From MPR, a collection of local reaction to the Ferguson grand jury decision. “Students at Minneapolis South High School staged a sit-in Tuesday morning to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. An MPR News reporter trying to cover the Minneapolis South sit-in was turned away. … Zipporah Benson, a senior at South, said that dozens of students sat peacefully in the hallway, talking about the shooting of the unarmed black teen. ‘I don’t know what happened, but I think it’s right for them to sit in and protest,’ she said. Benson added that she feels the shooting directly affects her as a young person of color.”
An AP/WCCO item says, “Students at Minneapolis’ Southwest High School staged a sit-in Tuesday, with about 200 students lining the halls in a planned four-and-a-half hours of silence, according to Anders Billund-Phibbs, a sit-in organizer. That precise period of time signifies how long Brown’s body was left lying in the street after he’d been shot. Minneapolis Public Schools released a statement saying it respects students’ right to assemble, and that they will not face discipline if the sit-in remains peaceful.”
At PowerLine, John Hinderaker writes, “The second remarkable fact, it seems to me, is that the grand jurors resisted political pressure to do what they believed was the right thing. It would have been easy to satisfy the crowd – both the media mob and the literal mob that has assembled repeatedly in Ferguson – by making Wilson a sacrificial lamb. … Tonight’s decision was, I think, a victory for justice and for due process. … Also ‘criminal justice reform.’ But what reform, exactly, is that? Is there something wrong with Missouri’s law of self-defense? With its grand jury procedures? If so, what? As usual, Obama just spews BS that has little significance, apart from the political.”
Put down the Twitter feed, dude. At CBS Sports Will Brinson looks at Adrian Peterson comparing his situation to the Ferguson grand jury decision and says, “Many sports figures took to Twitter to comment on the situation, including Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who — for whatever reason — decided to liken the situation to his own off-field problems. … The GRAND JURY DECIDED NOT TO INDICT ME TOO! But that changed a week LATER! MAYBE,BUT NOT LIKELY N THIS CASE.”
Also taking it back to the man. First Amendment rights! The AP says, “A man who was arrested after he posted Facebook comments calling a southern Wisconsin police department racist has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the agency violated his constitutional rights. Police arrested Thomas Smith in 2012 after he posted profanity-laced comments on Facebook calling police officers in Arena racists and likening them to male genitalia. He was convicted of disorderly conduct and illegal use of computer communications. A state appeals court tossed out his convictions this past July, ruling Smith’s remarks were protected speech under the U.S. Constitution.
It’s kind of a backdoor correction, but the New York Times has essentially amended that “grape salad” business by asking Google to decide what the most distinctly local dish is, state by state. On the Times’ Upshot blog they now say, “Few food-related articles in the Times got more attention from Minnesotans than the much-debated Grape Salad recipe, which was literally front-page news in the Twin Cities. Many Minnesotans insist that they don’t make the dish. Whatever you think of #GrapeGate, there’s no denying that Minnesotans do love their salads, especially if the main ingredients are Cool Whip and Snickers bars. The uncontestably Minnesotan dish of wild-rice casserole tops the list, with strong showings by lefse and bacon-wrapped smokies, a distant member of the pigs-in-a-blanket family.”
Coming down. In the PiPress, Joe Lindberg reports, “Several vacant county buildings soon will be demolished along Kellogg Boulevard in downtown St. Paul, which will undergo a precise yet dramatic makeover next summer along the river bluff. The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved $11.5 million to take down the former West Publishing building, which spans six adjoining structures, and the former adult detention center by mid-2016. Nearly half the cost will be dedicated to stabilizing the bluff with a $5 million retaining wall.”
Saving hundreds of forests … Says Evan Ramstad of the Strib, “The era of the White Pages is ending in Minnesota. The state Public Utilities Commission on Monday unanimously voted to allow CenturyLink, the state’s biggest provider of phone service, to stop mandatory distribution of residential phone books. The company must still make the phone book available to consumers who request one. The decision came just a few weeks before CenturyLink and the firm that publishes its directories, DexMedia Inc., would have published the next edition of the 350-page Minneapolis White Pages.”
You have to wonder what the premiums were on these policies? Stribber Paul Walsh says, “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has hit a major roadblock in its pledge to pay damages to victims of clergy sex abuse: Its insurance companies are refusing to cover the costs. Now the archdiocese is going to federal court to ask a judge to set standards for the eight insurance companies to start meeting the terms of the ‘substantial’ amount of insurance it bought ‘to cover the type of injuries’ suffered by the clergy abuse claimants. … In letters to the archdiocese, insurers explain that the policies do not apply because the abuse incidents are not ‘accidents’ and ‘occurrences’ but acts that caused harm that were expected or intended.” Not to mentioned enabled.
The “neighbor from hell” is getting another chance. Kevin Duchschere of the Strib says, “Lori Christensen, the so-called ‘neighbor from hell’ alleged to have criminally harassed a family across her White Bear Lake cul-de-sac, should have been allowed to change her mind after pleading guilty last year to violating a restraining order, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday. … The case will now return to the district court.”