Good morning, and happy Thursday, the first day of what used to be and still is known as MEA Weekend for some. Here’s the Digest.

1. The federal government said Wednesday that it would accept Minnesota’s current driver’s licenses at airports and other checkpoints through October 2018, according to state and federal officials. The long-awaited extension on the federal Real ID law, gives the state — and its anxious citizens — some breathing room. The 2005 Real ID law will start to be enforced early next year but Minnesota will not start issuing Real ID compliant state licenses until October 2018. What that means in practical terms is that Minnesotans will not need a second form of identification, like a passport, to go through airport security. (Pioneer Press)

2. Minnesota filed its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters on Wednesday, hoping to get a great deal on a mammoth development plum by offering a package of financial incentives likely far smaller than other states. State officials and regional economic development agencies spent more than a month assembling a proposal after the Seattle-based tech giant set off a nationwide race for its business last month with a call for bids. Minnesota’s team has given almost no specifics on how they would woo a project that could mean billions in investment and up to 50,000 jobs. Emails obtained by The Associated Press show state officials’ concern with honoring Amazon’s request for confidentiality, partisan sniping between the Democratic governor’s office and the Republican-led Legislature about how to do it and unease about upsetting some of Minnesota’s largest businesses with a bid. (AP via MPR News)

3. Luke Breen isn’t waiting to see if the name of Lake Calhoun changes to its original Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska. He rechristened his cycle shop about 18 months ago. It was Calhoun Cycle. Now it’s Perennial Cycle. “We wanted to disassociate ourselves from the John C. Calhoun legacy,” said Breen. “We feel like the lake should be given back to the original name.” Supporters of the move say it’s wrong to honor the nation’s seventh vice president, because John C. Calhoun supported slavery and drafted the Indian Removal Act.  The proposal is in the hands of the Hennepin County Board, which could make a decision later this year. Breen was concerned that the switch would cost him business as he shed a name that customers had known for years. But he says the move paid off for him. Old customers stuck with him. And he won new ones. But Breen says he’s not aware of any other area business that has rebranded itself. Many businesses and organizations have long had Calhoun in their names, some for decades. (MPR News)

4. Leaders of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Council and Building Owners and Managers Association sent a fundraising e-mail last week with the subject line “A call to action in Minneapolis,” warning donors, “don’t be filled with regret on November 8,” and asking for money for a political action committee called Minneapolis Works to pay for mailings and efforts to get out the vote. Rather than the high-profile mayoral race, the focus is on the City Council elections. “I’ve lived here and been active since 1979, so I’ve seen a few of these come and go. This by far is the most consequential,” said Steve Cramer, president of the Downtown Council. “What’s at stake here is not whether we’re a progressive city or not — we are — it’s whether we’re going to go down the rabbit hole on policies that we think would be very destructive to the community.” (Star Tribune)

5. With the population of wolves on the rise and more of them attacking livestock and pets, a federal program to trap and kill wolves in northern Minnesota has run out of money.  While Great Lakes-region wolves are currently protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, they are listed as officially “threatened” in Minnesota — a step below endangered that allows U.S. Department of Agriculture trappers to kill wolves where livestock and pets have been killed. But that Grand Rapids-based program, which has for decades killed about 180 wolves in Minnesota annually, blew through its budget this year and stopped operations last Friday. On Wednesday, Minnesota lawmakers urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to find money elsewhere in his agency budget to continue the wolf-control effort in Minnesota. (Duluth News Tribune)

Federal officials said Wednesday that they have granted Minnesota another extension for Real ID enforcement.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified the state that it now has until Oct. 10, 2018, to fully comply with the federal Real ID law. The previous extension recently expired, although the state remained covered under a temporary grace period.

Minnesota needs the extra time to implement stricter security standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses and identification cards, which were authorized in legislation enacted earlier this year.

