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Environmentalists concerned about new EPA manager for upper Midwest

Cathy Stepp
Cathy Stepp

Meet the new boss. MPR’s Cody Nelson reports: “When Cathy Stepp became head of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2010, Gov. Scott Walker said she’d bring a ‘Chamber of Commerce mentality’ to the job. … By the time she left the DNR late last year, critics say Stepp, a home builder by trade, left Wisconsin’s DNR ‘in tatters’ following a tenure that included declines in environmental enforcement actions, increased fees for state parks, cuts to the agency’s science personnel and two incidents of federal authorities intervening after manure from dairy farms began to contaminate drinking water in the northeastern part of the state. … Now, she’s in a bigger job, leading the Environmental Protection Agency regional office that oversees Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and 35 tribes.”

Generous. The Star Tribune’s Shannon Prather reports: “The Minneapolis Foundation raised a record $100 million in charitable gifts last year as Minnesotans increasingly used the foundation’s donor-advised funds to give to good causes. … It’s a jump of 33 percent from the year before and more than double what the foundation was averaging five years ago, said President and CEO R.T. Rybak, sharing preliminary numbers for its fiscal year ending March 31. ‘Not only have our donations increased, but so have the gifts that our donors have made to the community,’ he said.”

We’re sure Facebook is working hard to address the problem. MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports: “The U.S. Army receives hundreds of reports a month from people victimized by scammers using a soldier’s identity, and it’s a growing frustration for Minnesota National Guard soldiers. … Pictures of a smiling Minnesota soldier posing in uniform with his young son convinced a woman from Finland to respond to a Facebook friend request. … But the photos were stolen, lifted from the guardsman’s real Facebook page and pasted onto another. The woman who believed she was meeting an engaging Minnesotan was unknowingly being lured into a scam.”

Nobody knew global trade was so complicated. KSTP’s Kirsten Swanson reports: “Minnesota pork producers are raising concerns over a new tariff imposed by China. … The announcement came Monday that pork exports from the U.S. will be slapped with a 25 percent tariff, in response to tariffs imposed on Chinese steel and aluminum in March. … While China is halfway around the world, hog farmers like Lori Stevermer said this newly-imposed tariff hits home. … ‘China is actually our number two export market in terms of value,’ Stevermer said. ‘If we can’t export as much to China, those products will have to go somewhere else and probably at a lesser price.’”

In other news…

Snow end in sight:All-day snow in metro area likely to drop 6-8 inches” [Star Tribune]

All right:Watch Late Night with Seth Meyers Interview: Senator Amy Klobuchar Isn’t Going to Give Up on Gun Control” [NBC]

Wow:Concordia College gets $5M gift for Korean language village” [MPR]

From the Star of the North to the farthest star:U Of M Professor Helps Find Farthest Individual Star Ever Seen” [WCCO]

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/03/2018 - 02:44 pm.

    Perfect qualifications

    ‘Twould seem that Ms. Nelson is perfectly qualified to serve in an EPA role in this administration.

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