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Smith, Klobuchar lead in Senate races, according to poll

Plus: A St. Paul home-inspection horror story; former Hopkins mayoral candidate convicted for threatening federal judge; as Duluth bald eagle populations recover, goshawk numbers plummet; and more.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith
MinnPost photo by Lorie Shaull

DFLers lead in both Senate races. MPR’s Briana Bierschbach and Mark Zdechlik report: “Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith are poised to hold on to both of Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seats this fall, although Smith is facing a closer race in a special election where neither nominee is well known to voters. … Smith leads Republican nominee Karin Housley 44 to 37 percent in the race for her seat in the Senate, according to the MPR News/Star Tribune Minnesota Poll of 800 registered and likely voters. Of those polled, though, 15 percent said they are still undecided and 4 percent said they plan to vote for another candidate. … Smith’s race is much closer than the challenge facing Klobuchar, who leads her Republican opponent Jim Newberger 60 percent to 30 percent, according to the poll. Only 6 percent of voters are undecided in that race, with 4 percent planning to vote for another candidate.”

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This turns out to be way worse than you expect. City Pages’ Hannah Jones reports: “This is a story about home ownership. It’s also a horror story. … Like all horror stories, it starts with a fateful decision. In 2007, Dana DeMaster bought a house in the St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. It clearly needed a little paint and TLC, but the housing bubble was full to bursting, and homes were going fast. She had it inspected, and didn’t uncover anything she thought she couldn’t handle. She decided this was a place she and her family could invest a little money and a little love in. … Eight years later, DeMaster decided to get some new siding for her place. The professional opinion was that she shouldn’t take on the siding project until she had someone look at their roof, which was sagging. So, she hired a roof contractor to check it out.

Remember this guy? The Forum News Service reports (via the Pioneer Press): “A West Fargo, N.D., man who twice ran for mayor of Hopkins was convicted Friday in St. Paul of threatening to kill a federal judge. … U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright, in St. Paul, ruled against Robert Philip Ivers, 65, last year when he sued a life insurance company. … After losing the case in January 2017, Ivers responded by sending a series of threatening letters and calling a court employee to say he was ‘crazy angry’ at the judge and described himself as a ‘walking bomb.’ … ‘This defendant has a long history of using words to frighten and intimidate,’ said Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Allyn.”

OMGoshawk. The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “The nearly half-century tally of birds that fly over Hawk Ridge every autumn is really a snapshot of annual migration, impacted by weather and natural cycles, and not necessarily a population survey. … But the tale of two raptors that fly over Duluth on their way south each autumn are shining examples of what researchers are seeing across North America — two birds heading the same way this time of year way but going in opposite directions as a species. … As of Thursday more than 1,200 bald eagles had been counted over Hawk Ridge, ahead of even last year’s record pace. … Only eight northern goshawks had flown over.

In other news…

Finally!Dockless bikes to land in Minneapolis this week” [Star Tribune]

What about the deer?Hospital aims focus on hunter health” [Mankato Free Press]

Sir Francis Drake sought for questioning:Burning boat ignites several others on Lake Minnetonka” [KARE]

It happens:Wisconsin Humane Society Untangles Squirrels with Twisted Up Tails” [KSTP]

Coming soon:Ready for Winter? Snowplow Operators Already Taking Part in MnDOT Training” [KSTP]