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Minnesota farmers: 2019 ‘hardest year ever’

Plus: Lake Minnetonka introduces new regulations for boat toilets; nonprofit hosts gala with no attendees; Amazon worker organization wants to form safety committee; and more.

MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs
Hard year. The Forum News Service’s Dana Ferguson reports (via the Brainerd Dispatch): “Bevan Beck set down his mug of coffee Saturday morning and listed out to Minnesota’s agriculture commissioner the setbacks that had befallen his crops this year. … ‘We’ve had everything go wrong that can go wrong,’ Beck told Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. ‘Hardest year ever.’ … Beck and his wife Cheryl sat down with Petersen for an egg bake and pancake breakfast at the Minnesota Farmers Union annual convention in Minneapolis on Nov. 23. And between questions about Petersen’s sons, they and half a dozen other farmers shared their experiences navigating a particularly tough year for Minnesota farmers.”

A lake is a terrible thing to … dump human waste in. KSTP reports: “Officials are taking action to prevent another illness outbreak on Lake Minnetonka. … Monday, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District announced updated regulations regarding toilets on boats. … The regulation expands the definition of sewage to include ‘mobile sources’ and requires toilet pumps to be removed from boats.”

This is genius. The Star Tribune’s Kelly Smith reports: “Kate Gillette feels ‘gala fatigue’ from the two dozen invitations nonprofits send her each year. So she was intrigued by her latest invite to an unusual St. Paul gala: skip the fancy dress and pay to not attend. … That’s essentially what Tech Dump, an electronics recycler, asked for in its first-ever fundraiser earlier this month. … The St. Paul nonprofit rented an event center, set up black linen-covered tables and had an improv comedian host — all to an empty room. Instead, they taped a video of the event and charged people $40 to tune in from the comfort of their couch, helping the nonprofit meet its zero-waste mission.”

Working to improve worker safety. CNET’s Ben Fox Rubin reports: “Just ahead of Amazon’s important Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, the company is facing more negative attention directed at its treatment of its warehouse employees. … Workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Shakopee, Minnesota, announced on Monday night the next step in their ongoing campaign to improve working conditions. After already gaining national attention for several strikes, the group is now calling on Amazon to create a new workplace safety committee at their fulfillment center.

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In other news…

Usually Goliath wins:My Sweet Greens MN changes name after cease and desist” [Rivertowns]

PSA:Minnesota bans some ‘spinning battle’ toys for excessive lead” [Star Tribune]

Drug racing:Speed: Canterbury Park race horses exposed to methamphetamine” [KMSP]

Sweet news:Maud Borup expanding southern Minnesota candy factory” [Star Tribune]

Local music highlights:10 notable Minnesota albums of 2019” [The Current]