Minneapolis nonprofit at center of anti-radicalization efforts

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

A plan for anti-radicalization work.  Says Laura Yuen at MPR, “A Minneapolis nonprofit on Wednesday will outline how it will select programs intended to prevent domestic radicalization. Youthprise is administering about $400,000 grants designed to build resilience among Somali-American youth. It’s part of a controversial program championed by U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Andy Luger aimed at preventing more young men from going overseas to fight for terrorist groups. The funding is coming from a mix of federal money through the United States Department of Justice and private dollars.”

All they do is give. Kristen Leigh Painter’s Star Tribune story on the latest money flow around the Vikings stadium says, “The Minnesota Vikings are closing in on terms for a donation to the new Commons park in downtown Minneapolis, which is still less than halfway funded. The team, which helped pay for the purchase of the land for the park near its new stadium, will also contribute to its construction, Vikings executive vice president Lester Bagley said Monday during a meeting of the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Sports Facilities. He said the team would ask some of its partners to help pay for the park, too.” So will $50 get you a ticket to stroll in and throw a quarter in the Adrian Peterson Touchdown Pond?

Some more reaction to that acquittal verdict in the St. Croix stabbing case. From Andy Rathbun in the Pioneer Press: “It was [Levi] Acre-Kendall’s own testimony Friday that served as a turning point in the case, Nelson told reporters after the verdict. ‘His testimony in general was honest, it was sincere, (and) it was heartfelt,’ [attorney Eric] Nelson said of his client, who was at times visibly emotional on the stand. Polk County prosecutor Dan Steffen, however, said the outcome was disappointing. ‘To have to … explain to the family that the person responsible for the death of their loved one is not going to be convicted, of anything at this point, is extremely difficult,’ he said.”

In Chao Xiong’s Strib story there’s this: “Asked if he thought [Peter] Kelly should have never driven over to confront the other group, [DA Dan] Steffen said, ‘Hindsight is always 20/20. In my opinion, Peter Kelly was doing something he believed in. I don’t, to this day, believe that that defendant was in imminent fear of death or great bodily harm.” 

Speaking of DAs, Adrian Glass-Moore of the Grand Forks Herald reports, “Minnesota’s county prosecutors are coming out against a proposal to reduce guideline sentences for serious drug crimes, but criminal defense lawyers here say the changes are needed. ‘I absolutely feel that reduction of the guidelines would be appropriate,’ defense lawyer Dan Hooper said. ‘If you look at the guidelines in Minnesota, they’re particularly harsh.'”

Another day, another charge against for-profit higher education. Says Jeremy Olson in the Strib, “As many as 800 Minnesota nurses will receive thousands of dollars in refunds from an Indiana test prep company accused of bilking them as they sought to advance their careers. The College Network Inc. marketed itself to licensed practical nurses by offering financing and a quick path to becoming registered nurses, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said Monday. But when money was due for the nurses’ exam fees, the company either delayed payments by months or didn’t pay at all.”

Apparently it’s a whole lot colder up north. John Enger of MPR says, “Dozens of stranded anglers were rescued Monday from the shifting ice on Upper Red Lake. When an ice floe broke loose this morning roughly 50 people found themselves on the wrong side of a widening strip of open water. According to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s department, a series of 911 calls came in from portable ice houses a little before 10 a.m. The anglers said they were drifting away from shore on a piece of ice.”

Wonder what The Donald would have to say about these folks? Doualy Xaykaothao of MPR writes, “The Lobos are among the roughly 428,000 people living in Minnesota who were born outside the United States. A growing number of those foreign-born Minnesotans are from India, a region — South Central Asia — from which the state draws its highest-earning and most highly educated new workers. Melvin Lobo is an engineer who designs apps for Quinnox Consulting, a tech company that serves Fortune 500 clients in the metro area. … U.S. Census data show the state’s residents who were born in South Central Asia are about three times more likely than the state’s total population to earn more than $75,000.” So “better than average,” you say?

Gunning for the big stuff. For MPR, Tim Pugmire says, “A political group that backs Republicans is raising questions about a veteran DFL lawmaker and why it appears he is earning a public pension for work he does with a private foundation. The Minnesota Jobs Coalition is calling for an investigation of state Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, to determine whether the salary and public benefits he receives from the Inver Grove Heights B.E.S.T. Foundation through the Inver Grove Heights School District is proper.”

Glen Sonmor died. The AP story says, “Former Minnesota North Stars and University of Minnesota hockey coach Glen Sonmor has died. He was 86. Ex-North Stars general manager Lou Nanne says Sonmor died Monday at a nursing home in Ontario after battling Alzheimer’s disease. Nanne says he learned of Sonmor’s death from Sonmor’s sister, Jean.”

Now, if they’d said “a drunk guy in a snake costume wearing a cheesehead” I’d have believed it sooner than this. Meg Jones of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says, “Squirrels? Sure. Chipmunks, too. Birds? Of course. Even an occasional turkey. But a snake causing a power failure in southeastern Wisconsin — that’s fairly rare. Among the critter culprits that have been known to knock out power to humans, reptiles are not at the top of the list. For the 2,500 We Energies customers in Mequon and Thiensville whose TVs suddenly went dark and lights blinked off at noon Sunday, a snake was to blame. Just how the snake ended up on a power line in Mequon is unknown, but it has happened before, said We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey.” I still say alcohol was involved.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Chris Mann on 12/15/2015 - 08:46 am.

    Vikings Money Pit

    Apparently, we have no problem providing the Vikings with whatever they want, but why, and aren’t there better ways to spend the state’s money? For example, why is the cost of the light rail so high when it is measured in people’s lives? I support public transportation, but had no idea so many people would be injured or killed. Its easy to blame the victims, but what about the design? What about the safety features? How does our system compare to others in the loss of life?

    We are paying a totally unacceptable price. I would rather see money going to improving the light rail and saving peoples rather than for more corporate welfare and unneeded bling for something like a football stadium.

    I grieve for the victims and their families, and for our state that has lost any sense of what the right priorities are.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 12/15/2015 - 09:41 am.

      Human factors engineering

      I wonder if the light rail designers ever had a human factors engineer look at the design of the streets the light rail runs on and intersects. I don’t drive in areas that have light rail that often, but when I do, I find the visuals to be somewhat confusing and unclear. I’m nervous crossing the track because visually there’s a lot of clutter and I worry that if I am not EXTREMELY slow and cautious that I might miss something.

      I’m also startled when trains do approach at how silent and swift they are.

      Imagine someone who lives in and interacts in these areas on a daily basis and might grow somewhat complacent about the need for heightened awareness in the presence of these trains.

      I really think a re-examination of the areas impacted by these trains by a human factors engineer would be timely and appropriate.

  2. Submitted by Richard Callahan on 12/15/2015 - 12:08 pm.

    I cross University and the Green Line all the time

    and it’s very common for pedestrians to be wandering and J-walking across the tracks and the street against the warning lights and signs. I’ve even seen people walk diagonally across the intersection of University and Lexington causing cars to stop to let them by. Trains can’t be as accommodating so it’s no surprise that they get caught once in awhile. I doubt much safety engineering is going to help these people.

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