Sports lovers, music lovers and just regular lovers all have something to draw them to Minneapolis this weekend. The Twins twirl a set against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. Veteran rockers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at Target Center Saturday night, and the Twin Cities Pride Parade rolls through town Sunday afternoon, no doubt with extra enthusiasm fueled by recent legislative and judicial victories. Elizabeth Dunbar at MPR has all the details and says the city is urging people to use public transportation for events and will add cars to light rail trains to accommodate passengers, especially during the Saturday’s Twins/Petty confluence and Sunday’s parade/Twins events.
After a long winter and such a wet, cold spring, summer is here (now that the days are getting shorter) and Paul Huttner at MPR’s Updraft blog says we have Canada to thank for nice sleeping weather: “A fresh breeze is blowing after a week of sticky dew points in the 60s… Our change in air masses sticks around for the next few days. No severe derecho-like blobs of damaging winds on doppler, and the 4th of July forecast is looking better by the hour.”
All of last week’s rain has to go somewhere, and what doesn’t get into the aquifer usually finds its way into the Mississippi River. Jim Anderson of the Strib writes that all three Twin Cities locks on the Mississippi River were closed to commercial boat traffic Thursday morning because of high, fast-moving water. The lock and dam system closes to commercial traffic when flows reach 40,000 cubic feet per second. The standard for recreational boats is 30,000 cfs. The locks are unlikely to open to commercial boat traffic any sooner than the middle to later part of next week. For recreational boats, it’s too far out to predict when it will be safe again.
Brandt Williams at MPR has a nice story about relations between Minneapolis police and the African-American community. It’s a longish piece but is worth the time to read or listen. Much too briefly, here’s the story: The recent shooting death of 22-year-old Terrance Franklin, an African-American man, by Minneapolis police officers has reignited animosities between the city’s black community and the Minneapolis Police Department. The African-American community has held protests calling for the prosecution of the officers. “They’re going to keep protesting because clearly this is an injustice,” community activist Mel Reeves said of residents upset about the department’s use of force. … Police chief Janee Harteau, who took the top job in December, said she is instituting new policies and diversifying the department’s leadership and patrol force. Reeves, a 55-year-old journalist for the Minnesota Spokesman/Recorder and minister, is skeptical. He said law enforcement agencies hardly ever discipline officers involved in fatal shootings — especially when those incidents involve African-American victims. Since 2000, no grand jury has indicted a Minneapolis police officer involved in an officer-involved death following an investigation, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Duluth has taken another step onto the grid as they flipped the switch on the city’s first electric car charging station, reports John Myers of the News Tribune. The electric car charging station is at the Depot-Duluth Public Library parking ramp off Michigan Street downtown. The University of Minnesota Duluth will hook up its first charging station soon, and Benna Ford in Superior and Northstar Ford in Duluth also are slated to install public charging stations soon, officials said Thursday. About 50 of the stations already have been installed in Minnesota, although most are in the Twin Cities. Until now, the only other charging station in the area was at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm.
Moorhead’s high school boys hockey coach resigned this week after a complaint revealed he has a history of being investigated by police for domestic assault, though he has never been convicted, reports Dave Roepke and Chris Murphy of the Fargo Forum. Peter Cullen’s resignation was effective Wednesday. “I’m absolutely heartbroken,” Cullen told The Forum late Thursday night. “Aside from my two children, this job was the best thing I had in my life.” The anonymous complaint, which was copied to The Forum, asserted Cullen was questioned on several different occasions by Moorhead police following 911 domestic disturbance calls made by his girlfriend. Records obtained by The Forum show police have responded to five 911 calls since 2008 in which Terri Wiedeman, Cullen’s girlfriend, reported an argument or physical fight with him. … “I’m not proud for one second for anything I did,” Cullen said. He said he was not forced to resign.
A Salvation Army youth basketball coach in Duluth has been charged with twice sexually assaulting a preteen boy and in a separate incident photographing him in sexual positions, reports Mark Stodghill of the News Tribune. Peter Jay Olson, 47, was arraigned Thursday in State District Court in Duluth on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, possessing pictorial representation of minors, and use of a minor in a sexual performance. All four crimes are felonies. The guideline prison sentence for a first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction is 12 years in prison for someone with no prior criminal record. Olson has no prior criminal record. According to the criminal complaint, Olson has admitted to investigators that he sexually assaulted the boy in a Salvation Army office and at the defendant’s home.
John Fitzgerald is subbing this week for Brian Lambert.