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Minnesota soccer team to play in MLS in 2017 — under a new name

Plus: St. Paul teachers hold demonstrations around contract negotiations; Rep. Tim Kelly won’t seek re-election; controversial St. Joseph billboard to be removed; and more.

Minnesota United fans
Courtesy of Minnesota United FC

What were they uniting, anyway? Sports Illustrated’s Brian Straus has good news and bad news for Minnesota soccer fans: “It’s looking increasingly likely that Minnesota United FC will enter MLS in 2017, and it’s looking increasingly likely that it will do so with a new name. …United was extended an MLS invitation in March 2015 and it spent the next seven months working on securing a site for a new privately-financed stadium, which will be constructed on the west side of St. Paul. It’s scheduled to be ready in 2018. But the club (soon to enter its sixth NASL season) and MLS don’t want to wait that long, according to multiple sources, necessitating a temporary venue. reported in September that the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium and the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field were the best options and Northern Pitch claimed last week that United was leaning toward the former. A source has since confirmed that report to”

A strike may be on the table for St. Paul teachers. The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges reports, “St. Paul Public Schools teachers, staff and supporters held ‘walk-in’ demonstrations before school Wednesday to call attention to their dissatisfaction with contract negotiations. …Demonstrators wore red and stood outside more than 50 schools holding signs that began St. ‘Paul Students Can’t Wait for,’ followed by a variety of hand-written contract demands. … Without ‘significant movement,’ union leaders said, the negotiating team likely will ask the union’s executive board to authorize a strike vote.”

A prominent retirement from the Minnesota Legislature. MPR’s Brian Bakst reports: “Minnesota House Transportation Committee chair Tim Kelly announced Wednesday that he’ll leave after his fourth term expires this year. … Kelly, of Red Wing, will be front and center during the upcoming debate over a long-term transportation funding plan. Talks over a deal stalled in 2015, but Kelly and his Democratic Senate counterpart are expressing confidence in getting something done this election-year session. … Kelly was also in the news last summer after being cited by a suburban parks patrolman who encountered the lawmaker with a fellow GOP legislator. Both lawmakers insisted they did nothing wrong but opted not to challenge the citation in court.”

You expect this kind of thing in your Facebook feed, but on a billboard? The St. Cloud Times’ Stephanie Dickrell reports: “A billboard will likely come down in St. Joseph Township after an organization says it includes inaccurate information regarding refugee resettlement. … Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud asked Franklin Outdoor Advertising on Tuesday to take down a billboard that reads: ‘Catholic Charities Resettles Islamists: EVIL or INSANITY?’ ”

In other news…

Good luck, Duluth: “Duluth braces for emerald ash borer infestation” [Duluth News Tribune]

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This is going to cost some people a lot of money: “MN Supreme Court deals financial blow to part-year residents” [MPR]

Here’s former Minneapolis Fed chief Narayana Kocherlakota’s take on current Minneapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari’s policy speech yesterday.

The Prairie Island Nuclear Plant may close down early. [Rochester Post Bulletin]

James Beard award nominations are out; here are your Minnesotans. [Star Tribune]

Dalai Lama speaking in Minneapolis on Sunday. [KSTP]

Minnesota winter: the film. [City Pages]

If you enjoyed Heavy Table’s exhaustive food tour of Minneapolis’ Central Avenue, you won’t want to miss the newly launched Green Line Checklist.