So no siege of Leningrad? MPR’s Elizabeth Dunbar reports, “North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Wednesday state officials will not set up road blocks or stop vehicles delivering supplies to the Oceti Sakowin protest camp, despite an emergency evacuation order telling people to leave. Dalrymple said blocking supplies of food and clothing would be a ‘huge mistake from a humanitarian’ perspective, and he said his executive order issued Monday was meant to warn people about risks to their safety.”
Martin Moylan at MPR says, “A federal judge next Thursday will consider millions of dollars more in payments to attorneys and other professionals working on the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The latest requests for fees and expenses total $4.5 million. If the requests are granted, that would bring the tab for legal and related professional service costs for the bankruptcy to about $12 million. The archdiocese is responsible not only for payment of its attorneys but also those representing creditors.”
Now if they could just get their hands around the necks of those “smug urban elites.” Don Davis of the Forum News Service writes, “ … the farm economy suffers from the lowest prices in some time on products like corn and soybeans. National steel issues have held down northeastern Minnesota’s economy, which relies in a large part on mining taconite to supply the steel industry. Infrastructure such as roads, water systems and sewage treatment plants need updating. However, it also is easy to find good rural news. The number of rural jobs is increasing, with many requiring advanced education, and thus paying good money. Many young people say they are interested in taking on community leadership roles, which could keep them in rural Minnesota instead of fleeing to urban areas. And the November election drew more attention to rural needs.”
Coach down. Says Matt Vensel in the Strib, “The Vikings announced Wednesday night that coach Mike Zimmer would undergo emergency eye surgery that could cause him to miss Thursday night’s game. The surgery, which was to take place late Wednesday night, was the third for the third-year head coach this month. The previous two were on Nov. 1 and Nov. 8. … According to a team source, Zimmer had been scheduled to undergo a third surgery on Friday.” Too many hours watching film of the offensive line is my guess.
Al Michaels will be calling tonight’s Vikings-Cowboys game. He’s been here a lot. Erik Brady of USA Today writes, “ … Michaels had never been to Minneapolis before that little-remembered game, but by now the Twin Cities are an old friend. Thursday will mark his fourth game in Minneapolis since Dec. 27, most for him in any NFL city during that span. He’s broadcast dozens of Twins and Vikings games over a storied career, including the 1987 World Series, plus a U.S. Olympic hockey exhibition game at the old Met Center before the 1988 Calgary Games and 1991’s U.S. National Figure Skating Championships at the Target Center.”
Imagine the crowd for this one. WCCO-TV’s story says, “‘Hello Again’! Neil Diamond is heading to the Twin Cities for his 50th Anniversary World Tour this spring. On Wednesday, Live Nation announced the iconic Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member will be playing at the Xcel Energy Center on May 24. Diamond’s anniversary tour begins on April 7 in Fresno, California and travels through cities that include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, and Tampa. International dates will be announced soon.” Maybe he’ll do a set at The Turf Club the night before.
This hasn’t been fixed yet? In the Duluth News Tribune, John Lundy reports, “Final approval for a legislative fix to help Minnesotans with estate claims against them because they were on Medical Assistance has gone into overtime. ‘I’m not hitting the panic button just yet,’ said state Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, a primary architect of legislation passed in the final minutes of this year’s session to end the state’s authority to enter claims against the estates of Minnesotans aged 55-64 who receive Medical Assistance. But the federal agency with ultimate authority is delaying action until getting more information from the state.”
Also in the News Tribune, this from John Myers: “A new public opinion poll appears to show strong support among northeastern Minnesota residents for proposed copper mining in the region. The poll, conducted Nov. 12-14 and paid for by Twin Metals Minnesota, found that nearly two-thirds of the 400 people surveyed support copper mining. Of those who answered, 65 percent said they strongly or somewhat support ‘building new copper-nickel mines in northeast Minnesota.’ Some 26 percent opposed or strongly opposed copper mining while 9 percent were undecided.” That dirty water thing is so 2075.
You wanted an explanation. Laura Yuen at MPR has one. “A federal judge’s order to reduce the prison sentence of a man who admitted to plotting to join the Islamic State in Syria raises new questions about whether outside influences pressured him against taking an earlier plea deal. In a dramatic twist, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Tuesday shaved five years off the sentence for 21-year-old Hamza Ahmed, one of nine Twin Cities men who learned their fates this month in the nation’s largest ISIS conspiracy case. … Davis’ surprise decision came after a heated and hastily called hearing Tuesday afternoon in which the judge accused Ahmed’s attorney of not providing him with important information prior to Ahmed’s sentencing. ‘I’m extremely angry,’ Davis said, pounding the bench with his fists. ‘I shouldn’t have given this individual 15 years, I should have given him 10 years. It’s your error, not mine.’”
Not what I’d call slick, but I don’t doubt some people fall for it. MPR’s John Enger says, “The callers say they’re Dish Network representatives. They offer a new receiver and better service — for free. All they need is a credit card number. The only problem is that it’s all fake, part of a new phone scam making the rounds in central Minnesota. Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen said he’s fielded a dozen complaints about the scam in the last few days.”
Short answer? Of course it does. The Strib editorial board asks, “Does partisan gridlock have to go this far?” “Tuesday’s spat between Gov. Mark Dayton and Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, over whether to continue to display six paintings of Civil War scenes — four in the Governor’s Reception Room, two in its anteroom — was a disheartening show. It was made worse by a sense that it may be a sign of things to come between the DFL governor and the new Republican majorities in the 2017 Legislature. Like so many partisan quarrels at the Capitol in recent years, Tuesday’s seemed as if it could be resolved with a simple compromise.” Compromise is for RINOs!