Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Runaway Lakeville dad found and arrested in California

MORNING EDITION ALSO: Weight-loss blogger takes on State Fair; “Johnny Northside” verdict upheld; Bachmann’s Everglades comments hit; state may have to use its line of credit; and more.
Read Monday Afternoon Edition


The Lakeville dad who abandoned his 11-year-old son and left him alone in his home was arrested in a pleasant California seaside community. Maricella Miranda of the PiPress says: “California authorities arrested Steven Alexander Cross, a Lakeville father wanted for abandoning his 11-year-old son when their home was lost in a foreclosure. Cross, 60, was arrested at 2:45 p.m. Monday in Cambria, an oceanside city, authorities said. Investigators heard last week that Cross was possibly working in the area. A patrol deputy spotted Cross’ Ford Windstar van Monday and arrested him without incident, authorities said. Cross was considered ‘endangered,’ meaning suicidal because of notes he wrote before he left Minnesota.”

It may only happen in the movies, but you know the scene where the drunk tests himself with three fingers of whiskey in a glass on the bar? So how about a gal who has struggled to lose 100 pounds going to … the Minnesota State Fair? Jen Emmert blogs at the Strib: “Throughout my journey of losing 100lbs and trying to find a healthy balance in an unbalanced world, I’ve made it a habit not to ‘deny’ myself anything. I never wanted to ‘ban’ myself from ever going anywhere because being healthy meant living life, and I needed to figure out how to be healthy no matter where I was. I was determined this year to enjoy the Minnesota State Fair but balance my healthiness journey at the same time.” Last time I checked, the ticket stubs alone were 4,000 calories.

Speaking of bloggers … a Hennepin County judge upheld a $60,000 verdict against “Johnny Northside” … for blogging something that was true. Abby Simons of the Strib reports: “In a nine-page ruling, District Judge Denise Reilly wrote that ex-community leader Jerry Moore provided ‘direct and circumstantial evidence’ to support the jury’s verdict that a blog post by [John] Hoff led to his termination by the University of Minnesota. Hoff ‘acknowledged that it was his goal to get [Moore] fired and that he was working “behind the scenes” to do so,’ Reilly wrote. ‘After the fact, [Hoff] took personal responsibility for [Moore’s] termination and announced his ongoing, active involvement in the University’s actions.’ ” I don’t believe this one is done yet.

Our Favorite Congresswoman’s suggestion we drill for oil in the Everglades brought out the usual knives. Kevin Diaz reports in the Strib: “Environmentalists and Democrats pounced immediately. ‘NRA card-carrying hunters, fishermen, waterfowlers, and other outdoors enthusiasts do not want to see oil drilling in their Everglades wildlife paradise,’ the Everglades Foundation said in a statement. ‘In addition, the Everglades is the source of fresh, clean drinking water for more than 7 million Floridians. Congresswoman Bachmann needs to understand that oil and drinking water do not mix.’ Also weighing in was Florida Rep. Debbie Waserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). ‘We need to look forward and invest in the future, and we won’t get there with unthinkable, reckless and irresponsible Republican proposals like drilling for oil in the Everglades,’ Wasserman Schultz said Monday in a statement.”

OK, this is funny. City Pages puts up a photo essay of Fairgoers holding up/wearing their fake “Bachmann eyes.” … And what would a space alien think if he landed at the Fair?

Also, City Pages’ Mike Mullen follows up on KARE-TV’s reporting on that racist vandalism incident in Lakeville: “Five juveniles were arrested for their role in a case of hateful vandalism. At around 1 a.m. on Thursday, the boys spray-painted graffiti on the outside of a black family’s garage, then sneaked inside the garage to continue. There, they left Nazi slogans on the car, in the backseat of a car, and smashed-up the windshield, according to KARE 11. The family said they moved to the Lakeville area to get away from the occasional violence in north Minneapolis. Now they’re wondering if they did the right thing thanks to these little punks, whose names haven’t been released by police because they’re all under 18 — both in age, and IQ, it seems.”

The nice flow of business to the banking industry — courtesy of Minnesota’s revenue-free budget “solution,”  what with schools districts and the state taking out loans — is almost enough to make you think that was the plan all along. Martiga Lohn of the AP explains the state’s latest problem: “Deficit-plagued Minnesota is spending nearly $4 million in credit line fees over two years to make sure state government doesn’t bounce checks. Finance officials earlier this summer extended a never-used $600 million line of credit, as state workers prepared for what turned into the nation’s longest state government shutdown in a decade. On Monday, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter, the state’s top budget official, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Minnesota might need to borrow against the credit within months to get through at least one tight financial spot.” I guess that just like government jobs aren’t real jobs, interest payments aren’t really a cost.

The Stillwater lift bridge is safe … but. MPR’s Dan Olson reports: “Transportation officials say the bridge is safe for the 17,900 vehicles that cross it daily, but because of deficiencies inspectors noted prior to Aug. 17, they have imposed additional weight restrictions and are making temporary repairs on the span. According to the inspection report, four locations on the bridge showed signs of advanced corrosion and deterioration that were inadequate for the posted load of 40 tons for large trucks. Inspectors discovered deterioration to steel beams, which unless repaired could cause the bridge to collapse.”

Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel looks at an analysis of the ads that ran in the recent recall elections, some of which played here in the Twin Cities. The stunner? The ratio of negative-to-positive was … 20:1. “Out of an estimated $12 million in campaign ads in these four markets, roughly 95% was spent on negative ads, 5% on positive ads. (Kantar Media CMAG defines ‘negative’ ads as those that contain criticism of an opposing candidate; ‘positive’ ads are those contain only positive information about one candidate and no negative information about the other). ‘People are always wanting to say, “This campaign is the most negative!” ‘ says Ken Goldstein, a political advertising scholar who currently runs CMAG. This time, says Goldstein, ‘I’ll say it. I’ve never seen a campaign more negative.’ Why was this campaign so ‘negative’? … Goldstein offers several reasons. There were big stakes. The outcome was in doubt (competitive elections generate more negative ads). Most of the money was spent by independent groups, which tend to be more exclusively attack-oriented than candidates are.”