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Magnetation will build fourth plant somewhere other than Minnesota

Gophers getting latest stadium; prescription-drug monitoring program; real-life “Law & Order” episodes; city lake surprises; and more.

Citing a likely iron ore market crash in 2015, Magnetation will not build a fourth plant in Minnesota. Dan Kraker of MPR writes: “Magnetation officials say they will build the company’s new plant in Wisconsin or Indiana. They’ve decided to bypass Minnesota despite a new state law passed this year designed to speed up the environmental permitting process for the plant. The decision has upset some people on the Iron Range, but Magnetation still plans to add jobs in the region. … Now the company plans to build yet another plant in another state to manufacture taconite pellets, a more profitable use of the iron. But it it needs to start production before the market crashes, said Lehtinen’s son, company President Matt Lehtinen. ‘For the long term viability of the company we need to produce iron ore pellets, and most experts around the world predict iron ore to fall drastically in price by 2015,’  Matt Lehtinen said. ‘So for us to have ample markets to serve to maintain the 200 jobs that we have today as well as the opportunity to grow, this pellet plant being operational by 2014 is super critical for us.’ ” So what does he know?

It’s been days … or maybe hours … since this town got a new stadium going. The Minnesota Daily’s Andrew Kramer and Charlie Armitz report: “The Gophers broke ground Monday on a new baseball stadium at Siebert Field on campus, which will replace the old stadium where Minnesota has played home games since 1971. Fans, donors and media watched as University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, outgoing athletics director Joel Maturi and head baseball coach John Anderson led the groundbreaking ceremony. ‘We’re going to develop a facility where we can have [championship] moments again,’ Anderson said according to a news release. ‘We can bring baseball back here, and we can bring an NCAA tournament back here.’ The Gophers hosted NCAA regionals in 1974, 1977 and 2000, but since then the stadium has suffered from decrepit conditions and forced the team to play most of its games away from campus. … Construction on the 1,400-seat facility is scheduled to begin June 18. By July, the University expects to have the current Siebert Field demolished. The new field will have synthetic turf and is expected to be completed by December.” Ideally, the Gophers should schedule their NCAA championship for the same year as the Vikings Super Bowl victory.

Here’s a guy that really needs to work on his seduction technique. The Forum papers report:“A Puposky, Minn., man stands accused of using a nylon webbing belt to strangle a woman in an effort to secure her consent for sexual relations. John Michael Luedecke, 39, of Puposky, Minn., was charged Tuesday in Beltrami County District Court with felony domestic assault by strangulation and felony terroristic threats with reckless disregard for risk. … The female victim went to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center and provided law enforcement with a statement on the alleged assault. The belt was recovered for forensic analysis. Luedecke, in a statement, told investigators that he and the woman had argued that evening, but that they reconciled to the point where they engaged in consensual sexual activity.”

The GleanIn the wake of news that pro hockey player Derek Boogaard had multiple doctors supplying him with pills, Lorna Benson of MPR reports: “Two years ago Minnesota set up a prescription drug monitoring program to help physicians and others who prescribe drugs to detect patients who might be addicted to pain medication. Supporters say the database probably couldn’t have flagged Boogaard’s extensive efforts to obtain prescription pain drugs since the hockey player transferred to a team in another state shortly after Minnesota’s monitoring program began operating. The database has helped doctors detect other patients who are abusing prescription narcotics. But supporters are disappointed though that many Minnesota prescribers are still not searching the database.”

Heck, I learned this much from watching “Law & Order.” Emily Gurnon of the PiPress tells the story of two cops and an, uh, exotic dancer: “When two St. Paul police sergeants came by the King of Diamonds Gentleman’s Club in September and picked up 19-year-old dancer Jade Larson, they told her they wanted to talk to her about an investigation. The police needed information about a murder — and Larson knew the answers, they insisted. They escorted her back to headquarters. The way the interview unfolded is now the subject of a fierce dispute between the prosecution and defense in the case of Larson, who was later charged with two counts of aiding an offender. Both sides agree the two sergeants who talked to Larson did not give her a Miranda warning — advising her of her rights to remain silent and ask for an attorney — at any point during their initial interview. Instead, they played good cop/bad cop, with Sgt. Jake Peterson assuring her that they had her best interests at heart and Sgt. John Wright heatedly threatening her with jail and warning her to stop lying.” Come on, now. Is “Jade” her real name?

Clark Griffith has plea-bargained his indecent exposure charge. Gurnon (who gets all the good ones) writes again: “[F]ormer adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law and the son of former Twins owner Calvin Griffith has entered a plea bargain for indecent exposure charges. A 24-year-old student reported that Clark Calvin Griffith, 70, unzipped his pants in front of her on Victoria Street in St. Paul. Griffith, an attorney specializing in sports law, made unwanted advances toward the woman Jan. 24 after they were discussing a law clinic in which she planned to work with him, she alleged. Griffith entered an Alford plea in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday … to the misdemeanor charge, which means that he did not admit guilt but agrees that the state has enough evidence for a jury to likely find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He’ll be sentenced July 26.”

You wonder what they’d find if they drained any city lake? Mara Gottfried and Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress report: “A towing company pulled a stolen BMW from Loeb Lake in St. Paul on Tuesday afternoon … No one was inside, said Ramsey County sheriff’s office spokesman Randy Gustafson. Searchers looking for the BMW found at least one other submerged vehicle in the lake. … As the camera searched for the BMW, it spotted another vehicle in the water. ‘It was an older car and it was really buried, it was down in the muck,’ Gustafson said. A sheriff’s office diver also saw a car in the water, but it’s not known if that’s a third car or the same one the camera spotted, Gustafson said. Whether the other car or cars were also stolen isn’t known — their license plate or plates weren’t exposed — and they will have to be recovered to determine, Gustafson said. The other car or cars will be removed later; a date hasn’t been set, he said.”

Just don’t bring the weather with you, guys. Rick Nelson of the Strib says: “A popular Duluth institution is branching out to downtown Minneapolis. Rod Raymond and Tim Nelson, co-owners of Duluth’s landmark Fitger’s Brewhouse, are purchasing the historic North Loop building that last housed Trocaderos (107 3rd Av. N.) and plan to open a branch of their 19-year-old brewpub. ‘Our goal is to bring a taste of northern Minnesota to the heart of downtown Minneapolis,’ said Raymond. So far, not a lot of details, in part because the opening won’t happen until late fall or early winter. ‘What we do know for sure is that it’s going to be a neighborhood place, like the Brewhouse,’ said Raymond. ‘We’re going to have some fun with it.’ “

If you were watching last night’s Twins-Phillies game, you might have seen this one live. As SB Nation says in posting the video: “[A]mid the offensive explosion, there was a standout defensive play made by a man wearing a glove and Twins gear in the 7th inning. Was it Span or Ben Revere making a great diving catch in the outfield? Nope. Was it Jamey Carroll and Brian Dozier turning a slick double play? Not so much. It was a fan. On his cell phone. After a Phillies batter scalded a foul ball down the first base line, this Twins fan nonchalantly snagged it with his glove off one bounce while in the middle of a conversation on his phone. After making the nifty grab, he casually gave the ball to his wife/girlfriend/just the girl sitting next to him, completed his conversation, and hung up.”