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The Memo: What to know in business this week for Sept. 10

The Number: 32

That's how many days Minnesota's state government could run using only the $2 billion of rainy day funds we had stashed away at the end of fiscal 2018 — a good week and a half above the 50-state median, according to a recent Pew Charitable Trusts report. It's nowhere near the year's worth of reserves Alaska and Wyoming are sitting on, but those states take in a lot of federal money (per capita) compared to others — and are home to considerable energy development.

The Word: "Even those who put in a lot of sweat equity and volunteered over many, many years, I expected some pushback from those people, but almost all of them said sell — and that surprised me," said Julie Morgan, president of the Norway Hall Association, who told me last week it was a fairly easy vote to say farvel to the beloved building at 21 N. Lake Ave., and the new meeting space at Family of God Lutheran Church has a few upsides, besides: "Big parking lot, no steps."

The Lead: Enbridge last week unveiled a $100,000 solar project in Bemidji, which the company says is in line with its "climate change policy where we work to keep the carbon footprint as small as possible and to develop renewable energy," Paul Eberth told our friends at the Bemidji Pioneer. In the final environmental impact statement for the Line 3 replacement, the "social cost of carbon" — a measure developed by a dozen federal agencies — for Line 3's direct greenhouse gas emissions will come to nearly $560,000 by 2049. So maybe we'll see more solar projects to offset that?

The Happy Hour: Have you had any of the dairy-free delights from Cake Bandit, Duluth's "home-based and unapologetically vegan bakery?" Well you should — they show up at the Hillside farmers market on Tuesdays and the Civic Center and Lincoln Park markets on Thursdays. Just like the secretly vegan cupcakes my wife and I had made for our wedding five years ago last Friday (psst happy anniversary honey), you'll never know the difference.

The Meeting: Get unstoppable

"Determined. Impactful. Unstoppable. We are an organization that empowers women to lead by tackling issues impacting our community." Sound up your alley? Join the Junior League of Duluth at their new-member social from 5-7:30 tonight at Barker's Island Inn & Conference Center in Superior. Visit to learn more.

The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to and give impactful (I hope) reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at 218-723-5329.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

(218) 723-5329