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Xcel Energy cleaning up contaminated water leak at Monticello nuclear plant

Plus: KARE 11 rates the worst potholes; Walz shares additional budget proposals; bill providing universal school lunch set to become law; and more.

Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant
Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant
Xcel Energy

A KMSP-TV story says, “Xcel Energy is cleaning up a leak at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant after 400,000 gallons of water contaminated with radioactive tritium leaked from pipes at the plant.  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) said on Thursday, March 16, the leak was reported in late November 2022 after Xcel Energy found unusual results while conducting routine groundwater testing.  Xcel Energy reported about 400,000 gallons of water containing radioactive tritium leaked from a water pipe running between two buildings at its Monticello facility. The company said it is monitoring groundwater from two dozen wells.”

For KARE-TV Kent Erdahl and Naasir Akailvi report, “As the state of metro roads remains in shambles, KARE 11’s Kent Erdahl set out to find the biggest and most damaging potholes around the Twin Cities. … Worst Pothole in a Leading Role: However, elsewhere in Uptown, where Hennepin Avenue leads into I-94, drivers encounter a little lake when trying to get onto the highway.  Worst Overall Pothole Picture in Twin Cities:  The grand prize for the worst overall pothole goes to Shepard Road in St. Paul. Some stretches of the road have grown so dangerous that the city chose to reduce the speed limit.”

Brian Bakst at MPR News says, “Gov. Tim Walz tweaked his state budget proposal Thursday to add funding for a lead-line replacement push, local public safety expenses and a new tax credit to encourage electric-vehicle purchases. The adjustments came after a revised economic forecast in late February predicted state leaders would have slightly more money to work with as they set the next two-year budget. Walz didn’t move away from key elements of the package he announced earlier in the year, which called for a nearly $4 billion tax rebate, substantial increases in education spending and big changes to climate and health policy.”

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Stribber Jana Hollingsworth says, “The sheer amount of water soaked into snowpack across much of Minnesota led to an upgraded spring flood outlook this week after one of the state’s snowiest winters. The Mississippi and St. Croix rivers from the metro area and continuing south pose the biggest threats of major flooding the longer snow hangs around and weather stays cold, the National Weather Service said, with their tributaries expected to be running high. ‘The snowpack is so widespread this year, just about everywhere except right along the southern tier of counties in Minnesota can be under the gun,’ said Craig Schmidt, a hydrologist with the weather service in the Twin Cities. The amount of water contained in snow accumulated on the ground is the fuel that drives the spring snowmelt, with 3-6 inches of water sitting in 12-20 inches of snowpack across much of the state.”  

This from Baxter at WJON-AM radio, “I’m not a huge fan of driving at night. I guess as one ages a bit your eyes don’t work as well at night as the used to. I really don’t like driving after the sun sets in the lakes area because I’m pretty paranoid about hitting a deer. This video dates back to a few years when a Isanti County Sheriff’s car was responding to an emergency call. The officer’s speed reached 114 MPH and traveling at that speed is extremely dangerous. It’s even more treacherous when a deer jumps out in front of your car.”

The KSTP-TV story by Emily Baude says, “Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Community Safety Commissioner Dr. Cedric Alexander and others outlined efforts to make sure the communication breakdowns that occurred during the civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death aren’t repeated. ‘We’re not looking away from the reality of what happened in late-May and early June of 2020,’ said Mayor Jacob Frey. ‘In fact we’re acknowledging it, we’re recognizing it, but most importantly we’re doing the necessary work.’ A report was conducted by a third-party firm, detailing the city’s failures in responding to the civil unrest. One major takeaway was a breakdown in communication throughout the unrest.”

Another KMSP story says, “A bill that will provide free school lunches to all students in Minnesota is set to become law. Governor Walz’s team says he will sign the bill on Friday after a modified version was approved by the Minnesota House on Thursday. The bill had been debated in recent weeks, with senators approving the bill earlier this week, sending it back to the House. Democrats lauded the bill for ensuring that all students will have access to meals across Minnesota, while Republicans have criticized the initiative as an expensive measure that fixes a problem that doesn’t need fixing.”