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Klobuchar’s paved road to the White House

Also: Meet Ilhan Omar’s comms director; Creative Kidstuff closing all stores; remembering the Gophers’ Final Four that wasn’t.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking at the Center for American Progress Action Fund forum in Washington, on March 5.

Roads and bridges to the White House. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. at the Washington Post writes about Sen. Amy Klobuchar promoting infrastructure fixes in her stump speeches: “The proposal, announced last week, is an attempt by Klobuchar to prevent more floods like this month’s, which have ruined houses and turned vast swaths of farmland into ponds, with an estimated $1.6 billion in damage. And it is a metaphor for her campaign, which has eschewed pizzaz and trendier topics to emphasize Klobuchar’s penchant for solutions, often bipartisan, on issues that can be basic to voters. The infrastructure plan seemed aimed squarely at waterlogged Iowans, who saw 57 of the state’s 99 counties flooded last month. …”

Behind the message. Ron Kampeas at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has a profile of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s communications director, Jeremy Slevin: “‘No politician runs to get into trouble,’ Keith Ellison, the former congressman who also employed Slevin as a communications director, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. ‘You run to do some good in the world. When that goes awry, you need someone to help you. That’s Jeremy.’ Ellison said Slevin’s strength was in getting to the essence of a politician, not trying to re-create her, and then shaping her message in a way that will get people to pay attention rather than react in anger.”

Playtime’s over. John Ewoldt at the Star Tribune is covering the surprise announcement of local toy retailer Creative Kidstuff closing all stores in June: “The Creative Kidstuff toybox is closing permanently on June 30. The popular Twin Cities store, which for 37 years sold toys to inspire and engage children’s creativity, will start a liquidation sale today at all six of its locations. ‘Our mission has always been making play joyful, educational, creative and inspiring,’ said Roberta Bonoff, chief executive of Creative Kidstuff, in a statement. ‘It’s been our pleasure to be part of such a fundamental experience for all families.'”

Playtime never occurred. Dane Mizutani at the Pioneer Press remembers the Minnesota Gophers’ trip to the Final Four that never happened: “To this day, the University of Minnesota has disassociated itself with the 1996-97 Gophers men’s basketball team, and in turn, its magical run to the Final Four from more than 20 years ago. Still, every year around this time, and maybe even more so this year with the Final Four being held in downtown Minneapolis, not far from the U, the memories come flooding back for the members of that team, as well as everyone else who was along for the ride.

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In other news …

Gaining territory: “Emerald ash borer found in Sauk Centre, county under quarantine” [St. Cloud Times]

White Mercedes problems:The Cautionary Tale of an Idiot, a Mercedes C43 AMG, Bald Tires and 2,000 Miles of Blizzard” [Jalopnik]

Bad times at Good Times: “A plague of smashed windows at soon-to-open Kingfield pizza shop” [Southwest Journal]

Warning: includes Macklemore track: “Grading the 2019 Minnesota Twins’ walk-up songs” [City Pages]