Well, we made it (barely) a week. Stribber Paul Walsh writes, “Two people were shot shortly after bar closing time Sunday in downtown Minneapolis, with one of the victims dying from his wounds, according to authorities. Five people were shot in downtown in 24 hours over the weekend, police said, and at least nine have been wounded by gunfire citywide since the start of the year.”
To which MPR reports, “Minneapolis police plan to add additional officers in the city’s Warehouse District because of increased gun violence. Over the weekend, police responded to two downtown shooting incidents. One early Sunday resulted in the city’s first recorded homicide of the year. In a statement, police chief Janee Harteau said the department will add uniform and plainclothes officers to the area. She said violent, often chronic offenders, have been using weapons without regard to police presence.” Is every barista and waitress in the Warehouse District armed to NRA standards?
Well, I assume this was part of the plan. Tony Paul and Dave Goricki of the Detroit News report, “It’s been fewer than 48 hours since Western Michigan lost its football coach. Since, it’s lost a flurry of recruits, too, with several commitments either re-opening the process or flipping to P.J. Fleck and Minnesota. Before Fleck accepted the Minnesota job Friday, Western Michigan had 25 commitments for the class of 2017, including 20 three-stars, according to Rivals.com.”
Washington Post sports writer Sally Jenkins was on NPR over the weekend talking about the latest Gophers sex scandal. She says, “… the problem that I have with the Minnesota football players was that they finally discovered their own power and leverage and voices on a university campus, but they applied it to a case that is really so objectionable. There was no sign in their statements that women exist on that campus — no sign of respect for women, no sign that their teammates may have behaved in a way that, while not criminal, may have been completely objectionable. You know, I felt the campus authorities had every right to go on and suspend a number of players over this even though it may not have been, you know, risen to criminal proof.”
Good. Incremental progress is good. The AP reports, “A company that gives farmers a chance to recycle heavy plastic wrap used for grain storage is starting to offer its services in Minnesota. In December, Winona County farmers picked up more than 130 bins to put on their farms to collect the plastic wrap, which Revolution Plastics will pick up. Revolution Plastics takes the full bins to a hub in Wisconsin where the plastic is baled and sent to Arkansas, where the company uses it to make trash bags.”
Hey! Of course the show goes on. Jon Bream in the Strib writes about Semisonic: “The popular 1990s Minneapolis pop trio was scheduled to perform sold-out gigs Thursday at the Turf Club in St. Paul and Saturday at First Avenue. However, drummer Jake Slichter slipped on ice after rehearsal on Monday in northeast Minneapolis, breaking his hand and forcing the postponement of these shows until June. But a show had to go on, right? Well, Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson wanted to do right by about two-dozen fans who had flown in from the East Coast for the concerts. So he decided to perform a special private show on Saturday at the tiny Clown Lounge in the basement of the Turf Club.”
Yet another facet of the economy Trump will have to turn around. The AP says, “Mortgage foreclosures that drove some Wisconsinites from their homes during the economic recession have dropped to levels not seen since the 1990s, according to economists who track the real estate market. The number of foreclosure filings in the Badger State peaked in 2009 at 28,500. In 2016, those filings are about one-fourth of the 2009 level, said Russell Kashian, a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor who tracks foreclosures in the state. An improved economy and job growth have helped property owners stay in their homes.”
Note to Blaine: continue boiling. Another MPR story says, “Water service is back to normal in Blaine following an early morning failure of the city’s water delivery system, but schools are closed Monday and residents are urged to boil their water. After residents began reporting a drop in water pressure around 8 a.m. Sunday, the city opened an emergency operations center. Homes and businesses in the city lost service entirely for more than two hours. Blaine mayor Tom Ryan said an initial review points to a software problem.” I blame the Russians.
An update to the story of the abruptly resigning West St. Paul city manager. Says Nick Ferraro in the PiPress, “Departing West St. Paul Manager Matt Fulton will be paid more $115,000 and receive health coverage and other benefits as part of a separation agreement the city council is expected to approve next week.” He must have the same agent as Gopher sports coaches.
In other words, the incentives won’t come at the end of a lash? Emily Glazer of The Wall Street Journal writes, “Wells Fargo & Co. will roll out a new retail-banking compensation structure next week in an attempt to fix what many believe was one cause of its sales tactics scandal. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is in the process of completing the final parts of the new plan, which will focus on customer service, customer usage and growth in primary balances, people familiar with the matter said. Before the scandal, which became public in September, retail bank employees had to meet lofty sales goals, which included selling eight banking products per household.”
Does this sound familiar? An editorial in The Wisconsin State Journal says, “The best thing state leaders can do for Wisconsin’s rural economy this year is commit more attention and resources to high-speed internet. … Rural voters, especially in Wisconsin, were key to helping Trump win the White House. If the Republican president-elect truly wants to help rural economies and promote job growth, keeping the Connect America Fund going strong will be key. So will including broadband in any federal building plan. Gov. Walker rejected millions of dollars in federal funding for broadband years ago. That was a mistake. But with Republicans running Washington, the governor appears much more inclined to accept federal help.” Heck, with Obama gone he’ll be loving high-speed rail, too.