Tribute concert draws Prince fans from around the world

REUTERS/Craig Lassig
Chaka Khan performing during the tribute to Prince, at the Xcel Energy Center on Thursday night.

A big night at the X. “Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Anita Baker were among the performers honored Prince at a St. Paul concert,” reports KSTP-TV. “Tori Kelly and Doug E. Fresh also were part of Thursday night’s lineup at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Prince’s ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, was added to the concert, and Prince was represented by members of his inner circle, including Morris Day & The Time.”

But it wasn’t exactly the tightest of shows, says Star Tribune’s Jon Bream: “The Official Prince Tribute Concert Thursday night at sold-out Xcel Energy Center was a celebration of the Purple One, a chance to showcase the songs that he made famous. Instead, the overlong, 4½-hour all-star revue — with a cast of 84, unofficially — reminded us why we miss Prince so much. He was unstoppably dazzling in concert. The best in the business. … But seeing a parade of more than 15 acts interpreting Prince songs was either too much or too little.”

Back on the job. MPR’s Lorna Benson writes about Allina nurses approving a new contract: “Some nurses will return to work early Sunday, and they will all be returned to active status by then. ‘This contract represents compromise and strength by the nurses,’ nurses union executive director Rose Roach said in a statement. ‘While it’s nowhere near what nurses deserve, they can hold their heads high.’ Negotiators from the union and Allina reached a tentative agreement earlier this week after Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith convened them with federal mediators for talks at his residence. That deal was approved in the Thursday vote.”

Another day, another special session proposal: “On Thursday, the governor said one option might be a special session after Election Day,” reports WCCO’s Esme Murphy. “‘We are looking at what we can do in a special session that could provide immediate assistance to people who are burdened by these cost increases for next year,’ Dayton said. A solution, if there is one, needs to happen fast. Under MNsure, the open enrollment period is about to open and you need to be enrolled by Dec. 15.” Clarification: MNsure’s Kate Westlund clarifies the enrollment period: “Under MNsure, the open enrollment period starts Nov. 1. You need to enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage that starts Jan. 1.”

Bad DMV. From the AP: “A federal judge ordered Wisconsin transportation officials Thursday to immediately produce documents clearly explaining how people who lack a photo ID can obtain voting credentials… . Peterson’s order came in the wake of media reports showing Division of Motor Vehicles workers have been giving credential applicants inaccurate information about the process.”

Leaf-peepers, rejoice. MPR’s Nancy Yang writes: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Minnesota — about two-thirds of the state is in peak fall color form. For those in southern Minnesota, fret not. The lower third of the state is 50 to 75 percent turned but should reach peak season in the next week or so. You can track the progression of red, gold and orange across the state with the Department of Natural Resources’ interactive fall color finder map.”

Six months, huh? For the Star Tribune, Chris Serres has this: “Former Minnesota Vikings tight end Stu Voigt was sentenced Thursday in federal court to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for his role in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme, a sentence that was far less than what government prosecutors sought. U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz said Voigt, 68, betrayed the public’s trust in his role as board chairman of a Bloomington bank … .”

Transgender fight goes to court.  Also in the Strib, Beena Raghavendran writes: “A group of parents has sued the Virginia school district and federal education and justice departments, telling them to roll back the district policy that allows transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. … They added that the federal rule requiring schools to view gender identity as sex is unlawful.”

More beer. “A factory redevelopment could bring a microbrewery with a rooftop patio to what’s been dubbed the Northeast Brew District of Minneapolis,” Nick Halter reports in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal. “ Using local architect David Kelly, Barlow wants to renovate the building with a railroad theme since it’s so close to the tracks that run through the neighborhood.”

Expect a lot more of these kind of stories. For MPR, Dan Kraker has a story about the man behind the man who won the Nobel Prize in literature: “Bob Dylan’s literary roots may be as tangled as the Nobel Prize winner’s famously enigmatic lyrics, but at some point they invariably end up in the Hibbing High School classroom of B.J. Rolfzen. ‘Early in his career, [Rolfzen] had a student, named Robert Zimmerman, who sat in the front row, right in front of where he taught,’ said Aaron Brown, who teaches communications at Hibbing Community College and for 13 years co-chaired the Dylan Days festival in Hibbing. ‘He was this gentle man who loved poetry, and preached poetry almost like a religion.’”

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