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Judge says Minnesota should approve environmental study of proposed oil pipeline project

Plus: Minneapolis officials promise faster election results; retired U prof dumped from EPA panel; Stewart Mills won’t make another run for Congress; and more

A rough depiction of the Line 3 replacement route in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

A win for Enbridge. Dan Kraker at MPR reports, “A state judge on Wednesday recommended that Minnesota regulators approve an environmental study conducted for the proposed Line 3 oil pipeline project. Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman said the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission should deem the final environmental impact statement of the proposed Line 3 project ‘adequate.’ In his report, Lipman said the study sufficiently addressed impacts the proposed pipeline could have, along with proposed alternatives.” 

They’ve been practicingWCCO-TV reports: “City leaders in Minneapolis promise next week’s election results will come in a lot faster than four years ago. In 2013, it took more than 48 hours to find out that Betsy Hodges had won the Minneapolis mayoral race. The city blamed the slowdown on the number of candidates and its ranked-choice voting system. There will still be ranked-choice voting next Tuesday, but there are fewer candidates.  … The city clerk expects to announce election results by the end of business next Wednesday. That’s the day after the election.”

Over at MPR, Brandt Williams writes, “City officials say the collaborative approach to combating the sexual exploitation of young people has been in the works since before Minneapolis was picked to host the Super Bowl next February. However, council member Linea Palmisano said preparations for the big game have given her insights into the ongoing efforts. … As a member of a sex trafficking workgroup, Palmisano said she’s gotten a close-up view of the problem and the people working on solutions. ‘If there’s a message or a sentiment to be sent from Minneapolis around this coming Super Bowl, is that sex trafficking isn’t welcome here.’” 

Her problem is she’s just too science-y. In the Strib, Josephine Marcotty reports, “Deborah Swackhamer, a prominent water chemist, was dumped as chair of a key science panel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday as part of a dramatic restructuring of how the agency gets scientific advice. Swackhamer, a retired University of Minnesota professor, has drawn the public spotlight this year for sharply criticizing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. She said Tuesday that Pruitt is turning the agency’s scientific advisory boards into committees that will ‘rubber stamp his agenda: deregulation.’ Late Tuesday, Pruitt announced he would appoint new leadership to three panels … .”

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Looking for helpFrom the PiPress: “Police in the north suburban community of St. Francis are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 15-year-old girl. According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Fallon Wickre was last seen at school on Tuesday. … Wickre recently moved to St. Francis from Ogilvie, Minn., where she still has friends. Ogilvie is about 30 miles north of St. Francis in east-central Minnesota. Wickre is 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 110 pounds and has blue eyes and dark blond hair.”

But he looked so good on TV. The AP tells us, “Republican Stewart Mills says he won’t challenge U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan for a third time. Mills announced his decision in a Facebook post Wednesday. Much of the post blamed national Republicans for what Mills called a failure to support him late in the 2016 election.” Or maybe he’s just tired of all the winning going on.

Got it. In its endorsement for the St. Paul mayor’s race, the Strib says, “Following much debate, the Editorial Board decided to stick with its original choice, Pat Harris, but the endorsement comes with an admonition: If elected, Harris must work to heal the wounds created by the smear campaign [of candidate Melvin Carter III], show his independence from the special interests that created the mess, and recommit to representing all citizens in an increasingly diverse city.”