There are probably several hundred south Minneapolis women altering their jogging routes; a dude exposing himself at Lake Harriet is apparently a serial offender.According to the PiPress’ Leslie Brooks Suzukamo, “Two women have reported being accosted by the man while jogging, but authorities think there may be unreported incidents.” Fox9’s Paul Blum says the perv is also operating around Lake Calhoun and Lake Nokomis. KSTP’s Tim Sherno says one Harriet incident happened at 6:30 a.m. and another at 4:30 p.m.; a woman saw the man get into a red car. Carry mace and a cellphone, police advise.
FiveThirtyEight.com, the red-hot election-prediction site that got 49 of 50 states right in the presidential election, says Al Franken “may be the prohibitive favorite” in the U.S. Senate recount. The guess is based on reasonable assumptions of uncounted ballots and Franken’s support among sloppy voting blocs. But author Nate Silver places a lot on the pre-recount’s close margin, and that could shift any which way today.
The Strib’s Pat Doyle foreshadows GOP sniping over Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s recount supervision. Ritchie handled a summer judicial recount well, Doyle writes, but no matter how well he does in the current mess, opponents can raise fear, uncertainty and doubt because he’s a partisan who beat a partisan (Mary Kiffmeyer) for the office.
The PiPress’ Rachel Stassen-Berger looks at an election gone OT, noting recount-related burnout for campaign workers and political junkies. KARE’s Joe Fryar becomes the latest reporter questioning Coleman’s insinuation that the shrinking margin is “dubious,” noting Walter Mondale cut into Coleman’s 2002 margin similarly. Official county canvasses must be done today, so the numbers will shift; Hennepin County’s canvass board meets this afternoon. Minnesota Democrats Exposed sets up outrage; rival MnPublius notes post-election shifts happen every two years.
The Strib’s Kevin Diaz says Minnesota’s DFL congressional delegation is touting rail — light and commuter — as local spoils of the Dems’ D.C. sweep. GOP Rep. John Kline says Republicans only have the Senate filibuster; he mournfully calls that brake a “slim” one. AP has looks at a Duluth-Minneapolis line’s various options.
On Veterans Day eve, the Strib’s Randy Furst looks at returnees who can’t find jobs. In a tough economy, those who were jobless when they were enlisted aren’t getting a boost from their service. There are no state stats, but September’s national vet-jobless rate is 4.7 percent, about 1.5 points below the overall rate. Many companies, including Target, don’t give vets preference. Several of the unemployed are using their generous educational benefits while they wait.
On the heels of an AARP study showing that 70 percent of American workers plan to extend their working years because of the financial collapse, the PiPress’ Jeremy Olson profiles Minnesotans doing just that. The Citizens League wants a placement service that links older workers to flexible-hour jobs.
MPR’s Elizabeth Stawicki profiles public defenders who have to moonlight to pay back law school loans. They make about 60K, but fork over about $750 a month for $75,000 to $90,000 in school debt. Of course, PDs don’t make what private-sector lawyers do, but they’re also paid $7,000 less than those in the attorney general’s office. Minnesota’s chief justice says salaries must rise; good luck in a big deficit year. A national loan forgiveness program has been signed but is unfunded.
Should the city of Minneapolis tax newspaper boxes and reduce their number? The Strib’s Steve Brandt quotes one council member who seeks a $39 fee per container to pay inspection costs. Boxes are obstructing sidewalks and looking cruddy. There may be First Amendment considerations, but St. Paul has similar regulations — without the fee. Get ready for a Dec. 2 public hearing.
Downtown Journal’s Michelle Bruch diagrams a three-block-long, two-block-wide residential-commercial development north of the new Twins stadium. The project now has a clumsy name: “North Loop Green.” There’s a park wedged between the railroad tracks and downtown’s big parking ramps. Megadeveloper Hines forecasts six 15- to 35-story buildings featuring rental and for-sale housing, and possibly office space and retail. Groundbreaking is planned within 12 months, with construction phased in over years. Don’t be surprised if this schedule slips.
Heartwarmer: KSTP’s Steve Shaw notes that the Vikings honored Justin Hamilton, the 24-year-old who was kidnapped, beaten, burned and cut by four Northfield men after a 16-year-old girl lied. Hamilton was born with fetal alcohol syndrome but seems very articulate; the Purple gave Justin an Adrian Peterson jersey and a front-row seat.
Nort spews: The Brad Childress Farewell Tour improbably careens into first place following a 28-27 victory over Green Bay. Chilly is now 1-5 versus the Pack, and would be 0-6 if not for Adrian Peterson’s 192 rushing yards and Jared Allen’s pressure. Sore Losers worth lingering over here (Milwaukee game story), here (Green Bay game story), here (“Vikings are clearly the better team”), here (Rogers beat-down), here (game-losing field goal miss).