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Wedge and Linden Hills co-ops will merge; Eastside goes it alone

Plus: Iron Range close to securing wood-siding factory; Council Member Frey unconcerned about potential downtown Macy’s closure; Minnesota nine-year-old is important Tibetan spiritual leader; and more.

Two out of three ain’t bad. The Star Tribune’s Rick Nelson reports: “The votes have been tallied, and the electorate has spoken. … No, not in the presidential race. This is the Great 2016 Co-op Merger referendum. … In June, the boards of three Minneapolis natural foods co-ops — the Wedge Community Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op and Eastside Food Co-op — proposed to their member owners that the three enterprises consolidate their operations. … Voting began in September and closed Thursday. The result: Wedge and Linden Hills will consolidate, and Eastside will remain independent.

This wood help the economy up there. MPR’s Dan Kraker reports: “A company has taken another step toward building a potential wood siding plant on the Iron Range, but is also tempering expectations about the number of jobs the facility may create. … State lawmakers passed a package of incentives earlier this year to lure the Louisiana Pacific plant. An Iron Range state economic development agency then approved spending some $30 million to upgrade a site in Hoyt Lakes, Minn.”

In which a member of the Minneapolis city council argues the closing of the downtown Macy’s wouldn’t be a big deal. The Star Tribune has Jacob Frey’s op-ed: “While nostalgia is strong for an era of beautiful department stores with massive square footage brought to life by Dayton’s and carried on by Marshall Fields and Macy’s, that era is dying. …Rather than cling, white-knuckled, to Bruce Dayton’s big vision, which served as a mainstay on Nicollet Mall for generations, we should embrace the future of brick and mortar retail. … And that future, notwithstanding online shopping habits and our quickly transforming downtown, is bright.”

Minnesotans of note. For PBS Newshour, Fred de Sam Lazaro reports: “They are chants more likely heard in a Himalayan monastery than a working-class Minneapolis suburb. … But it’s here in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, that 9-year-old Jalue Dorje begins the day in a routine of Tibetan Buddhist mantras, coached by his father. … Jalue Dorje has been recognized as a reincarnation of Takshem Karma Yongdu Choekyi Nima, an eminent senior lama, or spiritual leader, who died nine years ago. He would be the eighth reincarnation of the first Takshem lama, who lived in the 16th century.” 

In other news…

Not OK: “Sex assault reports up at SCSU” [St. Cloud Times]

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Bad if true: “Minn. Man Files Lawsuit Claiming Erectile Dysfunction Drug Gave Him Cancer” [KSTP]

Well, beets working: “ND high school basketball coach charged with beet theft” [Inforum]

Proceeds supporting Central High Foundation and Castile scholarship fund: “Comedian Joe Mande returns home to support Philando Castile (and the Timberwolves) ” [Pioneer Press]

Or maybe he’s just a jerk:

The other Minneapolis: “Minneapolis mayor defends himself against recall effort” [Salina Journal]

Will we ever know the truth? “Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer refutes reports about slaughtering stuffed animals” [ESPN]

To our Chanhassen readers: Happy Paisley Park Day! “Mayor Declares ‘Paisley Park Day’ as Prince Museum Reopens” [KSTP]