A “decoy” move, they say. The WCCO-TV/AP story says, “Protesters with Black Lives Matter only briefly gathered at the Mall of America Wednesday afternoon before boarding light rail trains and heading to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in an attempt to ‘shut it down’. … The protest at the mall was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. In preparation, Mall of America closed about 80 stores early on the mall’s east side, and dozens of State Patrol and Bloomington Police officers stood outside several east entrances, blocking anyone from getting in.”
In the Strib, a trio of writers report: “Multiple law enforcement agencies showed up in full force, ushering protesters off roadways to and from the airport terminals, patrolling light rail stations and shutting down security checkpoints at Terminal 2 (Humphrey) in case protesters tried to access the secure area on the hectic day before Christmas Eve. … ‘We accomplished exactly what we came here to accomplish — we wanted to shut down the highway, shut down the airport and show solidarity with other Black Lives Matter groups,’ said Michelle Barnes of Minneapolis, one of the protest organizers.”
OK, now we’ll get Real ID. Another WCCO-TV story says, “Gov. Mark Dayton renewed his call Wednesday for the state to adopt new, high-security driver’s licenses. … Dayton says he expects the Department of Homeland Security to announce before the end of this year a 120-day deadline for Minnesota to comply.”
Cuba is nice this time of the year. Says Tom Meersman of Strib, “A group of Minnesota agriculture leaders toured Cuba last week to check out potential trade relations if embargoes are eased in the future. The delegation toured farms and markets to study Cuban food processes and production, and met with government officials and agricultural research leaders.” Just as long as we get more than Wisconsin gets.
Today in Second Amendment rights follies. Shannon Prather of the Strib says, “A man whose handgun discharged while he was checking out at a Fridley Target store on Dec. 13 has been arrested and charged with a felony. Seth Allan Millner, 28, was identified by a tipster after police released surveillance video to the media. He has no address listed in court records. Millner said that he had the gun tucked in his waistband and that it went off as he was walking, according to court documents. … Millner, who has prior burglary and gun possession convictions, was charged in Anoka County District Court with felony unlawful possession of a firearm by an ineligible person.” I’m sure he had a tough time getting the piece.
Speaking of The World’s Greatest Amendment. Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress reports, “The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to review the case of a man sentenced to five years in prison for illegally possessing a BB gun. David Lee Haywood was charged in Ramsey County District Court in 2013 with possession of a firearm as an ineligible person. He was convicted by a jury after the court told them that, under the law, a BB gun is a firearm. Haywood, 37, appealed his conviction, arguing that a BB gun is not a firearm under the statute, but the state Court of Appeals upheld it. The Supreme Court will now take up the issue.”
Music for Syria. Says Graydon Royce in the Strib, “The Minnesota Orchestra embarks this weekend on a Beethoven marathon that has the ensemble performing all nine symphonies and five piano concertos in 18 days. That apparently wasn’t enough for about 20 musicians and conductor Osmo Vänskä. They will play a benefit concert for Syrian refugees at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Edina.”
You do NOT touch my Keystone Light! Dan Uria at UPI reports, “A Minnesota woman was arrested after biting a piece of her husband’s ear off during an argument regarding beer. Jamie Elrod, 37, was arrested and charged with first degree assault after police entered her home, finding overturned furniture, blood and a piece of her husband’s ear. The victim originally claimed that the ear was injured during a fight downtown, but later told police that the two were arguing over a beer when Elrod followed him into the bedroom and attacked him.”
The Case of the Crooked Soybean Exporter. Says Tom Meersman (again) in the Strib, “A Minnesota soybean exporter was indicted by a federal grand jury this week in an alleged scheme to defraud Olmsted National Bank in Rochester. The criminal indictment charges David Michael Wilcox with three counts of bank fraud and two counts of making false statements. Wilcox owns and operates two Minnesota corporations: Verified Grains Inc., a soybean export business; and Global Processing Inc., a soybean processor.”
Tough politics within the tribe. At MPR, John Enger reports, “A power struggle over constitutional reform on the White Earth Reservation could cost longtime tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor her job. … White Earth Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason said the censure was sparked by Vizenor’s efforts to reform the tribal Constitution. Mason has opposed Vizenor since taking office in 2014. In 2013, Vizenor and the tribal council drafted a new constitution for White Earth that would have drastically shifted the government structure and changed requirements for tribal membership.”
Here’s a guy who may have peaked too early. For the AP Todd Richmond writes, “The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s attorney for two months over a series of ethics violations tied largely to an attempt to help a client recover money spent on fake John Lennon memorabilia. The justices also ordered Gerald Boyle to take courses in law office management and to pay $24,900 to cover the costs of the disciplinary proceedings against him.”
Finally, until 2016, another taste of the preciousness of Second Amendment rights … Wisconsin style. At Jezebel, Anna Merlan writes, “The thing about polite society is that you can’t go around shooting people. Americans do it all the time, of course, but as a general rule, it’s a habit we should try to tamp down. Which is why Wisconsin State Representative Bob Gannon is getting a touch of criticism for his novel proposal that people with concealed carry licenses should feel free to shoot any ‘scumbags’ they come across. … Gannon’s solution, naturally, is more people with more guns, firing them more often. He’s lamenting Wisconsin’s gun-free zone law, which prevents people from carrying firearms in schools and malls.”