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NFL arbitrator hears Adrian Peterson’s appeal

Plus: the Italian ambassador comes to town; a St. Paul woman accused of stealing a passport to travel to Syria; luxury apartments likely to replace Nye’s; and more.

Adrian Peterson
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson met The Man yesterday to appeal his season-long suspension. At Sports Illustrated, Michael McCann says, “Peterson faces longer odds at winning his appeal than did [Ray] Rice in part because a designee of [Commissioner Roger] Goodell, rather than an independent former jurist, will preside over the hearing. Barbara Jones, a former federal judge who has no connection to the NFL, was selected to arbitrate Rice’s appeal because Goodell and the NFL were implicated in the Rice controversy. There were no doubts about Jones’ objectivity in reviewing a matter that raised serious questions about the quality of NFL investigations and the veracity of those NFL-managed investigations. If Goodell or a designee had presided over Rice’s appeal, the hearing might not have been taken seriously by the public. Worse yet for the NFL, it may have furnished Rice with stronger grounds to sue the league.”

For WCCO-TV, Kate Raddatz reports, “Hamline University law professor Joseph Daly has read through the entire 301 page contract between the NFL Players Association and the NFL. He says Peterson likely argued he had grasped the seriousness of his offense. … While no decision was made on Peterson’s suspension, ESPN reports the hearing officer did rule NFL executive Troy Vincent will have to testify. ‘I’m not surprised the  officer would say I want to hear what this person has to say,’ Daly said. Peterson’s appeal could have grounds based on Ravens running back Ray Rice. … ‘I think Adrian Peterson will probably use the same argument,’ Daly said. ‘That he’s being twice punished for that.’”

Torii’s back. Drew Silva at MNBC Sports says, “The Twins have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with veteran outfielder Torii Hunter. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirms the news, adding that the one-year pact is worth $10.5 million. … Hunter was also being courted this winter by the Rangers, Mariners, Orioles, and Royals. It’s hard to figure why the Twins, who have rattled off four straight 90-loss seasons, would have the desire to place the top bid.”

We all know locals who could use these kinds of lessons. For MPR, Laura Yuen writes, “Every year, the United States welcomes tens of thousands of refugees from all over the world — about 2,000 come to Minnesota. Many of those refugees are from warm climates and seeking a better life in one the coldest states in the country. With a ruthless winter already under way, the latest arrivals in Minnesota are learning to survive the arctic sting. Lessons on how to bundle up and use a thermostat are part of a cultural orientation offered by the International Institute of Minnesota, which helps resettle refugees.” And the high school guys who wear shorts in January?

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Scam artist of the day. In the Strib, Dave Chanen tells the story of a “sewer service” con. “Jeremy Umland’s victims never knew they were being taken for a financial ride. As a lawsuit process server, he allegedly falsely claimed to have notified many individuals about debt-collecting lawsuits. In truth, they would learn about those actions when notified that judgments for thousands of dollars had been filed against them. … The depth of Umland’s scamming, also known in the legal community as ‘sewer service,’ is unclear.”

I hope they didn’t serve him grape salad. In the PiPress, Nick Woltman covers the Italian ambassador’s visit to town. “There is room for growth in Minnesota’s trade relationship with Italy, the country’s U.S. ambassador told a handful of East Metro business leaders Tuesday. … Minnesota exports to Italy grew 4 percent in 2013 to $254 million, according to the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. Italy is Minnesota’s 18th largest export partner.” I was kind of hoping Berlusconi would make the trip.

Great news! They’re only $650,000 in the red!  Says Graydon Royce of the Strib, “A budget deficit generally means bad news, but the Minnesota Orchestra’s report Tuesday that it finished the fiscal year $650,000 in the red was greeted with relief. It’s a sign that, after a devastating labor dispute, the state’s largest and oldest performing arts organization is emerging strong and stunningly resilient.”

The latest young person sneaking off to a war zone is a woman. The Reuters story, by Aruna Viswanatha, says, “A 20-year-old Minnesota woman was charged on Tuesday with stealing a friend’s passport to travel to Syria, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. The criminal complaint alleged that Yusra Ismail, of St. Paul, used the stolen U.S. passport to fly to Amsterdam and Norway last August. She contacted her family several days later and told them she was in ‘Sham,’ a term used to describe the area controlled by Islamic State.”

A college gymnast dies at the bottom of a 3 by 3 foot dumbwaiter. Britain’s Daily Mail is on the story out of Fountain City, Wisconsin. James Nye writes, “Fountain City Police have said the death appears to be a bizarre accident, without elaborating, and said they have found no signs of foul play. Police Chief Jason Mork said the dumbwaiter’s opening is about 3 feet by 3 feet and the service elevator connects the first and second floors. Authorities say she was trapped in the small elevator when authorities arrived.”

A deal to replace Nye’s with luxury apartments is already in motion. Stribber Jim Buchta reports, “Schafer Richardson, a Minneapolis developer, signed a joint venture agreement with the owners of the property to build a mixed-use apartment building. … ‘It’s not a six-story project. It’ll be concrete and steel, 10 or 20 or 30 stories,’ Brad Schafer, a principal at the firm, said Tuesday. … Schafer said it’s unclear whether the existing buildings can be incorporated into the new building. ‘We’re respectful of the history of the property and if there’s a way to pay homage to the history of the buildings, we’re all for trying to figure that out,’ Schafer said.”