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Voting 6-1, St. Paul City Council approves Summit Avenue redesign plan

Plus: Twin Cities musicians remember Tina Turner; right-to-repair; man charged with setting fire to apartment building while blasting Billy Joel; and more.

A bike lane on Summit Avenue near the intersection with Snelling Avenue.
A bike lane on Summit Avenue near the intersection with Snelling Avenue.
MinnPost photo by Kyle Stokes

The PiPress’ Fred Melo reports, “Following a lengthy and emotional public hearing that drew strong words from more than 90 cyclists, homeowners, historic preservationists and environmental advocates, the St. Paul City Council approved a protected bikeway along nearly five miles of historic Summit Avenue.The 6-1 vote, which unfolded shortly before 10 p.m. following four hours of staff and public testimony, represents the culmination of more than 18 months of planning…”

At KARE-TV Lou Raguse says, “There was reason to toast at Wednesday’s meeting in Pine City of the Northern Lights Express Alliance.  The group for years has been planning and advocating for a passenger rail route from Minneapolis to Duluth with stops in Coon Rapids, Cambridge and Hinckley. The route hasn’t existed since 1985. NLX Alliance Chair Andrew Johnson, Minneapolis’ Ward 12 council member, has long touted the jobs that will be created in the construction of the new train stations, as well as improvements to existing rain lines. He says it is as shovel-ready as a rail project like this can be. … The Minnesota Legislature approved $194.7 million — which is 20 percent of total costs — but will unlock the other 80% in federal funding.”

For Axios Arielle Dreher says, “Minnesota is poised to expand its state-funded health insurance program, becoming the latest to add a public option for residents with incomes above 200% of the federal poverty level. Why it matters: States like Colorado and Washington state have turned to public option plans to control health costs but are encountering lackluster interest and resistance from providers. … The other side: Health plans say a public option will be detrimental to the overall health insurance landscape in the state as well as only reducing the uninsured rate by less than 5% in the most optimistic scenario. … A Minnesota public option could cost $2.3 billion in revenue losses for hospitals in the state over a 10-year period, an FTI Consulting report paid for by payer groups in the state, shows.”

Also from KARE, Deevon Rahming reports, “With hits like “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” Tina Turner always sustained a special love for her favorite … Through the span of her career, Turner made several stops in the Twin Cities, landing her a star outside First Avenue after an appearance in 1982. Her musical ties to the cities run deep for Gary Hines, music director of Minnesota’s Grammy Awar-winning group Sounds of Blackness.”

This from KSTP-TV, “A block of First Avenue North in Minneapolis will be closed on weekends throughout the summer, the city says. Starting Memorial Day weekend, First Avenue North between Fifth and Sixth Streets will close to vehicles every Friday from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. Sunday, the city says. The plan is to continue the weekend closure until the end of October. According to the city, Warehouse District Live will have food trucks, seating and portable restrooms in the area throughout the summer, and the temporary closure gives extra space and aims to help create a safe zone that’s more friendly to foot traffic.”

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Another KARE story, this by David Griswold says, “Duluth landlord has been charged with setting fire to his own apartment while blasting Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ as first responders arrived. Travis Lee Carlson, 37, is charged with first-degree arson after prosecutors say he intentionally set his apartment ablaze on Thursday, May 18. … The complaint goes on to say that a tenant reported they were awakened earlier to Carlson allegedly ‘smashing glass and breaking things’. After about 20 minutes, Carlson knocked on the tenant’s door and said that the building was on fire.”

For The Verge, Adi Robertson says, “Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed a groundbreaking right-to-repair law after it passed the state legislature in April. The rules, part of an omnibus appropriations bill, require electronics manufacturers to let independent repair shops and consumers buy the parts and tools necessary to repair their own equipment. But the rules don’t apply to some notable categories, including farm equipment, game consoles, medical devices, and motor vehicles. The new Minnesota rules take effect July 1st, 2024, and they cover products sold on or after July 1st, 2021. If manufacturers sell a product in the state, they must offer residents the equipment to repair it on ‘fair and reasonable’ terms within 60 days, and they must offer documentation for performing repairs and service free of charge.

In The Washington Post Olivier Knox says, “It’s funny what you can do — and can’t do — when your party has a one-seat majority in the Senate. President Biden got a big bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, the most expansive federal response on guns in decades, and other significant wins. But he still might have Minnesota envy.