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Did Target rip off Minnetonka Moccasins?

Westminster Presbyterian set to expand downtown; “Keep Out” signs pop up in St. Louis County; “mobile” zebra mussels; and more.

What next? A $20 Rolexx (sic)? John Ewoldt of the Strib writes: “Minnetonka Moccasin Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Target Corp. of selling replicas that copy what the moccasin maker described as its “iconic” beaded thunderbird design. The suit filed Tuesday alleges that Minneapolis-based Target started selling the replicas after trying unsuccessfully to get Minnetonka Moccasin products into its stores. The suit says that in November 2011 Target offered ‘prime real estate on the floor’ but that Minnetonka Moccasin ‘promptly and politely passed’ on the opportunity. In early 2012, according to the suit, the discounter began to sell a knockoff of Minnetonka’s $40 suede, beaded thunderbird-style moccasin.” No doubt an inadvertent oversight due to clerical error …

While the Catholics are taking up collections to buy anti-gay marriage ads, the Presbyterians are buying up downtown real estate. At MPR, Tim Nelson says: “Westminster Presbyterian Church says it’s joining the remake of the south end of downtown Minneapolis, as forklifts and backhoes rumble around on the other side of 12th Street. Church and community leaders said today that Westminster has purchased the 8-story, glass-sheathed office building next door, at 13th and Nicollet. … Church officials said they expected that planning for what do to with the land — the buildings are going to be removed — will start with a church conversation next month. They expect the city will get involved and planning will run through 2014. They gave no date for completion of any projects on the site. On the other side of Westminster, Orchestra Hall and Peavey Plaza are both in the midst of major makeovers, and the city has been wrangling for state and other revenue to help remake Nicollet Mall.”

The state’s largest private property owner lives in … Mississippi? John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune says: “A change in Minnesota tax law for forested land has so angered the state’s largest private property owner that it is blocking hunters and snowmobilers from driving onto land that has been in popular use. Mississippi-based Molpus Woodlands Group is putting up ‘Keep Out’ signs on access roads across much of the land it owns in northern St. Louis County. The new signs warn hunters that gates will be closed and access blocked to popular grouse and deer hunting land in coming weeks, just as hunters are heading into the woods. The move comes after the Legislature cut a tax break the company received for conducting sustainable forestry and allowing public access from more than $2 million to $100,000.” Is somebody pouting?

The anticipated $42.5 million in federal funds (“redistribution”!) has arrived. At the PiPress, Christopher Snowbeck says: “The state of Minnesota has received a $42.5 million federal grant to continue designing and developing a health insurance exchange, according to an announcement Thursday … With the new grant, the state has received a total of $71 million thus far for its health exchange, which is intended to be a new marketplace for individuals and small business to buy coverage starting late next year.

Also from Myers in the News Tribune: “Minnesota Conservation Officers Kipp Duncan and Jen Muller pulled into a parking lot in Two Harbors recently and couldn’t believe what they saw — a shopping cart covered with zebra mussels resting in the back of a pickup truck. ‘They covered the entire outline of the cart,’ Duncan told the News Tribune. ‘It was pretty amazing to look at. I’ve never seen anything with that many zebra mussels on it.’ The man driving the truck, Bruce A. Hinsverk, 51, of Wahpeton, N.D., told the officers he was on vacation and saw the shopping cart next to two dumpsters on the Duluth waterfront. He planned to drive up the North Shore to Grand Marais before returning to North Dakota with the shopping cart. Hinsverk apparently thought it would be cool to have on display at his hair salon … .” Would you like mussels with your blow-out, ma’am?

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On the lefty Think Progress’s LGBT page, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s experience with homophobes gets some attention. Says Zack Ford: “Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has been a very vocal advocate for marriage equality, helping fundraise to defeat his state’s marriage inequality amendment and just defending the gay community in general. For this, he has been bombarded with anti-gay hate mail, including one particular individual who photoshopped his name into a cartoon describing him as worse than a pedophile. Kluwe reacted to Outsports:
KLUWE: It arrived in the mail along with photocopied articles demeaning gays as ‘serial killers’ and ‘pedophiles.’ Doing some research, it appears the original cartoon came out in 1999 and this group (American News Center) has been mailing it out for multiple years now. No actual writing, no name, just lazy copy-pasted hate.”

The GleanAnd I assume he had a Breathalyzer on the seat next to him … Pam Louwagie of the Strib reports: “A Minnesota State Trooper who showed up for a morning training session smelling of alcohol was arrested for drunken driving Wednesday. Trooper Nick Morse, of Two Harbors, has been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation. Morse drove his squad car to the Minnesota State Patrol district office in Duluth, arriving at 8:10 a.m., when a supervisor there noticed the alcohol odor, according to a Department of Public Safety press release. A State Patrol lieutenant administered field sobriety tests, and Morse was taken to the St. Louis County jail. A breath test there registered an alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit in Minnesota, the news release said.” What did he put on those Cheerios?

The drought is getting worse. The AP story says: “New data from the U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday, Sept. 27, show that 77 percent of Minnesota is now in a moderate to extreme drought, up from 64 percent a week earlier. The map also shows that a large part of northwestern Minnesota is now in extreme drought, while the portion of southern Minnesota in extreme drought has grown. Parts of the northern Twin Cities metro area are now in severe drought, while moderate drought conditions have now taken hold in parts of northeastern Minnesota.”

Some of the best political reading/spinning these days is on conservative sites, many of which prefer to ignore Mitt Romney’s rather obvious problems, concentrating instead on the outrageous notion that taxes might be used to “redistribute” wealth. But at Power Line, John Hinderaker writes: “[T]he Gallup Poll currently has Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by six points, 50-44. Paul [Mirengoff] expressed skepticism about that finding, with which I agree. Why would Obama be enjoying a spike in support over the last week? Are voters happy to see an American ambassador murdered and the Middle East in flames, while our economy continues to stagnate? I don’t think so. Certainly the Rasmussen survey, which tracks likely voters, hasn’t seen any similar bump for Obama. As of today, Rasmussen’s three-day rolling numbers have the race tied 46-46. … the desperate situation in which America finds itself does seem to call for an all-out attack by Republicans this year. Like most conservatives, I doubt whether our country can survive another four years of Obama. For what it’s worth, the one time I have seen Romney live in recent weeks, he was very aggressive, sounding like the Romney that [Byron] York describes here; of course, on that occasion Romney was talking to donors.” … And oogly-eyed fan boys.