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Minnesota milk production up despite dairy closures

Plus: Minnesota activists succeed in getting Amazon to remove skin-lightening products; needle drop-offs launched in South Minneapolis parks; Lindsey Port announces state Senate run; large St. Paul property owner sued over labor practices; and more.

Photo by Anita Austvika on Unsplash

Udder paradox. The Star Tribune’s Adam Belz reports: “Dairy farmers are quitting en masse, but milk production keeps growing in another sign of the terrific forces at work against small dairies in the Upper Midwest. … A report this week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that October milk production in the state grew by 15 million pounds, or nearly 2%, compared to the year before, even though the state lost 10% of its dairy farms last year.

Difference made. MPR’s Tarkor Zehn reports: “After pressure from Minnesota public-health and environmental activists, Amazon removed more than a dozen skin-lightening products with toxic levels of mercury off its website. … The move came after two organizations, the BeautyWell Project and the state branch of the Sierra Club, delivered a petition with over 23,000 signatures to the company’s fulfillment center in Shakopee on Wednesday.”

Keeping parks clean. The Southwest Journal’s Andrew Hazzard reports: “City public health officials are establishing 10 syringe deposit sites in South Minneapolis in an effort to keep neighborhoods and parks free of used needles. … Minneapolis launched the syringe pilot program in early November, when two deposit stations were placed along Bloomington Avenue. … Ultimately there will be 10 sites established, mostly near Bloomington Avenue between Lake Street and Franklin Avenue. Four will be at city parks: Currie, East Phillips, Franklin Steele Square and Peavy Field.”

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Port’s back. KMSP reporta: “She was accused of being ‘too loud’ and faced #MeToo movement backlash, but nearly two years after dropping out as a DFL candidate in a state house race – Lindsey Port is back on the campaign trail … Wednesday, Port announced on social media she’s running for the state senate seat that represents parts of Savage-Burnsville and Lakeville.”

Property bothers. The Star Tribune’s Emma Nelson reports:Downtown St. Paul’s largest property owner is embroiled in a legal dispute with a union that alleged the company used its ownership structure to avoid paying employees overtime. … Madison Equities, which has a portfolio including the First National Bank Building, US Bank Center and Alliance Bank Center, is also fending off an investigation by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. … The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, a union that represents workers including janitors, window washers and security guards, assisted workers with filing complaints that prompted the state action. SEIU released a statement last month and posted fliers saying the company avoided paying thousands of dollars in overtime wages by having security guards submit their hours to separate companies.”

In other news…

Nickeled to death:Minneapolis City Council Approves 5-Cent Plastic & Paper Bag Fee” [WCCO]

Cease & Desist:Lawsuit: Target’s Good & Gather line infringes trademark of Georgia woman’s business” [Yahoo! News]

Attention comedy fans:TV pilot set in Superior debuts on Amazon” [Duluth News Tribune]

Day brightener:Colorblind Boy Gets Special Glasses, Sees Color For The First Time” [WCCO]

Eatin’ good in the Uptown neighborhood:Replace that ‘cursed’ Uptown Minneapolis space with an Applebee’s” [City Pages]