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Court: R.J. Reynolds owes Minnesota millions

Plus: Amy Klobuchar’s anonymity problem; Franken appears on Conan; Minnesota top kidney-bean producer in nation; Duluth News Tribune sells building; and more.

REUTERS/Alex Grimm

If you can’t trust tobacco companies… The AP reports (via WCCO): “A Minnesota court says R.J. Reynolds Tobacco has wrongfully failed to pay the state millions of dollars it owes under Minnesota’s landmark 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry. … The attorney general’s office says the court will enter a judgment in the coming months for the amount that Reynolds owes.”

On Klobuchar’s big challenge. The Washington Post’s Jenna Johnson writes: “Before hundreds crammed into a college-neighborhood burger joint, Sen. Amy Klobuchar assumed the tone of a stand-up comedian as she recounted taking a selfie with fellow Sens. John McCain and Bernie Sanders at President Trump’s inauguration. A photographer captured the moment, with a caption that identified the two male senators but not her. … ‘Woman in gold coat takes selfie with John McCain and Bernie Sanders,’ Klobuchar recalled, as the crowd erupted with sympathetic laughter. … Less funny, anonymity also has largely defined Klobuchar’s role in the Democratic presidential contest — even though she has been a senator from Minnesota for 12 years and serves in leadership, even though she passes more legislation each session than most Democrats, even though she’s regularly on cable news and is campaigning across the country.”

Speaking of Minnesota senators … For the Daily Beast, Matt Wilstein writes: “In the nearly two years since he resigned from the Senate in disgrace following multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior, Al Franken has been slowly making his way back into the spotlight. He started with a weekly podcast, followed by his first major interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer and then this week’s announcement that he will be joining SiriusXM to host a weekly radio show and help cover the 2020 election. … And on Thursday night, Franken sat down for his first late-night appearance since leaving the Senate with his old friend and former Saturday Night Live colleague Conan O’Brien.

Tariffs a real punch to the kidney … bean market. MPR’s Dan Gunderson report: “Minnesota farmers are known for the corn, soybeans and wheat they grow. But the sandy soil of north-central Minnesota is prime kidney bean land — and the state leads the nation in kidney bean production.

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Another newspaper building sale. The Duluth News Tribune’s Kelly Busche reports:A Minneapolis investor has agreed to purchase the Duluth News Tribune building. … The developer, who asked to be unnamed until more details are finalized, entered into a purchase agreement with Forum Communications within the last week. The News Tribune staff will remain in the building and operate out of the top floor, while the other space will be redeveloped and leased out.”

In other news…

The elephant in the vroom:To Decarbonize Transportation, MnDOT Needs To Challenge Itself To Reduce VMT” []

They’re good:Snowplow drivers trained in dryland rodeo” [Star Tribune]

Must’ve inspired “Inside Llewyn Davis”:As a kid, Guthrie Theater ‘bored’ Ethan Coen, but now he’s focused on plays” [Star Tribune]

Making it in his hometown:Bob Dylan Musical Headed to Broadway” [Rolling Stone]

Sign of a healthy society:Landmark Theaters Bans Costumes At ‘Joker’ Screenings Over Violence Concerns” [WCCO]

This is their year:The Yankees Always Have The Twins’ Number. Will This Postseason Be Different?” [FiveThirtyEight]