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Des Moines Register looks at Minneapolis’ success as a bike-friendly city

Plus: State Fair considers adding major building; Minnesota DNR’s war on beavers; Michele Bachmann commiserates with Hillary Clinton; and more.

REUTERS/Eric Miller

We object to the “frozen Minneapolis” characterization, but otherwise this story in the Des Moines Register provides an interesting outsider’s take on Minneapolis’ success as a bike-friendly city. Timothy Meinch writes, “It’s no accident that Minneapolis, despite its frigid winters, has surged to the top of national rankings for urban biking and was the only U.S. city included last year on a global index of bike-friendly communities. Since 2000, the percentage of bike commuters here has jumped 170 percent, with an estimated 10,500 at the latest count in 2014. … Minneapolis’ bike-friendly reputation advanced on the saddle of key elected officials, grassroots advocates and critical investments that over the past decade helped transform it into a mecca for biking. And community leaders say their success can — and should — be replicated in cities such as Des Moines.” 

An even greater Great Minnesota Get-together? The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow reports on the fair’s governing board’s big plans: “The Great Minnesota Get Together is planning its next great act. … Minnesota State Fair officials are considering building an amphitheater to showcase performance arts or a climate-controlled venue that would promote the future of agriculture and could host major traveling exhibits. … Nothing is imminent, said State Fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette, but over the weekend the fair’s governing board shared its dreams for a new attraction and a spiffed up entrance on the north end of the fairgrounds during its annual meeting.”

Inside the Minnesota DNR’s war on beavers. The Duluth News Tribune’s Sam Cook reports from the front lines: “Every fall, residents in the Knife River valley northeast of Duluth see the helicopter. It flies low over their land. Some of them wonder why a helicopter would be flying so close to the ground and so slowly. They might wonder if it’s on some military mission, sniffing out potential trouble perhaps. … But that isn’t the case. … Inside the helicopter, along with a pilot, is a fisheries biologist looking for beaver dams. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conducts the flight one day each fall in the name of fisheries management on main branches of the Knife River on the North Shore.”

We haven’t listened to Huffington Post’s Candidate Confessional podcast featuring former Rep. Michele Bachmann yet, but we can hardly wait. Here’s a tidbit: “… Though she spoke out recently in defense of Donald Trump against charges of sexism, she also had an unexpectedly empathetic take on Clinton’s presidential campaign. Their politics are diametrically different — Bachmann, who left Congress in 2014, was one of the most controversial conservatives in the House — but they shared, as Bachman put it, the burden of being a woman running for office. … ‘I really do have great empathy for what Mrs. Clinton is going through, because the hill that she has to climb on — appearance — it’s just a different hill than men have to climb,’ Bachmann said. ‘I’m not whining about it. It’s just reality. It is what it is.’ ”

In other news…

Cold day for a protest: “Black Lives Matter planning to rally at Lake Street bridge Monday” [Pioneer Press]

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Uh oh: “Minnesotan among 12 Marines missing after helicopter crash” [Pioneer Press]

Here’s an article you can republish each winter: “No, Minneapolis doesn’t make money when it tows your car” [City Pages]

Go figure: “Mankato becomes destination for refugees” [AP via MPR]

Here’s Sen. Amy Klobuchar in what looks like a heated debate over proper pancake flipping technique. [Facebook]

It wouldn’t be winter in Minnesota without people shooting SuperSoakers outside in subzero temperatures. [WeatherNation on Facebook]