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Negotiations between Allina and nurses break down; strike planned for Sunday

PLUS: the return of the Rondo neighborhood?; U.S. Forest Service “deeply concerned” about potential mining near boundary waters; T-wolves look to trade for Jimmy Butler; Tim Hortons looks at opening in the Twin Cities; and more.

No progress. The AP says, “Negotiators have returned to the bargaining table [Monday] but report no progress in contract talks to avoid a strike by nearly 5,000 nurses at five hospitals in the Minneapolis area. Representatives from the Minnesota Nurses Association and Allina Health met Monday at the request of a federal mediator.”

But then, MPR’s Matt Sepic has this: “In a statement Monday, MNA said no further negotiating sessions are planned. The union said ‘nurses were told again by Allina negotiators that the elimination of the nurses’ health plans was the only thing to discuss.’ In its own statement, Allina said the union ‘is not serious about resolving the key issues in this discussion but is instead pushing for a strike that benefits no one.’”

The return of Rondo, maybe? Frederick Melo of the PiPress says, “The area in question runs more than 13 miles from U.S. 61 near downtown St. Paul to Minnesota 55 in North Minneapolis, west of the Lowry Tunnel. If that weren’t complicated enough, [Brian Isaacson, planner for the Minnesota Department of Transportation], is contemplating putting a lid on it. Not over all of the interstate, of course. It could be a short lid, a bit larger than the width of a bridge. Or it could run for blocks. … Firm plans are probably years away, if they come together at all. Isaacson has three potential study areas in mind, including the historic Rondo community in the Summit-University neighborhood of St. Paul, North Minneapolis and the Washington Avenue area in downtown Minneapolis. In each instance, the interstate effectively cleaves communities that could benefit from better cohesion. Some form of improved connection over the interstate could undo some of that damage.”

I’m pulling for this guy. But I don’t like his chances. Keri Blakinger of the New York Daily News says, “A Minnesota man is trying to pat down the TSA. Hooman Nikizad sued the agency for $506.85 after a 90-minute security line caused him to to miss his March 19 flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Los Angeles, according to court documents. … The unhappy flyer, who is suing mostly for the cost of his ticket, said he arrived at the airport about two hours before take-off, as recommended.” Only two hours! Silly man.

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And you think traffic is miserable now. At City Pages, Cory Zurowski says, “Minnesotans better get ready for company. About one million new residents are projected to land over the next 25 years. Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower’s job is to look into the future. ‘The demographic shift won’t be so much about numeric growth,’ she says. ‘What will really be a shift between now and 2030 and a bit later is our composition, who we are going forward and what that will mean.’ New Minnesotans will likely continue to be plucked from Iowa and surrounding states.” It’s not too late to build a wall … a lot of walls.

Celebrating “glacial” women. Melissa Kossick in the Grand Forks Herald says, “The remains of a prehistoric young woman were unearthed in 1931 during construction of a new road. Now U.S. Highway 59, the excavation site, is about a mile north of artist Marcella Rose’s studio in Pelican Rapids. The primeval woman is believed to have lived about 20,000 years ago and may represent the oldest archaeological discovery in North America. Inspired by the magnitude of the discovery, Rose has dedicated her artwork to her interpretation of the young woman. What began with a charcoal drawing progressed to a painting and culminated with a cast bronze sculpture. The 3½-foot creation is titled ‘Spirit Rising.’”

WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy asks the questions about the FBI’s handling of terror suspects. “The FBI’s open-then-closed investigation into Omar Mateen’s history raises the question: How many other home-grown terrorists are being investigated, and how many are still a threat that may have dropped off the radar? Mateen had been investigated by the FBI for 10 months starting in 2013 before the FBI had closed the case. The question is especially of concern here in Minnesota. In the past decade dozens of young Minnesota men have left or tried to leave to join the terror groups al-Shabab and more recently ISIS. … But voicing support for a terror group or contacting a terrorist as Mateen apparently did is not enough to get you arrested.” Or prevent you from buying a military rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammo.

Yes, please take another look. MPR’s Dan Kraker says, “Saying it is ‘deeply concerned’ by potential mining near the Boundary Waters, the U.S. Forest Service announced Monday it may withhold consent to renew two mining leases within the same watershed as the wilderness area. The Forest Service also said it’s concerned ‘by the inherent risks associated with potential copper, nickel and other sulfide mining operations within that watershed,’ including possible contamination from acid mine drainage and tailings basin failures. The agency further announced a 30-day public comment period ‘to better understand public views’ on the proposed renewal of the two leases, which are held by Twin Metals Minnesota.”

Actually, there’s no overt gloating in the conservative blog, Hot Air, in its story on Jesse Ventura’s appellate defeat. “The court vacated both verdicts, reversing the unjust-enrichment claim outright but remanding the defamation case back to the circuit court. It’s not necessarily all good news for Kyle, assuming that this opinion doesn’t get overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court. Their team wanted the defamation case tossed out with prejudice based on the failure of Ventura to prove actual malice and material falsity. The majority opinion avoids dealing with that issue, and the dissenting judge discusses it only briefly in a footnote to state that they don’t want to take sides on what was essentially a credibility contest between competing witnesses.” Or, you might say, a battle over whose credibility is the lesser.

So this must mean that Krispy Kremes will stage yet another comeback, too. For the Business Journal, Nick Halter says, “Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t the only coffee and doughnut shop expanding in Minnesota. Canada’s most popular chain, Tim Hortons, is also plotting an entrance into the Twin Cities. Tim Hortons’ parent company, Restaurant Brands International Inc., said it reached an agreement with Restaurant Development Partners Corp. (RDP) to own and operate restaurants and source ‘local entrepreneurs to develop restaurants.’” I guess trans fats are the new superfood.

The thinking seems to be, “sooner rather than later.” ESPN’s story, by Marc Stein and Chad Ford says, “The Minnesota Timberwolves are prepared to part with the No. 5 overall pick in this month’s draft, as the centerpiece of a trade package, if they can use it to construct a deal for Chicago Bulls star swingman Jimmy Butler, according to league sources. Sources told that the Wolves, in these early days of the Tom Thibodeau era, have made it known to the Bulls that they are strongly interested in dealing for Butler should Chicago elect to make him available. The Bulls are not believed to be actively looking to move their All-Star swingman ‎but have been listening to pitches for Butler … .”

Sad. Scott Theisen at KSTP-TV says, “Crews have recovered the body of a Wayzata teen who disappeared in a gorge Saturday at Temperance River State Park in northeastern Minnesota. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office identified the teen as 18-year-old Alec Paul Bertil Lawrenz earlier Monday. The chief deputy confirmed Monday afternoon that the teen’s body was recovered from the river. Lawrenz graduated from Benilde-St. Margaret’s.”

Correctional supervision with benefits. Says Tory Cooney n the PiPress, “A St. Paul woman is charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree for having a sexual relationship with a man under her supervision at the residential corrections facility where she worked. As a re-entry technician and shift supervisor at RS Eden, Karen Marie Watson, 28, was responsible for overseeing residents at the St. Paul community-based residential corrections and substance-abuse facility. However, Watson developed a sexual relationship with a 26-year-old man sent to RS Eden in early January to await sentencing in a federal court case, said the criminal complaint, filed Monday.”