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Sasquatch in Stillwater?

AFTERNOON EDITION ALSO: Kevin Kling and MPR team up; Bachmann promises $2 gas; a missing leg; state students shine on ACT scores; and more.
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Sasquatch in Stillwater?

First a cougar, now Sasquatch. Jim Anderson of the Strib reports: “A video purporting to show an auburn-haired Sasquatch tromping through the woods north of Stillwater is causing a buzz among those fascinated by the ever-elusive Elvis of the wildlife world. Like every video claiming to be that of the giant woodland creature also known as Bigfoot, the clip is brief, jiggly and out-of-focus. It was shot, according to the YouTube posting, by an anonymous farmer with his newfangled iPhone while on his usual evening walk with his wife. According to the farmer, the couple thought they’d scared a deer until they heard some ‘low, odd-sounding grunting’ and fired up the gizmo.” When the creature broke in to a rendition of “Viva Las Vegas,” the couple knew they really had something.

Myth nightclub owner Michael Ogren’s problems are far from over, even after pleading guilty. John Brewer of the PiPress says: “Michael Wayne Ogren, failed nightclub owner and defunct online poker entrepreneur, can now add felon to his title. The 43-year-old Roseville resident pleaded guilty Monday to one count of theft by swindle for taking a $600,000 loan from a Lino Lakes bank on Dec. 31, 2008, and using already-promised stock in his nightclub as security on the loan. A count of fraud in obtaining credit was dropped as part of the plea agreement, the Anoka County attorney’s office said. The office will seek one year of jail time for Ogren at sentencing, scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 1 in Anoka County District Court. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case in January 2010, Ogren defaulted on a $600,000 loan from Patriot Bank of Lino Lakes. As security on the loan, he had promised the bank 10,000 shares in Club Rage Inc., Ogren’s company that once ran the Myth nightclub in Maplewood. When the bank tried to collect on the shares, it found they already had been promised to another of Ogren’s lenders — Steven Sadowski, the complaint said.”

Kevin Kling is entering into a three-year residency with MPR. Says the PiPress’s Mary Ann Grossmann, “Kling, Minnesota author, playwright, storyteller and humorist, will do a three-year residency with Minnesota Public Radio. Kling will present original works exclusively on the stage of St. Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater, conduct storytelling workshops and provide commentaries for MPR. … Kling’s first original work as resident will be ‘Of Mirth and Mischief,’ a holiday show for all ages directed by Peter Rothstein with Steve Kramer as musical director. The show, which runs Dec. 16-18, is inspired by the experiences, tragedies and mishaps that shaped Kling’s and Kramer’s lives. Kling describes it as having ‘a rocker’s edge with a sweetness that takes theatergoers down a path of irony through tales of inner-city elves, broken fairies and holiday collisions.’ “

Even for Wisconsin, this one is a bit strange. The Appleton Post Crescent reports: “On Aug. 4, a community support officer from the Menasha Police Department was dispatched to the 1000 block of Ninth Street on a report of a found prosthetic leg. The woman who notified police said she discovered the leg between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m. The report indicated that the woman didn’t know who the leg belonged to. An officer brought the leg to the police department and put it into a garage where evidence is stored. It remains there today. ‘The leg is a prosthetic leg with a black shoe on the bottom of the leg,’ the police report states.” I mean, even if alcohol was involved, eventually you’d think they’d notice …

Today’s best campaign promise … from Our Favorite Congresswoman. Says Dan Berman and Molly Ball at Politico: “Americans will save at the pump if Michele Bachmann is elected president, the Minnesota Republican said Tuesday. ‘The day that the president became president gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Look at what it is today,’ she said at an event in Greenville, S.C. ‘Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen. The average price for a gallon of gasoline is currently $3.58 per gallon, according to AAA. Bachmann didn’t detail how she would cut the price of gasoline, which is tied to the global price of oil.” If you vote for me, I’ll give everyone a pony.

Up on RealClearPolitics is a piece by editor Carl M. Cannon, titled “What Happened to Tim Pawlenty?” It says: “Part of the problem, for both fundraisers and voters, was positioning. Who was Tim Pawlenty? His message seemed diffused. Was he the über-Mitt Romney, a former governor with a ‘Minnesota nice’ glaze whose executive experience stood in contrast to Barack Obama’s inexperience? Or was he the blue-collar conservative who could expand the Republican brand by appealing to working-class Reagan Democrats because he was one of them? Or was he an establishment Republican who got the message of the Tea Party and offered up anti-tax budgets that constituted supply-side economics on steroids? Or was he the evangelical Christian who, as he said in a debate, had been dubbed by the conservative National Review as the GOP candidate who’d been most effective in promoting the pro-life cause? In truth he was all of those people — or, at least, he tried to be. The problem was that by leaving different impressions, at some point Pawlenty began leaving no impression at all.

Minnesota’s teachers have failed their students so badly the kids are eighth in the country in ACT testing. Says the Strib report: “Minnesota high school students scored nearly two points above the national average in the ACT college entrance exam. Minnesota’s class of 2011 had an average composite score of 22.9, the eighth highest in the nation, according to ACT, which released the results Wednesday. The national average was 21.1, out of possible score of 36. The state’s composite score was unchanged from 2010. Students were tested in subjects including English, reading, math and science. The states that scored higher than Minnesota were Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.” … All of which are low-tax Sun Belt states, I believe.

Target saw a nice profit tick last quarter. The AP’s Anne D’Innocenzio writes: “Target Corp., buoyed by its push into groceries and incentives it offers credit cardholders, posted a 3.7 percent increase in second-quarter profit and said earnings for the year will beat Wall Street estimates. Target is counting on two key initiatives to drive revenue — its larger food offering and its 5 percent discount it began offering in October to customers who pay with Target branded credit and debit cards. As a result of its strategy, Target had a 3.9 percent increase in revenue at stores opened at least a year.”

Here’s a challenge for anyone interested: Divine the underlying message of this post on the conservative blog True North (“Pointing Minnesota in the Right Direction”). Walter Scott Hudson is upset about individual mandates in “Obamacare.” He says: “[C]itizens must be forced to purchase health insurance to pay for services which hospitals are forced to provide. Force begets force. This brings into question the whole notion of economic mandates. Clearly, despite the political class’s reverence for ‘compromise,’ this is an either-or proposition. Either you believe people ought to be forced into economic transactions, or you don’t. The moment we accepted the premise that the needs of the sick and injured place some claim upon the property and labor of health care providers, we created the problem which the individual mandate is intended to solve. Indeed, if allowed to, the trend will continue. If the individual mandate is eventually upheld, it will create another problem which will become the argument for additional force. If we are all forced to pay for health insurance, it follows that our diet, exercise, and other health choices amount to decisions about how much such insurance will cost. Following the government’s logic in defense of the individual mandate, it would be appropriate to impose mandates covering diet, exercise, and any number of activities which could be construed to affect health.”