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Spread of emerald ash borer in Minnesota slower than predicted

Plus: after snow, cold sets in in metro; Red Lake Band of Chippewa grapples with declining enrollment; Bremer trustees respond to suit from bank; and more.

Emerald ash borer
Emerald ash borer
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Sort of a glass half full thing. The Pioneer Press’ Bob Shaw writes: “The state’s population of ash trees should have been ruined by now. … Instead, the invasion of a tree-killing beetle has dramatically slowed, leaving millions of the ash trees still standing. … ‘We got kind of lucky,’ said Jeff Hahn, an entomologist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service. … Hahn is not declaring victory over the Emerald Ash Borer, which is expected to eventually destroy most of the state’s one billion ash trees. But he is noting that on the 10th anniversary of the bug’s arrival, its advance has been slower than was originally predicted.

The cold has arrived. The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow reports: “Snow that snarled traffic during Monday’s morning commute in the Twin Cities is expected to end midday, but the temperature free fall won’t. … Temperatures have been rapidly falling from about 32 degrees into the teens and won’t bottom out until they sink below zero for the first time this season, said meteorologist Brent Hewett with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. … One last band of heavy snow was moving through the Twin Cities at 11 a.m., but once that’s clear, winds will pick up, courtesy of a cold front ushering in an arctic chill. A winter weather advisory was to expire at noon Monday, and it could be replaced by a windchill advisory, Hewett said. … Actual low temperatures will be around minus 4 degrees and windchills could approach minus 20 degrees Monday night. Tuesday will be even colder in the metro with lows around minus 10 degrees, making it feel more like January than December.”

Keeping numbers up. The Forum News Service’s Natasha Rausch reports (via the Grand Forks Herald): “The Red Lake Band of Chippewa in Minnesota is aiming to increase its enrollment, even as some members want to stick to the status quo. … This fall, the Red Lake Tribal Council approved a resolution loosening its rules on blood quantum, a system that identifies Native Americans by their percentage of ancestry in a tribe. … Now, the tribe has hundreds of new citizenship applications under consideration as it seeks to avoid what Tribal Secretary Sam Strong described as ‘mathematical genocide.’ Other tribes across the country are also looking into ways to approach the blood quantum system to avert dwindling enrollment.”

Bremer saga unfolds. The Star Tribune’s Evan Ramstad reports: “Bremer Bank executives’ surprise pursuit of a merger earlier this year began a fight over the future of Minnesota’s fourth-largest bank that courts may have to settle, leaders of Bremer Trust, the bank’s owner and one of the state’s largest charities, said Monday. … Bremer Bank filed suit last month to stop the trust from trying to sell the firm. In their first legal response, the trustees filed a 43-page document that said it was bank executives’ actions that showed the bank was worth more than previously thought, a revelation that put the trust on a collision course with federal tax law.

In other news…

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It was slippery out there:MN State Patrol: 130+ Crashes During Snowy Monday Morning Commute” [WCCO]

Demonstration Friday:U student group: UMN should declare a climate crisis, divest from fossil fuels” [Minnesota Daily]

At the Midtown Global Market:Vegan meat raffle? Local shop puts a plant-based spin on the Minnesota tradition” [Star Tribune]