The money being dumped on the Michael Brodkorb case could pale in comparison … Randy Furst of the Strib adds more to the story of the local TV anchor suing over “snooping” by various authorities: “[KSTP-TV’s Jessica] Miles declined to be interviewed for this article, her attorney, Kenneth Fukuda, said. Federal statute stipulates $2,500 per violation, which would put the total payout to the couple at around $3.5 million. But in addition, Fukuda, who has filed most of the lawsuits over this issue, said he would be seeking damages for ‘emotional distress, loss of peace of mind and any action she has had to take to remedy the situation.’ … Fukuda also said in an interview that officers from different law enforcement agencies ‘monitored’ Miles by driving past her house, and she believes they got her address through the illegal accesses. He said that she lives in a Twin Cities suburb where law enforcement vehicles in the neighborhood are otherwise infrequent.” I don’t think Barry ZeVan ever got the same treatment.
Here’s a statistic we can actually take some pride in … Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress reports: “Minnesota’s rate of residents lacking health insurance stood at 8.7 percent during the two-year period that ended in 2012 — basically flat compared with the rate during the previous two-year period, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. The state rate from 2009-2010 was 8.9 percent, but the apparent reduction was not statistically significant, according to the new census numbers. As was true last year, Minnesota was one of only seven states in the country where the uninsured rate was below 10 percent. Wisconsin’s uninsured rate for the 2011-2012 period was 10 percent, which was not a significant change compared with the rate in the previous two-year period.”
Minnesotans continue to do well on the National Book Awards “long list”: Laurie Hertzel of the Strib writes: “Here comes round two of the National Book Award long lists, and here come more books with Minnesota connections. The long list for poetry was announced this morning, and here is Matt Rasmussen, winner of the 2012 Walt Whitman Award from the American Academy of Poets, nominated for ‘Black Aperture.’ You can’t get more Minnesota than Rasmussen, who was born in International Falls, lives in Robbinsdale, and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus. … (Here is the Strib review of ‘Black Aperture.’) Other Minnesota connections on the list: ‘So Recently Rent a World,’ by Andrei Codrescu and published by Coffee House Press. And ‘Incarnadine,’ by Mary Szybist, and published by Graywolf Press.”
The sister-in-law of a Shoreview woman was one of the victims of Monday’s mass shooting in D.C. The AP reports: “Janet Hartsvet says Kathy Gaarde is among the 12 people killed Monday by a former Navy reservist who was slain in a gun battle with police. Hartsvet tells that in addition to her brother, Kathy leaves behind two children, ages 26 and 33. Hartsvet says her sister-in-law worked on military contracts at the Navy Yard and was approaching retirement. … Douglass Gaarde declined to speak, but wrote that he was unable to sleep. ‘Today my life partner of 42 years (38 of them married) was taken from me, my grown son and daughter, and friends,’ he wrote. ‘We were just starting to plan our retirement activities and now none of that matters. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet but I know I already dearly miss her.’ “
And the meter continues to run … Tim Olsen of the Duluth News Tribune writes: “The judge in a federal drug trial involving Duluth’s Last Place on Earth opened Monday’s pretrial conference with a stern warning for both sides. U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty told the prosecution and defense that he doesn’t appreciate the two sides squabbling over minor issues as they prepare to head to court. ‘This is an overcomplicated case, and it’s become more overcomplicated over the past few days,’ Doty said as he began the conference. ‘It doesn’t sit well with me, and it shouldn’t sit well with you.’ Both sides have filed numerous motions ahead of the start date, and Doty said he’s been bogged down in case paperwork for the last week. He tried to change that Monday as he brokered several deals and sought common ground in the contentious case.” Maybe if they all went outside for a smoke break …
Stuff you couldn’t make up … Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “A tricycle-pedaling thief has been arrested, accused of breaking into a St. Paul woman’s garage and stealing a backpack from her car that contained a photocopied check or checks totaling $8 million from a private company, authorities said Wednesday. Xcel Energy acknowledged that the paperwork stolen Monday was from its company, but the utility declined to say anything more, including how many photocopied checks were involved or whether Xcel was the issuer or the recipient. … A police officer on routine patrol stopped the man after noticing that he was riding an adult-size tricycle that resembled one reported stolen in West St. Paul, said police Sgt. Paul Paulos.” All that’s missing is an orange fright wig and size 50 clown shoes.
Yes, please explain “why”? At MPR, Tim Nelson writes: “[S]eat fees are called “Stadium Builder Licenses” in state law, but they’re better known as personal seat licenses (PSL). They’re a one-time fee that gives a fan a legal title to a seat. Fans still have to pay full price for season tickets in addition to the tickets, but they are guaranteed the same seat and same tickets as long as they own the license. In the NFL’s newest venue, Levi’s Stadium, those PSLs sold for as much as $80,000 a seat, and fans bought $403 million dollars worth of them before the first play by the 49ers in the new stadium in Santa Clara. The licenses are expected to cost much less in Minneapolis. But the sales are so lucrative that an average NFL seat license deal could pay the Vikings more than $150 million before the new stadium opens — and that counts towards the team’s share of the stadium costs.” Or … you could buy 40 80-inch HDTVs and not have to sit through 90 minutes of play stoppage.”
Better than a stick in the eye … Stribber Adam Belz says: “The Twin Cities economy grew in 2012 at its fastest pace in nearly a decade, according to new data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Gross domestic product in Minneapolis–St. Paul and the surrounding metropolitan area grew at a rate of 3.9 percent, to $190 billion in 2005 dollars. In current dollars, the metro’s economic output was $220 billion. It’s now clear that 2012 was an excellent year for economic growth for the state of Minnesota, led by big gains in the Twin Cities.” Growth by our closest big-city “butt-kickee,” Milwaukee, was … 0 percent.
He may have just come from a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert … The AP says: “A student at a North Dakota high school named for a federal judge who played a big role in the civil rights movement caused a stir when he displayed a Confederate flag in the back of his pickup. The student flew the flag Monday on what was dubbed ‘America Day’ for homecoming week at Davies High School. Senior Benjamin Olson told KVLY-TV he and others were bothered by the display. He says he recognizes free speech but that he found the flag ‘distasteful.’ ”