The Star Tribune’s Mike Hughlett writes: “Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill Tuesday allowing Xcel Energy to build a large natural gas-fired power plant in Sherburne County, without having to go the traditional route of gaining approval from Minnesota utilities regulators. Minneapolis-based Xcel, the state’s largest electricity provider, wants to build a 786-megawatt generator in Becker to partly replace power that will be lost when the company shutters its two big coal-fired plants there.”
Drawing a line: The AP says: “More than 100 students in Rochester will be sent home from school on Wednesday unless they can prove they’ve been vaccinated or are exempt. School officials said last week that starting March 1, students who can’t provide proper immunization paperwork will be sent home. State law requires that students be immunized or be officially exempt for reasons such as health or religion.”
A bit more on Target’s big announcement yesterday. Krystina Gustafson at CNBC says, “ … investments will also take $1 billion out of the company’s operating margin annually, but will better position the retailer for the long term, CEO Brian Cornell told analysts at an event in New York City on Tuesday. Investors balked at the news, sending the company’s shares 12 percent lower in midday trading. Target stock was on pace to record its biggest daily sell-off since 1998, with shares last trading hands at $58.35.”
In windfall news, Josephine Marcotty of the Strib reports, “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will hold two public meetings this month to solicit ideas on how the state should spend its $47 million share of the Volkswagen court settlement over the next 10 years. The German carmaker agreed to pay $2.9 billion to settle a federal lawsuit over its sales of diesel cars that emit air pollution over the legal limit, and for cheating on emissions tests to hide the pollution. … The $47 million is in addition to a consumer fraud claim against VW that Minnesota settled for $11.5 million.”
This guy’s dating days are over. Sarah Horner of the PiPress says, “First he created a fake Facebook page under his ex’s new boyfriend’s name. Next he started ‘friending’ people, including the woman’s family and friends. Then came the pictures. Authorities say Michael Roderick Weigel posted about 20 photos of his ex in ‘semi-nude and nude sexual poses’ on the wall of the social networking site. The 38-year-old Anoka man was charged via warrant Monday in Ramsey County District Court with three felony-counts of non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images, which took place last December, the complaint said. The charge is a new tool for prosecutors seeking to hold people accountable for so-called ‘revenge porn.’”
Waiting tables might be a surer bet. An AP story says, “A former exotic dancer at a Wisconsin Dells strip club says the club pays its dancers essentially nothing. Teriana Jones, who worked as a stripper at Cruisin’ Chubbys Gentleman’s Club, filed a lawsuit in federal court last week alleging club management required dancers to share tips to such an extent that dancers weren’t paid minimum wage or overtime. The lawsuit alleges that Cruisin’ Chubbys, which bills itself as the largest adult entertainment center in the Midwest, violated labor laws. All current dancers and dancers employed by the club in the past three years are a part of the class-action lawsuit … .” What’s the world coming to when you can’t get a straight deal at a place called Cruisin’ Chubbys?
Distracted driving? Jamie DeLage of the PiPress reports, “A Kanabec County sheriff’s deputy was out looking for a cow reportedly in the roadway outside Mora, Minn., late Monday when he hit the cow with his squad car. Deputy Daniel Steven, 30, was searching on Minnesota 23 around 10 p.m. after dispatchers received a report of a cow in the road, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. He unexpectedly encountered the cow about 10:13 p.m..”
Police investigating alleged rape of fraternity pledge. Says Stribber Libor Jany, “Local police are investigating the reported rape of a University of Minnesota student by a classmate who used his position as a fraternity member to coerce the victim into a sexual act. The victim, who was pledging Alpha Epsilon Pi at the time of the assault, told police that he was raped by one of the fraternity’s members on Jan. 29 at the Marshall Apartments, an off-campus student housing complex in Dinkytown. The victim later went to a nearby hospital, where he underwent a rape exam, according to a search warrant affidavit.”