Dakota Access protest site cleaned out in advance of coming floods

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
A building burns after it was set alight by protesters preparing to evacuate the main opposition camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Wednesday.

Checking in on the final day of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest encampment. MPR’s Dan Gunderson reportd: “Where thousands of people once built, slept and ate — and protested — a couple of hundred Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents now struggle to clean up camp as a deadline to evacuate approaches Wednesday. … Spring flooding is expected to inundate the Oceti Sakowin camp within days, prompting the Army Corps of Engineers to order people off the property by 2 p.m. … Some protesters began burning wooden structures in the camp Wednesday morning as part of a ceremonial cleansing of the area.”

U.S. Steel wants clear limits. The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “U.S. Steel on Tuesday filed a claim in State District Court in St. Paul asking a judge to order the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to finish work on specific pollution limits before issuing a new permit for the company’s Minntac taconite operations. … The filing, called a writ of mandamus, asks the judge to order the PCA to complete work on site-specific pollutant limits and other regulations before issuing a permit for the company’s tailings basin. … The last Minntac water pollutant permit was issued in 1987 and expired in 1992. The company has applied for reissuance and has been allowed to operate under the old permit as environmental groups have called for an updated version.”

In advance of this weekend’s vote on DNC chair, the New Yorker has a big profile on Keith Ellison. Vinson Cunningham writes: “Ellison, fifty-three, is stocky, with a wide, square head, pinkish-brown skin, and wavy, close-cropped hair. We were sitting at the back of a dimly lit restaurant in St. Paul, and he was wearing a red-and-black checked flannel shirt and faded bluejeans. He had spent most of the day calling members of the D.N.C., and would do more of the same after the meal. The D.N.C. consists of four hundred and forty-seven unelected Party functionaries—state Party chairs, obscure assemblypersons, former big shots—each possessed of his or her own local concerns. The vote for the chairmanship will take place on February 25th, in Atlanta, and so Ellison is usually on the phone, agreeing, promising, making moans of understanding. If he wins the race, he will resign his seat in the House, and continue to spend much of his time this way.”

The rise of the machines continues apace. The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow has a report on the latest robot taking our jerbs: “With the swipe of a finger or a blink of an eye — and $179 a year — travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport can go directly to metal-detecting machines and bag-scanning lanes, bypassing serpentine lines at security checkpoints as passengers wait for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents to manually check identification and boarding passes. … Clear, a private service offered by a New York company that uses biometrics to verify identity, debuts Wednesday at both the north and south checkpoints in Terminal 1.”

In other news…

Kid asks adult questions about adults who behave like kids: “Sen. Franken Tells Kids How To Cope With Politics” [This Is Great!]

Close the iris! “Maplewood City Council Votes To Close Stargate Nightclub” [WCCO]

It’s happening: “Squee! Crowd-funded ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ has a Netflix release date” [City Pages]

Remember this? “An oral history of the Foxfire Coffee Lounge, Minneapolis’ fleeting and beloved all-ages rock club” [City Pages]

A south Minneapolis institution: “Luck o’ the Currans” [Southwest Journal]

Really cool effect: “You need to see this morning’s fog covering downtown Minneapolis” [City Pages] 

Probably not the endorsement (?) the Minneapolis rep wanted:

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