That’s one way to get the locals fired up about the Super Bowl. For the PiPress, Ryan Faircloth writes: “Light-rail service along the Metro Transit Blue Line and a section of the Green Line will serve only Super Bowl LII ticket holders on Feb. 4. Twin Cities residents not attending the Super Bowl won’t have access to the Blue Line and stops along the Green Line from Stadium Village to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Metro Transit will charge Super Bowl ticket holders $30 for a ‘gameday pass’ to board the rail to U.S. Bank Stadium, while regular transit users will be directed to replacement buses operating along each light-rail line.”
An election nobody will dispute. At Sports Illustrated Daniel Rapaport writes, “The Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo and the Twins’ Paul Molitor were awarded Baseball Writers Association of America’s Manager of the Year award. … Molitor guided the Twins to an 85-77 record and an improbable postseason run after winning just 59 games in 2016. The Twins entered the season with paltry expectations and were sellers at the trade deadline, yet played well down the stretch to earn the AL’s second Wild Card spot.”
A dip in production, but not prices. According to an AP story, “Profits are expected to remain steady for Minnesota corn and soybean farmers despite a slight production dip in 2017. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report estimates that the state’s corn production will be 1.45 billion bushels, a 6 percent decrease from last year. Yields are expected to average about 190 bushels per acre, a decrease of three bushels from last year. The department predicts the state’s soybean production will be 373 million bushels, down 4 percent from last year. Yields are projected to be about 46 bushels per acre, six bushels below 2016 numbers.” More Dicamba drift?
In other harvest news, Sam Cook at the Duluth News Tribune writes: “Preliminary figures indicate that Minnesota’s statewide deer harvest through the second weekend of the firearms season is up 10 percent from last year, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials said. In Zone 1, across Northeastern Minnesota, total firearms harvest was up 25 percent. In Zone 2, which covers the majority of the state and runs from Canada to Iowa, harvest was up 6 percent. Registrations in Zone 3, in southeastern Minnesota, were down 12 percent. Minnesota firearms hunters registered 145,054 deer through Sunday, nine days into Minnesota’s 16-day season.”
Court to hear teacher tenure lawsuit. The Pioneer Press’ Christopher Magan writes: “The Minnesota Supreme Court will decide if a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s teachers union protections should move forward. The Supreme Court announced Tuesday it had agreed to hear the case brought by Tiffini Flynn Forslund and three other Minnesota parents. … Forslund’s lawsuit alleges Minnesota’s system of seniority-based layoffs and union protections for teachers are an important factor in the state’s academic achievement gap between students of color and their white classmates. The lawsuit claims these rules result in many minority students attending failing schools with bad teachers.”
Sales up, profits down. A story at KIMT-TV in southern Minnesota says, “Each year, the Minnesota State Auditor’s Office report how city-owned liquor stores are doing with their sales and profits. According to the report, 228 municipal stores saw record-high sales. However, profits were down by more than 8-percent from 2015 to 2016.”
So they’re turning their backs on “beautiful clean coal”? At Midwest Energy News, Frank Jossi writes, “The largest solar project ever built to serve a Minnesota school district began producing energy last week. The Farmington public school district’s 3.1 megawatt (MW) project places photovoltaic panels on the rooftops of several buildings. The first project to go live is the 715 kilowatt, 2,200 panel installation on the roof of Dodge Middle School, with more buildings to follow. Once fully completed next year, the project will be one of the biggest rooftop solar photovoltaic installations ever built in Minnesota by a government entity. The initiative represents an increasing investment in solar energy by a growing number of schools in the state.”