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Man dies of ebola virus just before planned return to Minnesota

More reactions to Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit victory; top picks of The Fringe; U of M is on a mini-real-estate buying spree; and more.

More on the man who died from the ebola virus before his planned return to Minnesota. In The Daily Beast, Michael Daly writes, “Nigeria felt a chill from the hot zone when a 40-year-old man collapsed and died from the dread Ebola virus after flying there from Liberia. That hot zone chill now reaches America, with word that the same man was scheduled to fly to Minneapolis in time for an August 16 party celebrating the birthdays of two of his three young daughters.”

Heck, let him start tonight … The AP reports, “In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitching prospect who has thrown 100 mph fastballs but has never been drafted. Brandon Poulson was pitching earlier this month for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in a collegiate summer league. … Now, the Twins are about to give him $250,000. ‘It’s a great story,’ Twins West Coast scouting supervisor Sean Johnson said Tuesday. ‘This kid came out of nowhere.’ ” Hmmm, when was the last time anyone saw Sidd Finch?

The state Chamber of Commerce has a new interim president. Joe Lindberg at the PiPress says, “The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has named Bill Blazar interim president, according to a statement released Wednesday. Blazar will hold the position previously held by David Olson, the chamber’s president for more than two decades who died this month after an 18-month fight with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

A couple more Ventura verdict reactions. First, from Bloomberg, Paul Barrett, who barely a month ago called the suit “dumb”, now writes, “I still think it’s a dumb case. Fair is fair, though, and Jesse Ventura won his defamation lawsuit against the estate of a celebrated Navy SEAL … Now, I suppose, Ventura could call skeptics, including me, the dummies, as he’s won almost $2 million and the ability to argue that his name has been cleared.”

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And from The New Yorker, from the writer who delivered arguably the essential profile of the deceased sniper, Chris Kyle. Says Nicholas Schmidle, “Ventura’s case seemed, at first, like a futile one: the credibility of a two-time Silver Star recipient pitched against that of a loudmouth former rival of Hulk Hogan with a penchant for conspiracy theories. … But one thing I learned about Kyle, apart from his military exploits and his generosity toward other veterans, was his propensity for embellishment. More than one person I spoke to remembered him telling a story about how he’d travelled to New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina and, in a bid to establish law and order, had set up a sniper position on the roof of the Superdome and shot numerous looters.”

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Also … Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “The passage from the best-selling memoir ‘American Sniper’ that sparked former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura’s defamation lawsuit against author Chris Kyle will be removed, publisher HarperCollins said Wednesday.” That horse has been out of the barn so long it’s already glue.

The Glean

Ed Huyck of City Pages offers his choices for the best of The Fringe Festival. This sounds suitably fringy: “The company behind Fruit Fly and Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves: The Musical takes on another prime target: Scientology. Xenu, Tom Cruise, and L. Ron Hubbard stand in line for mocking in this Obie Award-winning show. The tone promises to be similar to last year’s rollicking hit, Shelly Bachberg, where a twisted version of American history came to life through the mind of a congresswoman eerily similar to Michele Bachmann.”

The U of M is on a mini-real-estate buying spree. In The Minnesota Daily Tyler Gieseke reports, “Some of the unused land behind TCF Bank Stadium could sprout more research buildings as the University of Minnesota continues a slow expansion beyond the eastern confines of its Minneapolis campus. At a meeting earlier this month, the Board of Regents approved the purchase of two properties near the University’s Biomedical Discovery District that could be used for research — an acquisition that follows the institution’s joint purchase earlier this year of the property where the Days Inn Hotel and the Tea House Chinese Restaurant now sit.”

Dang, I was going to really open up the family Yugo and let ‘er roar. But Tim Harlow of the Strib says, “Motorists who travel on Interstates 90 and 94 between New York and Washington state, here is your warning: police in 15 states, including Minnesota, will be out in force this weekend looking for speeders and drunk drivers and those who are not wearing seat belts or are engaging in distracted behaviors.”