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St. Paul SWAT team storms house, kills dogs, makes no arrests

Minnesota Power MPCA fine; Mandy Matula murder details emerge; St. Paul parents get info on student college success; and more.

There better be a good explanation for this one. Says Mara Gottfried in the PiPress, “Camille Perry says she was getting ready for work Wednesday morning when she saw her front door being flung open and a police SWAT team member shoot the St. Paul family’s two dogs. Perry, who is eight months pregnant, ran to her two children who had been sleeping nearby and threw herself over them to protect them. … Police took only a water pipe, a grinder that may have had marijuana residue and some clothes, according to Arman. No one was arrested.”

How much work can you do for $53,000? An AP story says, “Minnesota Power has agreed to make $53,000 in improvements at Jay Cooke State Park instead of paying a penalty for stormwater violations. The MPCA says Minnesota Power hired a contractor in 2012 to do excavation work near the utility’s boat launch on the Island Lake reservoir in Duluth. But the MPCA says they didn’t have a proper state permit and failed to take the proper precautions to prevent sediment from flowing into the reservoir, a popular fishing and recreation spot. They later took corrective actions.”

The police details of Mandy Matula’s murder aren’t pretty, but some are familiar … . Kelly Smith of the Strib says, “According to records released this week, [David] Roe had applied for a permit to purchase a gun on April 24, with Carver County staff noting he acted nervous and had red, bloodshot eyes. He asked to pick it up, not have it mailed when it was issued April 29. That day, he picked up the permit and bought a .40 caliber handgun from Mills Fleet Farm and two boxes of ammo. And on April 30, he practiced shooting at Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale with his own targets and ammo and — something his father later told investigators wasn’t odd because the father and son went to target practice there using his father’s guns.” Roe killed her the next day.

More information is always better. Mila Koumpilova’s PiPress story says, “Back in 2008, 225 students graduated from St. Paul’s Como Park High School. More than 70 percent went to college. Almost 40 percent got a degree. That’s the sort of information Minnesota educators and parents have long wished they had. Now, it is readily available for the first time on a newly launched website that shows where a high school’s graduates went to college, how long they stayed on campus and how many graduated.” How about how much student loan debt they’re carrying?

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“I’ve Been Defamed!” watch. Marino Eccher of the PiPress includes this from Thursday’s trial proceedings. “Charlene DeWitt had never met Ventura but said she tried to sit near him because she didn’t know many people there and figured he would be interesting. … She heard him criticize the war in Iraq but didn’t hear him badmouth fallen soldiers or argue with younger servicemen. She said she didn’t see him get into a fistfight or sport a black eye or bruised face in the following days. The most memorable thing he said, she recalled, was, ‘I don’t think this war is worth one SEAL dying for.’ That’s a far cry from Kyle’s claim that Ventura said the SEALs ‘deserve to lose a few’ in the war.”

“I’ve Been Defamed!” watch, Pt. 2. The Strib’s Randy Furst writes, “The legal team fighting Jesse Ventura’s defamation lawsuit opened up a new line of attack Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, reeling off a series of provocative public statements Ventura has made. … Under redirect questioning of DeWitt, Ventura lead attorney David B. Olsen played down Ventura’s remarks, noting that he was working on his conspiracy TV show at the time.” Sounds like a battle of kindred mouths.

The GleanWith luck there won’t be any slush on the field for the All-Star game next Tuesday. Says Paul Douglas, “I would bet a small, well-equipped Winnebago that FOX-TV announcers will chat about ‘Minnesota’s ridiculously chilly weather’ during Tuesday’s MLB All-Star game, reinforcing the tired stereotypes we’ve all grown up with. According to meteorologist D.J. Kayser if the first pitch temperature is colder than 68F at Target Field it’ll be the chilliest All-Star game since 1980. It’ll be very close.” Has anyone talked to Toro about a tie-in with All-Star themed snowblowers?

A lot of people are getting an education in the functioning of their local watershed. The Strib says of this morning’s downpour: “The thunderstorms were so heavy that shortly before 9 a.m. MSP ordered all inbound flights to be held at their originating airport until 9:45 a.m. The weather service estimated 1-hour rainfall totals in the west metro would be up to 1.75 inches. The storms were expected to let up before noon, but that might be ‘followed by another batch of storms in the afternoon’, the weather service said. These storms are forerunners of a series of showers and thunderstorms through the weekend and into Monday… .”

Finally, from your first source of objective news… Awr Hawkins at reports, “Just days after Target’s [please don’t bring your guns] request the Gainesville Times reported that three men were arrested for allegedly pulling a handgun to rob a man in a Target parking lot. The three… were arrested, and ‘the committal hearing is set for July 21.’ Then, just three days after Target’s request that law-abiding citizens leave guns home, a woman was beaten in a Decatur Target parking lot and her Mercedes was stolen…. Within two weeks of asking law-abiding citizens to leave their guns home, two Jack in the Box stores were robbed, and a shooting took place at a third.” In a sane world a “law abider” with a rifle could have had a frenzied parking lot shoot-out with the perps. Just like in the movies.