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3M asks for delay in trial over groundwater pollution in east metro

Plus: Twin Cities tops list of cities with most severe flu outbreaks; winner of Brainerd Ice Fishing Extravaganza passes lie detector test; mother of cheerleader wants apology from St. Paul City Council President; and more.

Kirsti Marohn at MPR reports, “3M is asking a judge to delay a trial scheduled to start next week in the state’s $5 billion lawsuit claiming the company polluted groundwater in the east Twin Cities metro. The Maplewood-based company said it needs time to respond to a report released this week by the Minnesota Department of Health. The agency said it analyzed health data and found no unusual increase in rates of cancer and adverse birth outcomes in the area where the groundwater contamination occurred. In its motion, 3M said those findings ‘undermine (if not destroy)’ the state’s claims.” It certainly didn’t help.

Nobody knew taxes could be so complicated. Also at MPR, Martin Moylan says, “The IRS still isn’t saying if Minnesotans who paid property taxes early can deduct those payments on their 2017 tax returns. Many Minnesota homeowners rushed to pay this year’s property taxes before the end of last year. They determined — despite a lack of guidance from state and federal tax authorities — that the early payments could save them serious money on their 2017 federal taxes. But the IRS has yet to resolve the matter.”

This is a very strange story. Also from Mr. Moylan: “The principal of Century Middle School in Lakeville has been charged with stalking an Apple Valley police detective. The detective was investigating principal Chris Endicott for allegedly stalking several people and breaking into their homes and stealing personal information, such as passwords and Social Security numbers. Apple Valley Police Captain Nick Francis said a tracking device placed on one of Endicott’s vehicles revealed a disturbing pattern in his whereabouts. ‘Over the course of a couple days, we noticed a pattern of Mister Endicott spending time near that detective’s house ….’” 

Loony. Fox Sports North touts, “FOX Sports North and Minnesota United FC announced a new multiyear programming agreement Thursday, beginning with the 2018 season. For the first time, FOX Sports North will add MLS soccer to its pro sports television lineup and serve as the exclusive, local television home for the Loons. FOX Sports North’s 32-game broadcast schedule begins March 3 as Minnesota United FC takes on the San Jose Earthquakes in its season opener. All matches will be streamed live on FOX Sports GO and include Loons Live, a 30-minute pre- and post-match show. Additionally, all matches will be simulcast on FOX Sports Wisconsin, extending the team’s reach to an additional 1.5 million homes in the Upper Midwest.”

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We’re No. 1! In the PiPress, S.M. Chavey writes, “If this year’s sneezing, nose blowing and aching around Minnesota seems louder, grosser and more painful, it’s because we are in one of the worst flu seasons in years. … The flu is widespread in almost every state across the country right now, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the Twin Cities metro area topped a list ranking cities across the country by the severity of their outbreaks.”

They’re keeping the truck. For the Star Tribune, Dennis Anderson writes: “Three members of an Ohio family who registered winning fish in the Jan. 27 Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake have passed lie detector tests and will be allowed to keep their prizes, including a new GMC pickup, contest organizers said Thursday. Ivan Lyogky of Hartville, Ohio, and his sons Stephan and Rostik were tested separately by a licensed polygraph examiner and no deception regarding the contest was detected ….  Contest organizers said they received anonymous information after the contest that raised suspicions about the Lyogkys’ fish.”

Speaking of ice. Stribber Glenn Howatt reports, “HCMC in Minneapolis and Regions Hospital in St. Paul have emerged as pioneers in frostbite treatment and earned national recognition for their work. It helps that both hospitals operate sophisticated burn units: Severe heat and severe cold can cause similar damage to skin. … Both hospitals pioneered the use of clot-busting drugs to help restore blood flow to frostbitten areas; as the blood warms up in a patient recovering from frostbite, there’s a risk that it will coagulate and form clots. The treatment also reduces the need for amputation.” Seems like a good thing. 

OK. Let’s see what this baby can do. FOX 9 says, “The Minnesota Department of Transportation is increasing the speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph on several highways in the northwest. The new speed limits take effect when the new signs are posted.”

Facebook fracas. Says Frederick Melo of the PiPress, “The mother of a Golden Gophers cheerleader is asking for an apology from the president of the St. Paul City Council after a photo captured her daughter’s short skirt and underwear from the back. The Facebook fracas began after City Council Member Amy Brendmoen posted a note to her social media account indicating her distaste for the bikini-like clothing cheerleaders wear for the Super Bowl and other football games. Brendmoen, the council president, followed up her post with a picture of herself at a University of Minnesota Gophers hockey game, frowning into the camera, eyes rolled toward the cheerleader behind her. The young woman’s short skirt and undergarments are visible, though her face and other identifying features are not.”