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Restaurant’s ‘Nazi party’ still draws heat

Shakopee tribe helps out in propane shortage; “rhomboidal donut” pitched for North Loop; man “joy rides” on excavator; Duluth harbor still iced in; Kahn questions Rybak’s endorsement; “Fargo” TV trailer; and more.

That “re-enactor” party at Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit is still roiling the waters … At The Jewish Press, Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu writes: “Wouldn’t it have been interesting to hear the reaction of the actors if they had dressed up as KKK members, not for any reasons of racism, God forbid, but just to act out a bit of American history. The party was photographed by one of the restaurant’s workers who showed them to his friends. The restaurant owner promptly fired the worker, and it remains to be seen if that is reasonable grounds for dismissal.”

This had to help … Blake Nicholson of the AP writes: “Donations from an American Indian tribe in Minnesota totaling nearly $1.4 million have helped Great Plains tribes weather this winter’s propane crisis. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community provided grants to the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota and South Dakota; the Yankton, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Sioux in South Dakota; and the Santee Sioux in Nebraska.”

Would you live or work in a “rhomboidal donut”? Says Eric Roper in the Strib: “A developer has proposed building a three-story building composed of shipping containers a block off Washington Avenue in the North Loop area. Plans submitted to the city’s planning commission committee of the whole show the project would use 60 40-foot shipping containers to form a ‘rhomboidal donut.’ It would be built at 5th Avenue and 3rd Street North.”

On the upside, he probably wasn’t over the speed limit … The Duluth News Tribune story says: “It’s one thing to drive drunk, but it’s another thing to drive a piece of construction equipment while drunk. Dustin Lunde, 27, of Proctor was arrested on March 9, for driving a Caterpillar excavator on a Duluth sidewalk in the wee hours in the morning, the Minnesota State Patrol reported. His blood-alcohol level was reportedly more than twice the legal limit.”

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Speaking of Duluth … MPR’s Dan Kraker files a piece on the start of the shipping season: “The first cargo ships are scheduled to leave the Duluth harbor Saturday. But it’s going to be a slow start to the season because the harbor is clogged by ice that’s five feet thick in places. A Coast Guard cutter and local tugs are working feverishly to break up the ice to allow the ships to depart. … heavy ice on the lakes early this winter has already prevented a lot of cargo from being delivered. Ships got wedged in the ice. Trips that should have taken two and a half days, took a full week. The iron ore trade was down 35 percent in January.”

Also at MPR, Brett Neely writes about the GOP’s first salvo against DFL Congressman Collin Peterson: “In line with the national GOP’s focus on the Affordable Care Act this election year, the ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee features Willmar businessman Randy Czarnetzki criticizing Peterson for his support of the law. … Peterson’s record on the law is more complicated. He was one of a small number of Democrats who voted against the Affordable Care Act in 2010 though he has also voted against some Republican attempts to repeal the law. Just last week, Peterson voted with Republicans to delay by five years the law’s requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance.” MinnPost’s Devin Henry has coverage here.

 Horses in peril. Mary Lynn Smith at the Strib reports: “A highly contagious equine virus is causing neurological problems in an ‘unusual’ number of Minnesota horses, and at least three have been euthanized because of it, animal health officials said Thursday. Despite the symptoms experienced by those horses, the strain of the equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is not the more dreaded neuropathogenic strain that can be far more lethal.”

There’s still a lot of fight left in Phyllis … At City Pages, Aaron Rupar gets veteran DFLer Phyllis Kahn on record reacting to former mayor R.T. Rybak’s endorsement of her opponent: “Kahn also questioned Rybak’s involvement in Cedar-Riverside DFL caucus held last month. ‘I’m a little bothered that R.T. was chosen as one of the allegedly neutral people to preside over that convention’, she says. ‘I guess he hadn’t announced his endorsement yet, but I can’t believe he hadn’t already made up his mind. When he lists his reasons [for endorsing Noor], that’s kind of a basic dishonesty.’

As you may know, a TV series of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Fargo” is in production (it premieres April 15), with British actor Martin Freeman (Dr. Watson in the new “Sherlock”). The website Zap2It has a trailer, with Freeman’s Minnesota accent. The story says: “[T]he trailer is full of Minnesota accents, and it’s fun to hear them come out of the mouths of some of our favorite stars like Martin Freeman and Bob Odenkirk. Above all, the trailer finally clears up some of the biggest questions about the show. ‘Fargo’ is an adaptation of sorts of the classic film of the same name by Joel and Ethan Coen, but it’s been described as being quite different.” I’d like to see a story arc where the locals, in their funny hats and accents, bow and scrape and make offerings to the visiting commissioner of the big football league.