Moody’s casts shadow on efficacy of Minnesota pension reforms

Office of the Governor
Gov. Mark Dayton signing bipartisan pension legislation in May.

Jeeze, way to kill the mood. The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel reports: “Just one month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a massive overhaul of Minnesota’s pension system into law, the prominent credit rating agency Moody’s warned that the changes are ‘far from a cure-all.’ … Moody’s was one of several rating agencies that recently published articles saying the state’s reform, which is expected to stabilize the benefits of 511,000 retirees and public employees, is a step in the right direction. But the agencies warned more work will be needed to handle high pension burdens.”

Easements ease pressure on state’s water supply. MPR’s Dan Gunderson writes: “Corn or soybeans typically cover Rob and Loreli Westby’s 85-acre farm in the rolling hills a few miles south of Fergus Falls, Minn. But this season there are also native grasses and wildflowers sprouting among the decaying rubble of last year’s corn. … The Westbys shifted some acreage to conservation this year under a new Minnesota program that pays farmers to permanently set aside cropland to improve water quality. … ‘We both believe in conservation and it will be perpetually protected when we’re no longer around and other people can enjoy it,’ Rob Westby said of the restored wetland that’s been in his wife’s family for years and where the couple first met while hunting.”

The satellite pic is wild. The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “Recent heavy rains in and around the Twin Ports raised river levels and sent thousands of tons of silt into Lake Superior, muddying the waters for anglers and raising concerns from other lake lovers. … Some of the silt is from the South Shore clay banks of the big lake, but most comes from erosion from Lake Superior’s tributaries, including the St. Louis River. … The worst offender by far is the Nemadji River, which starts in Pine County and runs through Carlton County before crossing into Wisconsin and entering Lake Superior at the Superior harbor entry.”

Release the river! The Pioneer Press’ Bob Shaw writes: “It may be time to unleash the Mississippi River. … The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering the possibility of three metro-area dams being removed — which would transform the slow-moving commercial waterway into a whitewater rapids. … The Corps wants to sell or give away the Upper St. Anthony Lock but not the dam, which is owned by Xcel Energy Inc.; the Lower St. Anthony Lock and Dam near downtown Minneapolis; and Lock and Dam No. 1 by the Ford Parkway Bridge. … Officials are hosting meetings this month to discuss what to do, but just talking about restoring the river to its natural state has fired up a public debate.”

In other news…

New on Blevins case:Family of North Minneapolis Man Fatally Shot Speaks Out” [KSTP]

Good to know:St. Cloud Hospital Ranked Best In Midwest For Open Heart Surgery” [WCCO]

Dockless bike share gearing up:Nice Ride bikes will drop prices, expand fleet, go dockless in Minneapolis” [Pioneer Press]

Might be of interest:I-35W bridge collapse survivor writes riveting memoir” [Pioneer Press]

Minnesotans abroad:White-tailed deer in Finland: From 5 to 100,000 in 80 years” [yle]

Should you find yourself in Litchfield:Minnesota’s drive-in movie era fades, but some won’t let it die” [MPR]

Per City Pages, it’ll be based around fresh, real tortillas:

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