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Poll suggests rising opposition to copper-sulfide mining in Minnesota

Plus: helping “twice-exceptional” students; sheriffs call for legal action over mentally ill in jails; $700k repair-bill for Renville County ditch; and more.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Just one poll, of course, but interesting. In the Timberjay, Marshall Helmberger writes:Opposition to sulfide-based copper mining near the Boundary Waters is increasing in Minnesota and it could play a significant role in voters’ decisions in this year’s elections for both governor and the Eighth District congressional seat being vacated by Rick Nolan. That’s according to the findings of a new poll completed by FabrizioWard, a GOP-leaning polling firm that worked for both Donald Trump and Tim Pawlenty. … The Ely-based Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters commissioned the poll, which was completed in mid-February. The results showed that opposition to sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters has jumped significantly since FabrizioWard asked the same questions last year, with fully 70 percent of Minnesotans now saying they oppose the idea, up from 59 percent last year. Just 22 percent, or barely one-in-five Minnesotans say they support sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters.”

Sounds like something schools could use more of. MPR’s Solvejg Wastvedt reports: “Schools generally organize themselves according to categories: They divide students by age, grade, and often by academic progress or lack thereof. But what about students who don’t fit into those categories? … That’s the problem junior Brendan Olson and senior Joey Firestone faced. … On a recent morning, they sat with about a dozen other students in a classroom at Lionsgate Academy in Minnetonka. The class is specifically for students who are called ‘twice-exceptional,’ meaning they have a disability and qualify as intellectually gifted. Brendan and Joey are on the autism spectrum.”

They’re serious. The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “Minnesota’s sheriffs are demanding legal action against the Department of Human Services (DHS), saying the agency is jeopardizing the health of dozens of mentally ill jail inmates by not admitting them to state-operated treatment facilities. … The Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association said this week it has documented at least 60 cases since 2015 in which DHS and its staff have failed to comply with a state law that requires inmates to be transferred to a state psychiatric facility within 48 hours after being committed as mentally ill by a state judge.”

Talk about a money pit. The West Central Tribune’s Tom Cherveny reports: “Twenty years after a $2.2 million project to upgrade and reroute Renville County Ditch 66, an estimated $704,000 worth of new repairs are needed to it. … The Renville County Board of Commissioners, acting as the ditch authority, approved a motion for ISG of Mankato to prepare bid specifications for the repairs. The action followed a public hearing Tuesday at which landowners in the drainage area between Bird Island and Olivia voiced their support for a repair project, rather than a less costly cleaning project.”

In other news…

Seems bad this year:Holey ground: Melt-freeze cycle takes its toll on Twin Cities roads” [Star Tribune]

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Your final reminder:Demolition of 38th St. bridge to close I-35W in Mpls. this weekend” [Star Tribune]

Also in reminders:Time to clean up and remove ice houses from Minnesota lakes” [MPR]

Cool:Recording of jazz compositions by Prince’s father released” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

WHEW:Sun Country’s bringing Surly Furious back to its flights” [City Pages]