First, Buford “Bucky” Rogers, the alleged “terrorist,” and now it’s chemical bombs in the great and bucolic city of Montevideo. At WCCO-TV, John Lauritson (who has Montevideo cred) reports: “Over the past two days, Montevideo police have found eight of the so-called ‘MacGyver bombs’ on 5th and 7th streets. ‘It’s strange and it’s dangerous,’ said Angel O’Malley. O’Malley lives on 5th Street, two doors down from where a woman and her three children found four ‘MacGyver Bombs’ in their yard. … Montevideo Police said the person making these is putting aluminum and a chemical inside plastic pop bottles. Some of the bombs have been wrapped in a mesh, which could help heighten the force of the explosion. ‘It’s creating a chemical reaction and the explosion is big enough that it throws chemical in the air and could potentially burn someone,’ said police chief Adam Christopher.”
Today’s AP on the Brodkorb matter … “That his list became public now probably won’t help Brodkorb build pressure for a deal in a case at least a year away from a possible trial, said Columbia University Law Professor Vivian Berger, who specializes in employment cases. ‘The guillotine is more effective when the blade is hanging over you, not when the guillotine comes down,’ Berger said. The document offers scant evidence to back up his allegations. The affairs would have occurred under different leaders than those who fired Brodkorb. Most of the supposed affairs involved no direct boss-subordinate relationship.” Ohhhh … don’t ruin our fun.
You are, of course, aware of the state’s 4,500 miles of “water trails,” right? Ann Tressel of the St. Cloud Times says: “The DNR’s state water trails program turned 50 this year. What started as a local effort on the Minnesota River has grown to 33 trails — including the Snake — covering 4,529 miles. … Maintaining the 662 public accesses, 411 campsites and 337 rest areas along Minnesota’s water trails accounts for most of the program’s $600,000 annual budget. Canoe and kayak registration generates about $630,000 a year for the fund that pays for the water trails program. According to the DNR, nearly 192,200 canoes and kayaks are registered in Minnesota — accounting for 23 percent of all watercraft registered in the state. In particular, the popularity of kayaking continues to increase. Wrede has seen kayak registration in Minnesota increase 56 percent in the past five years.”
This has legal credibility? Ryan Foley of the AP reports: “The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stood by its ruling that a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive and worried he would try to start an affair. Coming to the same conclusion as it did in December, the all-male court found that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender. The ruling upholds a judge’s decision to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit filed against Fort Dodge dentist James Knight, who fired assistant Melissa Nelson, even while acknowledging she had been a stellar employee for 10 years. Knight and his wife believed that his attraction to Nelson — two decades younger than the dentist — had become a threat to their marriage. Nelson, now 33, was replaced by another woman; Knight had an all-female staff.” And what does the woman who replaced Nelson think of this?
Business as usual in Duluth … Mark Stodghill of the News Tribune reports: “Duluth police Chief Gordon Ramsay called the scene he viewed firsthand Wednesday night surreal. There standing woozily in front of the Last Place on Earth head shop on Superior Street was owner Jim Carlson with his shirt ripped open and blood running from his face down his chest. The man whom Ramsay and city officials have practically declared Public Enemy No. 1 for allegedly victimizing the community by selling synthetic drugs was himself a victim of a woman who, according to court records, has purchased Carlson’s synthetic drugs.” Has anyone put a number on the cost of police response to that place?
Also, an update on those paramilitary guys “guarding” the mine site in northern Wisconsin. Steven Verburg of the Wisconsin State Journal writes: “Guards at the Gogebic Taconite mine site in Iron County need assault rifles and military garb because they must be ready for the worst, says the Arizona-based owner of the security company that has drawn heavy criticism for its presence. Bulletproof Securities president Tom Parrella said in an interview the high-powered rifles are justified because of online postings by mine opponents that appear to be death threats and by ‘strange and threatening behavior’ by a few others. … protesters have posted death threats on a Facebook page and guards have seen people “sneaking” through the woods several times a day. ‘A handgun is relatively useless in some of these situations,’ Parrella said. ‘We didn’t send them out with a belt machine gun, we sent them out with a lightweight (rifle) to give them the opportunity to defend themselves and the people at the site.’ ”
News flash … the town is thick with mosquitoes this summer. Sasha Aslainian of MPR tells us: “This week, the mosquito population is twice as high as the 10-year average. …The rainy cold spring meant spring and summer species of mosquitoes arrived right on top of each other, giving us a big burst in mid-June. Each additional inch of rain means more mosquitoes hatch when rainwater finds their eggs. Right now, Minnesota is getting the ‘cattail mosquito,’ a particularly aggressive strain that hatches in cattail swamps and usually peaks around July 4. Of the 51 mosquito species in Minnesota, Mosquito Control focuses on the ones that bite people, and the ones that carry disease.” Instead of playing G.I. Joe in the woods, those paramilitary guys would be more useful hunting mosquitoes in my backyard.
Speaking of tough guys … . Sarah Horner’s PiPress story says: “A highly decorated former Minneapolis police officer left the Anoka County Courthouse in handcuffs Thursday. Shortly before he was taken away, David Clifford, 48, said publicly for the first time that he made a mistake last summer when he punched an Andover bar patron when the man refused to quiet down. The blow, often referred to as a sucker punch during Clifford’s criminal trial, caused Brian Vander Lee, 44, to fall and hit his head on the bar’s concrete patio. He was in the hospital for weeks and underwent three brain surgeries. ‘It turns out I never took off my uniform (that night). … I decided to be a cop when no police intervention was necessary,’ Clifford said. ‘I should have walked away’.” So … if he sucker-punched someone while wearing his uniform, everything would be cool?
In response to the latest episode of “amateur hour” … Julie Siple of MPR writes, “Hunger relief advocates in Minnesota are decrying a farm bill passed Thursday by the U.S. House that makes changes to agricultural policy but says nothing about funding for food stamps. Food stamps are traditionally part of the farm bill, but the House split the bill in order to get more conservative support. Republican leaders say they’ll handle food stamps later. Colleen Moriarty, the executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota, says the move leaves food stamps — officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — vulnerable to deep cuts.” … As planned.