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U.S. Rep Pete Stauber says he won’t run for governor in 2022

Plus: pace of vaccinations in Minnesota picks up; legislators to introduce effort to rename highway in honor of Prince; February cold snap may have helped slow the spread of ash borers; and more. 

Rep. Pete Stauber
MinnPost photo by Walker Orenstein
Rep. Pete Stauber
KSTP-TV’s Ricky Campbell reports: “Speculation over whether U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber will attempt to unseat Gov. Tim Walz ended Sunday when the Republican from Minnesota’s 8th District announced on ‘At Issue’ he won’t be running for the governor’s office. Instead, Stauber, who won his reelection bid by nearly 20 points, said he’s content at his current post, representing a large Congressional district spanning half of northern and central Minnesota. Some Republicans and political-watchers had considered Stauber a favorite for a party that hasn’t won a statewide race since 2006.”

MPR says, “The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in Minnesota increased on Sunday, with the latest update from state health officials showing an average of more than 43,000 doses administered each day over the past week — the highest on record. Nearly three-quarters of Minnesotans 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; more than 22 percent of all state residents have received at least one dose.”

Says Joe Nelson for Bring Me The News, “A powerful winter storm remains on track to plow through southern Minnesota late Sunday night and through the day Monday.  Snowfall amounts of 5-8 inches are forecast in an area of southwest and south-central Minnesota, where a winter storm warning is in effect from 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. … The Twin Cities metro area is currently north of all warnings and advisories, though the official snowfall forecast from the weather service projects 2-3 inches in the majority of the metro, with 3-4 possible in the southern suburbs.”

In the Pioneer Press, Bob Shaw writes: “Statewide, 47 percent of new housing starts in Minnesota in 2020 were for multi-family, according to the advocacy nonprofit Housing First Minnesota. The change is most dramatic in the suburbs, which until recently allowed only a trickle of multi-family housing starts per year. Typical is Cottage Grove. Until 2015, the city had almost no annual multi-family housing starts. But by last year, they shot up to 46 percent of the city’s housing options.”

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In the Star Tribune, Tim Harlow says, “Two Minnesota legislators say they are introducing measures that will allow the Minnesota Department of Transportation to designate a segment of Hwy. 5 that runs through Chanhassen as a memorial route in honor of the late pop star Prince. Sen. Julia Coleman, R-Chanhassen, and Rep. Greg Boe, R-Chanhassen, are drafting bills that would pave the way for the Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway. The bills could be ready for discussion by Monday.”

At KMSP-TV Sarah Danik reports, “One day after Governor Tim Walz announced multiple rollbacks on COVID-19 restrictions, businesses hoping for a brighter 2021 are still taking it in. The governor announced a series of changes on Friday, including increasing capacity at restaurants and bars, allowing event venues to open up, and letting Minnesotans know they can safely celebrate events like weddings. The rollbacks were music to the ears of Angi Butt, the owner of Furber Farm, a historic farm-turned event venue. With the news on Friday, Butt believes 2021 could be one of their best years ever.

Andrew Krueger of MPR says, “A month ago, Minnesota was in the grip of a bitter cold snap with temperatures in the 30s, 40s — even 50 below zero in northern parts of the state. Too cold for many people — and for invasive emerald ash borers. As we head into spring, a silver lining of that February cold snap may be that it caused a big setback for the ash borer’s spread across Minnesota. Mark Abrahamson, plant protection director at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, said research has shown that at temperatures of 20 below zero, about half of ash borers may die. At 30 below, that can be up to 90 percent.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Jon Bream, “With two more Grammys Sunday bringing her career total to seven, jazz superstar Maria Schneider has tied Bob Dylan and Prince for most trophies won by a musician born in Minnesota. … The Windom-reared University of Minnesota graduate picked up trophies remotely Sunday for best instrumental composition (‘Sputnik’) and best large jazz ensemble album for an ambitious double-album completed during the pandemic, ‘Data Lords’.”