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Report: Two Minnesota rivers among most endangered in U.S.

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
Mississippi River

MPR’s Kriti Marohn reports: “A new report lists two rivers in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin as among the most endangered rivers in the United States. Every year, the environmental advocacy group American Rivers publishes a list of the 10 U.S. rivers it considers most at risk.…  This year’s report ranks the Kawishiwi River in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as the third most endangered in the nation. … Two other rivers made the list not because they face imminent threats, but because of proposals to remove locks or dams, allowing the water to flow freely. One is an 8-mile stretch of the Mississippi from St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis to the confluence of the Minnesota River.”

Thanks, but no thanks. Chris Serres of the Strib says, “A proposal to build a psychiatric treatment center in Forest Lake for children and teenagers suffering from mental illness was rejected by city officials late Monday, dealing a setback to state efforts to expand mental health programs in the community. … The proposed facility, known as Cambria Hills, would have treated children, ages 7 to 17, with neurological conditions such as autism and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety but whose psychiatric problems are not serious enough to require hospitalization.”

Nice pickupsAlicia Eler of the Strib reports, “Three Modernist masters have floated into the watery Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona. American painter Edward Hopper’s ‘Sultry Day’ (1928), French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s ‘The Child with the Dog, son of Madame Marthe and the dog Pamela-Taussat’ (1900) and Italian-born, American Futurist painter Joseph Stella’s ‘Study of the Brooklyn Bridge’ (1922) are now a part of the collection.”

As a rallying cry, “adjust the tax structure” need some work.  A Grand Forks Herald story says, “Minnesota Chamber of Commerce leaders say a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ has come and which could allow the Legislature to adjust Minnesota’s tax structure, which is among the highest in the nation in both the corporate and individual sectors. … The Minnesota chamber wants the state Legislature to react by lowering tax rates and thereby—in the chamber’s opinion—giving breaks to individuals and businesses.” 

The Strib’s Joe Carlson reports, “Taking aim at the costly problem of high blood pressure, Medtronic is launching the first placebo-controlled large-scale clinical study of a medical device treatment intended to lower a person’s blood pressure without medication by interrupting nerve activity. The therapy is called ‘renal denervation,’ and it involves inserting a Medtronic catheter into the artery that feeds the kidneys to burn away some nerves in the vessel tissue that help drive overactive nervous impulses and cause high blood pressure.” That burn away business is a little off-putting.

Dumb criminal watch. Matt Sepic of MPR is following the Bloomington mosque bombing story. “Federal agents swept into this tiny central Illinois hamlet on Feb. 19 on an anonymous tip about a hidden stash of bombs, but they didn’t rush first to the alleged bomb maker’s house. They knocked instead on his neighbor’s door. When Jon O’Neill answered, the agents told him they had reason to believe the explosives were on his property but did not believe he was the bomb maker. They suspected O’Neill’s neighbor, Michael Hari, and two accomplices planted them in O’Neill’s shed and that Hari tipped off the feds. O’Neill was not shocked to hear his neighbor had tried to frame him. The summer before, he said, Hari had held a gun to his head and tried to stuff him in a car trunk after O’Neill complained about Hari’s dogs getting into the garbage.”

A rare legal defeat for the police. MPR’s Brandt Williams tells us, “A three-judge Minnesota appeals court panel ruled unanimously Monday in support of Richfield’s decision to fire a police officer. Richfield fired officer Nathan Kinsey in 2016 after he slapped a teenage boy during a 2015 traffic stop and failed to report his use of force. After an arbitrator reinstated Kinsey, Richfield unsuccessfully tried to have the decision vacated and filed an appeal. … The court’s decision is only the second time in the state’s history that an arbitrator award for a fired police officer has been reversed based on the public policy exception.”

The Forum News Service reports: “An 85-year-old central Minnesota man was trampled to death by one of his cows as he was trying to tag a calf Sunday morning, April 8, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were dispatched at 10:32 a.m. to 26998 County Highway 75 on the east edge of Otter Tail County after a report that Delbert Horn, of rural Hewitt, had been trampled by a cow.”

Finally, in the latest cruel blow to imaginative entrepreneurship … Jim Puzzanghera in The Los Angeles Times reports: “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering fining Wells Fargo & Co. hundreds of millions of dollars for its mortgage-lending and auto-insurance abuses — following up on a threat by President Trump to take aggressive action against the bank. The agency is in talks with the San Francisco bank over penalties for the problems … The bank has been struggling to right itself since it agreed in 2016 to pay $185 million to settle investigations by the CFPB, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer into the creation of millions of unauthorized accounts. The $100-million CFPB portion of the settlement was a record for the agency, which began operations in 2011. Reuters reported Monday that Mulvaney, who was installed as acting director by Trump in November, is looking for a penalty against Wells Fargo that would dwarf that earlier figure.


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