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Seniors make up fastest growing segment of homeless population in Minnesota

Plus: state regulators want more time to complete environmental review of replacement pipeline; Prince’s first wife writes tell-all; Twin Cities temps to be in the 70s this weekend; and more.

MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports: “Alarm bells are going off around the state as homeless shelters and housing organizations witness a troubling rise in the number of seniors looking for help. … Across Minnesota seniors still constitute a relatively small part of the overall homeless population, but they are the fastest growing segment of homeless people, according to the Wilder Foundation homeless survey.”

So you’re saying we’re getting close? Don Davis of the Forum News Service writes, “Minnesotans have time to lobby state leaders about wildly varying tax cuts proposals. State senators on Monday, April 3, approved 40-27 cutting taxes $900 million, following last week’s House 80-52 vote in favor of a $1.35 billion cut. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s $300 million plan comes in below the tax cuts promoted by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The $1 billion difference could be in negotiations until near the constitutional May 22 legislative adjournment date.” Now that is a safe bet.

An AP story says, “Minnesota regulators say they need more time to complete a draft environmental review of Enbridge Energy’s proposed replacement for its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline. The draft was tentatively set for release Monday, but the state Commerce Department has pushed the date back to May 15. Release of the draft will be followed by a comment period that will include a minimum of 22 public information meetings, one in each county along the proposed routes.”

I know art when I see it. Says Aimee Blanchette for the Strib, “Some people pay tribute to their favorite landmarks by collecting matchbooks or bumper stickers. Others wear T-shirts. Jeff Esler shows his love with Legos. The 50-year-old has recently risen to mini fame for his intricate and impressively accurate Lego model of Nye’s Polonaise Room, the beloved northeast Minneapolis piano and polka institution that got the wrecking ball last year.”

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The former Mrs. Prince is telling pretty much all. The Strib story says, “Mayte Garcia, Prince’s first wife and longtime muse, doesn’t hold back from getting very personal in ‘The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince,’ her new book chronicling her time spent with the late pop star. …  Prince loved to talk about their past lives together in Egypt. Garcia says the two of them ‘talked about the possibility of our two souls having met before and where that might have happened. He was fixated on the idea of Egypt.’” Way cooler than, you know, Bulgaria.

The GleanAs for the Trump administration’s go-ahead to internet companies selling your browsing history, a Strib commentary by Robert Svacina of Plymouth says: “What misuse and abuse is the FCC going to save us from that is not already happening? … The FCC can’t touch the likes of Bing, Google and Yahoo! — the web portal, mail, directory and search sites. These are the outfits that are selling your surfing habits/destinations today. The FCC can’t touch Facebook or Twitter, or the previously mentioned collectors who also deliver the end ad. The Republicans want a level playing field between the physical and virtual companies that can be regulated by congressional law and the Federal Trade Commission, which can write the same rules for all.”

It might be happening. Says Paul Huttner for MPR, “It’s been 5 months since Minnesotans basked in a sunny weekend with temperatures in the 70s. Chances are growing we’ll do it again this weekend. Yes weather fans, spring has finally sprung in Minnesota. The weather maps look increasingly favorable for the warmest weekend since early November. Abundant sunshine and a mild southerly flow combine to boost temps higher this weekend. Temperatures push 70+ degrees across a good chunk of Minnesota this weekend.”

From the Pioneer Press’ Jace Frederick: “A state audit has determined the Minnesota State High School League must improve the way it handles athletics eligibility for transfer students. In a summary of its MSHSL evaluation, the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor recommended the governing body for Minnesota high school sports ‘have a more transparent and open process for establishing student eligibility criteria,’ and calls for more oversight … . In a letter to members of the audit commission, state auditor James Nobles and deputy auditor Judy Randall said, ‘The League’s process lacks transparency, sufficient public notice, and external review.’” But other than that it’s perfect.

Another day, another hit of self-inflicted bad PR by Wells Fargo. Bill Chappell of NPR reports, “A former Wells Fargo manager who was fired after reporting suspicions of fraudulent behavior must be paid some $5.4 million and rehired into a similar position, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says, announcing its largest-ever individual whistleblower award. Wells Fargo says it will appeal the OSHA order.” How about just making him/her CEO? Could it be any worse?