Day 3 in the story of the murder-suicide of a South St. Paul teacher and his husband. Again, Nick Ferraro of the PiPress: “The families of South St. Paul teacher Aric Babbitt and his husband spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time about alleged sexual abuse of teen boys made against the couple before they turned up dead last week in Washington in an apparent murder-suicide. … ‘Our families want to express the sincere grief and sadness we are feeling for the innocent people affected by the actions of Aric Babbitt and Matthew Deyo,’ Dana Babbitt said. ‘We are devastated by the pain and suffering they have caused, and we pray for the healing of those families involved.’ Dana Babbitt was superintendent of the South St. Paul school district from 2003 to 2007 and previously was the principal at South St. Paul High School. When asked for additional comment Wednesday, Babbitt added: ‘We’re going through hell. This is a complete shock to us.’”
Does Amazon offer free shipping on these critters? MPR’s Dan Gunderson says, “People often buy invasive plants for aquariums, water gardens or backyard ponds, but those species can wind up accidentally in lakes and rivers. A multi-state effort underway now hopes to curb the spread of invasives by tracking and curbing their sale online. The Michigan-based Great Lakes Commission built a computer program to search websites and found dozens of plants and animals considered invasive species in Minnesota and other states are easily available. It allows officials to then contact online sellers and ask them to stop selling invasive species to states where they are regulated.” Do NOT leave my pet Asian carp on the front steps!
Woo hoo! Says Stribber Steve Brandt: “A barricaded portion of West River Parkway in Minneapolis will reopen for the first time in 26 months for the evening rush hour Thursday, just in time to offer some relief on what’s expected to be a traffic-snarled evening. The restoration of the busy route comes after the adjoining slope was rebuilt with the intent of preventing another mudslide like the one that sent more than 200 dump trucks’ worth of rain-soaked debris onto the parkway in 2014. But there’s been no assessment of whether nearby sections of bluff could fail. The parkway is scheduled to reopen at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, hours before the Vikings, Gophers and Twins start games almost simultaneously.” Is the Twins game a sell-out?
Well, this is comforting. Says Cory Zurowski at City Pages: “This is what the climatologists worry about. Though consensus is that climate change is having a negligible effect on the volume and severity, the pair believe a warming planet might be causing storms to cluster, spawning three or more tornadoes, say, in a single afternoon. Outbreaks in recent years have come close to the metro. Fourteen tornadoes touched down to the south in 1998, including one near St. Peter that was more than a mile wide. A surge in 2010 had 48 storms to the north and south of the Twin Cities, including four powerful enough to erase neighborhoods.”
In a Strib commentary, Susan Mallison, director of Christian formation at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul writes, “I wore my Hillary shirt to the fair. As I stood at the Star Tribune booth at the bottom of the Grandstand ramp, suddenly a man approached me so closely that he was invading my personal space (nose to nose). He sneered at me and snarled, ‘Do you like my picture?’ as he pulled something out of his pocket. … It was a picture of Hillary wearing prison garb. I recognized the picture as the image at the Minnesota Republican Party booth that I had seen earlier. … While the party may have considered its cutout humorous, it incited a man to accost me (and perhaps other wearers of Hillary paraphernalia).”
Allison Sherry of the Strib tells us, “The Twin Cities CW station WUCW decided to pull an ad against Stewart Mills off the air after national Republicans complained it was inaccurate. The ad shows Stewart Mills saying he is ‘personally offended’ about allegations that the wealthy don’t pay taxes, but the National Republican Congressional Committee say the words were actually thrown together from three separate sentences in a longer speech.” Couple things: WUCW is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group; and does anyone really need “creative editing” to make a case about Stewart Mills?
If you have to have a rallying point, The Donald is as good as it gets. Says Kyle Potter of the AP, “For two decades, the Independence Party of Minnesota had been considered a third major party in the state, peaking with Ventura’s shocking victory back when it was known as the Reform Party. But in 2014, none of its statewide candidates received 5 percent of the vote for a second consecutive election, causing the party to lose automatic ballot access for state elections. Seldom a player in presidential politics, the Independence Party saw an opportunity to revive its fortunes this year and endorsed independent candidate Evan McMullin — a former CIA operative and Republican congressional staffer who has been a leader of the ‘Never Trump’ movement.” Evan McMullin. He’s so dreamy.
Sheila E is a no go. Says Jon Bream of the Strib, “ Nothing concrete about the official Prince tribute concert for U.S. Bank Stadium on Oct. 13 has been announced except the date. An official adviser to the Prince Estate, L. Londell McMillan, a lawyer who formerly served as a manager to Prince, told the Associated Press this week that performers and ticket information will be announced after Labor Day. But then the original announcement of the event — which came from Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson — had promised details in August. However, Sheila E has taken preemptive action and announced through her publicist that she’s not scheduled for the Minneapolis concert on Oct. 13. In fact, she’s booked that night in suburban New York City with Sergio Mendes.”
Yeah, 100 percent again would be extraordinary. Following the Teddy Bridgewater story, Chris Tomasson of the PiPress says, “A noted orthopedic surgeon believes Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has a good chance to make a full recovery from a massive knee injury suffered Tuesday but added that his mobility could be affected. … Once Bridgewater has surgery and begins his rehabilitation, Marx said, there could be complications. However, he said, that is minimized when the patient is a professional athlete.” Have the sports stations begun their 2017 mock drafts yet?
Here’s Forbes on Best Buy’s resurgence: “Best Buy believes that the continued improvements to its digital customer experience have resulted in the high growth in its e-commerce sales. A wide range of changes have enhanced the overall online consumer experience leading to higher sales. These include: 1) faster shipping; 2) a more responsive design; 3) a more streamlined check out process; 4) improved search functionality; and, 5) better product recommendations. However, the biggest advantage which Best Buy has over e-commerce retailers such as Amazon is its wide store network where consumers can ‘experience’ a product before actually buying it.” I never buy anything with a screen unless it already has my fingerprints on it.