This took a long time to see the light of day. Nick Ferraro of the PiPress tells us, “At the time of Scott Patrick’s murder, the Mendota Heights police officer was in the midst of a lawsuit in which he accused the city’s police chief and others of harassment and workplace retaliation. Patrick alleged violations of the Minnesota Whistleblower Act and Peace Officer Discipline Procedures Act in the civil lawsuit filed against the city and Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener in Dakota County District Court on Feb. 28, 2014, just over five months before Patrick was fatally shot during a traffic stop. His widow, Michelle, filed a motion in late February 2015 to keep the lawsuit moving forward, and last month a county judge granted the request. The lawsuit — stemming from a 2008 incident in which Patrick accused two fellow officers of stealing a picnic table — is claiming at least $150,000 in damages.” A picnic table?
Following on the story of a veteran State Senate staffer killed in an accident with the Green Line LRT yesterday, Nick Woltman of the PiPress says, “Lynne Thomas rode the Green Line light rail each morning to work at the Minnesota Senate’s office of counsel and research, where she was a receptionist. When she was late on Thursday morning, her co-workers began to worry — she was usually one of the first people in the office — so her supervisor called her cellphone. The Regions Hospital employee who answered said Thomas had been hit by a Green Line train in St. Paul. ‘The only thing I can think of is she was just distracted. She’s very safety conscious,’ said Renee Rose, Thomas’ supervisor. ‘Crossing against the light does not sound like her at all.’ Thomas, a lifelong transit rider who didn’t drive, lived just a couple of blocks northwest of the Snelling Avenue Station on University Avenue.”
Okay, let it rain. For KMSP-TV Cody Matz says, “Another week of sub-average rainfall and now 31 percent of the state is considered to be in a severe drought. This is the first time parts of the state have experienced this kind of drought in a couple years. With some parts of northwestern Minnesota recording just 5 percent of their typical April rainfall, the drought situation across the north is turning from bad to worse.”
Quite the couple, here. Anne Millerbernd for the Star Tribune says, “A Minnesota woman knowingly shorted her employees nearly $242,000, according to charges filed in Hennepin County district court last week. Over the course of about two and a half years, Laura Lee Plzak, 53, allegedly failed to pay her employees at subcontractor Honda Electric the acceptable wages for state and federally-funded construction projects — an offense that amounts to five counts of felony theft-by-swindle. … Plzak’s husband, Jeffrey Plzak, runs Honda Electric with her as an electrician and worked at job sites while Laura worked from the office. Jeffrey Plzak was sentenced to 22 months in prison earlier this month, according to a news release from the Hennepin County attorney’s office.”
Two out of three wouldn’t be bad. Chad Graff of the PiPress reports, “One day after being left off the list of finalist for the NHL’s most valuable player award, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk was named a finalist for the Masterton Award, given to the NHL player who ‘best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication’ to hockey. It is the second significant award Dubnyk has been nominated for; he also is one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, given to the league’s best goalie. All awards will be announced June 24 in Las Vegas.” Which is what, six weeks before the play-offs end and a week before the season opener?
Good goin’ your honor. MPR’s Tim Pugmire writes, “The Minnesota Senate paused [Thursday] to pay tribute to retiring state Supreme Court Associate Justice Alan Page. Page, the former Minnesota Vikings player, is stepping down from the bench this summer. He reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in August. Page was first elected as an associate justice in in 1992, and re-elected three times.”
Ms. Kahn is there for the butterflies. The AP story says, “Lawmakers carved out $200,000 to help Somali group Ka Joog offer arts and mentorship programs across Minnesota. They also guaranteed free rehearsal and storage space for the 117-year-old state band, which practices in a government building basement. Rep. Phyllis Kahn fought for butterflies. The Minneapolis Democrat tacked on a provision that requires many agencies receiving money to grow plants that benefit monarchs and avoid using pesticides.” Next: Strib columnist Dennis Anderson makes the case for a butterfly hunting season.
So he won’t even have to drive with “testosterone” plates on his car? Sarah Horner of the PiPress writes, “An outside attorney hired by North St. Paul has declined to file charges against the city’s mayor for reportedly threatening to beat up his former colleague on the city council. An attorney with Tallen and Baertschi reached the decision this week, finding, among other things, that Mayor Mike Kuehn’s actions were nothing more than a ‘display of testosterone’ that didn’t rise to the level of a crime, according to a letter sent to the city by attorney Steven Tallen.”
Finally, let the 2016 mock drafts begin. Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press looks at the Vikings’ #1 pick and says, “Former Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes is one of 15 high-profile players whom ESPN’s Jon Gruden has tagged ‘buyer beware’ in tonight’s NFL draft. Gruden writes: “Once NFL teams find out you are a reluctant or poor tackler, they are going to bring their receiver in motion and are going to crack your safety. When that happens, your corner has to replace and make these tackles. They are basically not blocking him. So I am watching this Michigan State game against Oregon, and that is what happens. I wanted to see Waynes replace and make the tackle, but it was not happening. He is not really big, and on the tape that I have, he is not a great tackler. The same thing happened against Ohio State.”
James Brady at SBNation says, “Waynes is an effective man-to-man corner who can take top receivers out of the game. He was asked to put receivers on an island for entire games and did so successfully. His low interception numbers can be attributed to opposing quarterbacks simply avoiding his side of the field. He’ll be asked to do similar things at the next level and should be considered an immediate starter on the outside. He’s particularly good in deep coverage, though his biggest flaw is that he’s prone to committing penalties. He was penalized nine times between 2013-14, and most of those came from contact with receivers on deep balls.”