Severe weather leaves one dead in western Minnesota

13 May 2022

WCCO-TV’s Erin Hassanzadeh reports: “A second night of dangerous weather has turned deadly. The National Weather Service says a grain bin fell on a car just before 7 p.m. Thursday in Blomkest in Kandiyohi County, killing a passenger inside. A possible tornado also touched down two hours north of there in Pillager. Around that time, strong storms blew into towns like Murdock near Willmar. …Winds also blew semis off the road in Alexandria. Parts of eastbound Interstate 94 are blocked late Thursday night while crews work to help the drivers.”

Says a KMSP-TV story, “A tornado touched down in Coon Rapids, Minnesota Wednesday night, as strong storms hit the Twin Cities metro during the evening, survey crews confirmed on Thursday. According to the National Weather Service survey crews, the tornado touched down shortly before 8:30 p.m. in a neighborhood off University Avenue, just south of Morningside Memorial Gardens cemetery. Survey crews say it appears the tornado left a path of about three miles, with a width of about 50 yards and max winds of 80 mph.”

Neal St. Anthony and Dee DePass report for the Star Tribune: “Developer Tim Baylor — flanked by employees, equity partners, supporters and city officials — broke ground Thursday on the biggest market-rate housing project ever on the main commercial artery of north Minneapolis. After seven years of planning and raising funds, Baylor launched phase one of a $68 million project that will eventually include up to 220 apartments and some commercial space on three blocks along lower W. Broadway.”

Alex Derosier writes for the Forum News Service:  “Legal sports betting passed a major milestone in the Minnesota Legislature on Thursday night, with the House of Representatives voting to approve a bill that would allow a practice already permitted in all surrounding states. But as the legislative session nears its close, the Senate has still not taken action on its version of the gambling proposal, dimming the odds of the state changing the law.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Andy Mannix and Liz Sawyer says, “The city of Minneapolis will pay more than $200,000 to settle separate discrimination claims by two former police officers, who were both disciplined after speaking out against the department’s internal policies and culture. Former Deputy Chief Art Knight, who is Black, was stripped of his rank in 2020 after criticizing the agency’s hiring practices in a newspaper article. … Former officer Colleen Ryan filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights alleging that MPD leadership discriminated against her because she’s a lesbian who advocated for ‘women and queer officers’ in the workplace.”

Dan Gunderson reports for MPR: “Wet conditions are affecting farms across much of the state, said state statistician Dan Lofthus with the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. …  Planting is delayed across much of the Midwest. Last year at this time, topsoil in Minnesota farm fields was 44 percent short or very short of moisture. This year that number is five percent.”

Steve Karnowski writes for the AP: “The Minnesota Senate Democratic minority tried unsuccessfully to force consideration Thursday of nine abortion and health-related bills that the Republican majority has kept bottled up in committee, saying it was critical to take a stand even though they lacked the votes to prevail. The leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and sharply curtail abortion rights in roughly half the states has energized both sides of the abortion debate in Minnesota.”

For the Star Tribune, Hunter Woodall says, “Donald Trump’s endorsement is helping shape Republican races across the country, but the former president hasn’t picked a side in the party’s unsettled race for Minnesota governor. ‘He hasn’t seen a compelling reason to reward or punish,’ said David Sturrock, a former Minnesota Republican Party official and a political science professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. ‘He’s big on both.’”

Dane Mizutani writes in the Pioneer Press: “This time was supposed to be different. After the best regular season in franchise history, the Wild entered the playoffs a week and a half ago with thoughts of a deep run. Some considered them a darkhorse to win the Stanley Cup. … Yet like so many teams before them, the Wild once again bowed out in the first round, this time falling 4-2 in a series against the rival St. Louis Blues.”

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