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Twin Cities one of five finalists for Army Futures Command

Plus: Minnesota adds 10,000 jobs; a refresher on Virginia-by-way-of-Duluth U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart; St. John’s gets sued by alum who wants donation back; and more.

Downtown St. Paul
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

The Star Tribune’s Jim Spencer writes: “The Twin Cities metro area is one of five finalists for the Army Futures Command, a prestigious research-and-development installation that will plan and facilitate production of technological innovations for the largest branch of the U.S. military. Defense Department personnel scouted the Minneapolis-St. Paul region earlier this week, state and federal officials said.”

When it comes to health care, people love hints. In the Star Tribune, Christopher Snowbeck says, “Minnesotans who buy health insurance on their own will get their first hints Friday about premiums for 2019 with the scheduled release of data on the rates being requested by carriers. The information from regulators is expected even as new questions are brewing at the federal level about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health law that started fundamentally reshaping the individual market in 2014.”

Jobs. Tiffany Bui of the PiPress says, “Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.1 percent as employers added 10,200 jobs in May, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in May. The Minnesota rate is at its lowest since July 2000. But Minnesota’s job growth for the past 12 months of 1 percent still lags behind the national 1.7 percent rate.”

It was in the fine print, yes? Cathy Wurzer and Max Nesterak of MPR say, “St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., is being sued by one of its own graduates who wants his donation back. Roger Lindmark, a 1974 grad, gave $300,000 to St. John’s with settlement money he won from lawsuits against big corporations. Lindmark wanted the money to fund two students each year to spend the summer researching and writing papers about corporate-business ethics. But Lindmark says that’s not how the university used his money.”

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Virginia by way of the Zenith City of the Unsalted SeasMike Mullen at City Pages refreshing readers’ memories about the guy running for U.S. Senate in Virginia. “CNN viewers endured a very annoying earful on Wednesday night, as host Chris Cuomo did nearly 20 minutes of fruitless verbal battle with his guest, Corey Stewart. Cuomo tried nailing Stewart down on a number of topics: being one of Donald Trump’s favorite new candidates this year; joking that his opponent, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) should be in jail; Stewart’s association with deeply bigoted types, and his love of the Confederate flag. … cable TV watchers unfamiliar with his backstory probably wondered: Where’s his accent? … Allow us to enlighten you. He’s a Northerner, through and through. Corey Stewart was born in Duluth, Minnesota. He went to college here, undergrad at St. Olaf, then law school at William Mitchell (now Mitchell-Hamline). Then he moved to Virginia.” 

It was worth a shot. KSTP-TV intersected ex-FBI director Jim Comey as he strolled through MSP International. “Former FBI Director James Comey is in Minnesota as a much-anticipated Justice Department watchdog’s report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails is released. You can read the Department of Justice’s findings in the report by clicking the link below. KSTP questioned Comey as he made his way through MSP Airport Thursday. He declined to comment.” 

They’re usually about now up north. In the Strib, Jim Gilbert says, “Warm weather could account for sightings of the first fireflies. The first fireflies were seen and reported on the wing May 19 in the Lanesboro area, and May 26 in Faribault, Lakeville, White Bear Lake and the Waconia area. Fireflies first appeared June 10 in the Waconia area last year.” 

Long overdue. Frank Jossi for the Energy News Network says, “Solar installers should have an easier time connecting their projects to Minnesota’s electric grid by this time next year. Minnesota regulators recently approved a major update to the state’s interconnection standards for small generators, which outline procedures for how utilities work with renewable installers and developers. The new procedures were designed to cut down on surprises and wait times for most projects, and they largely follow an already established process used by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).”