U of M wrestling coach refused to turn over information to police investigating drug ring, says affidavit

Well, unfortunately coach there are rules about the “ticky tack” stuff. Amelia Rayno of the Strib says, “University of Minnesota wrestling coach J Robinson told police investigators in April that he had ‘fully taken care of’ his team’s drug problem and refused to turn over the names of student-athletes involved and documents in his possession, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained Tuesday by the Star Tribune. … Robinson’s attorney, Ryan Kaess, said Tuesday the coach was trying to help his team members when he rebuked police requests. Kaess also downplayed the dealing of Xanax, calling those sales ‘ticky-tack violations.’”

Wisconsin abortion law also goes down. Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, “Handing down its second major abortion action in as many days, the U.S. Supreme Court refused Tuesday to rescue a Wisconsin law restricting abortion clinics and doctors in the state, leaving in place lower court rulings that had struck it down. The unsigned order ends a three-year legal fight and was accompanied Tuesday by another rejection of an appeal by Mississippi that sought to reinstate a similar law requiring abortion doctors to be able to admit patients to nearby hospitals. The decision followed a ruling Monday striking down similar restrictions on Texas abortion providers.”

It’s a fireworks smackdown. In the Grand Forks Herald, Kevin Cederstrom reports, “Duluth has a big fireworks display each year on the 4th but per capita, Park Rapids is staking its claim as ‘Minnesota’s July 4th fireworks capital’ by blasting off with the best. Organizers of the Park Rapids event are looking to spark up some friendly competition between our community and the big city on the big lake.”

Speaking of (and also in the Herald), Dan Olson says, “Two people who had just purchased a batch of fireworks escaped with their lives Monday evening, June 27, after a spark ignited the fireworks and set the car they were riding in ablaze. The incident happened about 8:30 p.m. on Interstate 29 near 52nd Avenue South in Fargo, Fire Chief Steve Dirksen said. Dirksen said the vehicle had two occupants, a driver and a passenger, and the fireworks were ignited by sparks from a cap gun one of the occupants was firing.”

Oh, what the hell. Here’s another one from the Herald. Wade Rupard says, “An online petition with more than 3,600 signatures is asking for UND to change its logo less than a week after it debuted to the public. The change.org petition was started by Sarah Wallace of Killdeer, N.D., on Thursday, the day after the university unveiled its Fighting Hawks logo. The petition is about the ‘complete mishandling of creating a new logo the alumni, student body, fans, Sioux and friends can rally behind,’ according to the website. It also calls for a local artist to create the logo and names Bennett Brien, creator of the school’s previous Fighting Sioux logo, as a person who could design it.”

This is not a surprise. In the Strib, Adam Belz tells us, “It’s getting easier to find a construction job in Minnesota, and harder for employers to find construction workers. Construction unemployment in the state fell to 2.1 percent in May, its lowest level since 2001, and the third-lowest rate in the country, according to estimates released Tuesday by Associated Builders and Contractors, a national trade group. … Unemployment in the building trades fell in 46 states in May compared with a year earlier, to a national average of 5.2 percent.” Damned job-killing economy!

Cleaner than sand-tar oil trains. In Midwest Energy News, Daniel Cusick writes, “Ellen Anderson, director of the University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab, can reduce Minnesota’s landmark community solar law into three escalating numbers: 20, 430 and 1,003. The first number, 20, is the projected megawatts that the state’s largest electric utility, Xcel Energy Inc., said it expected to approve in community solar capacity over the first two years of the program’s life since it was enacted in 2013. The second, 430, is the actual number of community solar projects that applied to participate in Xcel’s program when it offered its first formal solicitation in December 2014, a figure roughly 20 times more capacity than Xcel projected. Finally, 1,003 is the number of community solar proposals currently awaiting action from Xcel as it works to manage what has been a tidal wave of interest in community solar in the North Star State.”

Got to get this thing away from them big city hippies. For MPR, Dan Kraker says, “Supporters of mining in northeastern Minnesota held a rally Tuesday to demand the U.S. Forest Service move an upcoming public meeting on the renewal of two controversial mining leases from Duluth to the Iron Range. … ‘The simple message for the U.S. Forest Service here today,’ said [Rep. Rick] Nolan, ‘is if you’re going to have a listening session, then have it in the community where the people who are affected by it [live]. That’s what this is all about.’”

“Guaranteed returns” in Hollywood, you say? A Reuters story says, “Three movie financiers were arrested on Tuesday on charges they defrauded investors of $12 million that was provided to produce films starring, among others Harry Connick Jr. and Willie Nelson. An indictment filed in Manhattan federal court accused James David Williams, Steven Brown and Gerald Seppala of engaging in a conspiracy to fraudulently solicit investments in films from 2012 to 2016 with promises of guaranteed returns and profit participation. … Williams, 54, was arrested in Los Angeles, Brown 46, was arrested in New York and Seppala, 47, was arrested in Minnesota, a spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.”

Well, that was quick. Says Brandt Williams for MPR, “A federal jury has found Jordan Davis guilty of six counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud and conspiracy to misuse taxpayer funds. Prosecutors said Davis, a Minneapolis police officer, received a manager’s salary to work at an ice cream store run by Community Action Minneapolis, but did no work. They said he conspired with his father Bill Davis, the Community Action CEO, to commit mail fraud and steal more than $140,000 in taxpayer money.”

Perhaps something like a Parisian Metro stop? Wrought iron, little amber lights? In the PiPress Frederick Melo reports, “The Dale Street Bridge over Interstate 94 in St. Paul will get a major makeover in 2018. … On July 18 and 19, the U.S. Department of Transportation will lead a design session with community leaders from Ramsey and Hennepin counties, St. Paul and Minneapolis. … In St. Paul, elders of the old Rondo neighborhood are eager to see on bridges over the interstate historical flourishes reminding residents of the vibrant community displaced by interstate construction in the 1960s.” So maybe not Parisian, huh?

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