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Minnesota DNR fines Enbridge $3.3M for breaching aquifer during Line 3 construction



Minnesota DNR fines Enbridge $3.3M for breaching aquifer during Line 3 construction

Minnesota regulators have fined Enbridge $3.32 million for breaching an aquifer near Clearbrook, Minn., when it deviated from its construction plans of the Line 3 oil pipeline, leading to the release of more than 24 million gallons of groundwater.

In a news release Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced it was issuing the fine and would be referring the matter to the Clearwater County attorney’s office for criminal prosecution because Minnesota law bars the taking of “waters of the state without previously obtaining a permit from the commissioner.”

“Enbridge’s actions are clear violations of state law and also of public trust,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said in the release. “This never should have happened, and we are holding the company fully accountable.”

According to the DNR, Enbridge deviated from construction plans it submitted to the agency near its Clearbrook Terminal that were meant to avoid a calcareousfen wetland, which “is a unique type of wetland, with stringent statutory protections, that relies upon upwelling of mineral rich groundwater to thrive,” the DNR said.

Instead of digging an 8- to 10-foot-deep trench as planned, the company dug an 18-foot-deep trench and installed a sheet piling to a depth of 28 feet. That breached the artesian aquifer’s confining layer, the DNR said, leading to “an uncontrolled flow of groundwater into the trench.” Enbridge then “failed” to notify the agency, the DNR said.

“Enbridge began work at the Clearbrook Terminal site in early 2021 but did not follow the construction plans it had provided to DNR,” the DNR said. “The DNR relied upon these plans in determining that proposed work at the Clearbrook Terminal could proceed without effecting nearby calcareous fen wetlands.”

Through Sept. 5, approximately 24.2 million gallons of groundwater have been released from the aquifer, the DNR said.

The DNR said excess water in the trench was first observed in January 2021 but it wasn’t until June when it was determined the company had not followed its plans. The DNR said it approved a plan from Enbridge last month to stop the groundwater flow.

Of the DNR’s $3.32 million in fines, it ordered $2.75 million be placed in escrow to restore and mitigate any damage to the calcareous fen wetlands. Additionally, $300,000 is for “initial mitigation funds to pay for the loss of groundwater resources,” $250,000 is for the DNR’s monitoring of the wetlands near the breach and $20,000 for an administrative penalty order.

In an emailed statement to Forum News Service, Enbridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner said the Canadian company had just heard from the DNR and was “in the process of reviewing the document.” She did not answer questions on whether Enbridge leaders thought the amount was fair or if they planned to appeal the fine.

“Enbridge has been working with the DNR since June to provide the required site information and approval of a corrective action plan which is currently being implemented,” Kellner said. “We share a strong desire to protect Minnesota waters and the environment and are committed to restoration. We will continue to work closely with the agency on the resolution of this matter.”

Construction is nearly complete on the 340-mile-long pipeline across northern Minnesota, which is meant to replace an aging pipeline operated by Enbridge. It is expected to go into service by the end of this year.

Once complete, the new pipeline will carry 760,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wis. The new lines in North Dakota, Canada and Wisconsin are already complete.

Opponents of Line 3 have long argued it violates tribal treaty rights and poses a risk to the environment, including by further contributing to climate change by continuing reliance on fossil fuels.

“No pipeline should have been built this way,” the Resist Line 3 Media Collective tweeted Thursday evening. “We need to #StopLine3.”

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Has Bol Bol’s Nuggets career turned a corner? “It takes a village”



Has Bol Bol’s Nuggets career turned a corner? “It takes a village”

Bol Bol’s reclamation began with an admission.

Entering his third season and having barely made a dent with the Nuggets, Bol didn’t wallow in the fact that he was buried on the depth chart. He didn’t bemoan the lack of chances head Michael Malone had granted him over the past two seasons. Instead, beginning with the team’s training camp in San Diego, the unicorn-like prospect who’d gotten stuck in those traps before acknowledged his shortcomings.

Having been praised for his attitude and work ethic to start camp, Bol conceded he hadn’t helped himself upon arriving in the NBA in 2019.

