The AP’s Brian Edwards reports, “After years of debate, Real ID legislation has taken a significant step toward being signed into law. The Minnesota House voted 72-58 Thursday to pass a bill that would bring the state in line with federal guidelines that some say allows government overreach and violates data privacy. Lawmakers face a January 2018 deadline to distribute IDs before Minnesota residents will be barred from boarding domestic flights and visiting military bases.”
Snowpocalypse, we hardly knew ye. At the Star Tribune, Pat Pheifer writes: “Little or no snow was expected in the Twin Cities Friday as the storm forecast for much of the metro area was significantly downgraded. But in a broad portion of Minnesota south, west and east of the metro area, it was a different, and much more dramatic, story. At midnight Thursday, heavy snow was falling in those areas, with fierce winds, as the blizzard warning issued earlier in the day remained in full and accurate effect.”
A window for the Walz: MPR’s Catherine Richert reports: “After a Rochester town hall meeting that stretched to three hours, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said that he expects to make a decision about a 2018 gubernatorial run by April. Walz said representing southern Minnesota for the last decade gives him the right experience for the job. ‘This rural, urban divide has to end. Being a Democrat and progressive in a more conservative area, and still having support from folks — I think that bodes well. So I’m going to take a look at it,’ Walz said.”
But Ricky is still here. Matt Ellentuck and Kristian Winfield of SB Nation report, “The New York Knicks were expected to trade point guard Derrick Rose to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Ricky Rubio, but negotiations stalled significantly just moments before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. The deal never materialized, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, because the Knicks pushed for an additional piece alongside Rubio in exchange for Rose. New York eventually softened its resolve to obtain a second asset in exchange for Rose, according to ESPN.com’s Ian Begley, but it was too late for a deal to come together.”
On MPR’s NewsCut blog, Cody Nelson tells the story of a pretty routine incident that got goosed up into the hysteria-zone. “It started with a fairly run-of-the-mill crime story. Police were investigating a shooting that injured one man who was visiting some relatives in Rochester, Minn. KIMT TV — a CBS affiliate based in Mason City, Iowa, that covers southeast Minnesota — wrote up a story with info from the cops: The victim called police and said he was out smoking a cigarette when two cars pulled up. They stopped, and someone fired at him. He was hurt and taken to the hospital. … There was one detail, though, that caught the attention of several far-right extremist websites: The victim described his alleged assailant as Somali. Citing the KIMT report, a site called Truth Monitor wrote a post of its own titled ‘TERROR IN MINNESOTA – Refugees Do the Unthinkable…’ Here’s the lead: ‘Ever since President Trump signed his immigration ban, the mainstream media has been trying to make it look like Muslim migrants are innocent people who never cause violence in the United States. That’s why the mainstream media is trying to sweep this story under the rug…’.” Which is why you haven’t heard of … The Rochester Massacre.
Solvejg Wastvedt of MPR says, “Minnesota’s four-year high school graduation rate rose to 82.2 percent last year, a 0.29 percentage point improvement over 2015, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Education on Thursday. Persistent racial gaps narrowed as well, with all racial groups except for Hispanics showing improvements. But students of color still lagged well behind their white peers, graduating at a 69 percent rate compared to 87 percent for white students.”
Less ching in turkeys. Kristen Leigh Painter of the Strib says, “Hormel Foods Corp. sold more turkeys during the holidays but made less money due to low prices, its latest quarterly results showed Thursday. Turkey prices fell to a seven-year low, ‘much lower than we expected,’ chief executive Jim Snee said. The company lowered its full-year profit outlook as a result, and investor in turn sent the company’s down 5 percent. … Hormel incurred more costs last quarter as it transitioned some of its birds to being raised without the use of antibiotics. ‘We are making investments in that business. We think it is the right thing to do,’ Snee said. ‘And that is good for our long-term growth.’ In the short-term, however, this process can be costly as poultry producers figure out how to adjust their practices to lessen the dependency on drugs.” Don’t mess with my tryptophan buzz, man.
Grandmas going naked: City Pages’ Cory Zurowski writes, “During one of the recent 60 degree days, [Patty] Gille and about a dozen friends decided they needed to remind everyone about our collective dire situation. The event was the brainchild of Minneapolis resident Polly Kellogg. They made signs and went to Powderhorn Lake. ‘Now you’ve pissed off grandma,’ read Gille’s. ‘Climate change deniers skate on thin ice,’ another said. Some of the women donned swimsuits. Others disrobed. Some more so than others. Gille was one of those who went topless for the cause.”