And how will this play out, do you think? At MPR, Peter Cox says, “The student accused of attacking the principal at Harrison Education Center in Minneapolis has been charged with assault. An 18-year-old Minneapolis girl was charged with third-degree assault, a felony, and fourth-degree assault, according to a petition filed in Hennepin County Juvenile court.”
OMG. Says Greg Moore of the AP, “The Wisconsin high school athletics association blew its whistle on fans’ unsportsmanlike taunts and negative chants — including ‘air ball’ and ‘season’s over’ — and directed administrators in an email last month to call fouls on such jeers. Weeks later, the association’s executive director has apologized to athletic directors for the distractions from widespread ridicule that followed the note, which he said Wednesday was intended as a reminder of a longstanding sportsmanship policy, not a crackdown on enthusiasm.” Talk about something teed up for ridicule.
Kind of a harrowing report from the Strib’s Tim Harlow on people you might have just barely missed over the holidays. “A woman from Stewartville, Minn. nearly sideswiped the side of a bridge, then veered across the centerline into the right lane and cut off another motorist. It was the seventh time in the past decade that Elizabeth Jean Smith, 29, had been arrested for drunken driving. She was among the 2,502 motorists who were cited by state law enforcement during a DWI enforcement between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.”
With John Kline heading toward the sunset, City Pages’ Cory Zurowski turns his attention to the sad state of U of M hockey: “At Mariucci Arena, sold-out crowds have given way to lightly spackled congregations witnessing struggle. Games that once came with almost Biblical guarantee of victory are a thing of the past. Where the Gophers used to have permanent residence among the nation’s top 20, they’re no longer even the best in Minnesota, losing 10 of their last 11 games against in-state opponents. And what was once a prideful alumni network has morphed into a full-scale revolt.” So thank god we’ve got basketball, right?
Speaking of b-ball, Tim Nelson at MPR reports, “A Minneapolis man has filed suit against the Boy Scouts, alleging a group leader sexually assaulted him during University of Minnesota basketball games in the 1980s. The unnamed plaintiff says an unidentified scout leader then ran a volunteer usher program in which scouts worked at Williams Arena games. A complaint released Wednesday by attorney Patrick Noaker says the scout leader sexually assaulted the plaintiff in a room at the arena on multiple occasions when he was about 12 years old.”
Promises, promises. Kyle Potter at the AP says, “Officials at MNsure vowed Wednesday to beef up call center staff for the final weeks of open enrollment, hoping to reverse lengthy call delays late last month that hearken back to the exchange’s disastrous first year rollout. Just past a key deadline for consumers to buy insurance effective for the New Year, MNsure says it’s on track to meet projections for signups in the private plans that fund its budget. Open enrollment ends Jan. 31.”
Personally, I’d like a beast that could sniff out lethal legislation. But the AP says, “Minnesota’s newest layer of Capitol protection is approachable, playful and welcomes pats on the head or tummy. Matka, a bomb-detection dog, was introduced Wednesday as a member of the State Patrol team stationed in a key state landmark. The Hungarian vizsla is specially trained to alert her human handlers to explosives materials. She’s the first full-time detection dog assigned to the Capitol.”
This could actually be an interesting little event. Vineeta Sawker and Matt Gillmer of the Strib say, “After receiving a batch of supportive letters and drawings from first-graders, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh will return the favor with a visit Thursday to their elementary school classroom in Blaine. … As social networks sizzled with castigations of Walsh, presumably written by grown-ups, Northpoint teacher Judie Offerdahl saw a teachable moment about things like empathy and forgiveness. She assigned the letters to her students, who composed them and read them aloud to the class.”
Oh, this is good. Reuters reports, “A Minnesota philosophy professor pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trafficking in rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory in violation of U.S. laws that protect endangered species, prosecutors said. Yiwei Zheng, 43, a St. Cloud State University professor, was accused of importing and exporting horns and ivory and objects made from ivory, sometimes acquiring the items through online auctions and selling them to buyers in China, prosecutors said.” I do not get the appeal.
The AP has a story about ATV manufacturers upset by people upset over how many are killed on ATVs. “The buzzy, open-air vehicles are supposed to be banned from roads in New York and many other states. But small communities across the nation are increasingly bending the rules under pressure from riders who want to go wherever they please, even though ATV manufacturers warn that the vehicles are unstable on flat terrain at high speed, and accidents on roads kill more than 300 riders each year. The trend appalls public health officials and is opposed by the manufacturers.” I’ll have to check, but ATVs might be a part of our precious Second Amendment right, too.
Nice photos by a couple spending the winter in the BWCAW. At MPR.
This actually happened. Mara Gottfried of the PiPress says, “When a little girl’s cat became trapped in a tall tree in St. Paul for days in the frigid cold, strangers worked together to help save the pet. Lisa Andrews heard about Foxy’s plight on a neighborhood Facebook page and stepped into action. She didn’t know the family involved, but she loves cats (she has four of her own) and could imagine how heartbroken her 12-year-old daughter would be in that situation. She also wanted to help a fellow East Sider. After Foxy’s family couldn’t find assistance anywhere else, Andrews went to Fire Station 7, rang the buzzer and asked the firefighters if they could bring their ladder truck.”