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Population Growth Expected for Twin Cities

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The Twin Cities' population is expected to expand, age, and diversify by the year 2040, claimed the Metropolitan Council in a report released Wednesday.

Met Council Chair Sue Haigh said the Council projects that over 40 percent of the population will be people of color in 2040, reported MPR News. The area's population is expected to add 893,000 people to its population over the next three years, 460,000 of which will be immigrants.

And because of the aging baby-boomer generation, a majority of households will be single or childless two-person dwellings. Overall, the number of people older than 65 will increase from 300,000 at the last census to 770,000 by 2040.

Minnpost interpreted the Met Council's data to say that the area's population growth will slow by 2040, and only grow by 31 percent.

The Gross Metro Product in 2040 is projected to be $400 billion, which will only amount to 1.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in the region, which accounts for less than one percent of the nation's population.

Still, two-thirds of population growth over the next three decades will result from births exceeding deaths, Minnpost and the Met Council reported.

Minneapolis Lake Monster is Just Art

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Alongside children, boats and fish, art is one more thing Minnesotans can expect to find in the lake this summer.

For the past three years, Minneapolis artist Cameron Gainer has displayed a Loch Ness Monster look-alike in local lakes. The creature, named Minne, first appeared in Lake Harriet, and made her way to Lake of the Isles, Brownie Lake, and Powderhorn Lake, reported CBS Minnesota.

Gainer said Minne was initially presented in a number of art exhibitions, but found her home in Minnesota. Although her location is always a surprise, Minne's Twitter and Facebook profiles give fans hints as to where she might show up.

Minne can be expected to make her first appearance of the year in mid-May, and she won't move to another lake until after a few weeks.

According to the Huffington Post, Minne is a 13-feet-tall gimmick by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation to attract more people to the city's parks this summer.

Gophers Linebacker Found Dead in Dorm

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University of Minnesota senior and former Gopher football linebacker Gary Tinsley died Friday morning at the age of 22, just weeks before graduating.

Tinsley's roommate in Roy Wilkins Hall checked on Tinsley after his alarm sounded for too long without being turned off, and found him not breathing. Tinsley's roommate then called the campus police around 7:30 a.m., and after about 30 minutes of resuscitation attempts, Tinsley was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:15 a.m., reported USA Today Sports.

Police found no evidence of foul play at the scene, but are still suspicious of the death because "the death of a young athlete is out of the ordinary," university Police Chief Greg Hestness said.

According to Kare 11, Tinsley had two brushes with the law during his college career. Police arrested Tinsley for being involved in a brawl during his sophomore year, and he was charged with a DUI after being chased by police while driving the wrong way down a one-way street on his moped as a junior. Friends and teammates said Tinsley settled down after that incident.

Tinsley, who was from Jacksonville, Fla., will receive his business management degree posthumously.

St. Paul Woman Rescued from Burning House

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St. Paul firefighters climbed to the top of a three-story house Wednesday night to rescue a woman trapped inside the burning building.

The rescue happened around 11:30 p.m. at a red-brick house on 829 Portland Ave. in St. Paul, reported the Pioneer Press. No others were reported to be inside the house at the time.

The rescued woman was sleeping when the fire occurred, but awoke at the sound of loud voices outside and smoke in her bedroom. Firefighters climbed up two ladders to retrieve her from where she leaned out of a window to shout for help. One firefighter gave the woman his air mask to help her breathing.

St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said the back of the house was engulfed in flames upon the firefighters' arrival. The first two floors of the house were damaged by smoke and water, while the third floor and attic sustained only fire damage.

In the wake of the fire, the street view of the house appears normal, save for a broken window, said Kare 11.

Senate Allows Beer Sales at TCF Stadium

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The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Wednesday that allows the University of Minnesota to sell beer at the TCF Bank Stadium.

Passing with a 58-4 vote, selling alcohol at the stadium would generate about $1.5 million more revenue for the stadium, reported the Pioneer Press. A public beer garden would be erected on the stadium's west side, and beer would also be sold in luxury seating.

According to the Minnesota Daily, the University initially wanted beer sold only to those in luxury seats, but the Legislature requires it to be sold to the general public as well.

The Crookston Times reported that the TCF Bank Stadium loses up to $2 million per year because alcohol is not sold.

Senate Releases Bonding Bill, Disappoints Twin Cities

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The Minnesota Senate released its $496 million bonding bill Wednesday, but the way the bill distributed its funds neglected a number of Twin Cities-based projects.

