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Sports Facility says probe of Wilf finances will continue

Fair vendors not getting rich; early schools taking heat precautions; detox services dwindling; Anoka-Hennepin schools tighten up security; and more.

Minnesota Vikings

Sorry, but they are going to check the books … Jim Ragsdale of the Strib reports: “The chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is trying to put a new Vikings stadium project back on track, said a probe into the team’s finances and liabilities must continue to assure the public the team can hold up its end of the deal. … The Authority and the team, owned by the Wilf family, are at odds over the due-diligence probe. It was launched when a New Jersey judge found that the family committed fraud and breach of contract in a separate real-estate deal. The team has broken off negotiations over use and development contracts until the probe is finished, and the lawyer conducting the review for the Authority said the team has not been cooperating.

With practically every news outlet focused on the fairgrounds, it’s not surprising the “news” is coming from there. For MPR, Martin Moylan reports: “The Great Minnesota Get Together draws nearly 2 million people every summer. That foot traffic makes it a choice location for nearly 800 businesses hawking everything from corn dogs to tractors. But profits don’t come easy. Fair officials say it’s a myth that food vendors here earn a year’s worth of income in 12 days. … Businesses pay a hefty cost to be there. Vendors pay the fair 15 percent of their food sales; 18.5 percent for beer sales. There are also expenses for labor, supplies and other costs, as well as taxes. The fair took in $10 million from all businesses operating in 2012. About half of that came from food, beverage and beer vendors. ‘The reality is a typical or medium booth here will do about $55,000 gross in sales. But that’s gross,’ [Dennis] Larson said. ‘They have to pay sales tax. They have to pay us 15 percent. A good operator could bring home maybe 25 percent … so he’s going to make a few thousand dollars. You’re not going to live on that.’ “

Oh, and yeah, it’s hot out there … MPR says: “MPR News Chief Meteorologist Paul Huttner says this will go down in history as one of the hottest Minnesota State Fairs ever. The National Weather service is warning that today will be ‘dangerously hot,’ with a heat index between 100 and 110. … ‘It’s a scorcher out there, especially if you’re in the direct sun or one of those poor people slaving over a hot grill in one of the concession stands,’ [reporter Curtis] Gilbert said.” Dante was thinking of the insides of the Food Building on a day like today …

Are the Chinese keeping their kids home? Steve Brandt of the Strib says: “Monday’s broiling weather forced schools to take extra precautions on the first day of school but some Minneapolis parents opted to keep their kids home in air conditioning. … Minneapolis schools have canceled all outdoor after-school athletics practices for Monday. In Fargo, officials canceled classes at five elementary schools in the district that don’t have air conditioning. In St. Paul, teams will meet for afternoon and evening practices but physical activities will be “reduced and less strenuous,” the district said. All of Monday’s afternoon and evening games in St. Paul will be postponed to later dates.” What would Ole Rolvaag say?

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And in a sign of total cultural collapse, Bill McAuliffe of the Strib says: “Heat appears to be limiting the food spread in downtown Minneapolis Monday, with food trucks declining to fire up the grills. ‘It’s real hot out. And Monday’s kind of a slower day, and the fair’s going on,’ said Maria Zarkha, a manager for World Street Kitchen, which won’t be sending its truck to Marquette Avenue for Monday’s lunch hour. A food truck-tracking website indicates that many food trucks won’t be out Monday.” We might as well call ourselves “Omaha North” and throw in the towel.

Somewhat kind of related .. Time for … a kinder, gentler detox? Mark Zdechlik of MPR writes: “State and federal officials are concerned that when some Minnesotans become severely intoxicated they may not receive the care they need to safely sober up. According to a Minnesota Department of Human Services report, about a third of detox facilities in Minnesota have closed over the past decade. During the same period, admissions to detox facilities fell by 20 percent. But the report concludes there is no reason to believe fewer people are using alcohol and drugs. … One option would be to pay for detox services through Medicaid, Hartford said. That would take the cost off of counties and put it on state and federal taxpayers.” Wait a minute … does that mean we’d be picking up the tab for … Wisconsin?

Since they don’t appear to have an offense beyond No. 28, it’s nice to know they’re looking good. Kevin Cusick of the PiPress says: “Vikings fans who have sat through three exhibition games this summer can clearly see they’re hardly Super Bowl contenders. But in the eyes of one ESPN analyst, they are No. 1 in the league. They have the NFL’s most improved uniform. ESPN’s Paul Lukas has unveiled his latest Uni Watch power rankings, and he finds the Vikings’ new duds much more aesthetically pleasing than last year’s purple monstrosities. ‘The Vikes’ return to aesthetic respectability carries the whiff of Nikefied gimmickry: the odd sleeve stripes and asymmetrical pants stripes, the weird numbering system, the matte helmet that doesn’t appear to match the jersey,’ Lukas wrote. ‘All this is unnecessary. Still, it’s all so much better than what they were wearing before that it qualifies as a major leap forward.’ “

Apparently they couldn’t afford enough “good guys with guns” … The Anoka-Hennepin School District has issued a press release saying: “In the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, entrances to all Anoka-Hennepin elementary schools have been secured to prevent people from entering the school during the day when children are present unless they have a legitimate need to be there. All doors directly into each elementary school will be locked throughout the day. Visitors will enter the front door into a locked vestibule. The school secretary will be able to see and speak with them either in person or on a video screen. Once the secretary has determined they have a need to be in the school, the secretary will buzz them in, similar to entry to an apartment building. In addition, a driver’s license scanner has been installed. When a visitor scans his or her license, the system prints out a personalized visitor’s badge. If a visitor does not have a driver’s license, the secretary will type in the visitor’s name to generate a badge.”

The cop who backed up and killed a 101 year-old woman may not have been St. Paul’s finest driver. Andy Greder of the PiPress says: “The St. Paul police officer whose squad car backed into a 101-year-old pedestrian has two prior sideswipe accidents that were listed as preventable in the 1990s, according to her personnel file. Lori Goulet, a 16-year member of the force, had responded to a complaint about a juvenile when she slowly backed up the Ford Explorer SUV and hit Roza Sakhina about 5 p.m. Aug. 16 in the 900 block of South Cleveland Avenue. Sakhina, a Russian immigrant who lived through two world wars and the German siege of Leningrad, died Wednesday at Regions Hospital. … Goulet had three traffic accidents listed in her file. Two were listed as ‘preventable,’ meaning there was reason to believe she was at fault, said Sgt. Paul Paulos, a St. Paul police spokesman. The third incident was listed as a ‘legal intervention,’ meaning her actions were believed to be within the law, Paulos said.” Man … “the siege of Leningrad.” That is surviving …