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EPA union says leaked email shows MPCA tried to suppress PolyMet concerns

Plus: St. Paul school board removes James Monroe’s name from two school buildings; U of M wrestlers released without being charged; Twins win in 17 innings; and more.

File photo courtesy of the Timberjay
PolyMet is reusing the former LTV Steel Mining site near Hoyt Lakes.
In the Duluth News Tribune, Jimmy Lovrien writes: “The union representing workers at the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday released an email which they say shows the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency tried to stifle concerns the EPA had on a permit for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes, set to be the first of its kind in Minnesota. … In the email, [then-MPCA Assistant Commissioner Shannon] Lotthammer asked Thiede and the EPA to wait on commenting on a PolyMet draft permit until the public comment period ended.”

In the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges writes, “Over objections from a vocal group of alums, the St. Paul school board voted Tuesday evening to drop James Monroe’s name from two school buildings. Troubled by the fifth U.S. president’s slave ownership, parents and students at Linwood-Monroe Arts Plus spent a year and a half exploring the change before settling on Global Arts Plus.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Katrina Pross writes: “Two University of Minnesota wrestlers were released from custody Tuesday without being charged by Hennepin County authorities. Gable Steveson and his teammate Dylan Martinez were arrested Saturday on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. Prosecutors had until noon Tuesday either to charge Steveson and Martinez or release them. The investigation remains ongoing ….”

The AP reports: “Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace an aging crude oil pipeline that runs through northern Minnesota hit another obstacle Tuesday when two state agencies said they would hold up approval of the project’s permits until problems with its environmental review are resolved. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that they can’t take final action on the permits for the Line 3 project until the independent Public Utilities Commission addresses the deficiencies cited in a state appeals court ruling this month …..”

This from Matt Sepic at MPR, “Federal prosecutors say that an Illinois man accused of firebombing a suburban Twin Cities mosque tried to escape from custody while being transported to Minnesota. Michael Hari, 48, of Clarence, Ill., is facing hate crime and explosives charges in connection with the Aug. 5, 2017, attack on the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. Prosecutors say Hari tried to flee while U.S. marshals were transporting him from Illinois. … .”

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From KSTP-TV: “Ignoring signs that read ‘trail closed’ on portions of the Cedar Lake and Kenilworth Trails may not end up as a quality decision. The trails have been closed for about a month now due to construction on the Southwest Light Rail Line. As of this week, not obeying the closures could result in one taking out their wallet and paying the consequence.”

Says Michael Rand for the Star Tribune, “A fan survey of all 30 MLB parks that is somewhat strange, not altogether specific but overwhelmingly complimentary to Target Field was released recently by SeatGeek. … Target Field did quite well in all three, with top 10 finishes across the board. But while the atmosphere (No. 9) and food (No. 10) were given solid grades, it’s apparently the bathrooms (No. 2) where the nearly decade-old ballpark in Minneapolis really shines through.”

In the PiPress, John Shipley writes: “It was a productive night off for Max Kepler. The Twins outfielder drove in the tying run in the eighth inning, hit a game-tying home run in the 13th and drove in the go-ahead run in the 17th after entering as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning as Minnesota rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox, 4-3, in front of a dwindling group of diehards at Target Field.… An announced crowd of 25,741 settled into a pitchers duel between starters Michael Pineda and David Price and gradually thinned out by the time the game ended at 12:55 a.m., the Twins’ longest game of the season at 5 hours, 45 minutes.”