Grace amid a snowy world
The Star Tribune put out a beautiful photo gallery this morning of life in northern Minnesota, click the link to see the rest.
Minneapolis staff recommends hotel, apartments for Downtown East site
Two ambitious proposals for a key spot in the Downtown East mixed-use development were reviewed in recent weeks by city officials, who ultimately backed a $101 million hotel-apartment hybrid for the spot.
Minneapolis-based developer Ryan Cos. was chosen above a competing bid by Golden Valley-based Mortenson Development, which proposed a $63 million, 300-room hotel for the site.
A mix of city officials, from planners to finance experts, made the recommendation, but the City Council will have the final say on the proposals at its March 28 meeting.
Ryan’s proposal calls for a 150-room Radisson Red hotel and an additional 200 apartments. The firm will pay the city $5.7 million for the land and the so-called “air rights” above the ramp, which will be used by office employees and fans using the stadium.
City finance officials say Ryan’s hotel and apartment tower, which would span about 27 stories, will generate $876,000 in upfront park dedication and building fees, and annual city taxes of about $1.2 million by 2029.
Construction on the ramp development, should Ryan’s proposal be approved, would begin in May 2015 with completion slated for August 2017.
Governor Dayton calls off school statewide Monday because of severe cold
Winter break got a little longer for thousands of students as Gov. Mark Dayton took the rare step of canceling school statewide on Monday, with temperatures predicted to plunge to 25 to 35 degrees below zero across Minnesota that morning.
“The safety of Minnesota’s schoolchildren must be our first priority,” Dayton said Friday. “… I encourage Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather conditions.”
Although the state is used to frigid winters, this predicted deep freeze surpasses even what hardy Minnesotans can handle. The National Weather Service is forecasting wind chills of 60 degrees below zero Monday morning in northern and central Minnesota and 50 below in the Twin Cities and south.
Minneapolis apartment fire injures 13, 6 of them critically
Thirteen people were injured, six critically, early Wednesday morning after an explosion caused a major fire at a grocery store and apartment building on Cedar Ave. in south Minneapolis.
No cause has been identified as of yet, said Greg Nelson, supervisor of the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center, but the building that housed the West Bank Grocery and several apartments is likely a total loss.
A police squad car reported the fire at around 8:16 a.m. after seeing the explosion and seeing debris on the street, he said. Flames were shooting 20 feet from the building, officials said. The second and third floor later collapsed.
The injured were transported to Hennepin County Medical Center and Univesity Hospital. It was uncertain whether all residents in the building had been accounted for.
Lynx sweep Atlanta to win second WNBA championship in three years
The Minnesota Lynx celebrate their win over the Atlanta Dream as time runs out during the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the WNBA finals on Thursday, October 10, 2013, at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. Minnesota won 86-77 to capture the championship.
Destined for dinner? Two little piglets found roaming the streets of north Minneapolis (probably) hatched daring escape plan to freedom.
Hey, about those two farm pigs caught running loose a few weeks ago in north Minneapolis: Andy and Annie are in temporary digs now in Andover and then will be turned over in a secret rendezvous ahead of their eventual life of leisure at a farm sanctuary in southern Indiana.
The little oinkers were corralled by authorities during the morning of Sept. 27 in the 2300 block of Emerson Avenue N. after a pursuit of several minutes.
They were put in the custody of the city’s Animal Care and Control agent, then turned over Saturday to the Chicken Run Ranch shelter and sanctuary in north Minneapolis.
With no claim of ownership, shelter owner Mary Britton Clouse has the fast-growing pair destined for their eventual home — a farm sanctuary in Salem, Ind.
Once all the paperwork is filled out and microchips embedded, the two pigs will be loaded into large dog kennels and driven to an undisclosed location in northern Illinois — the parking lot of a big-box retailer — where they will be handed off to finish the rest of their 715-mile odyssey.
Britton Clouse said her facility deals with lost or abandoned farm animals “all the time. We’ve placed goats, full-grown sheep. … People bring them into the city.”
As for where Andy and Annie came from when they were first picked up in north Minneapolis, neither city officials nor Britton Clouse have an answer.
“I suspect they were going to be slaughtered in somebody’s back yard and they got loose,” she said.
Surly unveils new Minneapolis brewery renderings
Craft beer brewer Surly has released new images of their long-anticipated “destination brewery,” which will soon be built in Minneapolis’ Prospect Park neighborhood.
The images were unveiled Sunday night at the company’s seventh anniversary party. The company purchased the 8.3 acre site on Malcolm Avenue and 5th Street SE this April, and have said they could be brewing there by 2014.
The $20 million facility is expected to feature a brewery, a bar and an event center.
Power outage from storms is worst in Minnesota history
Homeowners and businesses left powerless by the largest electrical outage in Minnesota history limped into a third day of candlelight and dripping freezers Sunday, hoping for a break in the series of destructive storms that have lashed the state.
Streets blocked by downed trees were so common in some Minneapolis neighborhoods that emergency vehicles and Metro Transit bus drivers were forced to hunt for routes through the wreckage left by the storms that began Friday morning and continued through the weekend.
Damage from the storm was widespread, with more than half a million Xcel Energy customers in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and across Minnesota without power at some point during the weekend, more than twice as many as the previous largest power outage, in 2007.
Big In Minnesota
Why has the Twin Cities become the biggest market for Dawes, Brandi Carlile, Eric Hutchinson and JD McPherson?
Outsiders have an impression of the Twin Cities as some kind of magical music mecca.
Wes Kidd, who manages McPherson, the Old 97’s and Minneapolis’ own Soul Asylum, thinks the Twin Cities breaks new artists because the market has “two of the more fiercely independent vehicles for exposure — the Current and First Avenue. They’re entrenched and trusted.”
“You’re freakish in a good way,” said manager Kidd, referring to the likes of Hüsker Dü, Prince, Bob Dylan, Atmosphere and Dessa — and the long winters, too. “There’s a different edge to the town.”
McPherson grew up loving the Replacements, seduced by the photo on the cover of their “Let It Be” album.
“Minneapolis has a strong history of nurturing and producing great bands that aren’t on people’s radar,” he said. “How many cool underground bands came from Minneapolis? I have a romanticized view of the city, like when English bands go to Graceland and Stax Museum when they’re in Memphis. Minneapolis is cool. Minneapolis has cool shops. At First Avenue, you feel the presence of Prince. That’s a huge deal.
“Minneapolis feels like a city where people are into music. They buy records. They have excellent taste. Minneapolis has a singular vibe to it.”