It looks like we might have a doozy of a winter ahead of us, as touched on in the Glean Thursday and looking worse as of today. As the Star Tribune tells it, the National Weather service is predicting our first snowstorm this Saturday, and it will be nothing to sneeze at, if you’re the sort of person who expresses their contempt for things by sneezing at them. As much as eight inches.
Beyond that, the word “blizzard” has been popping up a lot. Jana Shortal of KARE11, as an example, just did a story about Minnesota’s Armistice Day blizzard, which killed 49 people in 1940. (The Stuff About Minneapolis Blog has a remarkable photo of children watching the storm through a window.) Forecasts are for a cold winter — we’d point you to Tom Webb’s story on the Pioneer Press, but they have already archived it, so we’ll point you to his story on DailyMe instead: “Forecast for this winter in Minnesota: Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!” For this of us who believe that weathermen are actually elves who make the weather (and come on, look at Paul Douglas and Sven Sundergaard — just look at them), all this amounts to a warning. So we’re preparing for something out of a Roland Emmerich film with the help of the state’s Winter Hazard Awareness Week webpage, as well as About.com’s essay on winterizing your car in Minnesota.
Speaking of cars and winter, the Coen brothers caught a typically Midwestern display of cold-weather frustration in “Fargo” when they had their hapless car salesman, Jerry Lundegaard, take out his previously repressed rage on his car’s windshield with an ice scraper. This sort of thing ended badly for a Ramsey County man, who lost an eye to a reportedly intoxicated St. Paulite with an ice scraper in a story related by Leif Knutson of KARE11. “Don’t read this before breakfast,” Amy Nelson of the Pioneer Press warned on Twitter, pointing readers to the PiPress version of the story by Emily Gurnon, which has some rather graphic details in it.
While we’re on the subject of crime, Jessica Fleming of the Pioneer Press leads off a harrowing story of the slaying of two adults in Eagan with this extraordinary lead sentence: “Eleven-year-old Ingrid Hanson had the sense to tell her brother Thorin, 9, that they should stay in their room and hide when they heard the gunshots.” The story doesn’t so much detail the crime as it does the community’s attempt to care for the now orphaned children, as well as the children’s own quietly heartbreaking response to the murder of their parents.
The last 11 days at the University of Minnesota and the Marcy Holmes neighborhood have seen 80 cars broken into, detailed by FOX9. And while the thief or thieves have managed to make off with laptops and GPS systems, sometimes their take has been much smaller, such as the $5 in loose change taken from somebody who is only identified as “Nordin.” “For what they got, it’s pathetic. I’d like to say I was violated or angry, but you like to say, ‘Wow, you are really dumb,’ ” Nordin says.
Bad news for Bachmann. Rep. Michele Bachmann has backed down from her bid to become chair of the Republic House Conference. Andy Birkey of Minnesota Independent offers up the details, including her declaration of ongoing support for the Tea Party: “I look forward to continuing my consistent support of the Tea Party. I plan to advance the Tea Party ideals through their listening arm, the Tea Party Caucus. It is my wish to bring new faces to the caucus, including freshman members.” In the meanwhile, Jessica Lussenhop of City Pages rounds up some of the discussion going on about this, such as the Huffington Post’s repeated speculation that Bachmann was a bit too stingy with the millions she raised and could have shared more with her fellow Republican candidates. Undeterred, Bachmann went on Bill O’Reilly’s show on FOX (as reported by CP’s Nick Pinto) to tell him that liberals complain about waterboarding but have no problem with beheadings, citing Daniel Pearl as an example. O’Reilly balked at this, and Bachmann quickly recanted.
The latest news from the recount: Hart Van Denberg of City Pages has DFL candidate Mark Dayton warning that the GOP might use the recount for a power grab; MinnPost’s Jay Weiner asks what happens if the GOP deliberately stalls the recount; MinnPost’s Cyndy Brucato asks what the GOP gains by taking a hard line on this. But according to Tom Scheck of Minnesota Public Radio, GOP candidate Tom Emmer claims he has no plans to stretch out the recount.
In arts: MinnPost’s Joe Kimball reports that Christian singer TobyMac has invited 60 seventh-graders from White Bear Lake, all classmates of the 12-year-old boy from Vadnais Heights who was killed last month, to attend his Target Center concert Saturday night.
In sports: According to MPR’s Brandt Williams, the Nice Ride program will be expanding next year, thanks, in part, to a $1.5 million donation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. That is, if winter ever ends.