Here's to hoping the vernal equinox was good for you.
Let's jump in.
1) Joe Mauer will rake in $184 million under an eight-year deal with the Minnesota Twins that officially gets announced today.
That's the biggest contract in Twins history and 4th largest in Major League history. Alex Rodriguez has two bigger deals ($275 million with the Yankees and $252 million with the Rangers) and Derek Jeter landed a $189 contract with the Yanks.
On top of his average of $23 million per season, low-key Joe also is expected to see a bump in endorsement cash.
In his earlier advertising gigs, Mauer had a deer-in-the-headlights thing going on. But he's been getting better, as evidenced in these ads.
2) Look out below. The Red River crested in Fargo-Moorhead without causing major damage. Now the focus turns to the Mississippi River in St. Paul and the St. Croix River in Stillwater.
Harriet and Raspberry islands in St. Paul are submerged in spots. Crews built a berm along Shepherd Road.
Stillwater officials are seeking volunteer sandbaggers and are on the verge of closing the lift bridge.
MPR chief meteorologist Paul Huttner has the flood forecasts on his Updraft blog.
3) Minneapolis rock stars don't die, they just mellow to the point where they are writing thoughtful and heartfelt op-ed pieces for the New York Times.
Paul Westerberg penned a tribute to his inspiration and friend, Alex Chilton, on Sunday. Chilton, a singer and songwriter whose influence was felt wider than his record sales, died Wednesday at age 59.
Those who fail to click with the world and society at large find safe haven in music -- to sing, write songs, create, perform. Each an active art in itself that offers no promise of success, let alone happiness.
Westerberg wasn't so serious throughout, however. He poked fun at himself with this concluding line:
Someone should write a tune about him. Then again, nah, that would be impossible. Or just plain stupid.
If you don't get the joke ...
4) That 8 a.m. econ class you thought was so early was nothing.
Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Post reports on a college trend toward crazy class times. St. Cloud Technical and Community College offers anatomy at 6:30 a.m.
It's part of a nationwide trend. Because of skyrocketing enrollment, community colleges are scheduling classes at unusual times to squeeze more students in.
5) Margaret Moth was a gutsy, groundbreaking videographer and journalist who died Sunday at a hospice in Rochester.
In her jet black hair and combat boots, Moth cut a striking figure when she hit the ground in a war zone.
Even after she was shot in the face in Sarajevo in 1992, she kept producing good work.
Three years ago, she was diagnosed with colon cancer.(2 Comments)
Posted at 1:28 PM on March 22, 2010
by Bob Ingrassia
Filed under: Floods
The mighty Mississippi is living up to its name in St. Paul.
Water is flowing over sidewalks and into park areas on both sides of the river near downtown. Barricades are up on Shepard road, blocking access between Eagle Street and Highway 61.
On Monday, St. Paul officials closed the parks on Harriet and Raspberry islands.
The water level surpassed 17 feet 6 inches this morning and was still on the rise. Forecasters are projecting a crest in St. Paul of 19 feet 6 inches on Thursday.
The high water is a curiosity for many and a nuisance for some. Office workers, dog walkers and joggers checked out the river Monday morning, some with cameras in hand. A few police cars and city maintenance vehicles cruised Harriet Island.
Several walkways, stairwells and boardwalks are under water. The great lawn on Harriet Island is flooded, with geese and ducks making themselves right at home in the water.
Access points to Raspberry and Harriet islands are blocked. Crews have tied sandbags to garbage cans so they won't flow away as the river rises.
The flood has been fun -- so far -- for Dennis Asmussen, who lives on a houseboat on the river across from downtown St. Paul. He's been canoeing on the rushing water.
But there have been challenges. The marina's power got knocked out Sunday night, so those who haven't fired up their generators have been a bit chilly. But his boat and the others, along with the docks to which they are tied, will rise with the water level.
Asmussen describes living through -- and on -- his first Mississippi River flood.
The St. Croix River also is running high. The Stillwater Lift Bridge remains open for now, but officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation say flooding may force its closure at some point.
Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said the department is keeping a close eye on the rising water around the clock.