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Dayton faints at political event in Woodbury

Plus: remembering when winter was really winter; Minnesota Book Award finalists announced; historic St. Paul church for sale; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost photo by James NordGov. Mark Dayton

In the Pioneer Press, David Montgomery has the details: “Dayton fainted around 5 p.m. Sunday while speaking at a political event, a recognition of volunteers for state Rep. JoAnn Ward, DFL-Woodbury. He left the event but was taken by ambulance to the hospital after feeling light-headed again. A statement from the governor’s office said the governor is awake, resting comfortably and ‘joking with family, doctors and staff.’”

A good year for deals. Neal St. Anthony and Patrick Kennedy of the Strib report, “About 375 public and private Minnesota companies acquired or sold a business, in what was the busiest year for corporate transactions since the Great Recession of 2008-09. The 2015 total transaction value for Minnesota was $65.7 billion, down slightly from $72.2 billion the year before. 2014 was bolstered by Medtronic’s $49.9 billion stock-and-cash acquisition of surgical-supply maker Covidien PLC.”

If want you to remember fondly when winter was really winterMarino Eccher of the Pioneer Press says, “It’s going to dip to around 16 degrees in St. Paul and Minneapolis on Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service. Two decades ago in St. Louis County, they would have considered that a tropical paradise. Feb. 2 marks the 20th anniversary of the coldest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota — a Hoth-like 60 degrees below zero. … Things weren’t so hot in the Twin Cities, either, with a temperature of 32 degrees below zero at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport — just a few degrees off the coldest day on record in the metro (minus 34 in January 1936).”

Says David Peterson for the Strib, “Minnesota cities are hitting the spending pedal after years of recessionary caution, a new report shows. Among the bigger municipalities, capital spending — expenditures on long-term assets such as buildings, roads, parks and the like — leapt in 2014 by $200 million, to $1.2 billion, after remaining level for several years, according to the state auditor’s latest update on local finance. ‘A lot of infrastructure is aging and in need of repair and maintenance, and that is a big driving force,’ said Gary Carlson, director of intergovernmental relations for the League of Minnesota Cities.” Often that’s called “waste.” Especially in election years.

Bet you don’t have a selfie with Chelsea. In the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger says, “Chelsea Clinton, former first daughter, will campaign in Minnesota on Wednesday to help her mother’s bid for the White House. ‘Clinton will attend organizing events in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to talk to caucus-goers about how her mother will make a difference for families as president and what is at stake in this election,’ Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton campaign’s said.”

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An anti-“foreign law” bill would be dog whistle for what, exactly? Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie continues to follow the tale four prominent state Republicans and their concern with Sharia law … in Minnesota. “After a week in which state senator David Brown, R-Becker, was rebuked for speaking about SF1264 at an event described as anti-Muslim, four Minnesota House Republicans introduced HF2489 on Friday … . We’ve put together a side-by-side comparison of the language in the two bills. Download the comparison here. The two bills aren’t paired as companion bills, but they’re fairly close in language. State representative Mark Anderson, R-Lake Shore, is the author of the new house bill; Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, and Cindy Pugh, R-Chanhassen, are co-authors.” 

Maybe 007 can pull this off, but not this dude. Says Will Ashenmacher of the PiPress, “A driver survived an estimated 30-foot fall early Saturday after he tried to flee police and jumped onto westbound Interstate 94 in St. Paul. … The man left his vehicle and jumped off I-35E onto I-94 below. Ernster said early indications were that the man was trying to flee the officer, not attempting to harm himself. The man was arrested and was hospitalized with broken legs and a broken back. His identity has not been released.”

Ok, how about this guy? Stribber Alejandra Matos says Minneapolis schools have a new name to kick around. “A new name has emerged in the search for Minneapolis’ next superintendent: Michael Thomas. In board meetings, Facebook forums and e-mails to the board, some community members say Thomas, a Minneapolis School District administrator, has the passion and experience to lead one of the state’s most troubled school districts.”

The Minnesota Book Award finalists have been named, reports MPR’s Tracy Mumford: “Authors and artists living in Minnesota are eligible for the award. The finalists were selected by a group of 24 writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers and others from the literary community.”

If I turn it into luxury condos, will it still be tax exempt? In the PiPress, Richard Chin says, “For sale: A 103-year-old church on St. Paul’s most prestigious street, designed by the same architect who created the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary. Asking price is $1.69 million, reduced from $1.79 million. Great acoustics. Worship home of former governors. Stained glass, pews and organ come with the building. Also included is a body buried underneath the altar. St. Paul’s on the Hill, a historic Episcopal church, is looking for a new owner.”

The new President of the Center of the American Experiment, John Hinderaker, explains his goals in a post at Power Line. “Many Minnesotans overestimate how well the state is doing economically. This causes them to be indifferent to, or skeptical of, calls for reform in Minnesota’s public policies. It isn’t just Minnesotans, either: the idea that Minnesota proves blue states can still work has become a common theme on the left. In particular, President Obama and others have compared Minnesota’s economy favorably with Wisconsin’s as a way of discrediting Governor Scott Walker. Here in Minnesota, we hear a great deal of happy talk about our economy in the state’s media.” Note to media. Ignore that happy stuff.