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Duluth to ask for state constitution change to build casino

Humane Society prevails in pig case; Minneapolis couple charged with killing their six-week-old daughter; and Minneapolis is named a “heat island.”

MinnPost file photo by Paul Walsh

You remember the long-running scuffle between the City of Duluth and the Fond du Luth Casino? Well, Duluth has an answer. Dan Kraker of MPR says, “City leaders in Duluth are considering a plan to open a casino at the city’s convention center. The City Council was scheduled to take up a resolution Monday evening seeking state permission to open a city-run casino. The move would require a change to the Minnesota Constitution. A casino at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center could generate $12 million a year for the city and an equal amount for the state, according to City Councilor Howie Hanson.” I can think of some very big contributors who won’t like the sound of that.

Just because you’re wondering: The AP says, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday in its weekly crops progress and condition report for Minnesota that six days were rated suitable for fieldwork across the state last week. Topsoil moisture supplies are rated 43 percent short to very short, and 57 percent adequate to surplus. Subsoil moisture is rated 28 percent short to very short, and 72 percent adequate to surplus.”

The Court of Appeals sided with the Humane Society. On the latter’s website the explanation is: “The Minnesota Court of Appeals today sided with The Humane Society of the United States and neighbors of a massive new gestation crate pig factory, who challenged the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources decision to allow the facility to take up to eight million gallons of groundwater per year. The facility, located in Todd County, Minn., is owned by Iowa-based Gourley Bros., LLC.  Among other issues, neighbors pointed out that the state lacks sufficient information about the underground water source to know whether it can withstand the facility’s withdrawal of up to 18,000 gallons per day.” Does “gestation crate pig factory” sound creepy or what?

Seriously? Not guilty? Michael Winter of USA Today writes, “A former Wisconsin police officer pleaded not guilty Monday to killing one of two bondage-sex partners he met online and then hiding their bodies in suitcases for months. Steven Zelich, 52, was charged in August with first-degree homicide in the death of Jenny Gamez, of Cottage Grove, Ore. … He has admitted to causing the deaths of Gamez and Laura Simonson, 37, of Farmington, Minn., after days-long motel sex sessions but claimed they died accidentally.”

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It wouldn’t be pre-season if there wasn’t a Viking in some kind of court. Brian Murphy of the PiPress reports, “Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson is appealing a three-game NFL suspension for his November drunken-driving arrest, his attorney said Monday. Simpson missed practice at Winter Park to attend a hearing at league headquarters in New York and argue that he should not be suspended for the second time in three seasons as a repeat offender under the collectively bargained Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.” Now if he had slugged a woman, knocked her out and dragged her from an elevator he wouldn’t have near as big a problem.

The Brave New Workshop is expanding. The Strib’s Rohan Preston says, “The nation’s oldest improv comedy troupe, known for shows with such titles as ‘Sex In The Cities: The Edina Monologues’ and ‘How to Make Love Like a Minnesotan III: The Full Montevideo!’ has embarked on a multimillion-dollar expansion in the heart of Minneapolis’ downtown theater district.” That Montevideo show barely scratched the surface.

What do you say? Alejandra Matos of the Strib reports, “A Minneapolis couple, who had lost custody of nine of their children, were charged with murder Monday after their six-week-old daughter suffocated in a laundry basket filled with an adult-sized pillow and blankets, where she regularly slept. Cardie Jackson, 39, and Shonwta Jackson, 40, were charged with second degree murder Monday for their daughter’s death in March. … The baby was the couple’s 11th child. Another child, a two-year-old, is now in foster care and proceedings to terminate their custody are ongoing, court documents show.”

On his MPR blog Paul Huttner links to a study that has the Twin Cities (well, Minneapolis anyway) listed as a “Top 10 Heat Island.” “Climate Central’s new study finds that most cities are warming even faster than surrounding rural areas, although rural areas are still warming as well. Temperatures in cities were measured up to 23F hotter than surrounding rural areas, a difference which is called the urban heat island effect. The study shows how heat islands worsen air pollution (in the form of ozone levels) in nearly every city analyzed. With more than 80% of Americans living in cities, increasingly hot urban temperatures pose a serious health threat. The report ranks 60 U.S. cities by the intensity of their heat island, finding that the top ten cities with the most intense summer urban heat islands are: Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Denver, Portland, Louisville, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Columbus, Minneapolis, and Seattle.”

The PiPress is running an unscientific poll asking readers if they’d pay higher taxes for better streets. One guess how that’s working out. At last count the “nays” had a 2-to-1 lead over the “ayes.” If Joe Soucheray shows up with his index finger in a cast you’ll know who cooked the voting.