“I feel like this is something I could’ve been doing even though it’s my third year,” Bol said. “I’m glad that I’m figuring it out now, earlier than even later.”

Bol’s potential — on display throughout the early portion of preseason in games against the Clippers and Warriors — is still as tantalizing as it was when the Nuggets drafted the 7-foot-3 center. There’s the shot-blocking (not to mention the innumerable shots altered), the long-limbed rebounding and the ball skills.

Midway through the fourth quarter against the Clippers, Bol corralled a deflection, and rather than outlet to either of his two guards, galloped up the floor, planted at the 3-point line, dribbled behind his back, paused, then glided toward the hoop where he kissed the ball off the backboard for a bucket. Most 7-footers in the NBA couldn’t perform half of the spellbinding sequence. And yet that’s in Bol’s arsenal, waiting to be unleashed.

“The big thing for Bol is that, for most of his minutes, he really played hard and competed,” Malone said. “That’s a starting point for me.”

Bol finished with 11 points, five rebounds and five blocks in the Nuggets’ preseason opener. Having led the team far and away in blocks, Malone said he thought Bol could’ve swatted a few more. Two nights later in San Francisco, Bol tallied two more blocks.

According to Malone, the Nuggets were dead-last in the NBA last season in terms of contested shots. It leaves one to wonder whether Bol could make a meaningful impact on a team that a) doesn’t have a traditional backup center and b) had the worst rim protection in the league last season.

The only way to answer that question is to know whether Bol’s effort the past two weeks represents sustainable change or amounts to a blip on the radar. Asked how difficult it is to maintain that level of engagement when the minutes and the opportunities to play aren’t there, Bol said what the organization has wanted to hear for two seasons.

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Literary pick of the week: Twin Cities Book Festival returns — in person



Literary pick of the week: Twin Cities Book Festival returns — in person

Twin Cities Book Festival, one of the biggest gatherings of book lovers in the state, celebrates its 20th anniversary with everyone returning in person to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Presented by Rain Taxi Review, the festival is free, and there is plenty of free parking at the fairgrounds.

New this year is the Minnesota Author Mashup, during which nearly 50 authors will have three minutes to present their new books on the official TCBF “soapbox.”

There will also be a new way to meet favorite authors at interactive walk-up stations where they will teach attendees something from their new books. Their topics range from cracking codes and drawing vampires to up-close magic and running demonstrations.

Among the writers are Joshua Jay (“How Magicians Think”), Terry Virts (“How to Astronaut: An Insider’s Guide to Leaving Planet Earth”), Melissa Corley Carter (“Running the World: Memoirs from the Seven Continents”), Kate Hannigan, middle-grade books that empower girls (“Cape,” “Mask” and “Boots”), Tracy Richardson, young adult  (“Catalyst”), Heather Demetrios (“Code Name Badass: The True Story of Virginia Hall”), and graphic novelist Madeline McGrane (“The Accursed Vampire”).

Poet/songwriter and educator Brian Laidlaw will host the Adaptation Station, at which he will turn your favorite poem or your own work into a song. His latest album, “This Aster: Adaptations of Emilie Nelligan,” will debut at the festival.

Author talks and readings, although somewhat curtailed this year because of COVID concerns, include the poetry keynote reading by Iranian poet and scholar Kaveh Akbar; the young adult keynote with Angeline Boulley, author of the bestselling “Firekeeper’s Daughter”; novelist, poet and essayist Kazim Ali; former Minnesotan Diane Glancy, poet and fiction writer; and comics creators Bill Campbell and Matt Madden.

There will be book launch readings by Minnesotans Margaret Hasse, Robert Hedin and James Lenfestey.

For readers who like to prowl, the Book Fair will feature more than 100 publishers, literary organizations, book dealers and authors at booths in the Progress Center as well as a used book and record sale.

