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Dayton calls out National Guard to help stranded motorists

Plus: storm wallops Minnesota with snow; St. Paul students wait hours for buses; southern Minnesota dad’s winning lottery ticket was Christmas gift from daughter, and more.

St. Paul, Monday afternoon
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

If you just walked your dog in it, it was kind of pleasant. But Christopher Magan at the PiPress says, “Minnesota has called on the National Guard to rescue and shelter motorists stranded by a heavy snowstorm Monday. … The National Guard is also directed to provide help as needed in Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, Faribault, Freeborn, Le Sueur, Martin, McLeod, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Waseca, and Watonwan counties.”

How bad was it, you ask? For the Strib, Karen Zamora and Tim Harlow report: “The storm dumped up to 11 inches of snow across the heart of the Twin Cities metro area with heavier amounts expected in the southern and eastern suburbs, the National Weather Service said. Totals ranged from 4 to 7 inches in places such as Maple Grove and Rogers on the northwest side of the cities to a foot or more in places such as Cottage Grove, Cannon Falls and Red Wing. The State Patrol responded to hundreds of crashes and spinouts. At least 30 semitrailer trucks had jackknifed, the patrol said. The snow was especially hard-hitting because it fell in such a short period of time, often leading to whiteout conditions.”

OoopsAlso from the Pioneer Press, Nick Woltman reports: “Hundreds of St. Paul students were stranded at school Monday afternoon after the day’s snowstorm delayed their buses — in some cases by more than five hours. As of 9 p.m., some students were still at school waiting to be picked up, said Toya Stewart Downey, spokeswoman for St. Paul Public Schools. The district has canceled classes on Tuesday. Monday’s forecast called for up to 10 inches of snow in some parts of the Twin Cities, which prompted some districts to cancel classes. SPPS did not.”

Let them or make them? Says Dave Orrick in the PiPress, “Minnesota’s most-influential anti-abortion group rolled out its agenda Monday: ‘Let women see their ultrasounds!’ The demand was emblazoned on signs and preached by a number of speakers before crowds that lined the Capitol Rotunda in St. Paul on Monday, the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision that hallowed into law a woman’s right to an abortion.”

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Shurmur out. Jordan Raanan of ESPN says, “The New York Giants hired Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as the 18th head coach in Giants history on Monday afternoon. Shurmur has a strong history of working with and developing quarterbacks. He succeeds Ben McAdoo, who was fired last month with four games remaining in a 3-13 season. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Shurmur received a five-year contract. … Shurmur inherits a difficult situation with the Giants.” And the chance to deal with a, uh, somewhat aggressive local press corps.

And you got socks. Says Stribber Paul Walsh, “Don DeSaer got a lottery ticket for Christmas from his daughter, a Minnesota Millionaire Raffle ticket. It turned out to be true to its name. The ticket proved to be worth $1 million, and now the family of six is divvying up the winnings equally. DeSaer, of Courtland in southern Minnesota, got the ticket from his daughter Amber DeSaer, who also bought one for herself at Casey’s General Store in New Ulm, lottery officials announced Monday.”

This is going to the Supreme Court? In the invariably interesting SCOTUSblog, Amy Howe writes, “In 2010, Andrew Cilek went to his local polling place in Hennepin County, Minnesota, to vote. Cilek was wearing a T-shirt that had three different images on it: the Tea Party logo, the message ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ and an image of the Gadsden flag, which dates back to the American Revolution but is often associated these days with the Tea Party and libertarianism. Cilek also wore a small button bearing the message ‘Please I.D. Me’, worn by opponents of voter fraud. An election worker in the polling place told Cilek he would have to cover up or take off the shirt and button. … Minnesota’s ban on ‘political’ apparel at the polling places violates the First Amendment, the [Minnesota Voters Alliance] argues, because it sweeps far too broadly: It prohibits any references not only to political candidates and political parties, but also to political ideologies, political symbols and current issues.” 

The Duluth News-Tribune’s Christa Lawler writes: “The woman rumored to be the subject of Bob Dylan’s song ‘Girl from the North Country’ died last week in California, according to friends and Dylanophiles. Echo Star Casey, nee Helstrom, was in her late 70s and had lived in California for years, though she stayed in touch with her Hibbing roots. It was as a teenager in the Iron Range city when Casey … dated the eccentric folk singer, then a classmate at Hibbing High School.”