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Two light rail fatalities in two days

Plus: climate “expert” well paid for his views; judge calls murderer a “terrible person”; Don Ness to say farewell with concert; and more.

MinnPost photo by Bill Kelley

Two train deaths in two days. On Thursday, the Pioneer Press reported on a pedestrian killed by a Green Line train: “A woman was struck and killed by a Green Line train Thursday morning near University and Hamline avenues in St. Paul, less than a week after another train-pedestrian accident on the line. … Thursday’s collision happened just after 11 a.m. at a pedestrian crossing at Albert Street, just west of the Hamline Avenue Station platform, according to Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla. … The woman was running south across the tracks when an eastbound train hit her.”’

Then, on the Blue Line Friday morning, MPR’s Jon Collins and Tim Nelson report: “For the second day in a row, a person was hit and killed by a light rail train in the Twin Cities. … A male bicyclist going south was struck by a southbound train about 6:30 a.m. Friday at 46th Street and Hiawatha Avenue on the Blue Line in Minneapolis, said Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla. … The victim was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He will be identified by the medical examiner.”

Hey, who wouldn’t want the best science money can buy? In City Pages, Susan Du writes, “Prominent climate change denier Will Happer, a retired Princeton professor who recently testified in Minnesota about the benefits of coal, charges oil and gas companies for scientific reports at a rate of $250/hour of work. Then he promises to keep their patronage under wraps. … This August, Happer came to St. Paul to testify at a Public Utilities Commission hearing about the environmental costs of carbon. Happer’s job was to provide a rebuttal to renewable energies, which he did by expounding on the virtues of CO2. … Happer’s scientific services were bought by Peadbody Energy, the biggest private coal producer in the world. His total fee for the Minnesota testimony was $8,000, though Happer insists that none of it ever went into his personal account.”

Tell us how you really feel. In the Pioneer Press, Elizabeth Mohr writes, “Before he sentenced Norman Bachman to more than 13 years in prison for killing and dismembering his wife more than 18 years ago, Ramsey County District Judge Salvador Rosas told him, ‘You are a terrible person.’ … The judge said he wouldn’t have agreed to the plea deal, but understood why the prosecution and the family agreed to it. … He also said he believed Bachman had not been entirely truthful in his confession of the crime and location of Toni Bachman’s body, which has not been found.”

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Don Ness going out in style. The Duluth News Tribune’s Christa Lawler has the details: “Duluth Mayor Don Ness is marking the end of two terms in office with his final public address and a free concert event featuring a mix of musicians with local ties — and everyone is invited. The event, ‘Thank You Duluth,’ will be held from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Symphony Hall at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and will include music by Dave Simonett of Trampled By Turtles, Alan Sparhawk and Gaelynn Lea of The Murder of Crows, Sarah Lawrence of Lyric Opera of the North and singer-songwriters Sara Thomsen, Sarah Krueger, Jerree Small and Charlie Parr.”

In other news…

Add to list of Donald Trump’s lifetime accomplishments: Banned from St. Paul. [KSTP]

Moving backwards here: “Park board pushes alcohol ban at city parks” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

CSB/SJU students talk about their experiences at the climate change conference in Paris. [St. Cloud Times]

While we’re at it, can we stop calling them hoverboards? They. Don’t. Hover. “Delta and other MSP Airport airlines ban hoverboards from planes” [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

Here’s Lizzo on Colbert. [CBS]