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A shovelful of … something for ‘transformative’ Vikings stadium-area development

Medical pot goes to conference committee; 2nd arrest in Mankato skull-fracture assault; prolific pedophile; and more.

Minnesota Vikings

It begins … officially. Says the Strib’s Janet Moore of today’s ground-breaking for Minneapolis’ big Downtown East project, “During a a 50-minute presentation that preceded the actual groundbreaking, officials repeatedly called the Downtown East project ‘transformative’ to an area of downtown that has long resisted ambitious development. Work has already begun on the site, home to the Ryan Cos. project near the $1 billion Vikings stadium that includes two 18-story office towers for Wells Fargo & Co., 24,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 193 market-rate apartments and an urban park spanning nearly two city blocks.”

At MPR, Tim Pugmire writes, “Competing House and Senate bills to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota are headed to a conference committee that will try to craft a compromise. The Senate triggered the negotiation process today by formally declining to accept a more restrictive version passed by the House last week. Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, the chief sponsor of the Senate bill, has said the House bill falls short in providing access and security. But he said it’s now time for some give and take.”

Washing their hands of him … .  The AP reports, “Rutgers announced Tuesday that it has dismissed quarterback Philip Nelson from its football program after he was charged in connection with an assault that left another man critically injured in Minnesota. Head football coach Kyle Flood made the announcement Tuesday in a statement.” The Mankato Free Press reports that the second alleged assaulter, 21-year-old Trevor Shelley, has been arrested.

Just in case anyone else feels the need … . Jon Collins of MPR reports, “A man who jumped into the Mississippi River as part of a social media stunt last week was charged Monday with disorderly conduct in Hennepin County. Joseph Mark Sanislo, 19, was filmed last week jumping off the 610 West River Bridge in Brooklyn Park as part of the ‘Cold Water Challenge,’ an online campaign that originally was intended to raise money for charity. Alarmed bystanders called 911. Fire, police and state law enforcement officers responded, along with specialized diving and marine units.”

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The AP story of an international teacher who killed himself in Luverne, Minnesota this past March says, “The discovery of a man the FBI regards as one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory has set off a crisis in the close-knit community of international schools, where horrified parents are being told their children may have been victims of a favorite teacher, and administrators are scurrying to close teacher-vetting loopholes revealed by [William] Vahey’s abuses.”

Increase your commuting advantage by the full exercise of your precious Second Amendment rights. Tim Harlow of the Strib reports, “Authorities briefly partially closed a downtown Minneapolis freeway Tuesday morning as they executed a ‘high risk’ traffic stop to detain a motorist who allegedly brandished a gun at another driver. The incident began about 6:45 a.m. on eastbound I-694 in Brooklyn Park, where the driver flashed a gun to another motorist.” So what do you think? Too much or too little coffee?

That guy aside … . Harlow files another piece saying. “The motorist who brandished a gun at a fellow driver on I-694 in Brooklyn Center during Tuesday’s morning rush hour must have been an anomaly because Twin Cities drivers are among the most courteous in the nation. So says the 2014 ‘In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey.’ The Twin Cities ranked No. 6 when it comes to driver etiquette among motorists in the 25 largest U.S. cities. And that is a huge improvement from five years ago when Minneapolis-St. Paul was home to some of the least polite drivers in the nation.” Among the worst?  … Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Boston. Boston … a real shocker, there.

The latest on the “miracle baby” who is still surviving that 11-story fall. Matt McKinney and Mary Lynn Smith at the Strib say, “Doctors, family and community members are dubbing Musa Dayib ‘the miracle baby’ but he still must recover from some very severe injuries, including fractures and a concussion. They credit his young age and lucky landing spot for his survival. ‘If you and I fell that far, we would be dead,’ Dr. Tina Slusher said from the pediatric intensive care unit at Hennepin County Medical Center. ‘He’s a baby and … he happened to land on a very small patch of mulchy area. … He’s a kid’.”

Bob does … Frank? Says Reed Fischer at City Pages, “After the massive, epic tangle of 2012’s Tempest, Bob Dylan could be in a blue mood for his next studio album. Today, the legendary Minnesota-bred artist unveiled a cover of the 1945 Frank Sinatra hit “Full Moon and Empty Arms” and what could be the cover of his next album. … The quiet, contemplative track doesn’t differ greatly from Sinatra’s recording, but the the pedal steel adds a personal touch. For late-period Dylan, this is a fantastic vocal.” You can hear it at the link. But when Bob covers Iggy Azalea you’ll know it’s really, truly, finally over … .