There was also a virtual element to this year’s festival, beginning Sept. 16 with Mary Roach in conversation with Erik Larson. Subsequent discussions were by Tongo Eisen-Martin and Crystal Wilkinson, poet laureates East and West; Lemony Snicket; former Minnesotan Gary Paulsen and others. All are archived and available for viewing. Go to

Still to come are virtual appearances of Cuban American writer and translator Achy Obejas and poet Philip B. Williams, winner of Kate Tufts discovery and Lambda Literary awards at  5:30 p.m. Oct. 12; Douglas Wolk (“All of the Marvels”), 5:30 p.m. Oct. 13, and Kate DiCamillo with illustrator Sophie Blackall in conversation with Ann Patchett about their new middle-grade novel “The Beatryce Prophecy.”

Information about the entire festival is at

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Dear Abby: Ready to cut off assistance



Danny V ‘s Thursday Pickorama

Dear Abby: I have a long-distance friend I met online 10 years ago. I took pity on her because she was nearly destitute, and I have been helping her pay her bills. She’s visited me a number of times, and I care about her a lot. However, her constant requests for money are starting to make me uncomfortable. (She can’t work for health reasons, and there’s a major scarcity of social services or competent care in her Rust Belt locality.)

I do not want to continue enabling her. I have tried suggesting she move closer to her sister, seek better care, etc., but she doesn’t have the motivation. I have a hard time saying “no” to people. I got married recently, and I don’t want this situation to negatively affect my relationship with my wife.

In my friend’s current emotional state, I’m afraid if I end my friendship with her, she’ll never recover from the emotional trauma. She even tattooed my name on her wrist so she’d see it every time she wanted to cut herself, like she used to do before we met. What should I do?

— Tied to Her

Dear Tied: Start researching assertiveness training programs for yourself, because you sorely need more help than I can give you in one column. Discuss this with your wife for additional emotional support, because you are right — continuing to give your online friend financial help WILL destroy your marriage. After that, tell this needy woman you won’t be sending her more money, and that you do not want her to contact you until she has moved closer to her sister so she can find the help she needs. Do not feel guilty for doing this. You have been extraordinarily generous to have let this go on for a decade.

Dear Abby: My husband and I have good friends who winter every year in another state, halfway across the country. For years they asked us to come for a visit. Last winter, we were vacationing about six hours from where they were staying. We called and asked if they were available and if it would be convenient for us to come for three days. They assured us they had no commitments and would love for us to come, which we did.

In the early morning of the third day, they announced they had been invited to go to a ballgame with a friend and would be leaving almost immediately, adding it was an hour’s drive away and they would be gone all day and returning early evening. They said we were welcome to “just hang out” and wait for them to return. We said we would head home the same time they left for the ballgame. I was stunned and felt they were incredibly rude. Am I overly sensitive, or was this an acceptable way to treat guests?

— Taken Aback in a Cold State

Dear Taken Aback: I agree that it was rude. Your friends had a choice, to fulfill their duties as gracious hosts, or be selfish and go to the game. By choosing the latter, they damaged a longtime friendship. I can see why you were “taken aback.”

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at

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Mastrodonato: Red Sox have a Chris Sale problem and a Tanner Houck solution



Mastrodonato: Red Sox have a Chris Sale problem and a Tanner Houck solution

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox have a Chris Sale problem.

And they have a Tanner Houck solution.

There was nothing competitive about what Sale brought to the table in Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Friday night, when the Red Sox had to dig themselves out of a hole to eventually steamroll the Rays in a 14-6 victory.

But after what they saw from Sale, who put them in a 5-2 defect after an awful first inning, the Red Sox will have to examine whether or not they can continue using him as a starter this postseason.

Asked what happened to the Rays offense after they scored five on Sale in the first and then went quiet, Rays manager Kevin Cash put it simply.

“What happened was Tanner Houck,” Cash said. “He was really tough.”

And the problem with Sale?

“I think command,” Sox manager Alex Cora said. “That’s it.”

Cora defended Sale unflinchingly and insisted Sale would continue to be important this postseason.

“Hey man, we count on this guy,” Cora said. “He is going to be a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish and we’ll get him right. We’ll get him right.”

