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Green Party presidential candidate Stein campaigns in Minnesota

Plus: Klobuchar pushes mandatory national prescription monitoring program; St. Louis Park has a shoveling controversy; MLS expected to announce Minnesota team will start play in 2017; and more.

Jill Stein
Jill 2016

Still have your Ralph Nader button? Rachel Stassen-Berger of the PiPress reports, “Jill Stein brought her ambitious, sweeping campaign for president to Minnesota on Tuesday, hoping to offer herself as an alternative for ‘distraught’ Bernie Sanders supporters, indebted students and voters who want to back a ‘peace offensive’ in the Middle East. ‘I would maintain that voting for what’s throwing you under the bus is a wasted vote,’ Stein said at Minneapolis’ First Universalist Church. ‘The American people are really owed a real voice here.’”

The Senator has a plan. Says Jeremy Olson in the Strib, “Doctors should be required to check a national registry before prescribing opioid medications if the United States is going to stop rising rates of painkiller abuse and fatal overdoses, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Tuesday. The Minnesota Democrat spoke at the Hazelden Betty Ford treatment center in St. Paul to generate support for her bill to create a mandatory national prescription monitoring program. Minnesota is among the states where doctors can voluntarily participate in an opioid registry… .”

Well, this didn’t take long. In a response to John Hinderaker’s doom and gloom assessment of the state’s economy (based on a study by the conservative Center of the American Experiment), Stephanie Fenner of the North Star Policy Institute writes, “First, it’s dangerous to make simplistic correlations between a state’s economic performance and fiscal policies, given the large number of factors that drive a state’s economy; however, to the extent that conservative interest groups like the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) insist on blaming fiscal policy for mediocre economic outcomes, they must accept that their policies dominated the majority of the last 15 years in Minnesota.” Tim who?

Then there’s this in Business News Daily. Says Adam C. Uzialko, “Minnesota’s economy is the 17th largest in the nation and its rate of growth remains notably stable. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, Minnesota’s real gross domestic product has grown every year since 2010, and in the past three years the state has averaged 2.5 percent growth, compared to the national average of 2.17 percent. While modest compared with the economic growth of the late ’90s and early aughts, Minnesota’s pace of economic growth now is healthy and encouraging.” But don’t let that stop you from moving to Chamberlain, S.D.

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You may have heard that the coming winter will be … cold. Or, according to The Farmer’s Almanac, colder than normal. Which might mean colder than the last two warm ones. Or … oh, never mind. Paul Walsh and Karen Zamora of the Strib say, “In its 200th anniversary edition unveiled Monday, the Farmers’ Almanac said a deep freeze will grip the Northern Plains, the Great Lakes, the Midwest, the Ohio Valley, the mid-Atlantic and New England. For a warm winter, head west, said the folksy, Maine-based publication. A local meteorologist was quick to call the almanac a curiosity that lacks ‘scientific validity.’ Meteorologist Paul Douglas said the almanac never releases a formula for its forecasts. Predicting a specific forecast months in advance is more of a horoscope, he said.” But, hey! Limited road construction!

Speaking of … Josh Rosenthal at KSTP-TV says, “During the 2016 construction season, MnDOT set out to work on 246 different projects across the state, and  [Minnesota Department of Transportation Spokesperson Kent Barnard] said, ‘all in all this year it’s been pretty good for us’. Weather — especially flooding — has caused a few issues, he explained, but he said MnDOT is still expecting to finish the roadwork on time. He said they’ve made major progress on some of the larger sites, like the I-694 reconstruction in Arden Hills, pavement repair on I-494 in Plymouth, and a massive bridge upgrade along I-94 in St. Paul. Then there’s another major project well under way: extending Highway 610 in Maple Grove, right on top of County Road 81. Barnard called it one of the larger, more disruptive projects being worked on right now, although he said it would be worth the wait for drivers.” And the wait, and the wait, and the … .

Speaking of snow, Stribber John Reinan listened to some quality complainin’ in St. Louis Park, “… as a group of residents gathered at City Hall demanding that the city plow their sidewalks. The city’s reply: Shovel it. …Like many cities in the metro area, St. Louis Park plows certain key sidewalks, mostly along major roads and around schools, parks and other public places. … or about 45 percent of the city’s total. The people waving shovels this week live in the other 55 percent.” We here in Edina will gladly hire out our shovel butlers.

Thank god! A real vacation destination! Matthew Liedke of the Forum News Service informs us, “The games are on and the slot machine handles are ready to be pulled at Shooting Star Casinos’ newest location near Bagley. The 21,400 square-foot building opens its doors to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday, offering more than 170 slot machines and a new dining option with an attached bar and grill.” No word on tickets for the Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band.

We are on the verge of finally being major league. The ESPN story says, “Minnesota United FC will make several announcements about the club’s future at an event on Friday, the club and Major League Soccer confirmed. MLS commissioner Don Garber is scheduled to speak in St. Paul, along with club owner Bill McGuire and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Garber has previously said he hoped that Minnesota, which currently plays in the NASL, could move to MLS in 2017, along with fellow expansion franchise Atlanta United.”

A year sounds like too little. Another Paul Walsh item in the Strib says, “A Bemidji man who drunkenly crashed his pickup truck on a northern Minnesota highway late at night on St. Patrick’s Day and then tried to pin the crash on his dead passenger in the ditch along the highway will spend a year in jail. … ”

And how often does this happen? The AP says, “The Mississippi secretary of state says investment firm Morgan Stanley will return up to $4.2 million to partially reimburse customers who had ‘inordinate losses’ because a portfolio manager allegedly used high-risk investments for people who hadn’t agreed to them. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says the firm agreed to resolve an investigation by the securities division of his office. … He says 194 accounts were in Mississippi and 25 in Louisiana. Others were in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.”

Fine dining alert. Jess Fleming in the PiPress says, “On the banks of the Mississippi River just outside downtown St. Paul, a big, beautiful park pavilion called City House has recently been given some new life. Red River Kitchen, a food truck owned by the people behind Republic restaurant in Minneapolis, has parked at the former grain elevator and flour mill permanently — or at least as long as weather permits. Chef J.D. Fratzke of Strip Club Meat and Fish has lent the team a hand in creating and executing the menu, which consists of tacos, sandwiches, salads and bowls. There are also beer and cocktails available. The team signed a lease with the city for the space, at 258 Mill St., which they will occupy until October.” So it’s back to Subway through the winter?