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Real ID requirements will go into effect in January 2018

Plus: Southwest light rail engineering begins; Ikea settlement involves payment to Minnesota family; 22 million pounds of plastic enter Great Lakes annually; and more.

Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services
An example of a Minnesota driver’s license, above, and an
enhanced ID, below.

So we’ve got a year. KSTP’s Josh Rosenthal reports: “You may have noticed new signs at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, saying ‘ID requirements are changing.’ … Here’s the deal: the Real ID Act passed in 2005. It established minimum security standards for state issued driver’s licenses. At this point, only nine states don’t have licenses that meet those standards, and Minnesota is one of them. Now, as the signs say, the Transportation Security Administration will start enforcing the regulations at airports come January of 2018.”

SWLRT inches forward. MPR’s Matt Sepic reports: “The Federal Transit Administration gave engineers the go-ahead Wednesday to finalize designs for the Southwest light rail project. … The 14.5-mile, $1.8 billion extension of the Green Line will connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. … Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck said getting approval to start engineering work is a major milestone, and the last step before securing federal funding. Duininck said he doesn’t expect the transition to the Trump administration to impede progress.”

Ikea’s big settlement. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh writes: “A Twin Cities family whose 22-month-old son was fatally pinned under a tipped-over Ikea dresser will share in a $50 million settlement from the European furniture retailer, the plaintiff’s attorney announced. … The Apple Valley family and two other families in the United States whose toddlers were killed, one in the Philadelphia area and another in Washington state, will evenly split the sum, which was reached Tuesday evening after two long days of private mediation before retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh.”

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Seems like kind of a lot. The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “A new study by Rochester Institute of Technology estimates that nearly 22 million pounds of plastics enter the Great Lakes every year. … Scientists at the university worked to track and inventory where and how much plastic enters the lakes and where it goes then, with their results now published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.”

In other news…

The robot cars are going to know where you sleep: “Senator Al Franken asks Uber for more clarity on new location data sharing” [TechCrunch]

End of an era: “Mall of America’s movie theater to close; entertainment venue planned” [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

Attention Cheerios watchers: “Everything We Know About the Latest Addition to the Cheerios Family” [TheStreet]

Day brightener: “St. Paul street named for philanthropist with great immigrant life story” [Pioneer Press]