Family says St. Paul woman recruited to aid terrorists in Syria

The Star Tribune’s Paul McEnroe reports on another link between Minnesota and terrorists in Syria. “A 19-year old Somali woman from St. Paul left for Syria two weeks ago to aid terrorists who were wounded while fighting, according to a family member with direct knowledge of her departure. This marks the first time that family members have confirmed that a Somali-American woman has left the country to support terrorists in the Middle East. … The family said they contacted the FBI and police to report her missing, and told authorities who they believe the local recruiters are. He said the FBI told family members two other local women had gone to Syria. The woman’s departure is the latest report of a new wave of Minnesotans leaving the country to join terrorists in Syria.” 

The St. Paul city attorney weighs in on the Tasering of Chris Lollie, and it is not good news for the St. Paul PoliceFrom the Pioneer Press’ Mara H. Gottfried: “Chris Lollie was in a public area of the St. Paul skyway when a security guard told police he was in a private area, the city attorney said Wednesday. A guard said the 28-year-old man was sitting ‘for some time’ in a skyway-level lounge area designated for building employees, a police report said, and officers were responding to that information when they arrived, St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing said. The guard’s report led to the Jan. 31 encounter with police that has drawn national attention and criticism. Whether the downtown area where Lollie was sitting was public or private has been the crux of the case.”

This is big: A judge has ruled that the public nuisance case filed against the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis won’t be dismissed, reports MPR’s Madeleine Baran: “Judge John Van de North ruled that a jury should decide whether the archdiocese created a public nuisance by keeping information on abusive priests secret and was negligent in its handling of Thomas Adamson, a former priest who has admitted to sexual contact with minors. The decision paves the way for a trial to start Nov. 3. It will be the first time in the country that a public nuisance claim against a Catholic diocese will go to trial, victims’ attorney Mike Finnegan said.” 

Embattled  might be her first name at this point: The Star Tribune’s Abby Simons reports on the latest from state Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald, who filed a complaint Wednesday against her own party for trying to force her out of the race. “The ongoing dispute between MacDonald and the party continued to escalate after her news conference announcing the complaint, with the GOP candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, making it clear he no longer supported her campaign. …‘Her actions, however, show me that she is not interested in waging a serious campaign, and I can no longer support her. I’ll likely be writing someone in for Supreme Court justice.’” 

The VA scandal comes to Minneapolis? KARE 11’s A.J. Lagoe looks into allegations made by two former employees that they were pressured to hide or create phony records: “Employees at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center were pressured to falsify patient appointment dates and medical records in order to hide serious delays, potentially comprising the health of veterans, according to former employees, internal emails and a complaint filed to the VA’s office of the Inspector General. In some cases, the employees say they were instructed to falsify medical records by writing that patients had declined follow-up treatments when, in reality, they say the veterans had never been contacted. Patient’s lives may be at risk, they fear, because they say some cases involved suspected colon cancer. ‘Some of them were getting missed altogether,’ said Heather Rossbach, a former VA worker.” 

The GleanThat $63 million isn’t “special” pretty much explains everything: Strib business columnist Lee Schafer gamely defends the Medtronic executives who — unlike shareholders — will get their tax bills covered for the company’s controversial “inversion” deal. “But while the Covidien deal itself is fair game for debate, there really was no choice but for the company itself to cover the special excise tax meant for top executives and other insiders. It was only a question of how. Shareholders may not like Medtronic’s decision but they need to be clear on what this isn’t, and it isn’t a special deal for the top execs. Their total, after-tax pay won’t change a single nickel. What they got was avoiding the pain of a special tax meant just for them. That tax on stock-based compensation was meant to be so painful that it would stop transactions like Medtronic’s, called inversions. As the decision by Medtronic once again proved, it’s turned out to not be nearly painful enough.”

In case you were wondering why you’ll now need a home-equity loan to buy tomatoes: “A 10-minute hailstorm Wednesday wiped out hundreds of acres of farmland in central Minnesota, pummeling apple trees and decimating crops including zucchini and pumpkins destined for the Twin Cities, reports the Star Tribune’s Mary Lynn Smith: It was a nasty hailstorm, one that I’ve never seen in my lifetime and hopefully won’t have to see again, said Paul Nelson, who works on his father-in-law’s farm — Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm, north of Waverly. … Sheets of rain fell about 10 a.m. followed by lots of hail that left about 2 inches of white ice chunks on the ground. … The cornfields are stripped to the stalk. Soybeans are stripped. The pumpkin fields used to be lush with green leaves, and now you can see rows of pumpkins because there isn’t a leaf that’s left. The apple orchard is basically gone. I couldn’t find one usable apple, walking from one end to the other. 

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by E Gamauf on 09/04/2014 - 07:48 am.

    What a choice.

    I’m not too thrilled with Michele MacDonald –
    after reading about her positions. I can’t vote for her, fwiw.

    However, trying to drum the voters’ choice out of the party seems reprehensible. Can you trust a party that won’t listen to their voters? Why did they vote at all?

    Trying to force her to bail on the election over a DUI, when there are so many congressmen [most in the same party] with a similar or worse record – doesn’t make sense.

    What it appears to be, is that she isn’t a strong candidate & they don’t really care what their voters think.

  2. Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 09/04/2014 - 08:46 am.

    Voter’s choice?

    At the crux of the matter, IIRC, is that MacDonald did not inform MNGOP of her impending court case. So, wouldn’t that be a party endorsement under false pretenses? The issue isn’t that she got a DWI; the issue is that MacDonald flaunted party rules to gain the endorsement (and, subsequently, flaunted criminal law when most recently arrested for violating the her pre-trial driving restrictions).

    From MinnPost 7/21/14:

    “The controversy began at the state party convention in May, when the 20-person Judicial Elections Committee offered MacDonald’s name for endorsement — but did not reveal to convention delegates that she was facing a DWI charge. At the time, the committee chair, Doug Seaton, wanted to offer a minority report revealing the arrest to delegates, but was voted down by the rest of the committee.

    “‘The minority wanted to disclose to the delegates her DWI, which would have provided the transparency that the delegates deserve,’ said Bill Jungbauer, member of the state executive committee that took up the matter last Thursday. ‘I’d want to know — damn straight.'”

    • Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 09/04/2014 - 09:51 am.


      MacDonald was given a citation for violating her driving restrictions. She was not arrested. Yet. 😉

  3. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 09/04/2014 - 10:50 am.

    The government has declared ISIL an enemy…

    So giving aid is treason. Period. And the penalty for treason is……

    • Submitted by Doug Gray on 09/04/2014 - 11:39 am.


      The government has declared ISIL (or whatever they’re calling themselves this week) a terrorist organization. The penalty for providing material support to a terrorist organization is no more than 15 years imprisonment if no death results, or life if a death results. 18 USC 2339A(a).

  4. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 09/04/2014 - 03:30 pm.


    Another good reason to skip the Strib. It is a special sweetheart deal for the insiders while the shareholders pay their own taxes. Why should the owners do worse than the employees? BS opinion

  5. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 09/04/2014 - 04:05 pm.

    Life then

    Ask the families of the two journalists.

    • Submitted by Doug Gray on 09/04/2014 - 06:57 pm.


      if you can prove a connection between the support given and the lives lost. If I were in the U.S. Government I would be very, very cautious with my advocacy for extreme punishments for the deaths of innocents in the Middle East. What goes around…

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