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Survey points to strong Midwest economy

Plus: woman dies at Minneapolis homeless encampment; Minnesotans register complaints against Frontier Communications; concerns raised over hydroelectric dam removal; and more.

Downtown Minneapolis
Downtown Minneapolis
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Doing great. The AP reports (via WCCO):A new survey suggests the economy remains strong in nine Midwest and Plains states, but business leaders are concerned about the ongoing trade disputes. … The overall economic index for the region slipped to 57.5 in September from August’s 61.1, but it remained in positive territory. … Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says he expects business will slow down but continue growing in the next few months because of the trade concerns and rising interest rates. … The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline.”

Very sad. The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “A mother of eight children who was living at a large homeless camp in south Minneapolis died of an apparent drug overdose early Sunday, marking the third death in less than a month linked to the rapidly growing homeless camp near the Little Earth housing project. … Pamela Rivera, 51, was found unconscious and alone in her tent early on Sunday, and a friend immediately began performing CPR, relatives said. Paramedics gave her 10 doses of Narcan, a drug that can reverse the effects of opioids, in her tent and in the ambulance on the way to Hennepin County Medical Center. She died there at 4:29 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office.”

Communications breakdown. MPR’s Mark Steil reports: “You would expect to look up to see Frontier Communications telephone lines in the town of Ceylon, neatly swaying from traditional wood utility poles. … But in parts of town, look down. There they are — black cables snaking through the grass. … ‘There’s three lines there, that are just laying across the ground,’ said John Gibeau, a Ceylon City Council member. ‘And they run down for probably another 60 yards.’ … He gives Frontier’s work on this telephone line project a failing grade. It looks like the cables were successfully laid out, but that’s it. They’ve never been buried or attached to a telephone pole. … Nearly 400 people have attended a series of public hearings across Minnesota concerning complaints about Frontier Communications as part of a state Public Utilities Commission investigation of the phone and internet company.”

Shocking. The Pioneer Press’ Bob Shaw reports: “Andy Davis can think of 42 reasons not to take out the dams of the upper Mississippi River. … That is the number of megawatts generated by hydroelectric generators between Minneapolis and St. Paul. If the dams were removed to restore the Mississippi to its original free-flowing state, that source of electricity would be jeopardized. … ‘When I first heard about this idea, I was shocked,’ said Davis, spokesman for Brookfield Renewable, a Toronto-based renewable energy company that operates two of the plants. The third is owned by Xcel Energy.”

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In other news…

Deal forged:Cleveland Cliffs and United Steelworkers reach tentative 4-year labor contract” [Star Tribune]

Deer sick:Southern Minnesota Deer Tests Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease” [WCCO]

Yikes:Sept. 20 southern Minnesota tornado outbreak rises to 16” [West Central Tribune]

Weird story:Craig Finn’s ‘Mark David Chapman-esque’ stalker surrenders to NYC cops” [City Pages]

Beautiful:Photos: Red Wing’s historic Sheldon Theatre reopens” [MPR]

An institution:A bittersweet goodbye for the Dragon City Cafe in south Minneapolis” [MPR]