- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014
Minn. touts new indoor stadium for 2018 Super Bowl

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Even if Minneapolis temperatures four years from now don’t climb above zero - like they haven’t for much of this month - the Vikings’ new indoor stadium would be the ideal venue for the 2018 Super Bowl, political and business leaders said Monday.

Ticketholders to this weekend’s Seahawks-Broncos matchup in chilly New Jersey are preparing to dress in layers as they brave the outdoor Met Life Stadium. Minnesota boosters promised that even if the winter of 2018 is a repeat of this year, it would be 70 degrees in the stadium, whose partially see-through roof and massive windows will offer great views of the elements outside.

By Monday afternoon, the thermometer had only climbed to 7 below zero in Minneapolis.

“It’s kind of ironic, because Minnesota will offer the more climate controlled venue,” said Michele Kelm Helgen, chairwoman of the government authority overseeing the new stadium’s construction. “So you’ll feel like you’re outside, but you won’t have to worry about cold, you won’t have to worry about rain, you won’t have to worry about storms.”

Construction of the new stadium will begin once crews have finished demolishing the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome at the site. It’s expected to be ready for the 2016 season. Sixty percent of its roof will be made of ETFE, a clear-plastic like substance - more than any other covered stadium in the NFL. It will also feature several 200-foot-tall windows, and will be connected by indoor skyway to downtown hotels and restaurants.

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Propane prices a concern for some in Minnesota

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Rising propane prices this bitterly cold winter are worrying many rural Minnesota residents who count on the fuel to heat their homes.

KTOE News in Mankato reported Monday that suppliers in the area were quoting propane prices of $4.75 a gallon by the end of last week (http://bit.ly/1b0UQHohttp://bit.ly/1b0UQHo ). That’s compared to $1.59 a gallon a year ago.

That means a bill of about $1,000 to fill a 200 gallon tank. One customer told KTOE a tank that size only lasts about three weeks in current weather conditions.

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said trucks from Minnesota and other states headed to Texas late last week to bring gas back.

“It’s still going to be, from what we hear from the propane industry, a tight situation as long as the weather stays cold,” Rothman said.

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Dayton issues order to help stranded motorists

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton has issued an emergency order to help stranded motorists caught in Minnesota’s cold wave.

Dayton declared a state of emergency Monday. He called on Minnesota’s adjutant general to activate any military personnel needed to help motorists.

Dayton noted that a winter storm caused white-out conditions and dangerous wind chills Sunday in central and southern Minnesota.

He says several sheriffs asked for help from the Minnesota National Guard to recover and shelter stranded motorists.

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Court: Minn. mine expansion doesn’t need new study

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals says one of the state’s largest taconite mines does not need a new environmental study to expand and keep operating for another 16 years.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1i5rYTj) reports a three-judge panel ruled Monday that a lengthy environmental impact study is not needed for U.S. Steel to add 483 acres to its Minntac iron ore mine.

The mine and its processing plant began operating in 1967 and have expanded twice before. The latest proposal would allow the mine to expand again and maintain its current rate of production until 2031 instead of closing in 2015.

The Department of Natural Resources said last April a longer environmental impact statement was not necessary.

An environmental group argued a more comprehensive study was needed to protect nearby waterways.