[Author’s note: Republican convention news is included in this dispatch; you can find a locally specific DNC Glean here.]
Two Ramsey County sheriff’s department staffers were convicted of theft. Bob Fletcher buddies Timothy Rehak and Mark Naylon failed an “integrity test”; they kept an FBI-planted $6,000. The men were also convicted of civil-rights deprivation, which apparently happens when you steal stuff, the Strib’s Rochelle Olson explains. Each count carries a 10-year sentence; the judge will be tough, an ex-U.S. attorney says. The jury took less than four hours to convict the men, the PiPress’ David Hanners notes. (See MinnPost coverage here.)
More corruption: An appeal is coming. KSTP’s video of the convicted men is here; KMSP’s here; WCCO’s here. Naylon and Rehak resigned before being fired. They were found not guilty of improperly checking public databases.
Three videographers got their cameras and equipment back from Minneapolis cops. The Joint Terrorism Task Force “reviewed” the Glass Bead Collective’s equipment, the Strib’s Terry Collins writes. (And police apparently kept marijuana, the PiPress’ Tad Vezner notes, though the trio denies having any.) Police say rail yard spying was involved, but no charges were filed; this seems to be a warning shot not to meet with anarchists, which nonviolence-claiming, cop-watching Collective members say they did. Cue chilling effect.
Ooo — a state senator “hissing” at a lieutenant governor? Hisser: DFL State Sen. Sandy Pappas. Hissee: Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau. Reason: a party-line Capitol architectural commission vote torpedoed “one of the [RNC’s] most visible protests … a mobile anti-war video billboard stationed below the St. Paul Cathedral,” PiPresser Jason Hoppin writes. Molnau cited traffic concerns; Pappas, recalling Molnau’s MnDOT 35W bridge-collapse leadership, shot back: “You know about safety, don’t you?” (See MinnPost coverage here.)
It will be tough to walk from downtown St. Paul to West Seventh Street, capital city officials tell the PiPress’ Dave Orrick. Pedestrian plans within a security zone are just rolling out. However, the city is doubling its bike parking spaces.
Amnesty International will bringSt. Paul a life-size Guantanamo Bay holding cell replica, City Pages’ Bradley Campbell reports. You can check it out at 270 W. Seventh St. beginning Saturday. This doesn’t explain the pedestrian-route difficulties, does it?
Fox9’s Jamie Reese says passers-by are creeped out by Democrat-funded bus shelter signs attacking a hugging John McCain and President Bush. Twenty signs are scattered around St. Paul.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux could be among the state’s Top 10 grant-givers. The Strib’s David Peterson says the Mystic Lake tribe has given away nearly $60 million in two years. The big winners: impoverished Dakotas tribes and the U football stadium. Prior Lake’s mayor also gushes about their generousity. The U gift totaled $12 million, but there’s no total for impoverished tribes. Why the 40 percent surge in recent giving? Unclear, but it coincides with a reservation building boom.
MPR’s Mark Steil notes that wind-power advocates are lamenting a tax credit’s imminent expiration. The hefty 1.9-cent-per-kilowatt-hour spiff expires at year’s end, and the allegedly alt-energy-friendly Congress hasn’t reupped it. At least one southwest Minnesota project might not happen.
Waste Management-roused Plymouthites may not have to separate their recycling after all. The Strib’s Jenna Ross says the City Council will revisit a more expensive — but more environmentally sound — plan. Waste Management, an incumbent hauler, sent two letters to residents lobbying against the plan. City officials have said costs would rise even if sources weren’t separated. Separating may be a pain, but it increases the quality of what’s recycled. Related: The insurgent recycler, Eureka, had to stop St. Paul curbside compost pickup.
Gnarls Barkley’s State Fair gig was a rainy bummer, the PiPress’ Ross Raihala writes. On the flip, the Strib’s Chris Riemenschneider opines that “the seriousness of the show truly underlined the power of the music” but acknowledges it was sluggish at times.
Nort spews: In hindsight, it really seems stupid that Carlos Gomez made the Twins before Denard Span, doesn’t it? Span, the prodigal first-rounder, made a perfect eighth-inning throw to nail a pesky Mariner at the plate, preserving a streak-busting 6-5 win. Minnesota gains a game on Chicago and is only one back. Sore Losers here and here.