State agencies challenge utility’s plan to purchase gas-fired power plant in Minnesota

first_imgState agencies challenge utility’s plan to purchase gas-fired power plant in Minnesota FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Minneapolis Star Tribune:Xcel Energy’s proposed $650 million purchase of a gas-fired power plant in Mankato has run into strong opposition from two state agencies concerned about its potential impact on ratepayers.Minneapolis-based Xcel in November announced its intent to buy the large power plant from Atlanta-based Southern Power. Xcel currently buys electricity from the Mankato plant on a long-term contract. The company says owning the facility would entail significant savings for ratepayers and would help preserve electric grid reliability.But the Minnesota Department of Commerce concluded that Xcel’s proposed ownership of the Mankato plant “is unlikely to create substantial savings,” according to a recent regulatory filing. “Overall, Xcel has not shown need or any net benefits to ratepayers for Xcel’s proposed (gas plant) purchase.” Meanwhile, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office slammed the deal in a recent regulatory filing, saying Xcel “structured the proposed acquisition in an opaque backroom deal and in the absence of any competition, transparency or meaningful need for alternative analysis.”The two state offices represent the public before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is likely to decide next month on the Mankato deal.Xcel, Minnesota’s largest electric utility, rejects criticisms from both agencies, noting in a statement to the Star Tribune that it has followed the “appropriate process” with its acquisition proposal. Xcel said the Mankato deal is vital for system stability as the company adds variable solar and wind energy while closing its coal-fired power plants, a primary source of constant power. “The purchase of the Mankato Energy Center will help pave the way to exit the use of coal in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than planned,” Xcel said in the statement. The company declined to make an executive available for comment.In a PUC filing, the Commerce Department questioned whether the Mankato purchase is needed to facilitate Xcel’s early exit from coal.More: Regulators rip Xcel’s proposed $650 million deal for Mankato power plantlast_img read more

Man alleged in 2 armed robbery cases in custody

first_imgVevay, IN—Switzerland County Sheriff Brian L. Morton reports that on Monday night,  Everett C. Henry (a.k.a. Buster Henry) who was wanted in connection for 2 recent armed robberies in Aurora Indiana and Ghent Kentucky was taken into custody.The subject was apprehended in Switzerland County without incident and transported to the Switzerland County Jail.last_img

Florida State guard Miller uses 13-year-old friend with Treacher Collins Syndrome as motivation

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Florida State senior guard Ian Miller gets great joy out of participating in physical education classes at United Faith Christian Academy.When Miller visits his old school, he hangs out with a 13-year-old named Casey Roffler.Roffler suffers from Treacher Collins Syndrome, a condition that stunts the growth of the face, jaw and chin and can potentially cause life-threatening respiratory problems. He’s inspired Miller to overcome his own adversity, as Miller missed chunks of his first three seasons at Florida State due to academic and injury issues.“He’s like my little brother,” Miller said. “He’s a soldier.”In his freshman and sophomore years, academic ineligibility forced Miller to miss 22 total games. In his junior year, Miller was hampered by injuries, as he missed six games and only averaged 5.3 points.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis year, he’s only missed two games and is averaging 13.6 points and 3.0 assists, good for second and first on the team, respectively.“He’s had some challenges,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. “As a result of those challenges, I think he’s matured, grown up and that’s one of the reasons why he’s playing so well now.”Miller’s struggles aren’t quite as severe as Roffler’s, but the lesson is the same.Roffler underwent 15 surgeries in the first 12 years of his life. Despite the time he’s spent in Levine Children’s Hospital, Roffler still performs at a high standard both in the classroom and on the athletic fields.“He showed me how to fight each and every day,” Miller said. “If he can get up and do it, why can’t I?”That attitude, one that Miller has adapted in part because of his relationship with Roffler, has made him a more mature player and person as he leads the Seminoles into the home stretch of their season.“I could’ve quit, dropped out of college, a lot of things a lot of people do,” Miller said “But I decided to stick to it, fight and really become a man.”Miller’s roommate and fellow senior Okaro White has known Miller since well before college. The two attended camps and played together throughout their high school AAU days.White has been right there with Miller along his roller-coaster ride and has seen promising changes from someone he calls his “lifelong brother.”“I think he’s learned over his four years,” White said. “He’s matured and learned how to overcome adversity. I think that’s the biggest thing with him.”Miller noted that his attitude toward life changed after meeting Roffler. After seeing his points per game average drop five total points from his sophomore to junior year, Miller had no reason to be happy.But it was the outlook of the 13-year-old that kept Miller’s head up.“He didn’t look like the rest of the kids in his class,” Miller said. “But if you’ve seen him playing around, you couldn’t tell.“To see someone free like that and in their own world, living carefree but so loving, it helps you develop a humble attitude.”Hamilton recognized the efforts Miller has made to turn the struggles he has had into positive opportunities.As a player who played at 222 pounds last year, Miller has cut that to 198 pounds for his senior season.Miller’s improved physical condition has helped him become a more versatile player. Not only that, but he’s also demonstrated the leadership qualities expected of a senior guard.“He’s running the team when we have him at the one,” Hamilton said. “When we put him at the two, he’s a lot more aggressive.“He’s found a way to mix in being offensively productive and also running the team, so he’s at a good place for him.”But Miller may not be at that “good place” without the help of someone nine years younger.Roffler has been Miller’s inspiration, and as Florida State makes one last push at an NCAA Tournament berth, its senior leader will always keep his hero in mind.Said Miller: “He’s the definition of a Seminole.” Comments Published on March 6, 2014 at 12:28 am Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more