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Legislature again urged to take quick action on insulin prices

Plus: Delta launches redesigned credit cards; Line 3 pipeline goes before Minnesota regulators; record flooding forecast for spring; and more.

Minnesota State Capitol
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota State Capitol
At MPR, Brian Bakst reports, “From a boy adjusting to his diabetes to a woman who has coped with the disease for three decades, insulin affordability advocates joined top Democratic lawmakers on Thursday in pressing for approval of assistance programs that would be paid for by drugmakers. Their personal stories came with political prodding for the Legislature to take quick action when lawmakers return to the Capitol in mid-February. Thursday’s press conference follows months of unsuccessful negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to work out a deal. Those talks have been hung up by differences over who would be eligible, who would administer the program and, most importantly, who pays.”

Stribber Kristen Leigh Painter says, “Delta Air Lines launched its redesigned credit cards Thursday with revamped benefits and one more surprise — the two most expensive cards will be made of metal. All four tiers for the consumer cards — blue, gold, platinum and reserve — have a new look. Platinum and reserve will be made of metal versus the traditional plastic. Metal credit cards are growing in popularity, with dozens of premium cards on the market now made of the heavier material.”

Says Peter Passi in the Duluth News Tribune, “Despite being twice delayed, a new 15-story apartment building soon should be coming to Duluth’s downtown skyline. Adam Fulton, deputy director of Duluth’s planning and economic development division, expressed optimism the project will be ready to go soon, beginning with the demolition of the Voyageur Lakewalk Inn, the former Hacienda Del Sol restaurant and a building that was formerly home to the First Oriental Grocery store.”

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Says Mike Hughlett for the Strib, “Enbridge’s proposed new $2.6 billion Minnesota oil pipeline is back before state utility regulators — possibly for the last time — after the completion of court-ordered changes to a key environmental review. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will kick off up to three days of hearings on the controversial 340-mile pipeline with a public comment session Friday. Though the new pipeline — a replacement for the aging Line 3 — has already prompted a deluge of public input, it’s rare for PUC commissioners to take direct comments from the audience on any issue.”

At BringMeTheNews Joe Nelson writes, “Flood-prone areas of Minnesota and throughout the Upper Midwest could be in for record flooding this spring after 2019 proved to be the wettest year on record for many locations.  The ominous report comes from the National Weather Service’s spring flood outlook. ‘Well above normal rain and snowfall throughout 2019 has led to record flooding, record high river levels, and abnormally wet ground for the winter season across the region. Through the end of December 2019, the Upper Mississippi River Basin and Red River Basin have had their wettest year in 125 years of modern record keeping. Across the region, Michigan, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Illinois all recorded their top 5 wettest years (January 2019 – December 2019).’”

MPR’s Catharine Richert says, “Just days after the Rochester Civic Theatre Company’s executive director abruptly resigned, city officials are raising questions about the institution’s finances. They are particularly concerned about a $300,000 loan the theater took out in the fall of 2019 in part to cover payments to staff and professional actors and directors. Also of concern is a protracted delay in the theater’s return of $10,000 in unused grant money to the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.”

In City Pages we get this from Jay Boller: “It’s no coincidence the listing photos for 117 Portland Ave. No. 702 feature a whole lot of Room & Board furniture. The historic North Star Lofts penthouse, which hit the market last week, is one of just six Minneapolis condos listed above $2.5 million. Its seller, former Room & Board executive Martha Gabbert, won’t be including the tastefully modern chairs, tables, and credenzas from her Golden Valley-based company. Instead, your $2.9 million investment comes with two-bedrooms, three-bathrooms, 3,010-square-feet, original 1927 limestone brickwork, a wood-burning fireplace, custum Valcucine kitchen, gym, private balcony, and four parking stalls. Plus iconic city views for days — the Stone Arch Bridge, U.S. Bank Stadium, and the downtown skyline are visible via floor-to-ceiling windows and the massive shared rooftop deck.”