Sale was struggling to do anything with his fastball, which averaged 94 mph on the night. He had no command of the pitch, which didn’t generate a single swing-and-miss on the 13 of them he threw. One of them was an 0-2 fastball to Jordan Luplow a few inches above the zone and outside, but Luplow looked like he knew it was coming and walloped it over the left-field fence for a grand slam.

On the Fox broadcast, Hall of Famer John Smoltz questioned the pitch selection, given Luplow hits fastballs much better than breaking balls and Sale was in an advantage count. But Cora said he thought it was a good pitch.

“That was above the strike zone,” Cora said. “Sometimes teams, they gameplay on people and they do a good job with it. That 0-2 pitch was above the zone and he got it.”

Sale’s slider was OK, as he struck out Brandon Lowe and Mike Zunino on a couple of them, but without a good fastball, and with a changeup that hasn’t been effective all year, Sale is starting to look like a one-pitch pitcher.

He lasted just one inning before Cora decided to pull the plug and turn it over to his bullpen. The reality is that Sale hasn’t looked himself at all this year.

A lot of pitchers struggle to regain command after Tommy John surgery, though many also return throwing harder than they did before, largely because their shoulders get so strong during the process of rebuilding strength.

“The surgery doesn’t make you better,” Tommy John told me a few years back. “The person makes themselves better.”

Sale’s average velocity of 93 mph this year is the same it was in 2019, when he pitched through a shoulder injury, and 2 mph less than he was throwing in 2018.

Asked if Sale has hit a wall, physically, Cora said, “I don’t think so. I don’t believe so.”

The velocity is less of an issue than the command and effectiveness of his pitches, which the Red Sox have to expect will come back with more time and work. The question is how much patience to have with Sale this postseason, and what the best way to use him will be going forward.

Enter Houck, who has looked about as good as any pitcher in the big leagues over last two years, but especially the last two weeks.

His last start was against the Nationals last Saturday, when he threw five perfect innings with eight strikeouts on just 53 pitches. He added a perfect inning with two strikeouts against the Yankees in Tuesday’s Wild Card Game. And he started Friday’s game with three perfect innings, giving him 27 consecutive outs with 15 strikeouts that would’ve totaled a perfect game.

Look up the advanced metrics and Houck is in the top-20% of the league in most of them, including whiff rate, strikeout rate and average exit velocity.

All the while he’s continued to develop a third pitch in a split-finger fastball that’s acting like a changeup. He’s essentially the right-handed version of Sale, but a better one.

“Tonight was a great example of the repertoire that I’ve been working on really since I got drafted,” he said. “I immediately when I first got drafted, I had the four-seam fastball. I added the split a little more recently. I’ve gone through a few grip changes as well with the slider.

“It’s truly a surreal night of being able to actually put things fully together.”

And the most common thing Houck’s teammates and coaches have to say about him is that he doesn’t panic.

“I had a little butterflies at first, but once I got out there and threw my warmup pitches, I was pretty comfortable,” he said. “I live for those moments where you’re in a different stadium, people yelling at you, all that stuff. I love that environment.”

In the last week, when Houck has pitched with the season on the line three different times, he’s allowed just one run in 11 innings while holding opponents to two hits.

“The game is constantly evolving and I’m constantly evolving,” Houck said. “Everyone is. It’s a matter of showing up and sometimes you just got to shut your mouth and open the ears and just listen to the guys that have been there and done that. That’s one thing I think is the best part of this team is we have endless amount of guys with multiple years of service time that I can lean on and ask questions.”

Nathan Eovaldi will pitch Game 3 on Sunday and Nick Pivetta is likely to start Game 4 on Monday while Houck rests after his long outing on Friday. But if there’s a Game 5 in Tampa next Wednesday, the Red Sox will have to consider going straight to Houck rather than giving Sale another shot.

Given Sale only threw 30 pitches Friday and 62 pitches last Sunday, he should be well-rested to pitch out of relief in either of the games at Fenway Park, if the Sox wanted to see him air it out in a one-inning stint instead.

With time, Sale should return to form, as most pitchers do when coming back from Tommy John surgery in the modern era.

But it’s the postseason. The Red Sox don’t have time. They need results. And Houck is getting them.

