The closing of the Riverview Community Bank got a fair amount of coverage recently, mostly because of their public professions of faith, including founder Chuck Ripka’s claim that God was watching out for investors (they also opted for strange art choices in their Otsego headquarters, which included an image of Jesus closing a bank deal that City Pages reprinted); the fact that the bank was closed by feds was just too delicious to pass up, and both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press covered the story.
But Paul Schmelzer of the Minnesota Independent noticed something odd: An early version of the story in the Star Tribune referenced the fact that state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer has close ties to the bank; specifically, according to Schmelzer, she’s listed as “president and director of American Eagle Financial Corporation, which owns and controls Riverview Community Bank.” However, a later version of the story scrubbed mention of Kiffmeyer. Schmelzer contacted Star Tribune business reporter Chris Serres, who said that he cut the Kiffmeyer reference to make room for more “God stuff,” feeling that Kiffmeyer’s relationship to the bank was already known and less interesting.
Gosh, computers can be distracting. You download a game for your iPod Touch and next thing you know, it’s 2 in the morning; you get into an online chat and before you know it, you’re late for work; you try to schedule crew schedules on your laptop, and next thing you know you’ve overshot the Minneapolis airport by a hundred miles or so. At least, the latter seems to be what happened to the pilots of Northwest Flight 188, according to KARE11’s Karla Hult .
The trouble, it seems, is that the crew scheduling software is new to the pilots, a product of the Delta acquisition of Northwest, and it’s extremely complicated, as the John Welbes from the Pioneer Press explains. Welbes quotes an unnamed Northwest pilot, who said that the software “can turn your life upside down for a couple of months” and added that if pilots “don’t pick up the new system in short order, you could mess up your family life for a bit until you figure that out and can take advantage of your seniority.”
Pat Pheifer of the Star Tribune offers a portrait of the St. Paul Police Department’s Offenders Prostitution Program, better known as john school. The program is run by an organization called Breaking Free (here’s its web page), which Pheifer describes as “a St. Paul organization that helps women escape prostitution and its accompanying lifestyle,” and the day-long program is intended to demonstrate to convicted johns that prostitution is not a victimless crime. The story is also interesting for the discussion that ensued, which seems to be a product of the Strib’s moderating policy: a complicated and mostly civil debate has broken out as to possible solutions to prostitution, including legalizing it, and a comment accusing a local pastor of being a john looks to have been swiftly removed. It’s very strange to see a comment-section discussion at a newspaper that actually adds value to the original story, rather than simply being an unregulated zone in which partisans hijack every issue to promote their talking points. If you want to do that now, you’re probably going to have to be a politician.
Case in point, as published in the Pioneer Press: Pawlenty hasn’t shied away from painting Obama as a tax-and-spend-liberal, but he seems to have added in a new rhetorical trick in an interview with Newsmax, as recounted by Ronald Kessler: Obama might get us attacked. Specifically, Pawlenty said the following: “History proves that it is weakness, not strength, that tempts our enemies, and he is projecting potential weakness, and enemies may see that and their respect may be reduced as a result of that, or worse.” Also, Pawlenty accused Obama of being extremely partisan, and complained that Obama’s economic policies were going to create dangerous deficit and debt, and then was interrupted by a terrific argument between a pot and a kettle.
The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh introduces us to a novel twist in a murder tale: Betsy M. Hanks of Kelliher has been charged with shooting her husband in the head; police say she decided to blame her 3-year-old, claiming she had found him playing with a gun and when she tried to take it from him, it went off. Odd though that might be, the strangest paragraph in the story is as follows: “later in the interview, Hanks admitted to killing Albert before heading to Mizpah, in hopes of giving her children a better father, according to the charges.” According to Wikipedia, Mizpah had 78 people in it as of the 2000 census; it’s very hard to divine precisely what her Mizpah-husband-getting plan might have been.
It’s not local, but we can’t resist a good cave man story: As reported on FOX9, “A leading geneticist has determined that modern man and Neanderthals had sex across the species barrier.” How could they resist? Just look at those soulful eyes.
Enough of the Vikings, it’s time to talk about hunting. Specifically, let’s sing the praises of our great hunters — specifically, 12-year-old Kelly Holmin, who is now the youngest Minnesotan to have killed a moose, according to the Associated Press, which also offers an image of Holmin astride the great fallen beast. Of course, had she been a Neanderthal, she probably would have felled her first moose at age 3, or, at least, that’s what her mother would have claimed.