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Major sources of pollutants in Twin Cities watershed: Fido and fertilizer

Plus: House measure includes controversial provision on protesters; Twins win; Minnesota’s tech industry employment; and more.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

MPR’s Kirsti Marohn reports: “A new study from the University of Minnesota suggests that household fertilizer and pet waste are the major sources of nutrients polluting Twin Cities lakes, streams and rivers. The study was the first comprehensive look at the sources of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Twin Cities watershed and how quickly the nutrients move across the land, ending up in the Mississippi River.”

It’s what they ran on, right? WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler says, “The Minnesota House Monday approved a sweeping public safety bill that includes tough new measures to limit mass protests. The move comes after demonstrations in Minnesota during the last year. Two separate police shootings of African-American men led to weeks of angry protests in the Twin Cities. Those angry protests caused widespread disruption on Twin Cities roads and dozens of arrests. But critics say the get tough approach is an attack on free speech.”

World Series! Tom Powers of the PiPress can barely contain his optimism. “Twins 7, Royals 1. It was a sweet Opening Day victory at a venue where the bar has been set so low that the fans trip over it while entering the facility. And the prevailing theory is that by mid-summer there won’t be enough cash customers to do much tripping. Coming off a historically bad year and a series of miserable starts, the Twins, for one day at least, morphed from 98-pound weaklings to heroes of the beach. They were methodical and efficient in dismantling the more highly regarded Kansas City Royals. Take that!”

Stribber Christopher Snowbeck writes, “Minnesota health plans reported their worst financial results in a decade for 2016, with red ink flowing from both state public health insurance programs and the struggling market where individuals buy coverage for themselves.Overall, nonprofit insurers last year posted an operating loss of $687 million on $25.9 billion in revenue, the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, a trade group for insurers, disclosed Monday. The results fit with a national pattern in which many insurers showed a small degree of improvement in the individual market, analysts said, even as they continued to lose big money.”

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Don’t tell me I’m not stressed! City Pages’ Mike Mullen informs us, “In a study that cannot possibly be questioned because it has been published online, Minnesota ranks as the ‘least stressed state’ in America. The folks at  WalletHub (the most-trusted news hub for internet-surfing wallets) awarded our state this honorific in a new report which claims that on balance, life in the South is very stressful, and life in the Upper Midwest is not.  The report combines a variety of measurable features, ranking states (and Washington, D.C.) by average hours worked per week, percentage of people in poverty, health, crime, housing costs, and how much sleep residents are getting a night.” Where did we get listicles before WalletHub?

An AP story says, “Economic conditions in nine Midwest and Plains states remains healthy, despite a slight slip in a monthly survey of business supply managers, an economist said in a report released Monday. The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report said the overall index for the region dropped to 60.1 in March from 60.5 in February. It’s the first index decline in five months. … Minnesota’s overall index jumped to 61.8 last month from 54.3 in February.”

We’re No. 17! Says Neal St. Anthony in the Strib, “Minnesota’s technology industry added an estimated 2,226 new jobs in 2016, according to Cyberstates 2017, the annual technology-industry analysis of the nation’s tech industry released Monday by CompTIA, the industry trade group. With an estimated 140,970 workers, Minnesota ranks 17th among the 50 states in tech-industry employment, CompTIA said. Technology occupations across all other industries in Minnesota – the second component of the tech workforce – reached an estimated 170,300 in 2016. The tech sector accounts for an estimated 7.4 percent ($24.4 billion) of the overall Minnesota economy.”

Scott, baby! It’s been too long! Charlie Pierce at Esquire writes: “Having lived through the crack hysteria of the 1980s, which launched the country into the horrors of mandatory minimum sentences, no-knock warrants, and the other delights of the ‘war’ on drugs, I am continually amazed by the deeply empathetic coverage — and the deeply empathetic political response — to the opioid epidemic. Why, you’d almost think that some of the difference is About Race. But, as we know, nothing ever is About Race, so we must simply have evolved as a people in our attitudes toward drug addiction. However, you can count on Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, to bring us some good old poor-bashing.” Walker wants to screen the state’s Medicaid recipients for drugs.