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Big marijuana busts spike along I-94

Plus: Starkey Hearing Technologies won’t renew discount program with NRA; Forest Lake city council to decide on Minnesota’s first residential psychiatric treatment facility for children; Timberwolves’ Butler undergoes surgery; and more.

The Star Tribune’ Kelly Smith writes: “In 2017, Minnesota troopers seized more than 2,600 pounds of marijuana — more than six times what they found the year before. Across the border, North Dakota troopers confiscated 300 pounds in 2017, up 88 percent from 2016. One-third of North Dakota’s drug arrests were made along I-94, authorities say. And in Wisconsin, troopers saw a 20 percent increase in drug arrests, mostly marijuana-related, from 2016 to 2017. To be sure, the trafficking shows little indication of slowing in 2018.”

For the kids. MPR’s Nina Moini writes: “A Forest Lake city council vote Monday night could stop the development of Minnesota’s first residential psychiatric treatment facility for children in its tracks. … The developers, The Hills Youth and Family Services, said the $20 million state-of-the-art facility would create about 150 jobs and offer resources for children ages 7-17. Monday’s vote will decide whether to approve zoning of the proposed 40-acre site for the facility.”

Continuing the assault on your Second Amendment rights, an MPR story says, “Eden Prairie-based Starkey Hearing Technologies will not renew its discount program with the National Rifle Association. A tweet from Starkey says it has requested the NRA remove the hearing aid company’s information from the NRA’s website.” 

Don’t know if the Celtics and Warriors were worried before, but they’re less so now. The ESPN story says, “Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star guard Jimmy Butler has undergone surgery on the meniscus in his right knee, the team announced Sunday. The Timberwolves announced that Butler’s surgery, performed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was successful. He has been ruled out indefinitely. … On Saturday, Butler was telling close confidants that he was optimistic about his chances to come back before the playoffs begin, should the Timberwolves clinch their first postseason berth in 13 seasons.”

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Also in sports. A New York Post wire story says, “The Minnesota Twins and slugging first baseman Logan Morrison agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract, The Post’s Joel Sherman confirmed. … Morrison, 30, is coming off a breakout year when he hit .246 with 38 home runs and 85 RBIs with 81 walks in his second season with the Tampa Bay Rays.” 

It’s where the money is. Says Stribber Neal St. Anthony, “Bridgewater Bancshares of Bloomington signaled in a registration statement earlier this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it intends to soon raise around $50 million through the sale of stock to the public. Bridgewater is part of a rising stock-offering market. … Last year’s 160 IPOs were down from 275 in 2014, a post-recession peak, but up from 105 deals in 2016, the weakest year since 2009.”

Golf takes another hit. Nick Ferarro of the PiPress says, “The end appears to be near for West St. Paul’s Thompson Oaks Golf Course. The city council on Monday is scheduled to vote whether to shut down the nine-hole city course and move toward a plan for housing on the 23-acre property, which would also include the yet-to-be-built final stretch of Dakota County’s River to River Greenway trail. City staff is recommending closing the course, which has been on life support for a decade.”

That sound you hear? A tow truck hooking up your vehicle. Says a PiPress story, “The National Weather Service saw 6 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which it said is a record for Feb. 24. The previous snowfall record for that date was 4.8 inches in 2007. Snowfall totals in the east metro came in pretty close to that total, with 5.8 inches logged in spots like Mahtomedi and North St. Paul. This prompted St. Paul and Minneapolis to declare second snow emergencies — following their first such declarations Friday when the metro got hit by an earlier round of snow.”