According to the Star Tribune, the bill's finalized amount is a compromise between $775 million, requested by Gov. Mark Dayton, and the $280 offered by the House.

The Star Tribune also reported that the Minnesota State Colleges system requested $127 million for construction and rebuilding projects on the U campuses, but only $39 million was written into the bill.

Funding for a new, 7,000-seat stadium for the St. Paul Saints baseball team was also left out of the bill, reported the Pioneer Press. The stadium, which should cost around $54 million, would be built on the old Diamond Products building site.

Money for Nicollet Mall renovations and Central Corridor Light Rail Transit construction was also excluded.

But the bill did include $179 million for higher-education projects, and $125 million for state asset preservation; $30.5 million for flood mitigation; $35 million for roads and bridges, and even $7 million for the dolphin tank at the Minnesota Zoo.

KSTP Photojournalist Retires after 55 years

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After spending 55 years carrying cameras around for KSTP-TV, Brad Jacobs, 77, has finally thrown in the towel.

Jacobs had his first photo published when he was 15, and began his career with KSTP nearly seven years later, in 1957, reported the Pioneer Press.

Over his career, Jacobs covered the Six-Day War in Egypt, and interviewed characters like Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Bob Hope. Jacobs won an Emmy in 1993 for covering an explosion in St. Paul, and won a Gold Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2008.

"After 55 years of hauling a camera around, I'm ready to take a little time off," said Jacobs, whose retirement officially begins next month.

Minneapolis Publisher John Cowles Jr. Dies

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Coming from a background rich in operation of Minneapolis culture, John Cowles Jr. died Saturday at the age of 82.

Cowles spent his life as publisher and chairman of the Star Tribune, supported projects like the building of the Metrodome and Guthrie Theater, and philanthropically donated the Cowles Conservatory to the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden, reported the Star Tribune.

But before he succeeded his father as editor of the then morning Tribune and evening Star (later merged in '82) newspapers in 1961, Cowles graduated from Harvard, joined the Army, and returned to Minneapolis to cover a police beat.

According to the New York Times, Cowles' progressive liberal rein over the Star Tribune led the newspaper to produce more stories covering arts, science, and the civil rights movement.

Cowles also served on the startup board of directors for MinnPost, assisting it with integration into the Twin Cities news scene.

So who is next in line to pick up where Cowles left off?

Blagojevich Gives Farewell Speech

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Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois governor, gave his final words to the press Wednesday before beginning his prison sentence.

Blagojevich's 14-year prison term begins Thursday at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colorado, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

FBI agents arrested Blagojevich, now 55, in 2008 on charges of attempting to sell President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. According to MSNBC, Blagojevich is the second consecutive Illinois governor to end up in prison.

"I'm responsible for the things I said," Blagojevich said, all the while keeping his hand on the shoulder of his wife, who silently squinted into the sunlight during his speech. "I accept that decision, as hard as it is."

He also focused on highlights of his time as governor, including being reelected and implementing a new health care program. "That made some of being governor worth while to me," he said.

Blagojevich delivered the speech outside of his home on the north side of Chicago, closely surrounded by 300 people who came to witness the live broadcast speech, Reuters reported. The crowd chanted, "Free our governor," and shouted "We love you, Rod!" as the speech came to a close.

U of M President Proposes Year-Round Enrollment

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University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced in his State of the University address last Thursday his plans to create a year-round academic schedule with the hope of making it easier for students to earn their degrees in less than four years.

The proposed trimesters would last no longer than 15 weeks, with time off in between to accommodate holidays, including the Minnesota State Fair. Elongated winter sessions would make it easier for students to complete internships and senior projects in that time, and would allow for school resources to be used year-round and more faculty to be hired.

"Faculty would still teach two semesters a year, but could have flexibility to arrange them so that two consecutive semesters could be devoted to research," Kaler said.

Kaler's audience, who filled the Coffman Memorial Union Theater nearly to its 402 person capacity, was less enthralled about the potential change.

One faculty member voiced her opinion in the Q & A session following Kaler's speech, stating that the sped up degree process might overlook just how much students learn while earning the 120 credits needed to graduate, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

According to The Minnesota Daily, students are also concerned that the new calendar would strain their financial resources, given that they could no longer devote the summer to earning next year's tuition money.

Despite Kaler's conviction and those criticizing his plan, nothing has yet been finalized.

"But all in all, in the balance, I think the benefits could outweigh the challenges, and this is an idea well worth driving forward," Kaler said.

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