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Lynx win third WNBA championship

Plus: Wisconsin gun store verdict is first of its kind; state Supreme Court removes judge from office; Minneapolis’ Vincent restaurant closing; and more.

Title town? For the Star Tribune, Kent Youngblood writes: “This was what the biggest home crowd in Lynx history came for. All 18,933 of them, dressed in white, waving towels. To see the Lynx win their third WNBA title in five years. But their first at home. So it was loud. Deafening at times. And, with the Lynx choking the life out of the Indiana offense in Game 5 of this best-of-five series, the party started early. By inducing the Fever into an offensive coma over the second and third quarters, the Lynx were able to build a big lead and cruise to a 69-52victory in the first finals to go to the distance since 2009.”

The casino biz is still boomingKristen Leigh Painter’s Strib story says, “Mystic Lake will add a second hotel and convention center to its entertainment complex near Prior Lake, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and Mystic Lake Casino Hotel announced Wednesday. Both elements of the development will be positioned on the northwest end of the existing structures, offering views of the golf course, The Meadows at Mystic Lake. They will not include gaming. The new nine-story hotel will have 180 rooms while the new 70,000-square-foot convention center will have two ballrooms and several breakout meeting rooms, with a three-story glass atrium facing the championship golf course.”

The court decision against a Milwaukee area gun store offers gun control advocates a measure of hope. Mark Berman of The Washington Post says, “In an unusual case, a jury in Wisconsin declared Tuesday that a gun store had to pay millions of dollars to Milwaukee police officers who were shot by a firearm bought at the store. The case offered an attention-grabbing combination of factors, including a rare loss for the firearms industry, a verdict awarding more than $5 million in damages, injured police officers and a contested gun sale. And it also arrived as the country discusses gun violence in the wake of another mass shooting, an ongoing conversation that has led to presidential candidates debating a federal law that protects gun sellers and manufacturers from liability.” Overturning that law would be a big deal.

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In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel John Diedrich suggests optimism is best guarded. “The jury found that Badger Guns and its owner broke four federal laws and negligently provided the gun to a straw buyer — someone legally buying a gun for someone who cannot legally purchase one. Jurors awarded the officers nearly $6 million in health care costs and lost wages, pain and suffering and punitive damages. But the officers will not be seeing money anytime soon. The case will go to a state Appeals Court and possibly straight to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Depending on the rulings and other cases around the country, the officers’ case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, experts said.” Scalia is licking his chops.

Nevertheless, for The Guardian, Joanna Walters writes, “The verdict came on the same day as the first Democratic presidential debate, during which the leading candidates made a rare but fierce foray into the topic of gun control, vying for how they would seek to improve gun safety in the wake of yet another deadly college shooting earlier in October. ‘The fact that candidates running for president are almost climbing over one another to bring the laws into public discussion is a positive sign. They value public safety over loyalty to the gun lobby and the prospect for progress on this is more possible today that it was just a couple of years ago, or even 24 hours ago,’ Adam Skaggs, senior counsel at campaign group Everytown For Gun Safety, said on Wednesday, saying the coincidence with Tuesday’s court case was a positive one. He said the verdict in the Wisconsin case was ‘significant’ and a leap forward for handling rogue dealers who sell guns to criminals in the US.”

Cool graphic info via Rachel Stassen-Berger of the PiPress. The subject? Immigration patterns into Minnesota. “Canada was Minnesota’s largest immigration source from the 1970 through 1990, but was overtaken by Laos during the 1990s. Mexican immigrants have had the largest influence in Minnesota and a majority of the United States since then. U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Minnesota continues to have a significantly lower immigrant population than the United States as a whole (7 percent in Minnesota compared to 13 percent, nationally) … .”

You expect better from a judge. At Minnesota Lawyer, Barbara Jones says, “Judge Alan Pendleton has been removed from office by the Minnesota Supreme Court for failing to reside within his judicial district during office and for making a knowingly false statement regarding his residency in an affidavit for re-election. The court departed from the panel who heard the case, which recommended a six-month minimum suspension.”

When you’ve got nothing but time you can appeal … and appeal … and appeal. In the Mankato Free Press Dan Linehan says, “The Minnesota Supreme Court has denied the eighth appeal of a man who has spent 28 years in prison for stabbing a Janesville woman to death in 1987. Michael Wayne, previously known as Michael Wayne Fenney, brought a motion last November asking for what he called a ‘correction of sentence’. He was originally convicted of killing Mona Armendariz, who was found dead in her mobile home on July 29, 1986. She had been stabbed 13 times and possibly sexually assaulted. Wayne was arrested a short time later and charged with killing her. He has maintained his innocence, at one point unsuccessfully petitioning to change his name to ‘a man wrongfully convicted.’”

First, La Belle Vie, now Vincent. Says Stribber Rick Nelson, “Chef Vincent Francoual is calling it quits at Vincent, the eponymous French restaurant that has anchored the prominent corner of 11th Street and Nicollet Mall for 14 years. ‘I’ve been rethinking my life and, after a lot of reflection, I’ve basically just decided to move on to something new,’ he said. ‘This is more of a life decision than a business decision. It’s a bittersweet thing, yes, but it’s not sad. Let’s put some perspective on this. Sad is cancer. Sad is bodies of refugees washing up on the shore in Greece.’ The restaurant’s last day is Dec. 31.” Hmmm. I wasn’t expecting that.

In news of silly liberals and their job-killing hoaxes, Paul Huttner at MPR says, “With each passing day the odds of 2015 going into the record books as the warmest year on record globally are rising. Those odds currently stand at 93 percent, according to NASA. That’s up from 87 percent at the end of August. … This has been the warmest year on record for several western states. Minnesota has been on the eastern edge of that warmth, recording the 19th warmest year on record through September in 2015.” No quotes from Marco Rubio?

Truly, an app for everything. A KARE-TV story says, “A Macalester College student is getting noticed for inventing something to help people suffering from night terrors. His inspiration? His father, an Iraq War vet, struggles with the terrors. … In 36 hours, he and his team ‘The Cure’ wrote code and created a smart watch app called myBivy, short for bivouac, which he explained is a military term for a place to sleep. The app tracks heart rate and movement. The goal is to predict night terrors.”

Speaking of night terrors, Matthew DeFour of the Wisconsin State Journal reports, “Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that he wouldn’t run for president again while serving as governor in an interview on conservative Milwaukee talk radio. … Walker also weighed in on Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, saying former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the winner, but also that he couldn’t watch the whole thing because ‘I don’t know that I could stomach that much time listening to that much socialism.’