Aitkin floods; Duluth in a changed climate; Pawlenty cool to VP nod

Aitkin reaches major flood stage

Brainerd Dispatch: “As of Sunday, water levels on the Mississippi River at Aitkin were at 18.05 feet, nearing the record high of 22.5 feet and putting the area in the major flood stage.”

Duluth eyes rebuilding for a wetter climate

Star Tribune: “‘Duluth is maybe in the first wave of cities to adapt to climate change,’ said University of Minnesota Extension climatologist Mark Seeley. Climate scientists say increasing precipitation, particularly from intense thunderstorms, is a symptom of ongoing climate warming, because warm air holds more water vapor than cooler air. The Upper Midwest saw a 31 percent increase in ‘intense’ rainfalls — the statistical 1 percent events — from 1958 to 2007, over previous decades, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Last Tuesday and Wednesday’s Duluth rainfall, measuring from 7 to more than 10 inches across the city, was in some places nearly double what’s regarded as Duluth’s 1 percent-chance rainfall. That made it ‘next to impossible to plan for,’ Shaffer said.”

Duluth mayor: ‘My focus is on the residents’

KARE11: “I know the streets will get taken care, but thinking about people, through no fault of their own, got hit with this,” said Ness following a tour of homes still submerged in the Fon Du Lac area. “There’s a lot of damage and we need insurance companies and FEMA to do the right thing and come through.”

Return home stuns Thomson residents

Duluth News Tribune: “The rising floodwaters forced most of the 153 residents of this Carlton County community to evacuate their homes last week.”

No flood insurance? There may be other options for victims of last week’s storm

Duluth News Tribune: “In all of Duluth, only 111 flood insurance policies have been sold, according to Kris Eide, director of the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management office.”

Hundreds of volunteers clean up at Lake Superior Zoo

AP: “The cleanup is under way at Lake Superior Zoo. Hundreds of volunteers have showed up this weekend to help clean up the mud and debris left behind by the recent deluge and its resulting flooding.”

Minnesota sets baseline to measure quality of wetlands

Pioneer Press: “What’s clear is that ponds and wetlands in the southern and western parts of the state are in poor shape, while those in the northeastern region are in good shape.”

Polarized over health care, united on drama of ruling

New York Times: “Representative Michele Bachmann boarded a flight from Minnesota on Sunday night — even though the House will not meet until Tuesday — to make sure she would not miss the Washington moment she has been excitedly anticipating, the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s health care law.”

Will confidence in Supreme Court erode or rebound after Obamacare decision?

Smart Politics: “The U.S. Supreme Court’s net confidence rating during Barack Obama’s presidency is at an all-time low since Gallup’s measurement began in the early 1970s.”

Hot money turns from stocks to farmland

Star Tribune: “Over the past decade, U.S. farmland has returned an average of 15.5 percent a year. … That compares with about 4.1 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index and about 1.8 percent for 90-day government bonds. Gold? About 19 percent.”

Marsalis returns to Winona for classical recital

La Crosse Tribune: “World-class jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis will embark on a new journey in the world of classical music at the 2012 Minnesota Beethoven Festival.”

Economic punch of Target Field tailing off

Star Tribune: “Tax revenue is down, but new ballpark is still a good draw to downtown restaurants and bars.”

VP Watch

Tim Pawlenty, on if he’d serve as VP on the Romney ticket: “I’ve really encouraged folks to look at other prospects” (Face the Nation).

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