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New ethanol rules testing farmers’ loyalty to Trump across Midwest

soybean harvest
REUTERS/Roberto Samora
Soybean harvest

A trio of writers for the AP report: “When President Donald Trump levied tariffs on China that scrambled global markets, farmer Randy Miller was willing to absorb the financial hit. Even as the soybeans in his fields about an hour south of Des Moines became less valuable, Miller saw long-term promise in Trump’s efforts to rebalance America’s trade relationship with Beijing. … But the patience of Miller and many other Midwest farmers with a president they mostly supported in 2016 is being put sorely to the test. The trigger wasn’t Trump’s China tariffs, but the waivers the administration granted this month to 31 oil refineries so they don’t have to blend ethanol into their gasoline.”

The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick writes: “U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s campaign finances came under scrutiny Wednesday, as questions arose about payments made to a national campaign consulting firm. Because, the day before, the wife of a partner at the firm accused the partner of leaving her for Omar, who is also married. The two days’ worth of news thrust Omar’s private life from the realm of British tabloid to the fore of mainstream media — and prompted a formal complaint to the Federal Election Commission. … And this comes as Omar, a Minneapolis Democrat, tweeted publicly and to her 1.5 million followers that she faced a fresh death threat.

The Duluth News Tribune’s Kelly Busche writes: “The first step in constructing Essentia Health’s Vision Northland — an $800 million development in downtown Duluth — is slated to start Monday, Sept. 9. The three-year project will bring a new 14-story hospital bed tower, larger surgical suites and clinic space, as well as road closures and restricted access to building entrances when construction gets underway, according to a news release from Essentia.”

In the Star Tribune, Jessie Van Berkel reports, “State Rep. Matt Grossell has been removed from the House Public Safety and Judiciary committees after House Speaker Melissa Hortman deemed he had abused his office during a drunken arrest in May. Grossell, R-Clearbrook, was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing in May after he repeatedly shoved and grappled with a security guard at a hotel bar near the Capitol. When police found him intoxicated, he was taken to Regions Hospital but then refused to leave and was brought to jail.”

KSTP-TV reports:“People in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood are losing a place to shop. Walmart announced Wednesday it is closing its store on University Avenue on Sept. 20. The company said the decision is based on a number of factors, including store performance. It’s the second big box store to close in that plaza, following Herberger’s last year.”

This from FOX 9: “Despite less than perfect weather for the day, a record number of people still poured into the Minnesota State Fair. A total of 136,987 people went through the gates on Tuesday, fair officials report, breaking the previous record of 132,120 set in 2017. It’s the third time so far this year the fair has broken a daily attendance record. The new record follows a slow Monday that was washed out by rainy weather, with less than 100,000 people attending.”


Ann Bailey of the Forum News Service writes, “More than 300 people from across Minnesota and North Dakota attended the Marshall County Historical Society’s Tuesday, Aug. 27, commemoration of the Aug. 27, 1979, sighting of a UFO by then Marshall County Deputy Val Johnson. Johnson was patrolling a Marshall County highway about 20 miles from Warren in the early hours of the morning of Monday, Aug. 27, 1979, when he encountered a bright light that appeared to be too high to be those of a semi-tractor trailer.

For MPR, Dan Kraker writes, “Duluth’s fortunes were built largely on the iron ore and shipping industries. But for a short period of time, around the turn of the 20th century, Duluth was a timber town. … Waste from those mills has clogged the bottom of the river for more than a century, wreaking havoc on its underwater ecosystem. Now, a combination of state agencies is attempting to restore that ecosystem. But before it can revive the St. Louis River estuary, Duluth first needs to dredge up its industrial past.”

For the Star Tribune, Matt McKinney writes: “The racers drop their heads, pedal to the infield, and prepare for the next race, one of dozens held on Thursday nights in the summer at the National Sports Center’s (NSC) velodrome in Blaine. One of the only outdoor wooden tracks in the nation and a source of pride for the local bicycling scene, the 250-meter velodrome will close for good and be torn down after this race season. … Thursday’s final ‘Thursday Night Lights’ race series will be the last time the public can watch track racing there. Demolition is expected in the coming months.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 08/29/2019 - 08:17 am.

    “The trigger wasn’t Trump’s China tariffs, but the waivers the administration granted this month to 31 oil refineries so they don’t have to blend ethanol into their gasoline.”

    To date, the 2006 MN gubernatorial race was the only political contest in the nation to be tipped, at least in part, by a question about ethanol. We will see how farmers react in 2020.

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/29/2019 - 09:37 am.

    Trump’s continued support in rural areas gives the lie to the idea that culture war issues are relatively unimportant to Republican voters. His economic policies are, at best, not hindering the upward trends that began under Obama. At worst, they are ego-driven recipes for disaster. That doesn’t seem to matter, as long as he keeps “saying what we’re all thinking.”

  3. Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/29/2019 - 10:26 am.

    The farmers are losing patience and might not vote for Trump? What would he have to, personally punch them in the face? No one should feel sorry for these people – they got exactly what they voted for. I hope the gun worship and immigrant bashing was worth it when they go bankrupt.

    Ironically, I agree with Trump’s ethanol rule changes. Corn ethanol is an absolute environmental disaster – from emissions, to water use, to pollinator loss. We should kill off the ethanol industry.

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