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Dayton drops ditch demands

Plus: Minnesota fights homelessness among veterans; Andy Sturdevant on city rankings; study suggests marijuana not harmful to IQ; and more.

REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Buffers rebuffed. The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick writes, “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has ceded ground to farm interests, Republicans and some Democrats over a contentious aspect of his plan to require vegetative buffer strips to help protect water from agricultural runoff and erosion. … Privately owned drainage ditches are off the table, Dayton announced Friday morning following a meeting with Republican leaders Thursday. … The decision is a reversal of Dayton’s steadfast insistence that a law he signed last year covered private ditches in some instances. However, Republican leaders who supported the law have maintained that private ditches were never on the table, and the administration’s attempt to include them was out of line, if not illegal.”

Veteran homelessness may soon be a thing of the past in Minnesota. MPR’s Matt Sepic writes, “State officials say Minnesota is on track to find permanent addresses for all its homeless veterans this year. … A major data-collection effort that started in 2014 has been key to helping veterans, said Cathy ten Broeke, the state’s director to prevent and end homelessness. … She also credited the $35 million set aside for affordable housing in the 2012 bonding bill with helping many formerly homeless people.”

MinnPoster Andy Sturdevant lays down the harsh truth about all those top-ten lists we’re so fond of sharing. Sheila Regan’s story in City Pages begins: “It’s a question that seems to come up with greater frequency each year: How do our cities stack up when compared to other cities across the country? … ‘You will always come across these lists on the internet, the top 10 cities for living or recreation or for singles or live music or whatever else,’ says artist, writer, and Minneapolis personality Andy Sturdevant. ‘Nobody knows what the method for coming up with these things is, because usually it’s just a website where a bunch of freelance writers are sitting in a room and then they go, “Well, Seattle seems pretty good. And Minneapolis seems like it’s okay. Let’s put that as number two.” There’s not a lot of rigor behind it.’ ”

Maybe it’s the Funyuns. The Minnesota Daily’s Raj Chaduvula has the lowdown on a new study from the U: “ Dope doesn’t necessarily make you dopey, according to a University of Minnesota study published this month. … The eight-year study measured the IQs of twins — some of whom abstained from marijuana, while others reported using the drug — over time to determine how marijuana usage affected intelligence. Researchers concluded that measured drops in IQ were likely not directly caused by drug use but instead by common factors affecting both twins. … ‘It’s not the marijuana that is causing the decline,’ said Joshua Isen, a psychology postdoctoral research associate from the University of Minnesota who co-authored the study.”

In other news…

No opinion of new, no-artificial-ingredients Trix cereal, but this is one cute bunny: “General Mills Rebrands Trix To Promote Artificial Ingredients Removal” [Twin Cities Business]

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Better quack your spot early to get a view of this: “New Quack City: giant rubber duck headed for Duluth” [Minnesota Brown]

Free rides to the St. Paul Winter Carnival. [Metro Transit]

That’s a lot of cash:

Just another day in the Badger State: “Wisconsin police recover another load of stolen cheese” [AP]