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Dayton proposes $1.5 billion in bonding projects

Plus: record revenue for UnitedHealth; Minneapolis boasts speedy wireless connectivity; Canadians airlift caribou threatened by wolves; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost file photo by Briana Bierschbach

It’s that special time of year. The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday proposed a $1.5 billion public works bonding bill, a list of some 218 building and construction projects around Minnesota that he says would boost the state’s economy and create nearly 23,000 jobs. … Through bonding bills, the state leverages its debt capacity to borrow money to pay for infrastructure projects. About a third of the projects Dayton is proposing are on campuses of the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State systems. The rest would go to improving state buildings, affordable housing construction, repairing clean water infrastructure and other projects. ”

Good for them. The Star Tribune’s Christopher Snowbeck reports:UnitedHealth Group more than doubled its profit and beat analysts’ estimates for earnings in the fourth quarter as the Minnetonka-based health care giant surpassed the $200 billion mark in full-year revenue for the first time in 2017. … UnitedHealth Group, which is the nation’s largest health insurer, said Tuesday it was increasing its 2018 earnings outlook due in part to passage of a new federal tax law, which this year will boost earnings and cash flow at the company by $1.7 billion.”

Minneapolis gets top ranking for wireless data speeds; KSTP gets top ranking for tenuous Super Bowl news pegs. KSTP’s Michael Oakes reports: “When the bright lights and the makeshift stages all come down, and the masses leave the metro post-Super Bowl LII, the Twin Cities will be left with a mess to clean up, an impacted economy and, maybe, a Super Bowl championship. … Minneapolis will also remain in perhaps the best shape of any city in the country to move into the 5G era of wireless technology. … And, perhaps surprisingly, Super Bowl-related connectivity improvements might have little to do with it.”

Dec. 24 not the only night for flying caribou. The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “Some of the Lake Superior region’s last herd of caribou got a free helicopter ride in recent days as Ontario wildlife authorities rush to save at least some of the animals from certain death at the hands of wolves. … Through Monday nine caribou, one bull and eight cows, were tranquilized and taken aboard helicopters from Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior to the Slate Islands, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.”

In other news…

Someone’s taking Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign policy approach a little too literally:Dog claims stick as best friend” [KARE]

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Look, whatever you’re into:An ice-cream social in Minnesota? Outside? In January? You betcha” [Pioneer Press]

Creepy or cool? Both?Prince to perform ‘live’ via video at Target Center on 2nd anniversary of death” [Star Tribune]

That’s a lot of Pronto Pups:Minnesota State Fairgrounds Slated for $11.1 Million Upgrade” [U.S. News]

Good luck!MN skier Jessie Diggins heads back to the Olympics for a shot at history” [MPR]