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Rodney Crowell’s brush with global amnesia



Rodney Crowell’s brush with global amnesia

Country great Rodney Crowell has seldom seen a life experience that he couldn’t turn into a song. And that includes a truly unsettling experience that he had a year ago this week.

Crowell was having a normal day when his memory suddenly went missing for four hours, a condition known as transient global amnesia. Within days of his recovery he’d recorded “Transient Global Amnesia Blues” — a poetic, almost psychedelic song that was the first single from his current album “Triage.” He’ll draw from the new album as well as his long back catalog when he plays City Winery for an afternoon show on Sunday.

“It was a psychedelic experience,” he said in a Zoom call this week. “I remember that it was October 9th, John Lennon’s birthday. I have no memory of those four and a half hours, but one thing I recognized was, ‘Ooh man, my brain is so scrambled that I’d better put this to good use.’ I asked my wife if she could bring my notebook to the hospital, because I needed it. I was thinking, ‘I don’t know this brain that’s in my head right now.’

“Normally I edit everything I write, but in this case the song was telling me, ‘Get out of my way, I’m coming in.’ Two days later I recorded it, and that feeling of disappearing from the face of the earth, and then coming back and still being me — that feeling was still with me. I hope I never have another episode of transient global amnesia, but if I knew I could come back and get another song, I might even volunteer.”

This is of course a long way from the songs that put Crowell on the charts in the ’80s. His biggest hit, the 1988 album “Diamonds & Dirt,” produced five No. 1 country singles, the most on any album to that time. He and country radio have long since separated, but he’s got no regrets.

“When I was younger, my natural instinct was to write the broad stroke love song that’s more boy-and-girl relatable. ‘After All This Time,’ ‘Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried,’ all those hit songs were more commercially viable. As I’ve aged, my sensibilities have become more singular, and I think I wisely chose not to go against that. So the songs became more about my spiritual process, or trying to tell stories about love and acceptance, rather than that really easy to identify ‘I love you, you don’t love me.’

“I ask a lot more of the audience that follows me now than I did then,” he said. “What I ask is, ‘Come and follow me down this singular path, I’m going to do my best to report back to you how I feel, and I hope that resonates.’ But if they need some broad strokes on relationships, I won’t be there. I’m on my third marriage now, and it’s the successful one. So I could make something up, but I don’t think that would be a very good use of my time.”

It’s no surprise that Crowell feels the need to reach deeper at age 71. “People might hear this album and think ‘Well, Rodney’s gotten a little bit philosophical.’ But from where I stand, time is more compressed than it was 20 years ago, I don’t have that much left. So that requires an assessment of who I am, where I’m going, and whether anything I do means anything. And my job was to make the language so grounded that even if you didn’t agree with me philosophically, at least you couldn’t fault me for not writing it well.”

The last song on the album, “This Body Isn’t All There is to Who I Am,” is explicitly about mortality. But it also ends with the words “Not yet,” which seems a way of closing on an upbeat. “Actually,” he said, “That was just my way of saying, ‘Get real.’ ”


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Grasso’s Garage: S-Class Mercedes is top shelf luxury



Grasso’s Garage: S-Class Mercedes is top shelf luxury

The finest luxury money can buy is always top shelf.

Let’s be honest, right … I have driven over 300 cars with various models and packages. From the lowest of the low, to the top of the top. Every manufacturer has its niche, consumer base and options to make their vehicle unique to their clientele. Well, when a chart-topper pulls into Grasso’s Garage, it’s all the craze, because we get to enjoy the best of the best for a whole week. Hey Mercedes, congrats, this time, it’s you and that beautiful


Giving credit where credit is due, Mercedes always finds a way to be ahead of the competition and exceed the consumers’ expectations. Not only are they noticeable from afar, but Mercedes always seem to be one step ahead of the competition. With that being said, we recognize the S-class as just that, with its endless style, options and fine accoutrements. On our weeklong drive of an Anthracite Blue S580, we were impressed, and consider this the best money can buy. Yeah, I know, I have driven some unbelievable vehicles recently from a Rolls Royce Ghost and a Bentley Flying Spur with price tags exceeding $300K, but for the $116,000 base price, this trumps them all.

