A family dispute where everyone may have been armed. Via WCCO-TV, “Authorities say an Elk River police officer and his 27-year-old son were shot and killed in a double homicide in their St. Michael home Saturday night. The death of Officer Todd Besser, a 16-year veteran of the Elk River Police Department, is under investigation. … Authorities say a 21-year-old man, identified as Chris Besser, is in custody in the Wright County Jail on suspicion of second-degree homicide. At about 7:45 p.m. Saturday, authorities say Chris Besser called the Wright County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center, who was at the Kwik Stop gas station in Monticello at the time, and wanted to turn himself in.”
Here’s Bill Salisbury of the PiPress on the final eight days of the legislative session: “The Capitol is about to become a humid den of chaotic action. Lawmakers will debate and trade votes late into the night. Their overworked staff will scour bill language and spreadsheets until their sight blurs. Exhausted legislators will vote on bills they — and the public — have little time to comprehend. Minority-party members will filibuster while the majority rushes to pass its agenda.” Which is as Jefferson would have wanted it.
For MPR Tim Pugmire says, “Health care spending remains a big hurdle for Minnesota lawmakers as they begin the final week of the 2015 legislative session. House Republicans and Senate Democrats have a $1.4 billion gap to close in their competing budget bills for health and human services. The big disagreements are over two House GOP plans. One would eliminate MinnesotaCare and move its low-income participants onto MNsure. The other is to save $300 million by cracking down on ineligible participants in public programs.”
This is reassuring. Glenn Howatt and Pam Louwagie of the Strib say, “About 40 percent of Minnesota convicts who are let go from prison on supervised release either run from authorities or commit new crimes, a Star Tribune analysis of state corrections data shows. For some it was fairly predictable that they would have problems. Those who become fugitives or get arrested tend to be veterans of the state prison system who have committed the most serious crimes, such as assaults, aggravated robbery, sex crimes, DWI and drug offenses. But in Minnesota, that doesn’t matter.”
It does look like the same stuff. Stribber Neal St. Anthony reports, “Plasti Dip International, the Blaine-based maker of tool coatings that has grown quickly since 2010 and built a global social media following, is suing the maker of Rust-Oleum over its spray-on rubberized coating that came out last year. Plasti Dip says Rust-Oleum, owned by huge RPM International, an Ohio-based coatings firm, made its rival ‘FlexiDip’ product based on trade secrets it obtained from Plasti Dip when the two firms discussed a joint venture in 2013.”
VoIP will have to play by the same rules. MPR’s Nancy Lebens says, “Minnesota’s commerce commissioner said a Friday Public Utilities Commission ruling could help sustain phone services for disabled and low income customers. The PUC voted 5-0 in favor of extending Minnesota’s telephone regulations to companies that provide services through ‘fixed interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol,’ or VoIP, which uses traditional land lines to route digitized voice packets. The commission is expected to issue a written order within a couple of weeks.”
So enough of your complaining about your impertinent teenagers. Molly Guthrey of the PiPress writes about an Eagan couple raising five kids with Down syndrome: “When the best queen of all [Leah Spring] is ready to serve dinner, her assistant, Dean Ellingson — otherwise known as Dad — rounds up Abel, 12, and Audrey and Asher, both 10. Some might look at this family and see five children with Down syndrome. Not Spring. ‘I just see kids,’ she said. Hers is a unique family, though, cobbled together through marriage, biology, adoption and prayer.”
Also in the PiPress, Sarah Horner reminds drivers to forget about the Snelling Avenue bridge over I-94. “After months of warnings, Snelling Avenue between the eastbound and westbound ramps of Interstate 94 will close just before midnight Sunday to allow the bridge’s surface to be replaced. The bridge will remain closed until late August.”
The Micronesian ’hood out near the great city of Montevideo is one of the oddities of the state landscape. WCCO-TV’s John Lauritson, a bona fide Montevidean writes, “Milan, Minnesota, has a population of 350 people. More than half of the town is originally from Micronesia, a group of islands located near The Philippines. ‘Before it was hard because it was just us,’ Erika Raymond said. ‘Now it feels like home because we have a lot of families here.’ It was a member of the peace corps who encouraged Raymond’s family to move from a tiny island in the Pacific to a tiny town in Minnesota, leaving behind tropical island weather for frigid winters and new opportunities.’ The small town — I like it because it’s quiet, and the people are nice, too,’ said Michael Elias, who also grew up in Micronesia.”
A Bullying Prevention Certificate? Erin Adler of the Strib writes, “As a young teacher years ago, Cheryl Greene learned how devastating bullying can be. One of her students, who had been treated poorly by his middle-school peers, committed suicide. ‘The thing that stuck with me is no adult in the building had a relationship with this kid,’ she said. ‘I was just determined that this was not going to happen again.’ Greene, now a national trainer on bullying prevention, is helping Hamline University launch a Bullying Prevention Certificate for teachers. It will consist of five online courses — on topics ranging from bystander behavior to cyberbullying — and is the first such program in the state, Hamline officials said.”
Today in pandering. From Meg Jones of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Gov. Scott Walker visited Jerusalem Sunday on the first day of his five-day trip to Israel and was photographed standing near the Western Wall. Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks tweeted a photo of Walker clad in a yarmulke, the traditional Jewish head covering for males, and blue polo shirt near the Western Wall, which is considered the holiest place for Judaism. Also known as the Wailing Wall or Kotel, it’s a place many Muslims, Christians and Jews visit in Israel.” But will he get Netanyahu’s endorsement?