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Ex-Viking Kluwe says he was ‘fired by two cowards and a bigot’

At least four missing in West Bank fire; natural gas leak suspected; strong business results reported; N.D. drones could boost our jobs; cutoff technology proposed for stolen phones; and more.

Chris Kluwe: "I honestly don't know if my activism was the reason I got fired. However, I'm pretty confident it was."
MinnPost file photo by Corey Anderson

When your headline is “I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot,” the reader knows the story will be something juicy. On the sports site Deadspin, ex-Viking Chris Kluwe rips a few of his former managers, saying: “I honestly don’t know if my activism was the reason I got fired. However, I’m pretty confident it was. … Throughout the months of September, October, and November, Minnesota Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer would use homophobic language in my presence. … He would ask me if I had written any letters defending ‘the gays’ recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance.” Zygi actually comes off well in the piece. Leslie Frazier, not so much.  

A trio of MPR reporters covering Wednesday’s explosion/fire on the West Bank say: “Community leaders in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood said at least four people are missing after a building fire and explosion on Wednesday. Abdisalam Adam, board member of masjid Dar Al-Hijrah, the mosque adjacent to the damaged apartment building, named two of the four people missing as: Mrimri Jama Farah and Ahmed Farah Arab.”

Stribbers Randy Furst and Paul Walsh say: “Investigators believe that the fire that tore through a three-story apartment building in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood on New Year’s Day was caused by a natural gas leak, according to sources familiar with the probe. … investigators believe that the description of a fireball and early evidence at the scene match what typically happens in a gas explosion, investigators believe, the source said.”

Roughly 36 hours into the new year, the business news is … good. Dee DePass of the Strib reports: “Business conditions in Minnesota surged in December for the 13th consecutive month amid healthy results from machine and metal fabricators and engineering firms, according to a widely watched report released Thursday by Creighton University. The report, which surveys manufacturers from nine mid-America states, found that Minnesota firms experienced solid growth in sales, new factory orders, inventory and employment during the month.” 363.5 days to go.

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Do drones create jobs? Jennifer Brooks of the Strib writes: “Minnesota is hoping the drones that will soon be circling the skies over North Dakota will deliver an economic boost to this state, as well. … Even before North Dakota was named an FAA test site, [Curtis] Zoller said, a study by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System estimated that Minnesota will see at least 1,700 new jobs for certified Airframe and Powerplant maintenance technicians.”

Too late to help Mark Andrew, but … The AP says: “A Minnesota legislator says he’ll push a bill next year for mandatory cellphone technology allowing people to remotely disable lost or stolen smart phones. The legislation requiring cellphone cutoff technology is a response to a burst in phone thefts, including some taken in violent attacks in Minnesota. State Rep. Joe Atkins, the chairman of the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, said Thursday he’ll introduce the bill in time for the legislative session.”

Hey, it was a terrific season, and he was celebrating … The WCCO-TV story says: “Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson might have played his final game for the Vikings when they beat the Chicago Bears 14-13 last week. For at least the second time since November, Henderson was arrested Wednesday in Chanhassen on suspicion of DWI. According to jail records, Henderson was booked into the Carver County Jail at 3:03 p.m. Wednesday for fourth-degree DWI, third-degree DWI, second-degree DWI test refusal and violating the conditions of a limited driver’s license.” If he leaves the Vikings, local cops are going to be short a serious chunk of revenue.

And it might even be above zero … Richard Ryman of the Green Bay Press Gazette breaks the embarrassing news: “Nearly 11,000 tickets remain for Sunday’s NFC wild-card game at Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers said late Tuesday afternoon. According to NFL rules, the game must sell out by 3:40 p.m. Thursday to avoid a local television market blackout. … About 40,000 tickets for Sunday’s Packers-49ers game went on sale Monday morning. That number dropped to 15,000 late Monday and to 13,000 by mid-day Tuesday.”

Or maybe it won’t be above zero … MPR’s Paul Huttner says: “84 consecutive hours below zero likely at MSP between Saturday night and Wednesday morning. … The coldest air in several years is headed for Minnesota Sunday into early next week. This one is the mother lode, the bonanza, the big enchilada of arctic high pressure systems. The good news? It may actually be so big it will effectively ‘drain’ the coldest air from the Arctic Circle and northern Canada for a few weeks, and lead to milder days ahead for Minnesota as we move through January.” As long as you define “milder” as “above +5.”