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PolyMet offers $544 million for potential cleanup costs at Hoyt Lakes mine

The GleanAt MPR Dan Kraker says, “PolyMet Mining has submitted an updated plan detailing how much money it plans to make available in the event it can't pay for the proposed mine's clean-up. The so-called ‘financial assurance’ is a major step in the company's more than decade-long effort to build the state's first-ever copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. Think of financial assurance as a damage deposit. … The company's updated plan provides for $75 million during the first two years of construction. Most of that would cover legacy pollution issues at the old LTV Steel taconite mine and processing plant PolyMet plans to repurpose. The financial assurance amount would bump up to $544 million when the mine opens and the potential costs for pollution cleanup rise.”

Gesundheit. Reports the Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges: “A $5 million donation from a St. Paul woman’s estate will support the University of Minnesota’s Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch. The gift comes from the estate of Hella Mears, who was born in Germany, worked as an actress and came to the United States on the dime of inventor Norman Mears, whom she later married. Norman Mears is the namesake of Mears Park in downtown St. Paul. … The $5 million gift will fund those fellowships in perpetuity and create two new funds to support student scholarships, research and outreach, including study abroad and the U’s College in the Schools German program.”

The Twins got a Yankee. But it isn’t that Stanton guy. Ryan Gerbosi at Newsday reports, “Michael Pineda’s days with the Yankees officially are over. The right-hander signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. Pineda came to the Yankees in 2012 in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, but injuries kept him from making his team debut until 2014 … Last season, Pineda’s year was cut short following the diagnosis of a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, requiring Tommy John surgery on July 18.”

A very Minnesota way of negotiating. From KSTP: “The Metropolitan Council has issued a final contract proposal to members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005. The new proposal is a three-year term, which includes a two-and-a-half percent wage rate increase and improved partial sick leave for Metro Transit bus and light rail drivers. But Mark Lawson, President of ATC Local 1005, said he is not satisfied with the final contract details. ‘I wish I could say that we sat down at the table, hammered this out and shook hands, but we did not," he said. "Once again, this is them sending us via email their document, and I guess they're crossing their fingers and hoping we like it.’”

And how, you ask, is our latest stadium coming along? WCCO-TV’s Angela Davis says, “The future home of Minnesota’s major league soccer team is starting to take shape. Construction crews in St. Paul are making progress on the new stadium for the Minnesota United. The construction site for Allianz Field is near the intersection of Snelling and University Avenues, right off Interstate 94. It’s scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2019. But you can already get a glimpse of what’s to come.” It too will be a “people’s stadium.”

Hey, since when can’t a dentist make a decent living? Erin Adler of the Strib reports, “A parent group is speaking out about a Burnsville dentist, alleging she performed unnecessary dental work for financial gain on children. But the dentist, Dr. Deanna Alevizos, says her approach heads off problems and finds hidden decay other dentists miss. Spurred on by a Facebook group, at least 21 parents said they filed complaints with the Minnesota Board of Dentistry about Alevizos, a pediatric dentist of 22 years who practices at one of 49 Twin Cities Metro Dentalcare locations. ‘If our investigation bears out, this is criminal,’ said Tom Brock, an attorney for a dozen of the families.”

This is couch cushions money to them. Joe Carlson and Jim Spencer at the Strib say, “Medtronic has agreed to pay $12 million to five states to resolve a lawsuit that accuses the medical device company of misleading doctors and the public about the safety of a controversial bone-growth product that has been blamed for thousands of patient injuries. Medtronic admitted no wrongdoing when it agreed to settle the complaint from the five states over its biotech product Infuse, which contains a genetically engineered version of a human bone-growth protein used during spine-fusion surgery.” A lot of people pay $12 million for doing nothing wrong.

It's always better outside. The Pioneer Press’ Chad Graff writes: “Knowing his Toronto Maple Leafs were heading toward a grueling part of their schedule, coach Mike Babcock called 27-year-old defenseman Jake Gardiner into his office last week with a challenge. The Maple Leafs were looking at five games in seven days, but with one of their rare off days in Minnesota, Babcock wanted to know whether Gardiner, a Minnetonka native, could help secure ice time on an outdoor rink for a little local fun while the team was in the State of Hockey. … they stumbled on the perfect place: the temporary Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink, set up for the winter right next to Rice Park and the team’s hotel. The Gardiners hooked up the NHL’s most storied franchise with an outdoor rink in downtown St. Paul on Wednesday afternoon, and players forgot about their troubles for a day during an impromptu 3-on-3 tournament.”

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