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Minnesota congressional Republicans ask Biden to push for reopening of Canadian border

Plus: youth activists find purpose in Line 3 protest; Lindell responds to defamation lawsuit; Metro Mobility ends free rides for health care workers; and more.

A sign along Highway 61 near Grand Portage showing the distance in miles to the Canadian border.
A sign along Highway 61 near Grand Portage showing the distance in miles to the Canadian border.

Calling for open borders. The Forum News Service reports (via the Bemidji Pioneer):Three Republican members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation have written a letter to President Joe Biden, asking his administration to prioritize a bilateral plan to reopen the U.S.-Canada border, which has been closed to nonessential travel since last March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. … Reps. Michelle Fischbach, Pete Stauber and Tom Emmer sent the letter Monday, Feb. 22, in advance of Tuesday’s meeting between Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. … ‘We write to express our serious concerns over the continued closure of America’s northern border. As you may know, Minnesotans along our Canadian border rely heavily on tourism and cross-border travel to support their businesses. They have been hit especially hard by the pandemic-related travel restrictions, devastating local economies,’ the letter reads.”

A report from the Line 3 protest. The Star Tribune’s Zoë Jackson writes: “Steps away from the construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline in Cloquet, a handful of tents and lawn chairs surround a campfire. With temps in the single digits, Alex Golden-Wolf propped her feet up on the bricks surrounding the fire to keep them warm. … Golden-Wolf, who is Ojibwe, quit her restaurant jobs in the Duluth area to move to this piece of land the campers call Camp Migizi, or bald eagle in Ojibwe. … The campers are part of a movement of young people across the state, from Indigenous groups on the front lines in northern Minnesota to a group of activists in the Twin Cities trying to stop the pipeline in court. Line 3 crosses land where the Ojibwe have rights to hunt, fish and gather wild rice and other plants, the result of treaties signed in the mid-19th century.”

Lindell’s response. At Business Insider, Jacob Shamsian reports: “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he expects to lose $65 million in pillow revenue this year because of retailer boycotts over his claims that the 2020 US election was rigged. … That projection, Lindell told Insider in an interview Monday after being served with a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems seeking $1.3 billion in damages, is evidence he isn’t pushing election-fraud claims for the money. … ‘I lost 20 retailers, and it’s cost me $65 million this year that I won’t get back, OK?’ Lindell told Insider. ‘There’s your story. Print it right. Don’t try and twist this.’”

No more free rides. KSTP reports:Facing growing demand for Metro Mobility service, the Metropolitan Council will introduce fares beginning March 1 for essential health care workers who use the service. … For a majority of the pandemic, dating back to April 2020, Metro Mobility has offered free rides to those who work in health care. The council says the decision to charge fares for health care workers signals a return to more normal operations, which entails transportation service to certified riders with disabilities. … The free rides were offered at a time when Metro Transit service was less available. The Metropolitan Council operates both services.”

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In other news…

Warm days ahead:

In Burnsville:Suspect Arrested After Spraying McDonald’s Employees With Bear Mace” [WCCO]

Superheroes:After nearly closing, Black-owned comic book story saved by ‘army of angels’” [KARE]

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