Twin Cities terror suspects also charged with fraud

In for a dime, in for a dollar. “Two Twin Cities men charged with conspiracy to fight alongside terrorists now face financial fraud charges for allegedly using their college loans to purchase airline tickets to fly to the Middle East,” reports the Star Tribune’s Paul McEnroe. “The new indictment says that [Hamza] Ahmed and [Hanad Mustafe] Musse bought airline tickets on Nov. 8, 2014 from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Europe, using more than $1,000 in federal college financial aid funds.”

What is MnDOT trying to hide about the Stillwater bridge?? In the Pioneer Press, Mary Divine reports, “Stillwater historian Don Empson’s new book about the nearly half-century struggle to build a new St. Croix River bridge and save the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge originally was supposed to be part of a history book about the lift bridge. … Then, he says, he clashed with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. … Empson said MnDOT officials declined to provide information he requested and later tried to ‘censor’ his section of the book. He decided this year to publish his own book… ‘I don’t want my name used as a shill for MnDOT,’ Empson said. ‘I’m not here to write MnDOT’s interpretation of the events that took place…’ ”

Drone news: “Xcel Energy says it has approval from federal regulators to use drones to inspect more than 320,000 miles of electric and natural gas infrastructure,” reports the AP [via WCCO]. “The Federal Aviation Administration says Xcel can use the small unmanned aircraft systems to visually inspect electric transmission and distribution lines, power plants, renewable energy facilities, substations and pipelines.”

A victory in the war against fun. City Pages’ Susan Du reports on the reinstatement of the “I Hate the Pedal Pub” Facebook page: “A year and a half ago, ‘Pedal Pub Party Bikes’ from the Netherlands, which has a branch in the Twin Cities, actually retained a lawyer to shut down ‘I Hate the Pedal Pub’ … The lawyer’s scary and serious cease-and-desist letter to Peterson accused his page of trademark infringement because at the time, Peterson was making stickers and t-shirts declaring his hate for the Pedal Pub. It also told Peterson to back off encouraging physical harm against Pedal Pub employees or renters, which the page did, but only in a tongue-in-cheek way. … [Peterson] re-appealed to Facebook, making his free-speech claim with a few extra smiley faces thrown in. Facebook then reinstated ‘I Hate the Pedal Pub’ after processing his appeal.” 

In other news…

A ranking Minneapolis-St. Paul is happy not to be at the top of: the worst cities for mosquitos (We’re #15). [KARE]

The Glean

More on rural Minnesota’s arsenic problem: “Arsenic poses risks for area’s private wells” [Inforum]

Frost crisis averted: “Crops ‘dodged a bullet’ after temperatures didn’t hit lows expected” [Agweek] 

MPR digs into John Vachon’s Depression-era photography again with a gallery of photos from Minneapolis’ mills.

Lakeshore owners: the DNR wants you to keep an eye out for dead mudpuppy salamanders [Brainerd Dispatch]

Meet the St. Paul Saints’ biggest fan. [Pioneer Press]

Things we learn: Sarah Jessica Parker has adopted Bethune Elementary in Minneapolis. She dropped by on Monday. [Star Tribune]

One of the 100 People to Know in 2015: MinnPost CEO Joel Kramer. Ninety-nine more to go. [Twin Cities Business]

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 05/19/2015 - 02:47 pm.

    I have no hatred of pedal pubs in principle, but…

    …when they creep up Hennepin Avenue at 5:30PM on a weekday, then I get annoyed.

    Besides, if having a passenger in a car sip a glass of wine while the car is in motion violates Minnesota’s open bottle law, why doesn’t a pedal pub violate it?

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 05/19/2015 - 07:19 pm.

      Essentially like a limo where the passengers are drinking but not the driver. The imbibing passengers are just providing power by pedaling, not steering or braking.

      BUT, I regularly see them on busy streets traveling at 5-10mph and blocking traffic. I’m not saying it’s the dumbest idea yet, but would make it to the top 10. It’s inevitable that there will be a serious accident with a vehicle ramming a pedal pub from behind – not intentionally but with terrible results none the less.

  2. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 05/19/2015 - 06:03 pm.

    In the war against fun.

    No wine drinking in the car, but beer on the Pedal Pub? Perhaps it’s because the riders aren’t driving and are only pedaling. Another question might be, what about those busses to the game sponsored by bars where drinks are part of the package?

    Also, doesn’t all traffic creep on Hennepin Avenue during rush hours?

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