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Minnesota soybean growers brace for tariff impact

REUTERS/Andres Stapff

Making Agriculture Great AgainJim Spencer and Tom Meersman in the Star Tribune report: “Minnesota’s 2018 soybean crop lost $152 million in value in the commodities futures market hours after China threatened Wednesday to place a 25 percent tariff on soybeans imported from the United States. Commodity futures are in constant flux, the state’s soybean farmers know. But they also see a serious threat should actions ever replace words.” Don’t worry. Trade wars are easy to win. 

MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports:An outside investigator hired by the state’s information technology department found the official in charge of Minnesota’s troubled vehicle licensing system knew there were numerous defects prior to its launch last summer but failed to address them. The report says Paul Meekin, who was officially fired from his job at Minnesota IT Services last month, fell short of expectations related to pre-launch testing and several key management responsibilities, including communication and staffing. … Meekin defended his performance on MNLARS. He told investigators that he was stretched thin, received inadequate support from his superiors and made the best decisions he could with the information he had.”

MinnPost contributor Pat Borzi turns up in The New York Times talking UMD hockey. “Minnesota Duluth was not expected to be this good. It lost seven seniors from last year’s team, which fell to Denver in the national championship game, and three underclassmen departed early for the N.H.L. [Minnesota Duluth Coach Scott ] Sandelin began the season with 10 freshman, his most since 2005-6, and no clear No. 1 goalie to replace Hunter Miska, who signed with the Arizona Coyotes. [Hunter] Shepard, a sophomore, claimed the goaltending job in November and posted eight shutouts, a school record and second nationally. The Bulldogs gained confidence and credibility by winning the Ledyard Bank Classic at Dartmouth in late December while five players were away in the world junior championships; they beat Dartmouth in the championship game with only four defensemen.”

Also in the Times, Mitch Smith reports from The Range. “Generations of residents have gone to work in the mines, endured cycles of booms and layoffs, and mostly voted for Democrats. But President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel are being celebrated as a boost to the local taconite mines, which supply American steel mills, and Republicans are hopeful that they can flip the area’s congressional seat in November. ‘President Trump is keeping his promises that he made on the campaign trail,’ said Pete Stauber, a retired police officer and former professional hockey player who is running for Congress as a Republican.”

Since we’re still skating on ice, let’s continue the theme with a note from Bob Collins at MPR. “If Minnesota is the state of hockey, where is the city of hockey? Sorry, St. Paul. Sorry, Duluth. Sorry, St. Cloud. It’s Mankato, a survey says. The website, SmartAsset, says nearly 10 percent of the town turns out for Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks games, good enough for fourth place on the national list, which Grand Forks, N.D, tops again.”

Officially it’s construction season. They just have to dig out the roads first. The PiPress says: “Minnesota will spend $1.1 billion in road and bridge projects across the state this year. State Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle announced that crews will take on 253 projects this year in Minnesota. Some of the work is already underway. … The biggest potential headaches in the east metro will be the continued closure of the High Bridge in St. Paul and construction planned around the Interstate 35E/35W split north of the metro.”

Somebody’s keys need to be taken away. KARE-TV has a story saying, “A Minnesota mom is in trouble again for alleged drunken driving, this time in Illinois. 41-year-old Tasha Schleicher, of New Hope, was arrested Monday night at a gas station in Riverside, Illinois. According to a press release from the Riverside Police Department, officers found Schleicher sitting in her car with the engine running. Turns out, police say, Schleicher apparently attempted to put kerosene, not gasoline, into her car. … When asked, police say Schleicher could not explain why she was in Illinois but insisted she was with her children. Riverside Police confirmed with Minnesota Child Protective Services that her children had been taken away from her due to the prior DWI arrest in Minnesota last fall. Five of her 11 children were in the car with her at the time.”

Complicated case. Faiza Mahamud of the Strib reports, “A Blake School student is suing the school, claiming that it wrongfully disciplined him over allegations of sexual misconduct because of his race. Filed Monday in federal court in Minneapolis, the suit alleges that the student, who is unnamed and identified to be of mixed-race, was not given sufficient information about the allegations leveled against him when he appeared before the school’s Community Judiciary Board.”

Sled dogs get in free. Tim Harlow of the Strib reminds us that the Twins are playing baseball today in Minneapolis. “More than 75 Twins employees — from part-timers in the call center to team president — shoveled, shoveled and shoveled some more to clear the field and seats of a record-setting snowfall in time for Thursday’s home opener against Seattle. This may be the most unseasonable start to the baseball season since the outdoor downtown stadium opened in 2010.”

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/05/2018 - 07:34 am.

    How about the 15 year old?

    The KARE-11 story leaves out a detail that’s in the story published in the Illinois media:

    “When questioned about why she was in Illinois, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said Schleicher claimed she was dropping off her 15-year-old son – the only child still in her custody – so he could “party” in Indiana over spring break.

    “Riverside police said they have not yet located that child, but are in contact with Minnesota Child Protective Services and other agencies to find him.”

    She may or may not have been lying about the 15 year old, but until that fact is resolved, that is still of concern.

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