Minn. roundup: Dylan to return for October concert; Graffiti vandals strike new St. Croix River bridge


ST. PAUL—Bob Dylan will return to the Twin Cities for the first time in three years when he headlines St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center on Oct. 25 with support from gospel singer Mavis Staples.

Tickets are priced from $129.50 to $52.50 and go on sale at noon Friday through Ticketmaster.

The perpetually touring Dylan, who turned 76 in May, has also been active in the studio in recent years. He surprised followers with 2015's "Shadows in the Night," a collection of pop standards closely associated with Frank Sinatra. At the time, he said: "Frank sang to you — not at you. I never wanted to be a singer that sings at somebody. I've always wanted to sing to somebody."

"Shadows" turned out to just be the start of Dylan's exploration of the Great American Songbook. In 2016, he released the similarly themed "Fallen Angels" and followed that up in March with "Triplicate," a triple album featuring his takes on such classics as "Stormy Weather," "Sentimental Journey" and "Stardust."

Dylan has a long-standing relationship with his opening act, Mavis Staples. He first heard her family's gospel group, the Staple Singers, in 1953. As he told AARP Magazine: "It was the most mysterious thing I'd ever heard. It was like the fog rolling in ... I knew who Mavis was without having to be told. Her singing just knocked me out." The pair met in the early '60s and Dylan was so smitten, he asked Staples to marry him. She turned him down, saying she was too young, They remained friends and she sang "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking" with him on his 1979 album "Slow Train Coming."

The last time Dylan was in town, he headlined three nights at Minneapolis' Orpheum Theatre in November 2014, which he co-owned with his brother in the '80s. In 2013, Dylan filled St. Paul's old Midway Stadium on a bill with Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Prior to that, he played on or near Election Night in 2012 (Xcel Energy Center) and 2008 (Minneapolis' Northrop Auditorium).


Authorities ID girl who died at Palisade Head

DULUTH—Authorities on Monday, Sept. 11, identified the girl who died after falling from a North Shore cliff the previous day as a 14-year-old from Somerset, Wis.

Bailey Belisle died at a Duluth hospital after being airlifted from the scene at Palisade Head, about 5 miles northeast of Silver Bay, Minn., along the Lake Superior shore.

She was visiting the popular North Shore landmark with another family, Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson said.

"The girl was trying to look over the edge to see the water below. The other 14-year-old girl there, her friend, witnessed the fall," Johnson said.

The friend told authorities that Belisle was trying to get her to come over to the edge and look at the water—and in a split-second she was gone.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office received word of the incident shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. Bystanders rappelled down the cliff and performed first aid in an effort to save Belisle.

Palisade Head is part of Tettegouche State Park and rises about 300 feet above Lake Superior; it's a popular destination for climbers, hikers and other visitors. Before Sunday, the last fatal fall from Palisade Head occurred in 2010.


Study: Minnesota happiest state in U.S.

ST. PAUL—Minnesota is the happiest state in the U.S., according to a study by personal finance website WalletHub.

The criteria used to make the joyous announcement were lowest share of adult depression, highest adequate sleep rate, highest sports participation rate, lowest suicide rate, fewest work hours, lowest long-term jobless rate, highest income growth, highest volunteer rate, lowest divorce rate and safest place to be.

South Dakota was No. 7 happiest state, while North Dakota was 14th.

Minnesota vaulted into the top spot by placing third in the adequate sleep and volunteer rate and fourth in lowest divorce rate and safest place to live.

North Dakota also did well in several categories, but fell in the rankings because of a No. 48 ranking in most hours worked. The Peace Garden State, however, was ranked first in lowest long-term jobless rate and highest income growth and second in lowest divorce rate.

South Dakota made it in the top 10 list by ranking second in highest income growth, volunteer rate and adequate sleep.

Utah was second on the happiest state list, while Oklahoma and West Virginia were at the bottom.

For the full report, please visit:



Air National Guard assisting in Irma efforts

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Air National Guard has sent 41 airmen in recent days to help aid efforts after Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed Monday morning, Sept. 11, to support relief efforts.

The 41 airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets, a release from the Minnesota National Guard said. Fourteen of the airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or southern U.S.

The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived Monday at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations.

The six Soldiers come from the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade and are traveling south from St. Cloud to Jacksonville, Fla., with a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to provide assistance in transporting equipment and personnel. The unit recently sent two aircraft to Texas for five days in response to Hurricane Harvey where they flew a total of six missions, moving 29,000 pounds of cargo.

The Minnesota National Guard also prepared a shipment of medical supplies from the warehouse at Camp Ripley that was transported by the Missouri National Guard to Florida Monday afternoon.


Graffiti vandals strike new St. Croix River bridge

STILLWATER, Minn.—Vandals recently made their mark on the new St. Croix River bridge, and bridge enthusiast Ray Erwin isn't happy.

Erwin, who has crossed the bridge on his motorized scooter more than 40 times since it opened Aug. 2, is offering a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits. Erwin, 92, is a retired teacher and former Marine colonel.

Officials believe the graffiti was spray-painted on the observation deck on the first pier in the water on the Minnesota side late Thursday night. Erwin called the Washington County sheriff's office on Friday to report the damage, which appears to be the words "Splash" and "Slime."

The contractor hired by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to paint the bridge is still working on the new bridge and will be asked to paint over the damage, said Michael Beer, project director for the new bridge.

"We're going to have to pay extra for that," Beer said.