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Twin Cities commuters to confront traffic hell as I-35W construction ramps up

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In the Star Tribune, Chris Serres and Erin Adler write: “For the next four months, the more than 200,000 motorists who use I-35W between downtown and the Crosstown each day will have to figure out a way to avoid the dreaded orange cones, which have appeared all around downtown Minneapolis. The roadblocks will leave just one direct access point for northbound motorists heading into downtown on I-35W and two for those leaving. The closure is part of a $239 million rebuild of the state’s busiest freeway that will make the commute smoother — but not until 2021.”

Whoa. KARE 11’s Boyd Huppert has a doozy. “Denice Juneski and Linda Jourdeans struggle to even come up with a word for the bond they share. Sisters? Cousins? Nothing seems to apply. There’s no playbook, after all, for two women in their 70s who’ve just found out they were switched at birth. … Only a few weeks have passed since Denice and Linda learned they didn’t, as infants, go home with the right family.”

Who knew multilateral trade agreements could be so complicated? Sam Easter of the Duluth News Tribune says, “Donald Trump's new steel and aluminum tariffs, which went into effect on imports from allies at the beginning of the month, were aimed at reversing American metals producers' economic fortunes. But the move has left others scrambling, with steel prices rising at home and allies slapping their own tariffs on U.S. products around the world, leaving broad tracts of the market wondering what happens next. ‘It's been pretty difficult lately, because things have been so up and down in D.C.’, said Stacey Breuer, a spokesperson for Bobcat, the heavy equipment manufacturer that employs 3,000 workers in four North Dakota cities.”

Bog watch. Also from KARE 11, Lou Raguse has the latest on the giant bog in northern Minnesota: “Eight months after a monster bog moved across North Long Lake near Brainerd, docking on the beach of Legionville Safety Camp, officials were successful in moving part of it back to its original resting spot. … The 8-million-pound bog, as long as three football fields, gained worldwide notoriety when it ended up on the shore of Legionville Safety Camp last fall after floating across the lake, taking docks along with it.”

In the Pioneer Press, Mary Divine takes a tour of Stillwater’s latest chi-chi offering, a hotel: “When it came time for developer Corey Burstad to find a partner for his $13.5 million hotel project in downtown Stillwater, he knew a standard chain wouldn’t cut it. The space — the former Joseph Wolf Brewery block on South Main Street — was too historic and too unusual, he said. … What Burstad was doing was taking four separate buildings … and cobbling them together to create a 30,000-square-foot hotel that includes a gourmet restaurant, craft cocktail bar and coffee shop. The 40-room, three-story boutique hotel, called Lora, opens June 18. The project is already garnering national attention. Architectural Digest included Lora in a list of the 15 best-designed hotels opening this summer, along with hotels in the United Arab Emirates, Germany and the Maldives.”

In a story updated Sunday, Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports, “The corner of McKnight and Lower Afton roads could become a hub of housing and retail. So could the intersection of Cleveland and St. Clair avenues, or for that matter, Maryland Avenue at Dale Street. St. Paul wants and needs to grow, and to do that, city planners have pinpointed 56 intersections where denser new housing, retail, transit stops and other important services could happily co-exist. That may mean lifting zoning and density restrictions, or taking advantage of zoning that already exists, to incorporate these future ‘neighborhood nodes’ into local planning.” Can St. Paul handle 56 more Irish pubs?

In the Strib, Paul Walsh writes, “An Anoka County man who hadn't slept for almost two days and had a couple of beers soon after leaving an overnight work shift has been sentenced to nearly a year in jail for causing a head-on crash that killed an inseparable couple. Jeremy A. Miller, 29, of St. Francis, was sentenced last week in Anoka County District Court after pleading guilty to criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the Nov. 2, 2015, collision that killed Richard J. Lindeen, 71, and Ann C. Lindeen, 73, both of Andover. The couple had been married for 51 years.”

Why should Enbridge get the pipeline it wants? In a Strib commentary, Tom Emmer, Jason Lewis, Nolan and Collin Peterson take on the question: “As members of Congress representing Line 3’s counties, its landowners, refineries and the union laborers who would be employed to replace Line 3, we believe its replacement is in the best interests for Minnesotans. … Critics of the project point to the need to respect tribal requests. We agree, which is why we back the Enbridge-preferred route to avoid reservation lands. In fact, using Line 3’s current route, as suggested by the administrative law judge, has been condemned and opposed by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe as a ‘clear attack on sovereignty and tribal communities.’”

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