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Walker delays reopening of sculpture garden in wake of ‘Scaffold’ controversy

Plus: Minnesota voters shoot down school bond issues; St. Louis River cleanup threatened; man charged with running over a woman at Target in St. Paul; and more.

"Scaffold" by California artist Sam Durant
MinnPost photo by Jana Freiband

Well, this will throw some schedules off. MPR’s Tim Nelson reports, “The Walker Art Center said Monday it is delaying the reopening of its famed sculpture garden, after controversy this past weekend over one of the new works. ‘Scaffold’ is a sculpture by California artist Sam Durant that is based in part on notable executions in U.S. history. It refers to the hanging of 38 Dakota Indian men in Mankato in 1862. Protests Friday and Saturday prompted the Walker to rethink the work. It’s one of 18 new sculptures following a two-year, $33 million makeover. The sculpture garden is now scheduled to reopen June 10, a week later than originally projected.”

We’re a hot destination. At WCCO-TV, Angela Davis says,  “Tourism leaders are forecasting a strong travel season within the state. Explore Minnesota just completed a survey of 234 lodging businesses — places like hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds in Minnesota. They discovered a lot of reservations have already been made, even though summer hasn’t officially started.”

The problem with this state is too much fancy education. In the Star Tribune, Hannah Covington says, “Minnesota voters are shooting down school bond issues at the highest rate in years, with five out of six referendums rejected last week alone. …  Across the state since January, at least 16 school districts have sought voter permission to sell bonds to fund renovation or construction projects. Just four requests have passed.”

Also in the Strib, Josephine Marcotty writes, “… some anglers are describing the St. Louis River as the next Lake Mille Lacs — only it also comes with hiking and biking trails, white-water kayaking, and the great blue expanse of Lake Superior at its mouth. People are using it more and more,’ said Maas, who’s lived along the river in the Morgan Park neighborhood of West Duluth for 50 years. ‘It looks really good for the future.’ Unless President Donald Trump and Congress pull the plug on an extraordinary comeback for a river that not too long ago was considered irredeemably polluted.” 

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Christopher Magan of the PiPress says, “On Wednesday afternoon, Christian A. Smalley, 56, allegedly veered his truck toward a 23-year-old woman who had just stepped off the sidewalk to enter the Target parking lot, police said. The woman was thrown onto the hood of the truck before falling beneath it and being dragged for about 15 feet. Witnesses told police the woman was screaming as Smalley drove with her trapped under his truck. … Smalley claimed the woman jumped in front of his truck and he doesn’t remember veering to hit her or running her over. Smalley told police he suffered from a mental illness, but had stopped taking his medications.”

Get one of these before the thieves do. Stribber Jackie Renzetti says, “Car hacking — or auto tinkering — involves tweaking codes to get desired features, such as side-view mirrors that swoosh in when approaching walls, or doors that unlock via one’s cellphone. Josh and Earl have made waves in the niche community with their new company, called Macchina, and their M2 device. … The open source hardware tool helps users trick a car’s computers into agreeing with different coding.”

Where the dogs couldn’t draw a crowd, maybe beer will. In the PiPress, Kayla Song reports, “The long-vacant Hudson dog track could soon be renovated into a baseball field surrounded by an office complex, housing developments and a new beer hall. The St. Croix Meadows Greyhound Racing Park has stood idle since it closed in 2001. Past efforts to breathe new life into the 130-acre site have gone nowhere. The latest, from Woodbury-based Hudson Gateway LLC, is an ambitious undertaking that could cost $175 million to $225 million, Hudson Mayor Rich O’Connor said.”

My guess is the party ended early. Also in the PiPress, Kristi BelCamino writes, “A boating party had a close call Sunday afternoon when the 34-foot cruiser they were on exploded in fiery flames at a gas dock in Inver Grove Heights. The explosion around 1:30 p.m. at the River Heights Marina reportedly came from the boat’s engine in the lower mid section of the boat and blew out the windows on the boat. Passengers were able to climb off the boat before the flames spread.”