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After St. Paul rent control vote, developers put projects on hold while city scrambles to interpret new ordinance

Plus: eight injured in six separate shootings in Minneapolis; snow possible by end of week; highway signs now mark boundaries of 1854 treaty signed by U.S. government and three Ojibwe bands; Loons make MLS playoffs; and more.

St. Paul skyline at night with moon
St. Paul
MinnPost file photo by Rita Kovtun

Katie Galioto and Shannon Prather report in the Star Tribune: “Less than 24 hours after St. Paul voters approved one of the country’s most stringent rent control policies, Nicolle Goodman’s phone started to ring. Developers were calling to tell the city’s director of planning and economic development they were placing projects on hold, putting hundreds of new housing units at risk.…Voters’ decision Tuesday to cap annual rent increases at 3% sent developers into a frenzy, prompting some with stakes in Minnesota’s capital city to pause projects or reconsider sites for future housing. Unlike most cities with rent control, St. Paul will not exempt new construction, which opponents argue will force lenders and developers to look outside the city for spots where they feel more confident that they will recoup investments and earn profits.”

In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “In St. Paul, housing advocates are celebrating a historic win for one of the strictest rent-control mandates in the country, even as City Hall grapples with how to interpret, staff and enforce a voter-approved ballot initiative it has not budgeted for. Members of the city council this week expressed frustration and confusion over when the new limits on rent increases take effect, which is apparently in May.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “Eight people were injured in six separate shootings in Minneapolis Saturday evening and early Sunday morning. … Around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, multiple cars were gathered on the 2200 block of West Broadway Avenue when someone shot from one of the vehicles, police said. … About an hour later, officers responded to a gas station on the 2200 block of Lyndale Avenue South after reports of gunshots and speeding vehicles. Police found two men with gunshot wounds. Both were hospitalized. Police are investigating all of the shootings.”

At KSTP-TV, Rich Reeve says, “The new $1 trillion dollar infrastructure package — passed by Congress Friday night — invests billions in spending. For Minnesota, there will be more than $5-billion for road, bridge, and public transit improvements. There will also be tens of millions for broadband, which is expected to have a major impact on the state’s rural communities. ‘It opens up a whole new world, really,’ says Gary Wertish, the president of the Minnesota Farmers Union. ‘We have an aging population in rural communities, a shrinking population. This is one way we can bring that back.’”

This from WCCO-TV, “a storm system is developing that could bring snow to Minnesota by the end of the coming workweek. WCCO meteorologists say the latest model data shows the system arriving Wednesday night going into Thursday. ‘For now we’re mainly looking at rain, but as the system evolves and gets closer, it is possible we could wrap some cold air back on the back side of that system, which might drop a little bit of light snow,’ said Meteorologist Lisa Meadows.”

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MPR’s Dan Kraker says, “State transportation officials are posting 12 highway signs in northeastern Minnesota to mark the boundaries of a treaty signed in 1854 by the U.S. government and three Ojibwe bands: the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The Minnesota Department of Transportation installed the first sign on Nov. 1 on southbound Highway 61, just south of the Canadian border and near the entrance to Grand Portage State Park. ‘It is something that was long overdue,’ said Grand Portage Chairman Robert Deschampe.”

WCCO-TV’s David Schuman reports: “The University of Minnesota is warning students and neighbors to be vigilant after four armed robberies near the Twin Cities campus since Wednesday. The most recent occurred Sunday afternoon near 10th Avenue and University Avenue. Two men with handguns wearing dark hooded sweatshirts left the area in a block Dodge Durango, officials said. Minneapolis police are investigating. It makes five robberies since Halloween. …  Two armed robberies reportedly happened simultaneously Friday near Huntington Bank Stadium. On Wednesday, an armed suspect stole a purse and a phone southeast of campus.”

Charmaine Nero reports for KARE 11: “In just the past week, Companion Animal Control — which represents Washington County in Minnesota, and parts of Wisconsin — says they’ve seen more than a dozen cases involving the poisoning and death of animals. That includes five cats, three dogs and seven squirrels in Baytown Township, Hugo and the Lake Elmo area. … An animal control officer with Companion Animal Control says the symptoms for the dogs were consistent with ingesting poison, but says too much time has passed to complete a necropsy. They went on to say several of the cats vomited green rodent poisoning pellets and displayed signs of being poisoned.”

Another Star Tribune story, this by Kim Hyatt, says, “A 70-year-old Minneapolis woman was arrested after authorities said she fled the State Patrol, pointed what turned out to be a fake gun at a trooper and forced a portion of Interstate 94 to be shut down on Saturday night. … The woman exited her vehicle and approached the trooper for what was only described in the report as a ‘brief interaction.’ The trooper tried to prevent the driver from getting back into her vehicle. That’s when she ‘displayed what appeared to be a handgun and pointed it in the direction of the trooper.’”

Reuters reports: “Tyler Miller made seven saves, including two in stoppage time, as Minnesota United held on a for a 3-3 draw with the host Los Angeles Galaxy to garner a Western Conference playoff spot on Sunday. Adrien Hunou and Robin Lod scored goals for Minnesota United (13-11-10, 49 points), who overcame an 0-4 start to the season to finish fifth in the Western Conference and will travel to No. 4 seed Portland in the first round of the playoffs.”