Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Fourth ISIS defendant sentenced to 15 years in prison

Plus: Ford plant site plans move forward in St. Paul; new plan for Governor’s Residence renovations; U of M lab studies combating aquatic invasive species; and more.

Hamza Ahmed
Sherburne County Jail
Hamza Ahmed

ISIS trial sentences start to get real. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor and Faiza Mahamud report: “Hamza Ahmed was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday morning for his convictions on charges of supporting the terror group ISIL and committing financial-aid fraud to finance an attempted trip to Syria. … Ahmed, 21, was the first defendant to appear in the Minneapolis courtroom Tuesday morning as sentencing resumed in the nation’s largest ISIL recruiting prosecution. … ‘I want you to understand I am not completely changed,’ Ahmed told U.S. Senior Judge Michael Davis in the hushed courtroom. ‘I’m in the process, but nobody changes overnight. I’m trying every day. I want to reach that point.’ ”

Nothing happening any time soon, but the process is moving along. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo reports: “After 10 years of planning, a dozen studies surrounding the now-vacant Ford Motor Co. campus in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood have been condensed into a single draft plan, a key step in developing a new riverfront community.”

Someone’s going to find a way to make this an issue in the 2018 campaign. MPR’s Brian Bakst reports: “Minnesota officials are soliciting bids for proposed upgrades at the stately Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue that would include a renovation of the property’s carriage house and a new pavilion for functions held there. … The estimated $800,000 in work would be paid for through private donations and go forward only if that money is secured, according to materials posted by the Department of Administration.”

Article continues after advertisement

Surely something eats these things, right? KSTP’s Kevin Doran reports: “… [A]t the University of Minnesota they will spend the winter working to protect our lakes from invasive species.  Five Eyewitness News was the first invited to see a new research lab. … Four years after it was established by the legislature, and 6 million dollars later, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center is open. 40 scientists are headquartered on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul Campus, but they work all over the state. … Becca Nash is Associate Director of the research center. ‘We’re really one of the only academic institutions in the country that has a dedicated team of researchers working on invasive species.’ ”

In other news…

Will their hopes for a turnaround go up in smoke? Famous Dave’s profit is cut to the bone amid revival efforts” [Star Tribune]

Pretty important: “Minnesota, Hawaii, Washington Win Federal Grants to Disaggregate Data” [NBC News]

An MCAD grad hits the big time: “Dennis Releases Pilot Minisode for Cartoon Network” [MCAD]

Take it from a Minnesotan: “What Jesse Ventura’s Minnesota Could Tell Us About Donald Trump’s America” [New York Times]

It seems like we see this same story every week: “Study: MSP among nation’s top-10 airports” [MPR]

If you’re into that kind of thing: “Mall of America creates drop-off, pick-up zones for Uber users” [Star Tribune]

Our faith in sports journalism is forever shaken: “Another FOX fail: Now it looks like Bradford’s head on Matt Cassel’s body” [Star Tribune]

What’s Kluwe up to these days? “Minnesota Vikings release kicker Blair Walsh” []

Time to start freaking out about the weather again: “Tracking the first major wintry storm on Friday” [MPR]