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Keillor and Minnesota Public Radio in mediation

Plus: estimated 21,000 gallons of gasoline spilled in Eagan; study exploring viability of high-speed rail service between the Twin Cities and Milwaukee shut down; Minnesota United’s Christian Ramirez invited to train with the U.S. national team; and more.

Garrison Keillor

Jeff Baenen of the AP reports, “Humorist Garrison Keillor says he is in negotiations with Minnesota Public Radio after the radio network cut ties with the former ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ host over unspecified allegations of inappropriate behavior. Keillor wrote on his Facebook page Friday that a second day of mediation was held at a law firm in downtown Minneapolis, but he provided no details. He told the Associated Press on Monday that he could not discuss negotiations until they are finished. Another session is scheduled for Thursday, Keillor said. Angie Andresen, a spokeswoman for the St. Paul-based MPR, said Monday the two sides ‘are talking about issues related to the transition of their business relationship.’” Otherwise known as … money.

Related. Peggy McGlone of The Washington Post writes, “Public radio icon Garrison Keillor, who was dropped by Minnesota Public Radio after a co-worker accused him of inappropriate behavior, will not appear in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall on May 11, the arts center said Monday.” 

Messy. The PiPress’ Nick Ferraro reports: “A contractor struck a gasoline pipeline Monday afternoon in Eagan, spilling an estimated 21,000 gallons into the area and prompting the closure of several roads and businesses, including a Life Time Fitness. Eagan police and fire were called to the parking lot of Life Time Fitness at 565 Thomas Center Drive, east of Interstate 35E and north of Cliff Road, about 12:20 p.m. and discovered a significant gasoline leak, which was spilling onto nearby roads, said Eagan police officer Aaron Machtemes, the department spokesman. Thomas Center Drive and other nearby roads remained closed Monday night, as was the Life Time Fitness.”

Stribber Janet Moore reports, “An environmental study exploring the viability of high-speed passenger rail service between the Twin Cities and Milwaukee has been shut down after two Republican lawmakers claimed it was a waste of taxpayer dollars. Last month, Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, and Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, objected to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) accepting federal grant money to complete the study — largely because Wisconsin opposes high-speed rail. … Since 2010, high-speed rail has proved to be a hot-button political issue in Wisconsin.”

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Socialism! Stribber Christopher Snowbeck writes, “Organizers say that more than 1,700 people enrolled in coverage from two new agricultural cooperative health plans during recently completed open enrollment periods for the Minnesota program. Starting in 2018, the health plans are an alternative to the state’s troubled individual market, where farmers are among the roughly 166,000 people who have seen steep premium hikes since major changes came to coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.”

The Star News, an ECM paper exults at some stats on Minnesota high school grads. “First, Minnesota high school graduation rates are going up. Second, graduation gaps between students of different races are closing. Third, the percentage of public high school graduates who are taking ‘developmental’ — also called ‘remedial’ — courses on entering Minnesota’s colleges and universities is going down.”

Good for him. Andy Greder at the PiPress reports, “Minnesota United striker Christian Ramirez has earned his first invitation to train with the U.S. men’s national team. On the verge of a call-up for years, Ramirez is among 30 players to join the country’s top team for its January camp starting Wednesday in Carson, Calif., U.S. Soccer announced Monday, Jan. 8. The Garden Grove, Calif., native could make his first appearance for the U.S. in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan. 28 at StubHub Center in Carson. The Loons open camp Jan. 22 in Blaine.”

Finally, list machine WalletHub reports that Minnesota is the second best state in which to raise a family, whatever that means. “WalletHub compared the 50 states across 42 key indicators of family-friendliness. Our data set ranges from median family salary to housing affordability to unemployment rate.”