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White Bear Lake homeowners win suit against state

Plus: armed 13-year-old wanted for shooting in Minnesota arrested in Chicago; Minnesota is No. 2 in trusting neighbors; license bureaus still dealing with glitches in new computer system; and more.

White Bear Lake circa 2013
White Bear Lake Restoration Association

State faulted. The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick writes: “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been violating state law to the detriment of White Bear Lake, a judge has concluded in a ruling that could have broad implications for water use in the north metro. Wednesday’s ruling by Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan serves as a victory for homeowners, businesses and others who sued the DNR several years ago, alleging the agency had failed to protect the popular lake and its users by mismanaging groundwater pumping permits in the area, exacerbating the lake’s notoriously fluctuating water levels. The DNR argued that the lake’s varying water levels are simply part of natural fluctuations … .”

This doesn’t seem good for him. In The Washington Post, Dave Weigel writes, “‘Do you plan to vote against Paul D. Ryan continuing his speakership?’ It was an easy-sounding question, asked at the end of a friendly Republican candidate forum at Minnesota’s state fair. To the pleasant surprise of Democrats, four of five Republicans seeking to flip House seats next year declined to support the speaker of the House, offering instead criticisms of Paul D. Ryan’s leadership.” Next time ask them if they’d prefer Louie Gohmert.

Starting early. For the Chicago Tribune Jeremy Gorner reports, “An armed 13-year-old boy wanted for a shooting in Minnesota was arrested Wednesday by Chicago police officers downtown …. Having learned from a relative of the teen’s that he was arriving in Chicago from Minnesota on a Megabus, police went to the Megabus stop at Polk and Clinton streets in the South Loop and spotted him there around 9:30 a.m., authorities said. When he saw the officers, the boy, who had a 9mm handgun in his waistband, ran away, authorities said. The officers caught up to the teen a few blocks away.”

We’re No.2 … in trust! Paul Walsh of the Strib says, “About 80 percent of Twin Cities-area residents trust their neighbors, the second-highest percentage of metro regions covered by a newly released national survey. … Among those wary of their neighbors, the results were: not very trusting at 13 percent and not at all trusting at 4 percent. Three percent are not sure. Women in Minnesota were slightly more likely — 83 to 77 percent — to say they are somewhat or very trusting of their neighbors. Only Portland, Ore., scored higher, 83 percent, when it comes to trusting neighbors.”

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Baseball stats geeks can chew on this from Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe. “Via the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds, which account for remaining schedule and projections for available players, the Twins now have a 40.0 percent chance of claiming a wild card spot, more than double the odds of any of the six other AL wild card contenders besides the Yankees (the Angels, at 19.6 percent, are next). That’s mostly due to the continued softness of their schedule. … If they do, they’ll make history, becoming the first team to make the playoffs in the year after losing at least 100 games.”

A famous name in cars has died. A Hibbing Daily Tribune story says, “A Hibbing native and well-known car dealer died when the motorcycle he was driving was struck by a car at 2:02 p.m. Tuesday in the intersection of Highway 37 and County Road 7 east of Hibbing. Donald Hilligoss, 60, of Cohasset, was traveling westbound on Highway 37 on a 2007 Harley Davidson Touring Street Glide when a 2011 Hyundai Sonata being driven eastbound on Highway 37 by Niomi C. Boulanger, 19, of Eveleth, turned left in front of him in an attempt to go northbound on County Road 7, according to a Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) report. … Hilligoss II was owner of Ranger GM in Hibbing, Grand Rapids GM and Mike Motors of Minnesota based in Ely, and part-owner of Ford of Hibbing.”

Because going there is usually so pleasant. Says Stribber Erin Golden: “Six weeks after Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) rolled out a new computer system for motor vehicle licensing tasks like registration renewals, car titles and license plates, licensing offices around the state are feeling a similar strain. Glitches in the transition between the new system and the 30-year-old one it replaced have caused delays, long lines and frustration on both sides of the service counter. While there’s been significant progress on some of the upgrade’s biggest hiccups, customers at some offices are still facing delays, particularly on less-common tasks like transferring or renewing specialty license plates.”

Drama in Rochester. For MPR, Catharine Richert reports, “Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Rob Miller resigned his post effective immediately on Wednesday after a key chamber executive went public with allegations Miller had bullied her and was trying to push her out. Earlier in the day, the Rochester Post-Bulletin published a letter from membership director Judy Braatz, who said Miller had belittled and defamed her. MPR News confirmed the letter’s authenticity. An outside law firm has been hired to investigate..”