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Northern Minnesota’s Cook County approves refugee resettlement with unanimous vote

Plus: storm expected to dump snow across Minnesota; Wisconsin appeals court puts hold on removing 209,000 names from the state’s voters from rolls; Twins sign former AL MVP Josh Donaldson; and more.

Cook County, Minnesota
MinnPost file photo by Sharon Schmickle
Cook County, Minnesota
For the Forum News Service, Brady Slater writes: “Cook County is open for refugee resettlement — the result of a unanimous vote by county commissioners Tuesday. The 5-0 affirmation complies with an executive order issued by President Donald Trump in September that requires states and counties to consent or opt out of resettlement consideration. … Commissioner Dave Mills said he’d never received more email feedback on an issue, all in support. … Before the vote, commissioners heard a presentation from County Attorney Molly Hickey and 45 minutes of public testimony from about a dozen Cook County residents mostly in favor of consent.”

The Star Tribune’s Patrick Condon writes: “The campaign arm of the House Democrats has filed an ethics complaint targeting Minnesota U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer and the National Republican Congressional Committee over the GOP’s use of campaign ‘trackers’ to trail Democratic lawmakers inside congressional office buildings during the recent hearings over impeaching President Donald Trump. … The complaint stems from the NRCC’s use of so-called trackers to follow Democratic lawmakers with cameras and pepper them with questions during the House impeachment debate in December. … Emmer was named in the complaint as the elected chairman of the NRCC, the campaign arm of the House Republicans.”

For MPR, Nicole Mitchell tells us, “A potent storm starts to spread snow across southern Minnesota overnight Thursday, and the entire state will likely see snow by Friday morning and continuing through part of Saturday. … There is still some uncertainty as to the exact track and moisture, but it looks as though all of Minnesota will see accumulation, with parts of southern Minnesota seeing a possible 6-plus inches. Some models project up to a foot of snow or more between Friday and Saturday.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Janet Moore, “Work on the half-mile Kenilworth [Southwest LRT] tunnel, which began late last year, is a key milestone on a project that has been fraught with controversy — and the result of tense negotiations between the city and the Metropolitan Council six years ago.… The contractor hired by the regional planning agency is using special equipment and methods to construct the tunnel, with hopes of minimizing noise and disruption. … The tunnel is also located just a few feet away from private homes in some spots, including the Calhoun Isles condominiums and the Cedar Lake Shores townhouses.”

Says the AP, “A Wisconsin appeals court on Tuesday put on hold an order to immediately remove up to 209,000 names from the state’s voter registration rolls, handing Democrats who had fought the move a victory in the battleground state. The appeals court sided with the bipartisan state elections commission in putting the brakes on removing any voters while the court fight continues.”

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For Barron’s, Ross Snel writes, “Wells Fargo’s retail brokerage, which has seen an exodus of financial advisors as its parent bank faced multiple scandals in recent years, shed more advisors in the fourth quarter of 2019. At the end of the period, Wells Fargo Advisors had 13,512 financial advisors, 211 fewer than at the end of the third quarter, according to a fourth-quarter earnings supplement. The latest tally was down by 456, or 3.3%, from the end of 2018. Since its parent bank’s fake-accounts scandal exploded in the third quarter of 2016, WFA’s advisory headcount has declined by 1,574, or 10.4%.”

For the Star Tribune, Phil Miller and LaVelle E. Neal report: “The Twins have reached an agreement with free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, a former American League MVP, a major league source confirmed Tuesday night. The deal is for four seasons with $92 million guaranteed, with a fifth-year club option that would bring the value to more than $100 million. The average annual value of $23 million matches the highest AAV in team history, that of the retired Joe Mauer.”

To which colleague Jim Souhan writes, “The Twins could have the best-hitting infield in baseball next year, and they could keep it together for years. … The Twins hired Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to get the franchise back to the point where it could contend for a decade. The signing of Donaldson positions them to do that.”