the leg while deer hunting Sunday afternoon in central Minnesota. Authorities say Fenrich was flown to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis … .”

At MPR, Jon Collins covers the protest of workers demanding more from hard working job creators. “Fast-food workers and their supporters marched in Minneapolis Tuesday morning to demand higher wages, fair scheduling and safe workplaces. The efforts come just a month after city leaders stepped back from some provisions that would have required more benefits for workers. … Christina Cortez, a shift manager at the McDonald’s at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, said it’s taken nine years of work at the company for her to earn $11 an hour. With three daughters, Cortez said, it’s a struggle. No sick time, no holiday pay, no time-and-a-half for overtime makes it hard to miss a day of work, she said.” I hope she watched the GOP debate last night, to see just how her outrageous demands would cripple the economy.

Fresh, wholesome processed sugar. Mmmmm, mmmm good. At The, Laura Northrup writes, “If you follow current food trends, you know that Americans are losing interest in breakfast cereal, but can’t get enough protein. Cereal companies see those trends, and are ready to respond with new products to entice customers back to their aisle. For example, General Mills started a line called Cheerios Protein to supplement their classic Cheerios. The problem: while Cheerios Protein has more protein per serving, it also has a lot more sugar. The new cereal is denser than plain Cheerios. A serving of the “Oats & Honey” flavor of the new cereal is 1.25 cups, which comes in at 210 calories. One and a quarter cups of Cheerios, meanwhile, has 125 calories.” More sugar, more calories, more value. What’s the problem?

And in practically the blink of an eye, MPR’s Tim Nelson tells us, “When the Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi in 2007, it killed 13 people and injured scores more. But the Lafayette bridge, east of downtown St. Paul, was actually considered in worse shape at the time. The Hwy. 52 river crossing had suffered a 7-inch sag in 1975. Concrete was falling off it to the riverbank below. On Tuesday, after five construction seasons and more than $130 million, the Minnesota Department of Transportation officially declared the 3,200-foot bridge replacement finished.”

 Tom Olsen of the Duluth News Tribune reports, “An Iron Range woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to arranging the murder of her boyfriend, explaining in court that she came forward to police — even though she was not a suspect — because she could no longer live with the guilt. Janessa Lynn Peters, 21, of Eveleth, entered the plea to a second-degree intentional murder charge in State District Court in Virginia, less than three months after she voluntarily told police about her involvement in the April 2014 death of Harley Joseph Jacka. Peters admitted in court that she lured Jacka, her boyfriend of about two months, to a Virginia apartment, where she asked Bartholamy Jake Drift to ‘get rid of him.’ ‘Why did you want to have him killed?’ defense attorney Bruce Williams asked at the hearing. ‘Because I didn’t want to be with him anymore,’ Peters replied.” Which is a little better, I guess than, ‘because he never picked up his dirty socks.”

Here’s what John Hinderaker at Power Line had to say about last night’s debate:

6) Ted Cruz sounded a theme that every Republican should emphasize–illegal immigration, and ill-advised legal immigration, hurt workers’ wages. We don’t hear that enough. He had several very strong rounds.

7) John Kasich was even more annoying than usual tonight. Early on it seemed that he was trying to force himself into every colloquy. I’ve seen enough. Near the end, someone on Power Line Live said, ‘Someone tell Kasich his car is being towed’.

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8) Chris Christie is the one guy who wasn’t on the stage, and should have been.

9) The Benghazi movie commercial was one of the evening’s highlights. It looks like a good movie, and Hillary’s worst nightmare. I didn’t see anything in the trailer that looked much like a video protest.”

You just knew Hinderaker was a big Michael Bay fan.