I mention bang for your buck a lot as I feel it is important readers get a lot for what they pay for. In this case, it is just that, a huge bang for a huge buck. At 496 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque, this almost 5,000-pound vehicle goes from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds flat. Its 4.0-liter Bi-Turbo engine with EQ+ boost, is smooth, powerful and like riding down the road on your couch. It is that comfortable, in fact it is so comfortable, Mercedes provides pillow-like additions to the top of the head rest for that extra neck comfort everyone enjoys.

The augmented reality heads-up display, and heated and cooled seats, in a phenomenally good-looking Silver Grey Nappa Leather interior was just the norm for the S580, while AMG line exterior 21-inch V-spoke wheels really sealed the deal for me in the exterior appearance category.

In the large luxury sedan market, there is nothing better for the price than the S-class Mercedes. If I was in the market for such a phenomenal vehicle, this, without question, would be in Grasso’s personal collection and is on a par or if not better, with those top-dollar previously reviewed ones.

Calling all executives, you heard it here first!


Mercedes S580

MSRP: $116,300

As tested: $142,640

MPG: 17 city, 25 highway, 22.2 as tested


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Milford knocks off Mansfield in OT



Big second half leads Springfield Central to road win at BC High

MANSFIELD — On the second-to-last play of the Friday night’s game against Mansfield, Milford receiver Damien Carter was supposed to have the ball thrown to him.

Instead, it was thrown in the other direction.

One play later, though, it did come his way, and Carter made the most of the opportunity.

On the strength of Carter’s touchdown catch from quarterback Evan Cornelius, Milford survived in a 27-24 overtime victory.

“I was nervous and hoping to catch the ball,” Carter said. “It was pretty exciting.”

It sure was.Even though Milford (5-0) is perfect, it sounds like coach Dale Olson feels his team may be underrated still.

“Listen, I hope people believe now that Milford’s for real,” Olson said. “Right? We knew coming into this year that we had some young kids, some talented kids, but I’ll tell you this: if we’re not a top-six, eight team in the state, I don’t know who is.”

His kids sure performed like a highly-ranked squad. Milford won the toss in overtime of a 21-21 game and elected to have Mansfield (3-2) go on offense first. However, the Hornets could only muster a 30-yard James Gilleran field goal.

That meant a touchdown wins it for Milford. The first play was a 1-yard Tyler Lane (18 carries, 91 yards and a TD) run. The next play was supposed to go to Carter but was an incompletion.

On the final play, Carter was supposed to run a slant, but he was effectively jammed on the inside, so the receiver ran a fade instead. Cornelius (153 yards, two TDs passing) put it on Carter, who got his left foot in bounds for the score.

It set off a wild celebration for Milford.

It was a wild game otherwise. Cornelius and Lane had 1-yard touchdown runs as Milford built a 14-0 lead.

But for a long stretch, Milford did nothing offensively and Mansfield capitalized. Drew Sacco, Conner Zukowski, and James Fichera all had short touchdown runs, as the Hornets mostly moved the ball through the air. Zukowski finished with 157 yards passing, mostly to sophomores Trevor Foley and CJ Bell.

To Milford’s credit, the Scarlet Hawks did not panic, and tied it on a 39-yard slant to Carter in the fourth quarter.

That’s how it stayed until overtime, where Carter’s heroics saved the day.

“In the past, I think this program, they have (panicked),” Olson said. “They didn’t know how to win big games like that. … But our defense stepped up.”

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Ask Amy: Friend’s husband is a bull in her china shop



Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: My husband and I are retired. We have a good life in a city that we moved to about seven years ago.

We’ve been able to make lots of new friends. I’m so pleased by the variety of people in our friend group.

What I’m not pleased about is that one of my dearest women friends, “Meg,” has a husband, “Mike,” who seems to insert himself into all kinds of situations where I would prefer that he not be.

Mike spends more time on Facebook than Meg does, and he seems to be “friends” with everybody in our social circle, which is pretty large.

