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Duluth teen prevents suicide on Minneapolis bridge

Plus: Hmong pitchman charged with wire fraud; Minneapolis park board shuttering baseball diamonds; Hennepin History Museum highlights high-wheeler bikes; and more.

The GleanKudos to this kid. The Duluth News Tribune’s Peter Passi reports: “Thomas Stolee, a 19-year-old Duluth Denfeld grad now enrolled as a freshman at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus, was definitely in the right place at the right time this past Easter Sunday. … On a routine run Sunday afternoon, he encountered a young woman who appeared poised to jump from a bridge into the Mississippi River below. … As he spoke to the distraught 24-year-old woman, Stolee continued to edge closer to her. He estimates he was about 4-5 feet away from her when she began to swing her second leg over the rail, removing the final jumping obstacle. … ‘It was go-time,’ Stolee said. ‘So I lunged, grabbed her and pulled her back.’

The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo has a sad story about a con man exploiting some basic human aspirations. He writes, “A Hmong pitchman who promised his people a new homeland in Southeast Asia has been arrested by federal authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and will be extradited to Minnesota. … Seng Xiong, 48, has been charged with wire fraud by U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andy Luger. A criminal complaint alleges Xiong stole $1.3 million from elderly Hmong residents through an ‘affinity fraud’ or identity group scheme that promised them they could reunite with friends and family in a country that does not yet exist. …On Sept. 14, police in Appleton, Wis., received a tip that Hmong seniors were being directed to deposit $3,000 to $5,000 in a bank account in Xiong’s name. In exchange, they were ‘promised 10 acres of land, a house and many other benefits in a future country that would be established as a Hmong homeland somewhere in Southeast Asia,’ according to a statement from Luger’s office. … Depending upon the level of donation or investment, Hmong elders were guaranteed free health care, education and government financial assistance for people older than 65.” 

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Seems kids these days would rather play European kickball than enjoy America’s Pastime. Sad! KSTP’s Ellen Galles reports: “The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board master plan calls for neighborhood parks in South Minneapolis to go from 46 ball diamonds to 26. … A spokesperson for the board says the changes are based on community input. In many cases, they plan to replace the ball diamonds with multi-use fields, which are becoming more popular for sports like soccer and football.”

Ugh, look at these hipsters. From the Star Tribune’s Steve Brandt: “Juston Anderson boasts that he can teach someone to ride a high-wheeled bike in two minutes — even though they may be sitting 5 feet above the pavement. … ‘When you start to ride, everyone grabs onto the handles for dear life,’ said Anderson, whose 19th-century bike collection forms the backbone of the fledgling Cycling Museum of Minnesota. … ‘I tell them to relax their hands and the bike will keep you upright. It’s like riding an enormous gyroscope.’”

In other news…

“Names of 16 priests accused of abusing children in New Ulm Diocese released” [Star Tribune]

Given that Minnesota drivers can’t even handle the zipper merge, we don’t have a lot of optimism about this one: “Drivers will have to pick their chute when roadwork begins Monday on I-694 in Shoreview” [Star Tribune]

If you want to weigh in on police body cameras in Minneapolis, tonight’s your chance: “Public meeting on Minneapolis police body camera policy” [KARE]

In case you were wondering whom the governor of Wisconsin supports in the race for the presidency, it’s Ted Cruz. [MPR]