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MN House speaker wants September special session

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
House Speaker Melissa Hortman
Been a while since anyone called for a special session. MPR’s Briana Bierschbach reports: “The speaker of the Minnesota House wants lawmakers to return to St. Paul for a one-day special session in September to take up several bills that failed to pass in the just completed special session. … Lawmakers are not set to meet again until Feb. 11, 2020, but Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park says there’s no reason lawmakers can’t come back before then to take up unfinished business.”

Look who leads off this story about moderate Democrats who are uncomfortable with calls for impeachment. At the Daily Beast, MinnPost alum Sam Brodey writes: “Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) will entertain the idea of impeaching President Trump when he’s sure enough votes exist in the GOP-controlled Senate to convict him. Which is to say, not anytime soon. … ‘We’re not anywhere close,’ Peterson told The Daily Beast as he exited the House floor on Tuesday. He’s been pressing his colleagues in the House Democratic caucus to recognize that this simple fact should put impeachment fever to bed, for now. But he says he hasn’t had much luck. … ‘They’re not listening,’ said Peterson. ‘I’ve tried, but it’s pretty hopeless.’ ”

Speaking of presidential politics … The AP reports (via WCCO): “Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar’s mental health plan has inspired her first Iowa endorsement. … State Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines, one of Iowa’s four black legislators, is the mother of a son with developmental and mental disorders. She said Klobuchar made a personal impression on her when the two exchanged ideas to improve mental health services during a one-on-one breakfast.”

This evening:Klobuchar to host Duluth campaign event Thursday” [Duluth News Tribune]

The ongoing saga of the Twin Cities German Immersion School … goes on. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo reports: “Twin Cities German Immersion School has won the latest battle in its efforts to tear down a former church structure to accommodate the growing K-8 charter school. … The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday unanimously rejected a local historic designation sought by neighbors and historic preservationists who oppose demolition of the former St. Andrew’s Church building on Como Avenue.”

More like Wage-Thief River Falls? City Pages’s Susan Du writes: “Digi-Key, an electronics supply company that employs about 4,000 people in the small northern Minnesota town of Thief River Falls, is in the process of building a $300 million distribution facility. About $4 million of that comes from state subsidies. … Accepting public money requires strictly following the law. Which includes properly recording the hours construction workers put in, and paying them prevailing wages. … Wage theft watchdog Fair Contracting Foundation of Minnesota believes one Iowa-based contractor on the Digi-Key site is misidentifying its employees as ironworkers when they’re actually pouring and finishing concrete. Cement masons are paid $44 in Pennington County, while ironworkers are paid just $24.81. (Northern Minnesota’s prevailing wage rates differ from those of the Twin Cities, where ironworkers are paid more.)” 

Extending the Greenway will require some serious green. City Pages’ Hannah Jones reports: “The Midtown Greenway Coalition has a dream. Members want to extend the Greenway bike trail – six miles of blissful carlessness in the heart of Minneapolis – to St. Paul. Imagine biking straight from the Greenway, onto Ayd Mill Road, along the river into downtown St. Paul. … The coalition’s done much more than imagine. It has picked an existing bridge to serve as that essential link between the cities. The Short Line Bridge over the Mississippi River is a rusty relic with little remaining train traffic. The coalition is hoping it can persuade Hennepin County and the Canadian Pacific Railway to help them make it much more.

For more on the dream of an inter-city Greenway, check out Peter Callaghan’s piece from last year: Is it the right time to extend the Greenway across the river to St. Paul?

Ah yes, the revenue-generating world of college sports. The Star Tribune’s Megan Ryan reports: “With bigger and bigger piles of money pouring in from Big Ten Conference revenue sharing, the Gophers athletics department showed a $9.8 million profit last year, more than a fourfold increase from the previous year. … But a deeper look at the budget explains the department’s increasing unease from sagging attendance and hefty debt service payments for their upgraded facilities.”

In other news …

Never a good thing when the story starts by invoking the Apocalypse:Biting ‘buffalo gnats’ drive Minnesotans indoors” [Star Tribune]

Naturally:U.S. Steel seeks weaker standards for Dark River” [Timberjay]

Bad news, good news:Twins to ban backpacks, big bags at ballpark; no more emptying pockets” [MPR]

How are you celebrating?Your Guide To C-Line Opening Day Events” [streets.mn]

Larson gets a challanger:Malachi enters race for Duluth mayor” [Duluth News Tribune]

Getting a little less micro:Lupulin Brewing Company Acquiring Hydra Beer Company, Opening Second Lupulin Taproom in Sioux Falls, SD” [The Growler]

Starts this weekend:Where to Watch the Women’s World Cup 2019” [Mpls.St.Paul]

Sitting pretty:Minnesota man goes on ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ finds out his rummage sale chair is worth $25K” [West Central Tribune]

A lot at stake:Gov. Walz Challenges Students On Summer Break To Go Camping This Weekend” [WCCO]

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