They are our heroes. The New York Times Upshot column analyzes the arrest records of players on NFL teams over the last 14 years and I’ll give one guess who leads the league — and at double the league average. Writes Neil Irwin, “The Minnesota Vikings have had the most players arrested since 2000. The number of arrests by team range from a low of 11 (tie between the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams) versus a high of 44 (the Vikings), with the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos close behind. To look at it a different way, across the league from 2000 through 2013, 2.53 percent of players were arrested per year, but for the Vikings, that number is 5 percent. For the three teams tied for fewest arrests, it is 1.3 percent.” Skol, Vikings!
The Pioneer Press’s hedge-fund controlled parent company is now talking about a sale of some or all parts. From Digital First Media: “CEO John Paton said the company has retained UBS Securities to review a full range of alternatives — including selling the entire company, selling regional clusters or doing nothing. … In addition to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Digital First’s largest properties include the San Jose Mercury News, the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, the New Haven Register, and the Salt Lake Tribune. … The company is controlled by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital.” Does this mean they see no way to build equity through more lay-offs?
A nasty virus seems to be affecting kids in Minnesota and overwhelming hospitals. Stribber Jeremy Olson says, “Whether any Minnesota children have been infected with enterovirus D68 won’t be known until lab tests confirm the virus, but officials at two pediatric hospitals in Minneapolis said their emergency rooms and inpatient units are full of children suffering labored breathing and wheezing — symptoms associated with the strain.”
Who knew: lower prices were good for the college business? At MPR, Alex Friedrich writes, “Two years after Concordia University announced a massive tuition cut, the school has enjoyed its second consecutive enrollment jump — suggesting that its bold experiment in college finance is paying off. Officials at the St. Paul school say it is coming out ahead financially and better positioning itself as a viable alternative to public universities, which are traditionally seen as less expensive.” I’m certain the for-profit industry will follow suit.
Classy. James Shiffer of the Strib reports on a possible Social Security fraud. “For the second time in recent months, one of these [third-party payee] organizations — called representative payees — has lost its contract with the Social Security Administration. Richfield-based Greenleaf Payment Services handled the benefits of 290 vulnerable recipients when it was terminated in July, and it’s now the subject of an investigation by Social Security’s Office of Inspector General, an agency spokeswoman said Thursday.”
Slate’s Andy Kiersz cooks up a listicle of the most affluent towns in every state. And no, you knee-jerkers, it isn’t Edina.
And where is the line between “likely” and “highly likely”? Dave Chanen at the Strib says, “A 24-year-old rapist indefinitely committed to Minnesota’s controversial sex offender program since 2012 on Thursday became one of its few inmates to be released. After a review ordered by the state Supreme Court in April, retired Sibley County District Judge Thomas McCarthy ruled that Cedrick Ince is likely to sexually reoffend. But, McCarthy said, there wasn’t clear and convincing evidence that Ince met the legal criteria for commitment as a person ‘highly likely’ to reoffend.”
Tomorrow night’s Replacements show at Midway Stadium is getting plenty of attention. Our Jim Walsh turns up both here and in a Strib piece, and Chris Riemenschneider adds, “One of the best things about the new-era Replacements gigs — or at least the three I’ve seen — has been the sight of the Replacements playing in the thick of today’s rock ’n’ roll frontline with bigger, younger crowds; seeing fans who weren’t alive when ‘Tim’ came out sing along loudly to ‘Bastards of Young’ and ‘Left of the Dial,’ seeing the band fit in easily on festival lineups with Arcade Fire, Spoon, Jack White, Best Coast, the Hold Steady and other bands that picked up where they left off…”
The White House is making a new effort to counter Muslim radicalization around the country, including here in Minnesota. Says Allison Sherry in the Strib, “Obama administration officials are engaged in reaching out to Muslim communities across the United States — including Minnesota — to try and get them to speak up if they see radicalization taking place. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Phil Gordon, White House coordinator for the Middle East, said officials ‘were very attuned’ to ISIL’s propoganda machine — on social and print media — that has tempted some young American muslims to join the movement in the Middle East.”
Forget about the Lafayette Bridge over the weekend. MPR’s Tim Nelson reports, “The Highway 52 Lafayette Bridge east of downtown [St. Paul] will shut down so crews can install anti-icing equipment on the northbound side of the bridge, move barricades to widen lanes and other work. The northbound side of the bridge will close from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. between Concord Street and East 7th Street. The southbound lanes of the bridge between East 7th Street and Concord Street will close from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.”