Clawing back Tom Petters’ “profits” is becoming a global endeavor. David Phelps of the Strib says, “The trustee in the corporate bankruptcy case of former Wayzata businessman Tom Petters is seeking court approval to extend clawback activities beyond U.S. borders. The goal is to tap the foreign beneficiaries of the $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Petters for more than a decade. Potential countries on the radar of trustee Doug Kelley range from Australia to Malta.”
What would LBJ do? Patrick Condon of the Strib looks at Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk’s situation today and writes, “…the majority leader of the state Senate’s strong support for a controversial building project on the Capitol grounds is chipping away at the foundation of unity among Democrats in a pivotal moment for the party. …Speculating on the nature of the Bakk-[Speaker Paul] Thissen relationship is a popular pastime at the Capitol. The two cut very different figures: Bakk, hailing from northeastern Minnesota, is a burly union laborer, gregarious and blunt. Thissen, who grew up in the suburbs and represents southwest Minneapolis, is a lanky attorney, reserved and professorial. ‘I don’t think they understand each other very well,’ said Rep. Ryan Winkler… .”
For the Forum News Service, Don Davis reports, “Much of the money in the Minnesota House’s plan to tweak the state’s two-year budget would go to greater Minnesota. ‘We focused on rural Minnesota and greater Minnesota,’ House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, D-St. Paul, said, because many rural parts of the state have not recovered from the recession as well as the Twin Cities.”
Time magazine’s Noah Rayman tells his readers, “Minnesotans are conditioned to shrug off snowstorms — but even residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes might be sighing at news of an April snowstorm set to dump up to 16 inches on the state at the end of this week. Spring has begun to settle in across other parts of the country after a tenaciously cold winter that placed the phrase ‘polar vortex’ into the common lexicon. But in Minnesota, the National Weather Service has issued yet another winter storm warning for most of the state.” And there are people who think the lack of a Super Bowl is what will deter “major league” people from moving here.
Ok, you can’t frack it and ship it in tanker cars… Dan Haugen of Midwest Energy News writes, “Minnesota has long been a wind energy leader. The state has nearly 3,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity, ranking it seventh in the nation. Almost all of it’s been built for Minnesota customers. The state exports relatively little wind energy compared to neighboring Iowa or North Dakota. It’s not for lack of resources. Minnesota has enough land and wind to conceivably generate nearly 500,000 megawatts of wind power.”
Stribbers Patrick Condon (again) and Abby Simons cover passage of the anti-bullying bill saying, “An anti-bullying policy considered one of the weakest in the country was scrapped by the Minnesota Senate on Thursday in favor of more stringent requirements that would begin to crack down on practices that have tormented some students to the point of suicide. Every school district would be expected to develop and enforce plans to reduce bullying and would have to make regular progress reports to the state. The state itself would be required to develop a model plan.”
If the cover-up doesn’t get you, it’ll sure compound the pain. Paul McEnroe of the Strib reports, “A supervisor at Stillwater state prison destroyed health records in which a nurse had mockingly written ‘Faker!’ about a critically ill inmate who was seeking medical care, according to a sworn affidavit from another nurse who says she saw her boss shred the document in 2012. … Records obtained by the Star Tribune at the time showed that nurse Eleanor Fuller gave Thomas a cursory exam after he complained of numbness and paralysis. After deciding he didn’t need further care, Fuller wrote the word ‘Faker!’ in his log, then left corrections officers to care for him overnight. Soon afterward, Thomas collapsed and lay paralyzed in a pool of urine… .”
The saga of Duluth’s notorious head shop, “The Last Place on Earth” is now the subject of… an art exhibition. Dan Kraker of MPR writes, “A four-year long war waged between defiant ‘Last Place on Earth’ owner and synthetic drug hawker Jim Carlson and the city of Duluth — which played out on newspaper front pages, TV screens, and eventually in federal court — is now the subject of a new art exhibit. ‘Hero/Villain/Savior/Scoundrel: Portraits of Jim Carlson & Don Ness’ opens Saturday at Zeitgeist Arts Cafe in downtown Duluth, with an opening reception scheduled for April 10.” I’d be amazed if Carlson hasn’t figured a way to get a cut of this, too.
Let me guess: classic rock, sports talk, or evangelical religion. Tad Vezner of the PiPress says, “Last year, the Federal Communications Commission made the unprecedented announcement that 1,000 new, low-power frequencies would be made available for use nationwide. Last month, the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council was the first in St. Paul or Minneapolis to get one. Which raises the question: What will they do with it? Sitting around a table in their office this week, four board members and the council’s executive director tried to explain their vision for 104.7 FM: its call letters, like its mission statement, are still to be determined.”