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Wetterling remembrance draws thousands to St. Joseph

Plus: Minnesota’s largest corn maze opens; homebuilding lags job growth in Twin Cities; Wisconsin looks at eliminating road test for driver’s license; and more.

Jacob Wetterling
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Jacob Wetterling

The remembrance of Jacob Wetterling drew national attention. Says the AP’s story featured on ABC News. “Thousands filled Clemens Field House at the College of St. Benedict in Jacob’s hometown of St. Joseph, with about 1,000 more watching from an overflow area. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken were among those who attended. The 75-minute service celebrated Jacob’s life with songs, prayers and memories while family photos were displayed on large screens.”

For the St. Cloud Times, Kirsti Marohn says: “Jerry Wetterling, Jacob’s father, asked past and current members of law enforcement to stand up, then anyone who had volunteered to help with the search, and finally, anyone who’d ever said a prayer or sent a positive thought to the family. No one remained in their seat. … Red Grammer performed Jacob’s favorite ‘Listen,’ accompanied by the St. John’s Boys’ Choir, while the audience clasped hands. The lyrics, ‘Listen, can you hear the sound of hearts beating all around the world,’ seemed especially poignant.”

In Forbes, Alex Verkhivker writes about Wells Fargo: “The scandal that hit Wells Fargo has revealed a number of things still wrong with our financial system and reminds Main Street participants that Wall Street continues to not play by the rules. … So what is the lesson for investors to draw from the wrongdoings at Wells? … What’s important to remember for investors of all backgrounds is that to really find out the kernels of truth about a bank’s operations, one is likely to learn most from employees working in the branches, selling and signing up customers with banking products.”

Breaking news! WCCO-TV says, “Minnesota’s largest corn maze is now open for the season – with a Vikings twist. The Twin Cities Harvest Festival in Brooklyn Park has a 20-acre corn maze. This year, it’s in the shape of U-S Bank stadium. During the maze, visitors can take a quiz  about the new stadium for a chance to win some Vikings merchandise.”

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Related: The official (I guess) time-lapse video of the Peoples’ Stadium construction. Dig the rousing martial music. Kind of a like one of those giants parades in North Korea.

Similarly, From Kim Schneider of the Duluth News Tribune: “This season’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights will feature its biggest display yet, organizers announced Friday as they kicked off a fundraising and volunteer campaign for the annual holiday lighting display in Duluth. Bentleyville, which started as a display at founder Nathan Bentley’s home and moved to Bayfront Festival Park in 2009, will see a 15 to 20 percent increase in size, Bentley said. This year’s Bentleyville will have new paths and tunnels as well as $120,000 in new light displays.” Will there be shopping opportunities?

The “unrentables.” The Strib editorializes, “ Four of the Twin Cities’ largest nonprofit landlords are conducting a first-of-its-kind study, thanks to a $75,000 grant from NeighborWorks America. … A healthy society cannot afford to have that many people become chronic ‘unrentables.’ Without options for decent housing, homeless ranks will swell and fuel a permanent underclass of social-service dependents.”

Speaking of housing, the Strib’s Jim Buchta reports, “Homebuilding in the Twin Cities is running woefully behind job growth, leaving would-be buyers with fewer options and higher prices. For every 7.9 jobs created in the 13-county metro area, only one house was built from 2013 through 2015, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a report last week. The Twin Cities is the 16th-most undersupplied housing market in the nation.”

Can’t make it up, Volume 447. Paul Walsh of the Strib says, “The husband of a former U.S. Tax Court judge has pleaded guilty to making nearly $1 million in fraudulent deductions on tax returns over much of her tenure on the bench and making several lavish purchases in that time through his consulting firm. … The couple allegedly understated their personal income by about $1 million and the amount they owed in taxes by at least $400,000, according to the charges against both of them.”

I’m not sure this is a good idea. Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says, “Those who complete driver’s education programs could get licenses without having to take a road test at the Division of Motor Vehicles under a proposal by Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. The change to how licenses are given would be introduced on a limited basis and be expanded only if it was successful, according to the DMV.” Will the new drivers be required by Wisconsin law to keep an adult beverage in its cupholder when driving to pick up their license.