Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Prince tribute concert set for Oct. 13 at Xcel Energy Center

Plus: Minnesota’s first American Indian supreme court justice sworn in; Wisconsin AG considers investigating leak of sealed documents; Dem poll shows dead heat in Bonoff-Paulsen race; and more.

REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh

The Prince show is a go. Says Jon Bream for the Strib, “Despite long delays in the planning, there will be an official Prince tribute concert on Oct. 13 after all. It just won’t be at U.S. Bank Stadium with all those purple seats. Instead, the concert featuring Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, John Mayer, Tori Kelly and others will be staged at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.”

Her honor. Stribber Ricardo Lopez says, “Anne K. McKeig took the state’s judicial oath Thursday, becoming the first American Indian jurist to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court after a swearing-in ceremony where friends and colleagues praised her wit, generosity and commitment to the welfare of children.”

Here’s an idea: Doorbusters every day and even Christmas morning. Kavita Kumar of the Strib reports on Target’s annual pep fest. “Standing before a roaring crowd of 14,000 of Target Corp.’s red-and-khaki faithful, CEO Brian Cornell couldn’t help but acknowledge some recent ‘bumps in the road’ at the company’s annual preholiday pep rally. … ‘We have 137 days in front of us to turn this into a winning year, to start that second-half rally,’ he said, standing on the same stage where he first proclaimed two years ago that Target needed to be cool again.” Nothing is cooler than red and khaki.

It’s called “trickle up.” Says John Myers for the Duluth News Tribune, “The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved a proposal to raise electric rates for homeowners and small businesses in Minnesota Power’s service area in order to lower rates for taconite plants and paper mills. The commission voted 3-2 for the rate shift which was ordered by the 2015 Minnesota Legislature to help reduce operating costs for Northeastern Minnesota’s largest industries, both hard-hit by foreign imports. The rate shift will raise most homeowner rates 10 percent and raise business rates between 1.8 and 5 percent to give 11 of the utility’s largest customers — all taconite plants and paper mills — a 5-percent rate reduction.”

Article continues after advertisement

Dang, this is good stuff. Across the border, Matthew DeFour of the Wisconsin State Journal, writes, “The [John Doe] documents reveal previously unknown donations to the group, such as $750,000 from Harold Simmons, the deceased billionaire owner of NL Industries, which produced lead used in paint before such paint was banned, given in three checks, two from a company Simmons’ owned, Contran Corp., in April and December 2011 and January 2012. He died in December 2013. The company stood to benefit from laws [Gov. Scott] Walker and the Republican Legislature passed in 2011 and 2013 that granted immunity to lead paint manufacturers from lawsuits seeking damages for lead poisoning.”

With juicy stuff like that floating around, someone has to be punished. So Molly Beck of the Journal reports, “Attorney General Brad Schimel is considering investigating the recent leak of sealed documents from the halted John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign. Schimel ‘is very concerned about the apparent violation of the secrecy orders issued by the court in this case, and is currently reviewing the available options to address the serious legal questions raised by the leak and publication of these sealed documents,’ Schimel’s spokesman Johnny Koremenos said in an email.”

At Roll Call, Simon Pathe says, “In the face of a narrowing presidential race and some Senate races looking better for Republicans, Democrats believe a suburban Minnesota district has swung strongly in their favor, representing the kind of dramatic shift they’d need to make serious gains in the House.  State Sen. Terri Bonoff leads GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen 40 percent to 38 percent in a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll of the North Star State’s 3rd District. Bonoff’s lead is well within the poll’s 5.2 percentage point margin of error. The DCCC’s Targeting and Analytics department surveyed 353 likely general election voters via live caller on Sept. 12. Twenty-two percent were undecided.”

Three weeks, 1,351 DWI arrests. FOX 9 adds, “More than 300 law enforcement agencies made 1,351 DWI arrests during the end of the summer extra enforcement campaign from Aug. 18 – Sept. 5. … According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, the Winona County Sheriff’s Office arrested a driver for a DWI who had his intoxicated brother as a passenger. Within the hour, the brother was arrested for a DWI while driving the same vehicle. In another case, Hutchinson Police arrested an individual who attempted to drive through a roundabout and got stuck.  Finally, police in Two Harbors arrested a driver for a DWI and for fleeing after striking a firetruck and squad car at a crash scene, and later striking two more squad cars during the pursuit.”

But these critters we can eat, right? An MPR story says, “The red swamp crayfish is more at home in Louisiana than northwest Minnesota. But state conservation officials say the invasive species has been discovered in a Clay County lake and might not be leaving anytime soon. Two of the creatures were found in Tilde Lake, northeast of Moorhead, Minn., the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Thursday. The agency suggested the creatures could be castoffs from a classroom aquarium or a crawfish boil.”

Also glutting the water … and definitely not edible. MPR’s Dan Kraker says, “Microscopic pieces of harmful tiny plastic are prevalent not just in the Great Lakes, but in many of the tributaries that feed into them, according to a new study published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Microplastics are tiny plastic fragments that wear off of synthetic clothing, fall off decomposing plastic bags and bottles, and are manufactured into some products. Previous studies have found microbeads, tiny plastic balls used in many personal care products like soaps and shampoos, in surprisingly high numbers in the Great Lakes.”

At MPR, Brian Bakst says, “Brad Sanford is a Republican running for an open Senate seat in the Twin Cities northern suburbs. He’s stressing the need for spending discipline in state government. But as the campaign reaches its apex, Sanford has other finances to worry about — his own. A judge ruled this month that Sanford owes more than $44,000 in back child support stemming from a 2009 divorce. The judgment is the culmination of a court battle in progress since the winter. … Sanford’s race is one Republicans are high on in their quest to win the Senate majority. Sanford, an insurance salesman and sometimes Uber driver, says his situation should not distract from a discussion of more important matters in the campaign.” They can’t all be silk stocking lawyers, y’know.