The problem is that this guy has no filters at all. He comments on absolutely everything, is often loud and inappropriate, and is sometimes vulgar.

I think he thrives on being the center of attention.

I really don’t believe there is a mean bone in his body, but there are days when just seeing his name on Facebook makes me want to shut my phone off.

Meg and I are close enough that we have talked a lot about our marriages, and we both agree that our spouses have their good and their bad points. She knows that Mike can be a nuisance.

There is at least one other woman in our social community who had similar feelings about Mike. She told Meg how she felt, and I’m pretty certain it has damaged their own long-term relationship.

Do you have any advice for me?

I just don’t know if I have the patience to put up with Mike for the long run.

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Sainted & Tainted: ‘You are in my thoughts and prayers of gratitude for the rest of my days’



Sainted & Tainted: ‘You are in my thoughts and prayers of gratitude for the rest of my days’


On Sept. 29, I was eating in a restaurant across from the Mall of America. I had come into the restaurant at about the same time as a family who took a table a short distance from me.

There was, I presumed, a father and mother, two or three kids and one or two others. I had noticed this family because the father was a huge man, perhaps 6’8″and some 260 pounds. He was an imposing man, hard not to notice for his size. “Maybe he plays for the Vikings,” I thought.

During the meal – I had sirloin tips – some two or three chunks of meat, not chewed enough, got caught in my throat. After some 20 seconds or so, struggling to breathe and growing increasingly anxious, I stood up and turned this way and that, bending over and back up.

Another 20 seconds passed. I could not breathe and I could not swallow. Now I was desperate.

I’m in shape, so I was not yet wrecking the furniture, but my desperation became dire.

Then I heard a voice behind me say, “Are you all right? Can I help?” It was the large man I had seen coming in.

Unable to talk, I turned to him and threw up my arms, showing my distress. Then I turned away, as if sensible enough to give him the chance to do the Heimlich maneuver, if he knew it. He grabbed me around the waist with his fists pressed into my diaphragm and gave several forceful upward jerks that almost lifted me off the floor. A mess of food shot out of my mouth and I gasped for air.

“Are you all right?” the man asked. Catching my breath, I nodded and said thanks. He went back to his table.

The man and his family left before I did. I hurried up to him to shake his hand and thank him for his help. Likely, he saved my life. Most people don’t want to get involved in those situations. This good man did. “Oh, it was nothing,” he said, as I let him get away.

I don’t know his name, but I’ll never forget him.

“God bless you, Sir. You are in my thoughts and prayers of gratitude for the rest of my days.”

Pat O’Regan, Inver Grove Heights



I want to write to thank (and Saint) the St. Paul Public Works Dept. They have been doing street repairs, alley repairs, and road sealing in Highland over the past several weeks.

After they repaved a portion of our alley, we had a rainstorm that left a large puddle that wouldn’t drain near our alley sewer drain. I stopped and talked to one of the truck drivers and texted him a photo of the problem. He came right over and looked at the area and said it would be taken care of.

A few days later a crew ground down the area so it would drain, and then sealed and graveled the alley for a beautiful finish. They did a great job and they don’t get enough recognition for that, and for going the extra mile as they did in this case. Thanks again from all the residents of the 1300 block of Kenneth Street.

Tim Lynch, St. Paul



Following my medical appointment on Aug. 2, my son and I discovered that my purse was missing.

He then remembered that he had temporarily placed it on the car roof prior to loading my wheelchair. Desperate, we backtracked and could not find my purse.

Upon arriving home there was a phone message from Bill in Vadnias Heights who had retrieved by purse from the road.

Thank you, Bill, for being such a model saint!

Jean Alm, Stillwater



The two women who paid for our meal at Los Compos Restaurant at lunch time on Friday Oct. 1.  My husband and I had a very nice meal there, and when we asked for the bill the waitress said they had already paid for it and left.

We are in  our 90s and never had this happen before.

Once  again, Thank You!

