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Rise in crashes on Lafayette Bridge prompts plan to install message board

Plus: sleeping child grazed by gunfire in Minneapolis; Montana train derailment leaves Amtrak passengers stranded in St. Paul; Lynx bounced from playoffs with loss to Chicago; and more.

Lafayette Bridge, St. Paul
Lafayette Bridge, St. Paul

Tim Harlow writes for the Star Tribune:, “Crashes on the northbound side of the Lafayette Bridge have increased fourfold since the span on the east side of downtown St. Paul opened six years ago after it was rebuilt. In the coming months, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will install an overhead electronic message board that will display information to help motorists choose the correct lane as they approach the confusing interchange where  Hwy. 52 ends and drivers must turn right onto E. 7th Street or take ramps leading to Interstates 94 and 35E.”

A KSTP-TV story by Kyle Brown says, “Police say a boy was grazed by a bullet while sleeping early Sunday morning in south Minneapolis. … The boy suffered a graze wound to the side of his head and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center to be treated. … A man who was standing outside on Portland Avenue at the time of the shooting went to Abbott Northwestern Hospital with a graze wound to his chin.  Police said he is also expected to be OK.

Kim Hyatt writes in the Star Tribune: “A deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana over the weekend left passengers stranded at St. Paul’s Union Depot, where all westbound trains from Chicago now end until at least Tuesday or when the derailment site is cleared. … In a statement Sunday, Amtrak said beginning Sunday and until Tuesday, all westbound Empire Builder trains scheduled to depart Chicago will terminate in St. Paul due to the derailment of eight cars on the Empire Builder train traveling westbound from Chicago to Seattle/Portland around 4 p.m. Saturday. During that same time frame, eastbound Empire Builder trains will not operate between Seattle/Portland and St. Paul.”

KARE 11 reports: “St. Paul Police say several people were hurt when a vehicle crashed into a business Sunday night. The crash happened just before 9 p.m. at St. Paul Tap near Jefferson Avenue and Fulton Street. Police say there were multiple injuries, but all were non-life threatening. An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.”

From WCCO-TV: “A central Minnesota clinic at the center of a deadly shooting will reopen its doors as a place of healing Monday. A gunman opened fire in the Allina Clinic in Buffalo back in February, killing 37-year-old medical assistant Lindsay Overbay and hurting four others. The clinic has been renovated ahead of welcoming back patients. Employees and community members donated thousands of dollars to help the clinic’s victims and their families.”

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Frederick Melo writes in the Pioneer Press: “Just east of the intersection of Jackson Street and Arlington Avenue, state officials once envisioned the former Bix produce building as a back-up morgue of sorts — a holding facility for up to 5,000 bodies of the victims of the COVID pandemic. … In any event, the planned use never materialized, and the St. Paul Port Authority now wants the building for future development. … The goal, according to board documents, is to flip the former Bix building as quickly as possible, with the Port Authority looking to secure a letter of intent from a qualified buyer before the end of November.”

For the Star Tribune, Kavita Kumar says, “The future of Bremer Financial Corp., which operates Minnesota’s fourth-largest bank, and the charitable trust that owns it is on trial this week in St. Paul. The state Attorney General’s Office will face off against the Otto Bremer Trust, which owns the bank in an arrangement unlike anything else in the U.S. banking industry. State attorneys will try to convince a judge that the three Bremer trustees who tried to sell the bank two years ago should be removed because of alleged mismanagement and self-dealing.”

The AP also reports: “Democratic congresswomen from Wisconsin and Minnesota said they are encouraged about conditions for Afghans currently housed at an western Wisconsin military base, though some of the refugees raised questions about trauma-based care and cultural issues. Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis met Saturday with Afghan women currently housed at Fort McCoy. The representatives toured the base at the request of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition.”

In the Pioneer Press, Jace Frederick writes: “The reality of the WNBA’s playoff structure is a cruel one: For those outside the top two seeds, if you don’t bring your ‘A’ game in either of the first two rounds, you’re going home. Or, in the Lynx’s case, staying home. Minnesota’s 2021 playoff experience can be described as short and not so sweet.  After just one game — Sunday’s stunning 89-76 loss to sixth-seeded Chicago at Target Center — it’s over. The No. 3 seed is out in the quarterfinal round.”

Also from the AP. “The first car jumping attempt in five years by North Dakota’s version of Evel Knievel ended in disaster when the car driven by the man known as the ‘Flying Farmer’ corkscrewed off the ramp and rolled. Authorities said John Smith, 57, was alert after the crash Saturday at a rural gravel pit in western North Dakota and that he even tried to pull himself out of the car while talking to rescuers. He was eventually cut out and taken by a medical helicopter to a hospital, according to firefighters. The extent of his injuries wasn’t known.”