Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Ruling: Minnesota regulators should approve new Line 3 pipeline — if it follows current pipeline’s route

Plus: Prince’s heirs sue Walgreens, Illinois hospital; accused killer grandma to be extradited; Wolves lose playoff game after giving up 50 points in a single quarter; and more.

A rough depiction of the Line 3 replacement route in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Steve Karnowski at the AP reports, “Minnesota regulators should approve Enbridge Energy’s proposal for replacing its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline only if it follows the existing route rather than company’s preferred route, an administrative law judge recommended Monday. The proposal has drawn strong opposition because Enbridge’s preferred route would carry Canadian tar sands crude from Alberta across environmentally sensitive areas in the Mississippi River headwaters region where American Indians harvest wild rice and hold treaty rights. Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly’s recommendation that the Public Utilities Commission should order that the replacement follow the existing route sets up further disputes, however, because the existing line crosses two Ojibwe reservations where tribal governments have made it clear that they won’t consent and want the old line removed altogether.”

Related. This from Grace Pastoor in The Grand Forks Herald, “The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by state prosecutors Monday, April 23, paving the way for four anti-pipeline activists to argue during trial that they had no choice but to disrupt a pipeline transporting tar sands oil. The appellate court said the four from out-of-state can use the threat of climate change as a defense for their actions. By a 2-1 decision, the court allowed the rare so-called ‘necessity’ defense to go forward despite the objections from prosecutors in Clearwater County in far northwest Minnesota who took the case to the higher court.”

Today’s Prince news: The AP again, says, “Prince’s heirs have sued Walgreens and the Illinois hospital that treated the music superstar after he suffered from an opioid overdose, alleging that a doctor and various pharmacists failed to provide Prince with reasonable care, contributing to his death. The wrongful-death lawsuit filed in Cook County, Illinois, alleges a doctor and pharmacist at Trinity Medical Center in Moline, Illinois, failed to appropriately treat and investigate Prince’s April 15, 2016, overdose, and that he died ‘as a direct and proximate cause of one or more … deviations from the standards of care.’” Uh … say that again.

So let’s build another stadium! Says the AP about the booming business in e-pulltabs, “At bars and restaurants across the state, Minnesotans are now buying more than $35 million in e-pulltabs every month — more than was sold in all of 2015 — and sales are up 500 percent in the last two years alone, according to data from the Gambling Control Board. State regulators say they’re on track to sell more than $325 million in e-pulltabs this year.”

Article continues after advertisement

So who gets to try the alleged killer grannie? Stribber Tim Harlow writes, “Minnesota fugitive Lois Riess signed a waiver of extradition in a Texas courtroom Monday, paving the way for authorities to take her to Florida and Minnesota to face murder charges. Judge Louis Sorola in Brownsville gave authorities in both states 10 days to pick up Riess. She will be extradited to the state whose authorities arrive first, most likely Florida, said Victoria Cisneros, a spokeswoman with the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office.”

And then there’s this guy. Says Tad Vezner for the PiPress, “A St. Paul man who admitted to masturbating during his young students’ ostensible acting lessons was sentenced to the maximum jail time allowable under state law Monday. In March, Nicholas Barghini, 31, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to one count of second-degree criminal-sexual conduct, a felony, and three counts of fifth-degree criminal-sexual conduct, all gross misdemeanors. On Monday, judge Nicole J. Starr sentenced Barghini to a year in jail, for which he has already served more than a third.”

What?! I already bought the boat, the Porsche, the penthouse in Vegas … . At MPR, Mark Zdechlik writes, “The Republican tax law signed by President Trump in December is often referred to as the GOP tax cut, and it’s true that most Americans are getting more money in their paychecks because of tax table changes. But it is also true that the tax cuts pushed by Republicans are jacking up 2018 taxes for millions of Americans. ‘It’s going to be super unpleasant,’ said Northfield certified public accountant Ann Etter, who’s also a spokesperson for the Minnesota Society of CPAs.” 

More on the family killed after driving off California cliff. From the AP via WCCO-TV: “Oregon Child Protective Services obtained records from Minnesota prior to investigating Jennifer and Sarah Hart in July 2013, KOIN-TV in Portland reported Monday. But the agency closed the case with investigators concluding that they were ‘unable to determine’ whether there was abuse in the home … California authorities have determined that Jennifer Hart was drunk when she drove her large family off a Northern California cliff last month and they suspect the crash was intentional. They are still trying to determine a motive. Toxicology results showed Jennifer Hart’s wife and several children had large amounts of a drug in their systems that can cause drowsiness.”

Well, look at it this way: the Wolves almost make history against the Houston Rockets last night. From the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda. “Leading by only a point at halftime, the Rockets outscored the Wolves 50-20 in the third quarter, one point shy of the 56-year-old NBA playoff record for a quarter. James Harden scored 22 of his 36 points in the quarter. ‘We scored 50 points,’ he said. ‘I don’t know what else to say.’ Just like that, the Wolves return to Houston trailing this best-of-seven series 3-1, with a potential final Game 5 set for Wednesday at Toyota Center.”