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MnDOT to try cameras to enforce MnPass tolls

Courtesy of MnDOT

How does buying a mannequin compare to paying for MnPass? The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow reports: “The Minnesota Department of Transportation is going on offense by testing cameras that in the future could help state troopers pull over and ticket drivers found illegally using special lanes reserved for carpools and solo drivers who pay a fee to use them. … An infrared camera installed this summer on northbound I-35W at Black Dog Road in Burnsville has been snapping photos of drivers in the MnPass lane who pass by a detector that does not register the presence of a valid toll-collecting tag. MnDOT is testing the system to see if it will help law enforcement accurately determine the number of people in a vehicle or if a solo driver is paying to use the lanes.”

Should play well in the endoresement fight. MPR’s Tom Scheck reports: “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto says she'll push to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. … Otto unveiled part of her campaign platform Thursday to gradually raise the statewide wage from its current $9.65 to $15 by 2023, with $1 steps each year. It would give small businesses and most communities outside the seven-county metropolitan region until 2025 to pay $15 hourly, but there are no exemptions in Otto's plan.”

Shocker. The Mankato Free Press’ Mark Fischenich reports: “Three months ago, North Mankato city officials told Xcel Energy they'd prefer to not have a new transmission line running through their backyard. … Now, Mankato has suggested that the high-voltage line doesn't really work on its side of the Minnesota River. … Xcel's predicament is the transmission line has to go one way or the other.”

Apple trademark dispute. City Pages’ Mike Mullen writes: “Last fall, they went big. The Aamodts worked to restore a mid-1950s apple press, which [Aamodt apple farm founder] Thor [Aamodt] used when Aamodt’s became the first licensed (non-alcoholic) cider distributor in Minnesota. Alex and his partners named their product after Thor, who he ‘vaguely remembers’ as this funny old man making apple cider on a massive old press. … Back in April, the Aamodts attempted to register a trademark for Thor’s Hard Cider. Marvel Comics, printers of a Thor comic book series — which has inspired a blockbuster Hollywood trilogy about the hammer-wielding Norse god — filed for a 90-day extension ‘to file a notice of opposition’ against the cider trademark.”

In other news …

In the old Heartland space: “St. Paul Farmers’ Market will stay open this winter, in new Market House Collaborative” [Pioneer Press]

Part of a plea agreement: “Former Hudson coach pleads guilty in child sex case” [Pioneer Press]

TAKE: “Don't bother aging your Surly Darkness” [City Pages]

Minneapolis artist HOTTEA design some packaging: “HOTTEA for Perrier” [The Minneapolis Egotist]

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Comments (1)

A rotten apple spoils the bunch

The millions of Thor-Odin-Freya worshippers out there ought to bring the hammer down on Marvel Comic's precious "Thor" character. If Stan Lee can get away with this outrage against a mere cider producer, what's next? Spiders everywhere will be issued subpoenas. Hulks will have to lawyer up. Iron men rusting in their boots. Mutants already face enough bullying as it is.