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Winter storm snarls traffic statewide


It is, in fact, nasty out there. MPR’s Tim Nelson report: “Instant winter arrived Monday dumping snow and ice on roads statewide. By 10 a.m. Tuesday, more than 400 crashes had been reported — one fatal — along with 515 spinouts or vehicles off the road. … Traffic was a veritable mess Tuesday, as a layer of ice coated interstates and city streets. Sidewalks and driveways, left slick by rain Monday night, also made walking treacherous.”

This is sensible. The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “For the first time, Minnesotans can send a text message to 911 for help during an emergency when calling for help is not an option, state authorities announced Tuesday. … The statewide service, known as ‘Text-to-911,’ goes live this morning and will provide a connection to emergency services for people who are deaf or unable to speak. It will also help victims of crimes who may be caught in dangerous situations — such as home invasions or active shooter incidents — in which speaking on the telephone could put them in danger.”

Not exactly statesmanlike. The West Central Tribune’s Shelby Lindrud reports: “Both detractors and supporters of Willmar City Council member Ron Christianson spoke Monday night during the Willmar City Council meeting, even though Christianson himself was not in attendance. … Ben Larson, a member of the city’s Human Rights Commission, brought forward concerns regarding Christianson’s apparent activity on Facebook, using the social media platform’s tools to ‘like’ and comment on other people’s posts that disparage Somalis, Muslims and Latinos.”

It’s complicated. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo writes: “When Dennis Chisholm opened his estimated property tax statement from Ramsey County for 2018, he thought he was seeing double. He’s the first to admit his modest single-family home off Rice Street is no mansion. … But according to the assessor’s office, the value of his 960-square foot Park Street home has gone up from $119,000 to more than $136,000 in a single year. … The hefty value increase — evident throughout St. Paul’s North End, and to a lesser extent throughout the city — is one of three key reasons his city, county and school district property taxes are expected to climb a combined $333 dollars next year, or 22 percent. … He’s never seen anything like it. For St. Paul, a volatile tax year is just over the horizon.”

In other news…

Another one down:St. Louis Park Votes To Ban Flavored Tobacco” [WCCO]

Scum: Ransomware attack exposes thousands of patients’ data at Edina fertility clinic” [Star Tribune]

Long piece on Minnesota’s Farmer-Labor party:The Ballot and the Break” [Jacobin]

Game over:Up-Down calls alt-right presence a ‘terrible incident’ that won’t happen again” [City Pages]

Another option at the checkout:Target unveils its own mobile payment system, Wallet” [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

They will have to charge:In honor of Kelis, this limited-edition Milkjam milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” [City Pages]

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