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Minneapolis police: weekend shootings don’t speak to larger trend

Plus: St. Croix river stabbing defense will be self-defense; the effects of climate change on Minnesota beer; a women’s pro-soccer team for the Twin Cities?; and more.

Move along folks, nothing to see here. MPR’s Brandt Williams reports on a recent uptick in shootings in Minneapolis: “Investigators are trying to determine who is behind the rash of violence over the weekend. But [Commander Catherine] Johnson said it’s also important to keep it all in perspective. … ‘When we have incidents like this it appears as though, or can appear as though, things have escalated or something new or different is happening,’ Johnson said. ‘In fact, what we have right now — at least through the first half of the year — is a decrease in shooting victims and that’s a good thing for us.’ ”

A self-defense defense in the trial for the St. Croix river stabbing that occurred this April. The Star Tribune’s Chao Xiong reports, “Charges against a Minnesota man who is alleged to have fatally stabbed a St. Croix River fisherman should be dismissed because the victim initiated the physical confrontation by reaching into a parked car to drag the man out, according to court documents. … The victim, Peter S. Kelly pursued Levi C. Acre-Kendall the night of April 14 after Acre-Kendall retreated to the safety of a friend’s car at the end of an hourslong verbal feud along the riverbank, according to a motion recently filed in Polk County Circuit Court by Acre-Kendall’s lawyer.”

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If beer won’t get you to care about climate change, nothing will. In The Growler, Adam Overland asks an important question: “What does climate change mean for Minnesota — and for the future of beer?” Surprisingly, the news looks good: “The advantage of two-row winter barley in a warming climate is that it’s planted in the fall, overwinters, and starts growing again in the spring. But despite its name, it doesn’t necessarily love the cold temps. For it to become viable for farmers, it needs to consistently survive the winter. Right now, [University of Minnesota plant geneticist Kevin] Smith says it survives southern Minnesota winters just more than half the time. With breeding progress ongoing and winters warming, Smith expects that to change. … ‘Twenty years ago we wouldn’t think of growing winter barley in southern Minnesota — it’s too cold. But we’re breeding for better winter hardiness [and] we’re making good progress,’ he says.”

One new pro sports franchise at a time, please. In the wake of Team USA’s crushing victory in the World Cup on Sunday, the Star Tribune’s Mike Kazuba asks, “Could Twin Cities land a women’s pro soccer team, too?” “[Jeff] Plush is the commissioner of the three-year-old National Women’s Soccer League, which had 53 players from its nine teams participate in the just-concluded Women’s World Cup. The women represented 10 different countries, and every team in the NWSL had at least one goal scorer in the World Cup.  … ‘We view Minneapolis as a fantastic market,’ said Plush. ‘Minneapolis is [a] top — whatever — 15 market in the United States, [with] passionate fans.’ ” On the other hand, if basketball is any guide, a women’s team might actually win sometimes.

Speaking of women’s pro soccer, Quartz has a handy chart of minimum salaries for players in selected pro leagues. 🙁

In other news…

Nicollet Mall reconstruction is underway. It’ll last through 2017. [WCCO]

Only? “Kathleen Culhane of Sidhé Brewing Pours the Story on MSP’s Only Wiccan Craft Beer Company” [RedCurrent]

An interesting bit of Minnesotiana: “How Lincoln’s funeral train car perished in Minnesota” [MPR]

You know who doesn’t have a pro basketball team? St. Paul. “Bucks president says team could move to Las Vegas or Seattle without public funding for new arena” [ProBasketballTalk]

If you see a banana riding a Segway around Fridley, give him a high five. [KARE]

The Washington Post found a local angle on the Minnesota Zoo bear story: “Robin Ficker didn’t heckle the grizzly bear at the Minnesota Zoo”

South Dakotan John Zilverberg is the oldest athlete competing in the National Senior Games: He’s 102. [KSFY]

This may be big news for some of you. “Kevin Garnett Agrees to Re-Sign with Timberwolves” [KSTP]

Aaron Hicks made a pretty good catch on Monday night. [Star Tribune]