Gerry and Rhoda Norsten, St. Paul



Thank you to Mary Divine for writing the article about Cinnamon Bun Day in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. There were people who came from as far as Roseville and Red Wing to get a cinnamon roll! We asked how they heard about Cinnamon Bun Day. “We read about it in the paper!” they said. The Scandia-Marine Lions, Gammelgarden Museum, and the City of Scandia appreciate Mary letting people know about the event.

Also many thanks to over 20 volunteers who helped bake, frost, package, and distribute the cinnamon rolls on Cinnamon Bun Day. Because community members generously share their time, special events like this make Scandia such a wonderful place to live and visit.

Ann Rinkenberger, Scandia

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Rockland spoils Abington coach Jim Kelliher’s 500th game



Rockland spoils Abington coach Jim Kelliher’s 500th game

ABINGTON — The stage was set for a huge milestone for Abington head coach Jim Kelliher to become only the third coach in the history of Massachusetts High School football to eclipse the 500th game coached on the sidelines.

But Rockland showed up to pop all 500 balloons.

Rockland remained undefeated and prevailed in a defensive battle with a 17-7 victory over previously unbeaten Abington. The South Shore League foes traded punches in the trenches but the Bulldogs (5-0) running attack and stingy defense was just enough as Jacob Coulstring and Lucas Leander combined for 256 yards on the ground to lead the way.

Rockland head coach Nick Liquori is a little farther away than 500 games but certainly recognized the accomplishment with the victory.

“This is 45 for me so I’m way behind and a pebble compared to where Kells is at,” Liquori said as he laughed about the comparison. “It’s just so special, I’ve grown up in Rockland, played in Rockland, coached here for many years and he’s an icon. His oil shop is right behind where we practice every day and it’s just an honor to be on the field with somebody as great as Kells.”

Abington (4-1) didn’t make it easy as Rockland could only muster a 31-yard field goal on a 12-play drive to open the game. The 3-0 lead held up until late in the second quarter.

The Green Wave, who were able to get into Bulldog territory with their first four possessions, drove the field on their second series down the Bulldogs 4-yard line. But a sack by Leary Costa on a fourth-and-goal rollout ended the drive and lifted the Bulldogs momentum.

With 4:17 left in the second, Coulstring finished off a quick four-play, 83-yard drive with a 19-yard rushing touchdown. Coulstring took the ball on a counter off left tackle and gave Rockland the 10-0 lead at the break. Runs from Leander for 21 and 32-yards set up Coulstring for the big score.

“(Coulstring) is a four-yard, five-yard, three-yard type of guy whereas Lucas can have that 12-15 carries and he’s going to pop one and some point in time,” added Liquori.

Leander did just that with 2:42 left to play to put things out of reach for the Green Wave. On a fourth-and-6 from their own 28, Liquori decided to put things away and Leander paid his coach back with a 72-yard run to the end zone to give the Bulldogs the comfortable 17-0 lead.

Abington didn’t quit as they scored on their next possession on the first play from scrimmage. Isiah Ricketson hauled in a swing pass and did the rest for a 45-yard pass play from quarterback Eddie Reilly. The Green Wave recovered the onside kick as Jack Robbins gave Abington great field position at midfield with 2:15 remaining.

But the Bulldog defense was at it again as P.J. Celestino pulled in the interception to end any comeback hopes for the Green Wave to get a victory in the 500th game for Kelliher. The Bulldogs have allowed only one touchdown in each of their first five games.

“We were inside their area to get something done and we messed up, made a mistake, and hey — if you want to be a good football team that doesn’t happen on a consistent basis. If you are a 4-0 team, that shouldn’t happen — straight and simple,” said Kelliher, who’s record stands at 294-198-8.

Kelliher was emotional recapping the days events and it meant the world to him to have his 100-year old head coach from his playing days, Walter Paster, in attendance, who he still — to this day — has breakfast every Thursday in Abington and still calls him ‘Coach’.

“It was nice. I’ve had a terrific opportunity to be here in Abington for 50 years-plus. I grew up here, three years as an assistant with Walter Paster, and became a head coach and been at it for 48 or 49 years. It’s wonderful, it really truly is, and I cherish it.”

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