St. Paul is getting formal and aggressive about a new stadium for the Saints. A $35 million “ballpark” (sounds homier, doesn’t it?) is now a top priority as the city lays out its wish list for the next legislative session. Dave Orrick reports for the PiPress, which also prints architectural drawings of the Lowertown-located park. And it looks … kind of nice. “But the argument in favor of the stadium is more about the benefits to the neighborhood and the city than balls and strikes. [Architect Julie] Snow said a number of possibilities for artistic installations or a gallery would dovetail with Lowertown’s artist community. For Andy Remke, an owner of Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar on Broadway Street, the prospect of 400,000 fans a season is a boon. ‘Anything that brings more people down here is a good thing, and this is 100 percent better than what we’ve got now,‘ Remke said.”
CNN Politics has a thumbsucker up on the greater ambitions of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The piece, by Rebecca Sinderbrand, has no particular clue of what Bachmann might do with her ever-heightening profile but does take note and give her credit for being quite hip to the tools of social networking. “She was one of the vanguard of lawmakers to allow visitors to her congressional and campaign Web sites to connect with her, or ‘work as a virtual volunteer,’ via a list that includes nearly five dozen social networking tools and multimedia Web sites, including Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Digg. On her congressional site, supporters can sign up for tele-town halls, download podcasts and view clips of her in action on the House floor and cable television.” But by all means, check out Jon Stewart’s video forensics on FoxNews’ coverage of Bachmann’s rally last Thursday.
The Associated Press has the story of a North Dakota judge blocking the name change of the “Fighting Sioux,” which the NCAA declared, four years ago, should be abolished, despite a lawsuit by some local Sioux tribal members arguing in favor of the name. The story says, “[T]he order could delay the university’s efforts to join the Summit League and re-establish its football rivalry with North Dakota State University.” So where’s Nick Coleman when you need him?
The day’s Tom Petters news includes the not exactly surprising assertion from Petters’ accountant that Tom and the gang were using the company as their own personal piggy bank. I mean, that is the point of a Ponzi scheme, right? David Phelps, the Strib’s Petters-trial guy notes that the accountant “testified that he helped prepare tax returns for Petters that significantly underreported his income. He said Petters’ income did not reflect ‘personal loans’ he took from PCI, and that in some years, Petters reported negative income.” (Martin Moylan’s story for MPR puts Petters’ “negative income” one year at a very plus-sized $25 million.) In other words, such maneuvers get you and me in there subsidizing playtime in Vegas.
John Welbes’ story in the PiPress has the detail of a former Petters employee sitting with the boss in the Petters family kitchen and being told that “an employee caught embezzling funds by the company had felt the heat, and had gone to the FBI to try to point out other problems at the company. Petters reassured [the guy] that early the next week, Petters was going to go on the offensive against the embezzler, and that everything was OK with the company. ‘I went home feeling good,’ ” said the chum … excuse me, former employee, who lost $1 million.
Considering the size of the herd, it’s hard to figure why deer hunters even bother baiting. But they do. Laziness, I guess. The Pi Press’s outdoor guy, Chris Niskanen, reports high levels of fines being handed out to hunters laying out treats for Bambi. As you might expect, some of these guys are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. ” ‘Some people were pretty bold about (their baiting),” [one DNR officer] said. ‘We had a DNR pickup parked next to a small airport, and someone was baiting just past the pickup. They would have had to drive past our pickup to place their bait.’ Deer baiting has become ‘epidemic’ in northern Minnesota, said [another] conservation officer.” Niskanen adds, “[B]ut conservation officers across northern Minnesota seized dozens of firearms and handed out just as many fines, typically $385 each, to baiters.” Seizing rifles from hunters … I hope the DNR field staff is getting overtime for that job.
Speaking of deer, a 180-pound Wisconsin buck (and likely a Packers fan) died after head-butting a 640-pound concrete elk lawn ornament. (You need to see the photo.) Bob Lamb in the La Crosse Tribune tells the story. The lawn ornament owner, “[Mark] Brye, 58, is considering removing the antlers from the unlucky buck and gluing them on the elk statue as a remembrance of the strange but true story.” Despite the dead buck’s Wisconsin heritage, no toxicology tests are planned.
After the city of Proctor lost out on a $43,000 eBay bid for the now-legendary DWI motorized recliner when fretful execs at La-Z-Boy objected to the thing being advertised as one of their fine products, the city has been dinged yet again when the winner of the second auction reneged on the deal. The Duluth News Tribune story quotes the California man telling the city, “I apologize, but there seems to be a mistake. I did not mean to bid this amount, as well as I cannot afford this. I am truly sorry for the mix up and the wasted time.” He had bid $10,999.99.
Jesse Ventura stopped by the Capital Tuesday … in his Porsche … to pick up one of those ex-governor ID cards that come in so handy when cops, especially bribe-happy Mexican cops, pull you over. The PiPress’s Bill Salisbury files. “He pulled up into the governor’s parking lot at the northwest corner of the Capitol in his maroon Porsche convertible with the ‘UDTSEAL’ license plates. The car is nine years old, and he said he pays only $72 for his license tabs, thanks to the fee reduction he pushed through the Legislature in 2000. … ‘With what they did to my license tabs, I will never buy another new car in Minnesota,’ Ventura said.”
It seems a man was killed by a piece of flying wood Tuesday. It’s made the the “most read” list on several sights. Here’s the entire story, courtesy of the AP. ” A man working at a family lumber mill in northeastern Minnesota is killed by a flying piece of wood. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office says 45-year-old Frank Steven Kami of Cook died when the wood was thrown from a machine Monday afternoon. He was working alone at the mill and died at the scene. Sheriff’s deputies are investigating.” More details as they emerge, I guess.