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Rain expected to cause flooding across Minnesota

Plus: Walz budget includes $148 million in ‘fees’; Minneapolis school board approves new contract for superintendent; man who held ‘death party’ for wife charged with murder; and more.

Photo by Pete Nowicki on Unsplash

MPR’s Matt Sepic reports: “More than an inch of rain is forecast for much of Minnesota Wednesday and Thursday including the Twin Cities metro area. That normally would not be a cause for concern, but with the heavier-than-normal snowpack starting to melt, forecasters say there could be some flooding of roads across the region. …  Thick frost is preventing a lot of it from soaking into the ground. With rain falling, the chances for evaporation don’t look too good either. And many of the normal drainage paths — creeks and storm sewers — are blocked with ice and snow.”

In the Star Tribune, J. Patrick Coolican says, “Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s budget proposal would impose a 20-cent-per-gallon gas tax that he said would help create the finest transportation system in the world. With less fanfare, however, Walz’s budget would also tax drivers while they’re at their local DMV, hitting Minnesotans with a $2 ‘transaction fee’ plus another $4.50 to get a driver’s license and $2 for a license plate. The Walz budget includes $148.3 million worth of these new fees and fee increases, on everything from boat owners to companies that sell prescription drugs.”

MPR reports: “For a few weeks this spring, Lake Mille Lacs anglers will be able to get to keep one walleye when they go out fishing. It’s a small but significant change after several seasons of catch-and-release-only. Anglers during this year’s open-water season can keep one walleye between 21 and 23 inches or one walleye over 28 inches from the start of fishing season on May 11 until May 31, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday. Catch-and-release fishing for walleye returns on June 1.”

The Star Tribune’s Faiza Mahamud reports: “The Minneapolis School District approved a new contract Tuesday for Superintendent Ed Graff, granting him a $15,000 salary boost over the next three years. Graff’s contract, which begins July 1, will pay him an annual salary of $230,000. His current contract expires June 30 and pays him $225,000.”

The Star Tribune’s Tony Kennedy says, “Minnesotans could be hunting wolves again as early as the fall of 2020, but nothing is assured as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) embarks on another quest to remove the species from the nation’s endangered species list. The federal agency will be sued by environmental groups hoping to derail the effort, but the Trump administration is waiting any day now for the Federal Register to publish its official proposal to delist gray wolves throughout the lower 48 states.”

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Says a WCCO-TV story, “A customer at a St. Paul Domino’s is accused of pulling a gun on store employees after they neglected to include her chicken wings with her order. Officers say they responded to a report of a woman who pointed a gun at a Domino’s employee Thursday at the store’s 1110 Grand Ave location. The employees say the woman was upset about the food that had been delivered to her house and demanded a refund. When one of the employees called 911, the woman fled in her vehicle.”

In The Mankato Free Press, Kristine Goodrich says, “Duane Johnson called authorities to his home Jan. 24 and they found Debra Johnson dead and wrapped in a sheet. Duane Johnson told authorities his wife had been in a nursing home and she begged him to take her home to die. Investigators learned from the New Ulm Medical Center that Debra Johnson had been at a transitional care center with multiple medical issues and her husband removed her against medical advice. Duane Johnson said they had a ‘death party’ and took methamphetamine, the charges said.”

At The Huffington Post, Zach Carter writes, “On Tuesday, Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan appeared before Congress to assure the country that the rip-offs are, at last, under control. Sloan promised that he has made ‘fundamental changes’ at the bank and its problems have been ‘fixed’. … But in federal court, Wells Fargo tells a different story. Sloan’s vows to ‘restore trust,’ according to court filings from the bank’s own lawyers, are mere ‘corporate puffery’ that ‘no reasonable investor’ could rely on.”