“All Minnesotans should be assured that they can continue to board commercial airplanes and access federal facilities with their existing Drivers Licenses or Birth Certificates, as we work to fully implement REAL ID and comply with federal requirements,” Gov. Mark Dayton said

The extension will prevent Minnesotans from running into problems when the next phase of Real ID enforcement begins at airports on Jan. 22.

State Rep. Dennis Smith, R-Maple Grove, also responded to the extension.

Smith noted that the implementation legislation he sponsored last session relies on the state’s new licensing and registration computer system, known as MNLARS. The system has experienced numerous problems in its first few months of operation.

“Focus now shifts to the troubled MNLARS system to ensure the implementation of the REAL ID law moves forward and a REAL ID is in the hand of any Minnesotan who wants one,” Smith said.

Good morning and welcome to Wednesday, the last day of MPR’s fall member drive. Let’s check the Digest.

1. Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday economic development officials who compiled the state’s proposal to attract Amazon’s expansion intentionally steered clear of the stunts cropping up elsewhere in the competition for the company’s attention. Other states are offering large amounts of money. In Newark, New Jersey, state and local officials have teamed up to offer $7 billion in tax breaks. The deal would be the second richest ever offered by a state to attract or keep jobs, according to a Star Tribune analysis of incentives tracked by Good Jobs First, a national policy research center. Some lawmakers say Minnesota should go big too, but others aren’t so eager. (Star Tribune)

2. On another subject, Dayton said Tuesday that problems with the state’s new computer system for vehicle licensing and registration have been overstated by his Republican critics. The new system replaced 30-year-old technology when it went on line last summer. But complaints soon followed. Dayton told reporters that the rollout wasn’t perfect. But he stressed that the vast majority of transactions have gone smoothly throughout the state. He accused Republican lawmakers of collecting and spreading anecdotal information to paint a more troubling picture. But at the same time Dayton was talking, Deputy Legislative Auditor Judy Randall was telling a panel of lawmakers that problems with the system persist. (MPR News)

3. The Hennepin County Board could decide later this year whether to recommend changing the name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Mka Ska. Supporters of the move say it’s wrong to honor John C. Calhoun, the nation’s seventh vice president, because he was an ardent supporter of slavery and he drafted the Indian Removal Act. Dozens of people spoke at a public hearing on the proposal Tuesday night. At the hearing, Dakota historian Kate Beane said having John Calhoun’s name on the lake contributes to the historical erasure of the Dakota people and glorifies a 19th century politician who oppressed both Native Americans and African Americans. (MPR News)

4. A bipartisan deal in the U.S. Senate could let Minnesota hold down insurance costs on the state exchange without sacrificing millions of dollars in federal funding for low-income health care. Republican and Democratic members of the Senate health committee agreed Tuesday to legislation that would shore up the Affordable Care Act, secure another two years’ worth of federal subsidies to help consumers pay their insurance deductibles, and restore hundreds of millions of dollars to MinnesotaCare. If Congress doesn’t act, MinnesotaCare could lose an estimated $742 million in federal funding over the next four years. MinnesotaCare is the state’s basic health program, and provides coverage to almost 100,000 Minnesotans in need. (Star Tribune)

5. Democratic candidates for governor weighed in on single-payer health care and Mayo Clinic’s hospital consolidation plans during a forum Tuesday night in Rochester. Several candidates told the crowd that they back moving to a single-payer system for health care. And several took Mayo Clinic Health System to task for its plan to move most in-patient services from its Albert Lea hospital to its Austin location. More than 30 opponents of Mayo’s planned consolidation sat in the audience wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Save Our Hospital.” (Rochester Post Bulletin)

6. I mentioned earlier this week that we have some profiles on the MPR site of some of the candidates running for mayor of Minneapolis and St. Paul. I neglected to mention that Tom Weber will be moderating debates with the Minneapolis candidates on Oct. 30 and the St. Paul candidates on Nov. 2. They’ll be on the air at 11 a.m. both days, and you can help Tom out by submitting a question for the candidates that he might ask during the debate. Click here for Minneapolis and here for St. Paul. Thanks.