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Activist out of jail, says he was assaulted by Minneapolis police

Handle carefully: The Star Tribune’s Pat Pheifer follows up on the arrest of activist Al Flowers, injured over the weekend after an alleged altercation with Minneapolis Police. “Bobby Joe Champion, Flowers’ attorney and a state senator, said he could see blood seeping through the gauze bandages on Flowers’ scalp when he visited him in the Hennepin County jail midday on Saturday. … Blood leaking from a head wound also was evident on the booking photo of Flowers released by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office on Sunday. About the same time … Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges called a news conference at Shiloh Temple and said they could disclose no information on the incident because it is being investigated.”

Interesting piece by MPR’s Mark Steil on young farmers priced out of starting operation. “As the nation’s farmers age, the aspiring young farmers who might replace them often find high land costs impossible hurdles. Buying 100 acres of good farmland can cost $1 million, and that amount of land often is too little to support a family.”

The venerable St. Paul Farmers’ Market has lost some lustre. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says, “As many as 12,000 customers would shop at the Farmers’ Market on a Saturday or Sunday morning as recently as five or six years ago, [Jack Gerten, market manager for the St. Paul Growers Association] said. A headcount this past May shows ‘7,600-8,000, is where we are now’, Gerten said. Most of the drop ‘has come since they began construction on the (light) rail.’”

But can they do anything about the sun angle in February? In the Strib, Dave Shaffer covers a bunch of U of M kids who have re-mapped the state. “Where are the sunniest places in Minnesota? A team of seven graduate students at the University of Minnesota has found the answer, down to the square meter. The result is an innovative Web-based ‘solar suitability’ tool designed to help renewable energy companies choose suitable sites for solar panels.”

The demand for free food is growing. Lorna Benson of MPR says, “The nonprofit group Loaves and Fishes says it served more than 41,000 free meals in June. That’s more than any other month in the organization’s 32 year history. Most of the increased demand came from families with children at the organization’s 18 Minnesota locations, according to executive director Cathy Maes. In a typical month 25,000-30,000 meals are consumed.”

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If you were afloat somewhere over the weekend you may have missed the Strib’s call for an end to the Archbishop Nienstedt era. “We’ve been hesitant to make this call until now for two reasons. We consider it presumptuous for a secular news organization to advise a church about internal matters. And just two years ago, the Star Tribune Editorial Board and Nienstedt openly quarreled about the ballot question that would have constitutionally banned same-sex marriage in this state. Although that disagreement is unrelated to today’s call for Nienstedt to depart, we know some readers will question our motivation.” Someone needs to triple their prescription for boldness.

Likewise, there was this piece on ramifications of the Medtronic deal by the PiPress’ Christopher Snowbeck. “84-year-old Eagan resident [Dolores Rodenborg] said she admires Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken, and has benefited financially from considerable growth in the stock’s value since the late 1970s. But a deal announced this summer for Medtronic to acquire Ireland-based Covidien and move its headquarters to Dublin has frustrated Rodenborg and other long-time shareholders in the Fridley-based company. The structure of the deal would have investors such as Rodenborg cash in old Medtronic stock for shares in a new Irish parent company, Medtronic PLC, and the transaction would trigger tax on capital gains in the old Medtronic stock. For Rodenborg, that could mean about $100,000 in taxes.”

The GleanHe’ll be telling this story for years to come. Brady Slater of the Forum News Service reports on a Louisiana kid who survived the wild storm in the BWCA. “A branch missed piercing Hayden [Tuop’s] head by inches, he said, spreading his thumb and forefinger to illustrate the distance. As he talked from his bed at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, he was flanked by his mother and father, Valerie and John Toups, who flew from Louisiana on Wednesday to be with their son. Hearing him talk about thinking he was going to die brough tears to the eyes of his mother and father. Hayden’s pelvis was broken in two places and he dislocated his left shoulder, an injury that was set at his first medical stop, at Essentia Health-Virginia Clinic.”

Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell was convicted of sexual misconduct, but not before his besotted e-mails/poetry to his teenage love interest were made public. Raeana Marnati of KBJR-TV in Duluth posted them. The part where he says, “Sometimes I think of your neck (But that leads/ my mind to your breasts/ so firm and perfect/and those I want to kiss and fondle,” might have been a little, you know, problematic.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/28/2014 - 09:12 am.

    He’s starting out behind

    So Flowers has (1) a 16 year old child with enough past legal problems to warrant an electronic bracelet; (2) at least to anyone other than hospital personnel, she violates the conditions of her release; (3) when Police show up, the 1st question is “do you have a warrant?”. Granted it’s early in the investigation, but if these facts are accurate, maybe we should spend a little less time being an “activist” and a little more time being a “parent”.

    • Submitted by Pat McGee on 07/28/2014 - 10:24 am.


      And the Chief should choose her words more carefully. A “distraction”, indeed.

    • Submitted by Robert Henderson on 07/28/2014 - 12:11 pm.

      Wait for some facts

      Perhaps you should wait for some facts on which to base your criticism of Mr.Flowers.

      Did you write in to criticize the Hennipen County Sheriff for his parenting skills when his son was arrested and charged with a felony.? Did you suggest that he do less “sheriffing” and more parenting?

      I will say as a parent, certainly my first question to police would be similar, do you have a warrant and I’d also ask why they were there and what is going on. Who would not ask questions?

      • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/29/2014 - 07:29 am.

        Selective Reading at it’s best

        Robert, you may want to re-read the part where I stated it’s early in the investigation?

        And no, I didn’t criticize the Hennepin County Sheriff. Perhaps you can refresh my memory and provide me with a cite that shows me where Stanek demanded a warrant or possibly interfered with his son’s arrest?

        And finally, you have a son that’s wearing an ankle bracelet and is 6 hours past due his curfew and you’re first question to police would be to ask “why they’re there?” Seriously? Maybe your question seems to be rhetorical to you, but an involved parent would already know exactly why the cops are there.

  2. Submitted by ALAN BELISLE on 07/28/2014 - 09:28 am.

    medtronic stock

    Kind of hard to feel sorry for the guy who may have to pay $100,000 in taxes on his Medtronic stock. If he is paying the usual 15% in capital gains taxes, that means he made about $670,000 in capital gains. At 84 years old, I would be overjoyed to have such a huge chunk of money fall into my lap, even if there was the taxman to pay.

  3. Submitted by Richard Callahan on 07/30/2014 - 04:55 pm.

    St. Paul Farmer’s Market

    We used to go every weekend, but haven’t been there once since they eliminated all the parking to build the stadium.

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