No pipe sales at Pipestone

Pipestone National Monument in southwestern Minnesota said it will stop selling pipes, following decades of tribal complaints that the sales desecrate sacred grounds. Faith Spotted Eagle, who chairs the Ihanktonwan Treaty Steering Committee and is a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, called the pipestone from which the pipes are carved “the blood of our people,” according to Minnesota Public Radio. Lauren Blacik, superintendent of the Pipestone National Monument, said the monument’s leadership has come to understand that carrying a pipe is a deeply personal, cultural and spiritual responsibility. Indian craftspeople will continue to demonstrate pipestone carving and share their cultural history with visitors to the monument. The Pipestone Indian Shrine Association, which operates the park’s store, said it will open a location in downtown Pipestone where pipes carved from pipestone may be sold.

Associated Press

Lifeline for Condor

German airline Condor, which connects fliers nonstop from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Frankfurt seasonally, says it has been promised 380 million euros ($419 million) from the German government and the German state of Hesse to meet its cash needs for six months in the wake of the collapse of its parent company, British tour operator Thomas Cook. The vacation airline said on Tuesday it would turn a profit this year but needed ready cash to operate during the low booking season over the winter. Condor head Ralf Teckentrup called the promised bridge financing “an important step to secure our future.” Condor says the European Commission would evaluate whether the state support would be allowed before the money can be paid out.

Associated Press

Real ID is one year away

A year from now, Minnesotans ages 18 and older will need more than a standard state driver’s license to board a domestic flight. They’ll need a Real ID or other federally approved identification. Without it, travelers will not be allowed through security checkpoints and will be denied boarding beginning Oct. 1, 2020. In the coming months, Minnesotans can expect to hear a lot more about Real ID as the Department of Public Safety works to raise awareness. Real ID licenses and ID cards feature a star inside a gold circle in the top right corner of the card. In lieu of the Real ID, travelers can use an enhanced driver’s license or ID card, or a passport or passport card to board a domestic flight. An enhanced driver’s license or ID can be used to re-enter the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries. An enhanced driver’s license can also be used for domestic air travel, but not international flights.

Tim Harlow

Book holiday flights now

The time to start searching for holiday airfare is now — as in today — according to experts. “It may seem really early to start thinking about your holiday plans,” said Jeanette Casselano, a spokeswoman for AAA, last week. “But if you’re going to be flying, Sept. 25 through the end of October is going to be the best time to start looking and buying those flights, because you’re going to find some of the best options and best deals.” She said the months-early approach means there’s still a lot of supply, or flight options and seats, available. AAA had some good news for the budget-conscious: Round-trip domestic airfare was expected to be down 3.9% for around Thanksgiving and 9.2% for Christmas.

Washington Post