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70 Minnesota legislators send letter to Walz supporting PolyMet

Plus: Roseau border traffic slows as agents diverted to Mexico border; tenure fight at Macalester;  Blaine velodrome to close; and more.

Minnesota State Capitol
Minnesota State Capitol
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

PolyMet-amory. The Star Tribune’s Jennifer Bjorhus writes: “A group of Republican state lawmakers — and a few Iron Range Democrats — have sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz voicing strong support for PolyMet Mining Corp.’s proposed $1 billion copper-nickel mine in northeast Minnesota. … The Aug. 6 letter has 70 signatures and is a direct response to a letter 18 DFLers sent Walz about two weeks ago asking the governor to suspend all of PolyMet’s state permits while various environmental and legal concerns are addressed.”

We all have our crossings to bear. MPR’s John Enger reports: “Nurse Darcy Wakefield crosses from Canada into Minnesota four days a week to help deliver babies. It’s a job she loves — and one she says she’ll soon have to quit. … The babies haven’t slowed, but the border has. … Minnesota-Canada crossings have become a nightmare for Wakefield and others since January 2018, when the Roseau station cut its hours as U.S. Customs and Border Protection shifted officers to the Mexican border.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a deep dive into a fight over a professor at Macalester. Steven Johnson writes: “… What has followed is an escalating battle involving charges of racism, pleas to protect academic freedom, threats to [Professor Wang Ping’s] tenure, and a public campaign to protect her job — with much of it catching students in the crossfire. … According to emails, an audio recording, and documents obtained by The Chronicle, officials at Macalester, a small, private liberal-arts college in St. Paul, allege that Wang has embroiled students in her broader disputes with the institution, improperly disclosed student information, and mishandled parts of a faculty-search process. Wang denies any wrongdoing, saying the college is continuing a yearslong pattern of retaliation, trumped-up allegations, and discrimination against her.

The velodrome is closing. MPR’s Evan Frost reports: “After last week, ‘bike prom’ is no more. Cyclists from across the country flocked to the National Sports Center Velodrome for the last Fixed Gear Classic tournament and a chance to ride one of only three outdoor wooden tracks in the country. … Thirty years of Minnesota winters have taken their toll and the velodrome is set to close at the end of the year. … ‘The track got old, that’s the problem,’ said director Bob Williams, ‘We can’t stay ahead of the repairs.’

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