Ticket prices for Minnesota State Fair going up

Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota State Fair

Has it ever decreased? A Paul Walsh story in the Star Tribune tells us: “Admission to the 2017 Minnesota State Fair is being bumped up by a dollar, officials announced Sunday. … State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer cited rising costs in fair production, guest services and facilities upkeep for the increase.” Just don’t raise the price of those deep-fried, sugar-coated, chocolate-drizzled lard cakes.

What’s the line, “90 percent of life is showing up”? Another Walsh story in the Strib says, “With barely a day to spare, a southern Minnesota woman showed up at the state’s lottery headquarters in Roseville and claimed her $50,000 prize. … Debra Newman, of Austin, had the good fortune to arrive Thursday to cash in the Powerball ticket, which she bought on Jan. 13, 2016. Its value would have plummeted to $0.00 if she had arrived after 5 p.m. on Friday the 13th.”

Well, there’s plenty of comedy material. Says the Strib’s Allison Sherry of Al Franken in the Age of Trump, “Sen. Al Franken’s high-profile sparring with President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee last week offered a nationally televised glimpse of a side the Minnesota senator worked hard to shed for most of his time in office — the sharp, relentless provocateur of Republican foes. With a fellow showman about to enter the White House, Franken is grappling with one of the biggest challenges of his political career: Does he use the megaphone afforded by his own showbiz past to fight for progressive values in Trump’s Washington?”

It’s a recycling change day in St. Paul. Says PiPresser Frederick Melo, “St. Paul’s citywide household recycling program is taking its ‘single-sort’ message to the streets — and in most cases, to the alleys. Through a five-year contract with Eureka Recycling, the city has distributed large wheeled, lidded carts to homes across St. Paul. Beginning Jan. 16, residents will be expected to fill their carts with recyclables for weekly pick-up.”

A new tool for studying black history. Says the AP, “The University of Minnesota Libraries, in partnership with the Penumbra Theatre Company, has launched an online search tool to make black history more freely available. Umbra Search provides access to over 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African-American history from more than 1,000 libraries, archives and cultural heritage institutions across the United States. Director Cecily Marcus says it’ll allow students and scholars to tell stories that have never been told before.”

It’s a wrap on the big lake. Says MPR, “The Soo Locks that connect Lake Superior with the lower Great Lakes close for the winter at midnight Sunday, marking the end of the commercial shipping season on the lakes. Four final vessels are expected to pass through the locks and arrive in the Duluth-Superior harbor this weekend, where they will dock for the next ten weeks for winter repair and maintenance.”

Easy call on this one. Another Forum story says, “The Mille Lacs Band Reservation — The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians announced today it has ended its investment advisory services relationship with Wells Fargo. The decision, made unanimously by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians Band Assembly and Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin, is in response to Wells Fargo’s unethical business practices and the financing the bank provides to Energy Transfer Partners.”

Finally, who are they calling “anti-social” and “offensive”? A Washington Post story by Tracy Jan on why Wells Fargo refused to allow a Baltimore woman to customize her credit card with a Black Lives Matter logo says, “Wells Fargo offers its customers the ability to personalize their credit and debit cards with images ‘that reflect what’s important to you.’ A family photo, a picture of your pet, your kid’s artwork — ‘the choice is yours,’ the banking giant advertises on its website. So Rachel Nash, a Baltimore city schoolteacher, tried, as the company advises, to ‘make a statement with an image’. … Two days after she submitted her image online, Nash received an email Thursday morning informing her that her design did not meet the company’s guidelines. …She said Wells Fargo ‘didn’t want to be associated with any antisocial or offensive organizations.’ “

Yeah, probably a good use of time and money. Says Stribber Chao Xiong, “Preliminary statistics released by the St. Paul Police Department show that overall crime in St. Paul dropped in 2016, while reports of shots fired and calls for service increased. The data, which will be further vetted before final numbers are submitted to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI, reflect signs of progress, Police Chief Todd Axtell said. But they also indicate that the department’s top priority — reducing gun violence — will remain a challenge in 2017.”

They couldn’t possibly screw things up any worse than the men. Kim Hyatt of the Forum News service writes, “The presence and power of women in Moorhead city government is growing. Women first made up the majority of Moorhead City Council in 2014. It took 132 years for the historic shift, which also included electing the city’s first female mayor, Del Rae Williams. That majority increased after this fall’s election, as the council added an additional woman. Now, five of the eight council members are women, in addition to the mayor, a rare occurrence in the state and across the country.”

A high honor, I’m sure, I guess. Says Brady Slater for the Forum folks, “With the inauguration looming Friday, Rick Nolan figures to enjoy a choice view of Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. ‘Seating at the inauguration is based on when you were first elected to Congress,’ said Rep. Nolan, DFL-Crosby, whose initial stint in the House of Representatives fell between 1974 and 1980. ‘As far as members of Congress, I’ll be third-closest to the president.’”

Well, Sunday was nice. At the PiPress, Julio Ojeda-Zapata writes, “On Sunday night, meteorologist Joe Calderone said it now looks like the worst of the expected storm moving in Monday probably won’t reach north of where the borders of Dakota, Scott and Rice counties meet. The metro will receive light snow without much accumulation. ‘Farther south is where there is going to be a much better chance of a wintry mix with light snow accumulation,’ he said. Temperatures later in the week are expected to rise into the upper 30s — and could even hit 40 by Friday.”

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