Short-lived but intense. The Forum News Service says, “A strong storm thundered out of South Dakota early Sunday morning and raced across western Minnesota, then rolled quickly eastward through the Twin Cities and into Wisconsin. The storm carried high winds, hard rain, significant hail and heavy lightning. … More than 87,000 Twin Cities households were without power as of about 11:30 a.m., according to Xcel Energy. Hail from the storm was heavy in locations across the state. The city of Coon Rapids had to deploy a snowplow in low areas as some vehicles were getting stuck in an accumulation of hail.”
Ominous photo accompanying Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s PiPress story on the storm. “Ping-pong-size hail was reported in other areas, along with 70-mile winds. According to the National Weather Service, the highest blasts recorded Sunday were in Litchfield where the wind gusts reached 80 mph.”
Seven arrested. Also in the Pioneer Press, Will Ashenmacher writes: “Seven people were arrested following a ‘March Against Sharia rally and a counterprotest Saturday at the State Capitol in St. Paul. The March Against Sharia was organized by ACT for America to voice its belief that sharia, or an interpretation of Islam that dictates how devout Muslims should live, is ‘incompatible with our Constitution and with American values.’ … With the anti-sharia group inside, about 300 counterprotesters demonstrated on the front steps of the Capitol. They criticized the March Against Sharia as an expression of veiled racism.”
Key word, “probably”: In the Duluth News Tribune, Peter Passi writes, “Parasitic wasps could be deployed this summer to combat an infestation of emerald ash borers discovered in the northwest portion of Duluth’s Hartley Park. … ‘Their intent is to release parasitic wasps, which are more like gnats. They’re not like bees. They’re not harmful to human beings. They don’t sting people. You really won’t even know they’re there, probably,’ said Hank Martinsen, Duluth’s property services supervisor.”
Think of it as a “fee” not a tax. Says the AP: “Minnesota owners of vehicles powered exclusively by electricity will face a new fee next year. Minnesota Public Radio reports the annual $75 surcharge approved by state lawmakers takes effect in January. Minnesota joins a growing number of states tacking on an extra registration charge on electric vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenues. The fee is expected to generate about $40,000 the first two years, but revenue estimates more than double in the two years after that.” Woo hoo! New bridges for everyone.
Brooks Johnson of the News Tribune alerts real estate bargain hunters, “A piece of Duluth’s history — the longtime home of history’s first draft — is in search of a new owner. The News Tribune building … is for sale, publisher Neal Ronquist announced last week, as the publication seeks smaller quarters. ‘We’re exploring a possible sale because we don’t need all of the space, and we need better-configured space for our business today and going forward’, Ronquist said. The 67-year-old building is listed for $2.9 million. With about 64,000 square feet of space.” So what’s next? A couple tables at Starbucks?
Says the AP, “A Moorhead man is accused of rubbing hot sauce and cayenne pepper in the eyes of his 2-month-old daughter and keeping her from breathing until she turned blue. Thirty-one-year-old Shawn Foltz is charged with neglect of a child, malicious punishment of a child and two counts of third-degree assault, all felonies.” I would hope so.
Fortune’s Geoff Colvin has a piece on Wells Fargo’s plan to, uh, reform its culture. “In trying to change its culture, Wells Fargo holds an advantage over most big, old, successful companies. As an amalgam of many banks, it doesn’t have a deeply rooted, oak-strong culture like, say, General Motors had when CEO Mary Barra launched her culture-change effort after the 2014 ignition-switch scandal. With Norwesters Stumpf and Tolstedt gone, and the main elements of the Norwest model — extreme decentralization and ‘Go for Gr-eight’—purged, [CEO Tim] Sloan faces an opportunity to create something new: a strong, company-wide, uniquely Wells Fargo culture.”
Al was pushing books in Chicago over the weekend. Says Morgan Greene for The Chicago Tribune, “Although Franken said he’s not planning on hosting [Saturday Night Live] anytime soon, he did a bit as Sen. Paul Simon for the audience and shared inside intel on which politicians can take a joke. He talked about an encounter with George W. Bush. ‘You were my favorite comedian on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Bush said. And then, ‘OK, I’m lying.’ Franken replied, ‘Well, you were my favorite president.’ Liberal-leaning folks were cracking up over Bush and tales of Tom Coburn, Jeff Sessions and Lindsey Graham.”