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Minneapolis public works director on Bryant Avenue reconstruction: ‘We missed this one’

Plus: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reporter 41% rise in northern border crossings; experts warn tick season has begun; trans people find home and care in Minnesota; and more.

The first half of the project was completed in 2022, and this stretch (known as Phase Two) was scheduled for this summer.
The first half of the project was completed in 2022, and this stretch (known as Phase Two) was scheduled for this summer.
Minneapolis Public Works

This from Stribber Dave Orrick, “A ‘bold and transformational’ reconstruction of Bryant Avenue in south Minneapolis has turned out to be something of a headache. The bike- and pedestrian-friendly project, half of which was completed last year, has resulted in a street too narrow for fire trucks, snowplows and garbage trucks — as well as some residents whose driveways are on the street. Now Minneapolis city officials are scrambling to come up with new engineering plans, drawing scrutiny at the same time from some people surprised by the rapid changes. … ‘We missed this one,’ Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher told a City Council committee Thursday, referring to how a host of city departments, including fire and emergency medical services, had agreed in 2021 to a design they thought would work … until reality set in.”

The Pioneer Press reports, “It has been a deadly weekend for underaged drivers of all-terrain vehicles, with two fatalities resulting from a Washington County accident, and a third due to a Chisago County accident. The most recent death involved a 13-year-old boy who was injured when the ATV he was driving rolled over and crashed in Lent Township in Chicago County on Saturday. The accident, on Kale Avenue off Ivywood Trail, was reported at 12:20 p.m. The victim was wearing a helmet at the time.”

An AP story says, “In a concert Friday night in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lizzo filled the stage with drag queens in a glittery protest against the state’s legislation designed to restrict drag performances in public. While performing at Thompson-Boling Arena, the Grammy-winning ‘Juice’ singer brought out a number of drag performers, including Aquaria, Kandy Muse, Asia O’Hara and Vanessa Vanji. On Saturday, Lizzo posted videos on Instagram from the show, including comments to the crowd that referenced the pending law. In February, Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed the legislation against ‘adult cabaret’ in public or in front of minors.”

Stribber Maya Rao writes, “The rescue from a flooded bog last week of nine men who had illegally crossed into Minnesota from Canada underscores a dramatic increase in undocumented immigrants coming into the United States across the northern border. Since the start of the 2023 fiscal year on Oct. 1, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says agents have encountered 100 migrants in the Grand Forks sector, which encompasses the international border in North Dakota and Minnesota. That compares with 81 encounters in all of fiscal 2022 and 90 in fiscal 2021. The 100 migrant encounters are among 3,830 encounters along the entire northern U.S. border this fiscal year, a 41% rise over all of 2022.”

This from WBAY-TV in Wisconsin, “Warmer temperatures are welcome by many outdoor enthusiasts, but unfortunately, with the pleasant weather comes the arrival of ticks. Tick bites can cause numerous illnesses, for example Lyme disease which is reported from the upper midwestern states and the Great Lakes Region all the way over to the northeastern and mid-Atlantic states, according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC). On the CDC’s website, it reads that a first sign of an infection is a red annular or homogeneous rash at the site of tick bite; it expands gradually over several days to about two inches in diameter. A central clearing may develop as the rash expands, resulting in a ‘target’ or ‘bull’s-eye’ appearance. It may feel warm to the touch but rarely itchy or painful. Severe migraines occur in 70-80% of infected persons. Fever, chills and general fatigue are also very likely to be felt by people infected.”

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At MPR News, Matt Mikus says, “Bird and wildlife lovers were heartbroken when the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources EagleCam nest fell in an early April storm, but there’s still a way for people to get their fix of minute-by-minute bird life. The agency’s FalconCam is still up and running. Perched on the 26th floor of the Town Square Tower in downtown St. Paul, the FalconCam has provided a view of peregrine falcons nesting and chicks hatching for 11 years. This year’s feed features a female peregrine falcon and occasional appearances from a partner, incubating four eggs.”

Says Adam Uren for BringMeTheNews, “Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed Sunday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying its remaining stores will remain open for now but that it is ‘winding down’ its operations. The homewares retailer has already been closing stores and cutting staff as it sought to avoid bankruptcy, but it is now proceeding with the liquidation of its business and is seeking a buyer for ‘some or all of its assets.’ … Following a string of closures over the past 18 months, there are now only four locations left fully operational in Minnesota: Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Apple Valley, Maple Grove and Woodbury, and a BuyBuy Baby store in Woodbury.”

MPR’s Nina Moini says, “Living in Minnesota has made a positive difference for Wes Samuelson and his 11-year-old child Liz. The two moved to Duluth from Wyoming in 2020 after they could not get access to gender-affirming care. ‘I was going to be worried if we stayed in Wyoming much longer,’ Samuelson, who is transgender, said on a recent weeknight as he made dinner in his Duluth home for Liz and his partner, Beram Compo, who is also trans. ‘I am living a normal life and that feels nice.’”

At WCCO-TV we get this: “If you see something fishy on Minnesota rivers and lakes, say something. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging residents to call them if they spot a fish die-off. … It’s not uncommon for melting ice to reveal fish that didn’t survive the winter. But they could also be diseased, or killed by chemicals including pesticides. If you see a fish kill this spring, call 1-800-422-0798.”