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Pumping Mississippi water to the West still being considered to address droughts

Plus: Rod Carew advocates for Pete Rose; Rep. Ilhan Omar signs on to resolution recognizing Israel; Best Buy to reduce its store count; and more.

A railroad bridge over the Mississippi River in Sartell, Minnesota.
A railroad bridge over the Mississippi River in Sartell, Minnesota.

The Strib has a story from Brittney Miller of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “While the much-needed water has improved conditions in the parched West, scientists and water policy experts warn against claiming victory. About 60% of the region remains in some form of drought, continuing a decades-long spiral into water scarcity. … Over the years, a proposed solution has come up again and again: large-scale river diversions, including pumping Mississippi River water to the parched West. This past summer, the idea inspired a flurry of letters to the editor at a California newspaper. But interest spans deeper than that. Most recently, the Arizona state legislature passed a measure in 2021 urging Congress to investigate pumping flood water from the Mississippi River to the Colorado River. Studies and modern-day engineering have proven that such projects are possible, but require decades of construction and billions of dollars. Politics are an even bigger obstacle.”

For the Minnesota Reformer, Deena Winter reports, “The state of Minnesota does not do a good job of overseeing the nonprofits to which it gives a half-billion state dollars annually in grants, a new report shows. The Office of the Legislative Auditor found ‘pervasive noncompliance’ with grant management policies by state agencies in recent years, ‘signaling issues with accountability and oversight.’ Out of concern about how agencies oversee nonprofits that get state dollars,  lawmakers directed auditors to review how the Minnesota Department of Education and Department of Public Safety manage grants, and how the state manages grants in general. Although MDE administered federal child nutrition money at the center of the pandemic relief fraud leading to a massive federal dragnet, this review focused on state grant dollars. The nutrition program is the subject of a separate OLA review.”

In the New York Post Ryan Glasspiegel says, “Pete Rose has a baseball legend in his corner in his quest to one day be enshrined in Cooperstown. Rod Carew, a former 18-time All-Star infielder for the Twins and Angels, advocated on Wednesday for Rose to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Quote-tweeting an account that asked people generally what they think about sports gambling, Carew answered, ‘It has gone too far and it’s hypocritical. How can you keep Pete Rose out and have a sportsbook at the Reds stadium??’ After that, one of Carew’s followers said it was a ‘pretty clear line’ that Rose gambled on games he was involved with as a player or manager. ‘If they can embrace gambling to the level of putting it in the stadium they can forgive Pete and recognize him for the Great he is,’ Carew retorted. ‘That’s the point.’”

For the AP, Scott Bauer says, “A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Wednesday that a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a man shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest in 2020 can proceed against Rittenhouse, police officers and others. The father of Anthony Huber, one of two men shot and killed by Rittenhouse, filed the lawsuit in 2021, accusing officers of allowing for a dangerous situation that violated his son’s constitutional rights and resulted in his death. Anthony Huber’s father, John Huber, also alleged that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, conspired with law enforcement to cause harm to protestors.”

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For Nicole Gaudiano says, “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unloaded on Republicans for hypocrisy Thursday while defending her fellow ‘squad’ member, Rep. Ilhan Omar. Republicans voted to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee because of her controversial comments in the past about Israel. Ocasio-Cortez, in a fiery floor speech, said Republicans have been rewarded for doing worse. ‘Don’t tell me that this is about a condemnation of antisemitic remarks, when you have a member of the Republican caucus who has talked about Jewish space lasers, and also elevated her to some of the highest committee assignments in this body,’ she said, a reference to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America.’”

And this from Scott Wong at NBC News, “More than 30 House Democrats have signed on to a new resolution ‘recognizing Israel as America’s legitimate and democratic ally and condemning antisemitism.’ The most notable among them: Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Muslim American who has been a fierce critic of Israel and the Jewish lobby. Republicans ousted her from the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday for what members of both parties said were antisemitic remarks.”

At KSTP-TV Renee Cooper says, “A major gallery of African American art and artifacts, from the personal collection of former all-star Viking and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and his late wife Diane Sims Page, went on display Wednesday at the Minneapolis Central Library. Page’s daughter Georgi Page-Smith, who is also the director of the Diane and Alan Page Collection, walked 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS through some of the most pivotal, eye-opening moments in Black history. ‘We started it kind of at the beginning of our country,’ Page-Smith said at the entrance of the ‘TESTIFY’ exhibit on the second floor of the downtown library. She pointed out a brick from the original construction of the White House.”

An NPR story by Rachel Treisman says, “News of Beyoncé’s first solo tour in more than six years has her many fans celebrating — and stressing out about whether they’ll actually be able to get tickets. The singer announced on Wednesday that she will bring her Grammy-nominated album Renaissance to cities across Europe and North America between May and September, opening in Stockholm and ending in New Orleans. … The first round of ticket sales will open to members of Beyoncé’s official fan club on Monday through Ticketmaster, which is already facing heightened scrutiny for its botched Taylor Swift presale in November. Fans and lawmakers alike say Ticketmaster’s problems run much deeper than the one concern, accusing it of being a monopoly (which its executives have denied) and calling for changes in the ticketing industry. The company has apologized for the Swift presale chaos, which it blamed on outsize demand and bot attacks.”

At KARE-TV Nasir Akailvi reports, “Best Buy Co. Inc. is planning to reduce its store count in the Twin Cities.  The closing, first reported by the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal, will permanently shutter the doors of its Shakopee shop, while its Blaine location will temporarily close and then be reopened into an outlet store. … The Richfield-based electronics seller said its Eden Prairie store, which is already frequented regularly by its Shakopee shoppers, offers more premium in-store experiences and a broader selection of products. The company said it was planning to close 20-30 locations during its Q4 earnings call in March of 2022.”

For KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Chad Thompson says, “Iowa’s blackout license plates are so popular, other states might follow suit. Minnesota’s governor is recommending that the blackout plates be authorized in his state. Data from the Iowa Department of Transportation shows the blackout plates have already generated more than $30 million in revenue. A fee tacked on to the plates goes to Iowa’s Road Use Tax Fund. Gov. Tim Walz jokingly tweeted, ‘This is one thing Iowa got right.’

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