Police say driver who recently killed a runner in St. Paul was on cell phone

Peter Berge
Peter Berge

More on the attorney who killed the runner. Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “The motorist who fatally ran over a runner in a St. Paul crosswalk was actively using his cellphone for nearly 23 minutes, an uninterrupted span of time that includes the moment of impact, according to a forensic search of his phone cited in a court document filed last week.”

Says Frederick Melo in the PiPress, “A short time after the Frank Baker settlement was approved, during a Wednesday public hearing on a grant for police body cameras, things grew heated as a St. Paul City Council member walked out while a disabled school social worker addressed the council with concerns. ‘We’re going to pay out $2 million because somebody didn’t do the right thing to a person in our community?’ said Katy Cummins-Bakko, addressing the council. … ‘I’m embarrassed to say I’m from the city that kills the most people in our state,” she said. As she was speaking, council member Dan Bostrom — a former St. Paul police officer and the father of former Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom — stood up and left the room, drawing outrage from Cummins-Bako and other audience members.”

The AP says, “A southern Minnesota woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for plotting to kill her ex-husband. Forty-two-year-old Blanche Wilson of Le Sueur was sentenced Wednesday for conspiracy to commit murder. She will have to spend at least nine years in prison before she is eligible for supervised release. Wilson and her mother, Linda Bloom of Cleveland, Minnesota, were accused last June of enlisting an undercover officer to kill Wilson’s ex-husband after he won custody of the couple’s three children.”

As you might expect, The Intercept looks (very) unfavorably on the Minnesota legislature’s latest attempt to get tough with protestors. Says Zaid Jilani, “Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted on Monday to stiffen penalties for protesters who block traffic on highways and other roadways. The move was seen as a response to recent highway blockades in the state utilized by Black Lives movement demonstrators to protest the police shooting of unarmed African-American men.”

Can’t hurt. For the Brainerd Dispatch Maureen McMullen reports, “The Minnesota House and Gov. Mark Dayton want to provide the University of Minnesota with an additional $14 million over two years to help train physicians to work in greater Minnesota. The state funding would replace a portion of the revenue generated by nonprofit insurance provider UCare. … The state Legislature barred UCare from selling Medicaid patients insurance starting in 2016. That decision led to lost profits and loss of funding for the family medicine department.”

Not good. Says Dave Orrick in the PiPress, “A fisherman was killed Friday after his boat was sucked into the churning waters below a dam on the Mississippi River while he rushed to put on his life jacket near the Minnesota-Iowa border, according to police and media reports.”

Another step closer to civilization. At KSTP-TV Jay Kolls reports, “Could wine and strong beer soon be purchased in grocery stores in Minnesota? There is growing talk that possibility could be closer to reality than people might think. … The president of the Minnesota Grocers Association said they definitely want to see wine and strong beer sold in their members’ outlets someday. But not this year.”

You want a 1,000-mile border wall, somebody’s gotta give up some stuff. Says John Reinan in the Strib, “At 97, you make some concessions. Mary Hennessy gave up line dancing a few years ago. But she’s not ready to give up the home she shares with her husband, Bernie, in this Winona County city of 1,600 people where she’s lived her whole life. That’s why the couple is grateful for Meals on Wheels, whose volunteers deliver two meals to their door five days a week. … The Hennessys are among the more than 50,000 Minnesota senior citizens who benefit from Meals on Wheels … Citing a responsibility to taxpayers to run government more efficiently, the Trump administration recently proposed a federal budget that calls for drastically reducing ­— or completely eliminating — programs that pay for Meals on Wheels and other nutrition services.”

Today in your precious Second Amendment rights. An actual gun guy, Bob Mokos, writes a commentary for the Forum News Service saying, “Last April, I testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in St. Paul in support of background checks for all gun sales. The gun rights activists who testified against this common sense legislation were quite concerned about a ‘slippery slope’ where the government would be able keep a database on all gun owners and eventually arrive at one’s front door and confiscate any weapons. This claim, in the face of the growing gun violence problem in Minnesota and the United States, is ludicrous. However, a ‘slippery slope’ does exist and is apparently working in favor of the ‘guns everywhere’ advocates.”

Elections matter. The Forum News Service writes about the House’s approval of a plan aimed at reopening a privately owned prison in western Minnesota. “Its approval in the House on Monday night assures that the measure will be considered as House and Senate conference committees consider public safety legislation. The plan calls on the Department of Corrections to purchase and operate or enter into a lease agreement to own and operate the 1,650-bed Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. It has not held inmates since February 2010.”

And in health tech, Joe Carlson of the Strib reports, “Two Minnesota teens with type 1 diabetes are some of the first patients in the nation to start using Medtronic’s new insulin pump, a first-of-its-kind machine that can predict when a person will have a diabetic emergency and automatically adjust insulin levels to prevent it. Allison Scholl, 16, of Edina, and Eleanor Hedlund, 17, of Minneapolis, recently received their new Medtronic MiniMed 670G insulin pumps after using a similar but less-advanced Medtronic pump known as the 630G..”


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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Julie Barton on 04/06/2017 - 08:07 am.

    wine and strong beer in grocery stores? please, no.

    Having spent a fair portion of my life in states that allow liquor in grocery stores, I am adamantly opposed to such a move. It’s not that I’m against alcohol, I adore my alcohol.

    But in Missouri and Texas, as examples, what you cannot find is GOOD alcohol. There are few and far between places that carry good (and expensive) whiskies or wine because they cannot compete with the mass market stuff put on the grocery store shelves. Oh, there are a few high end liquor stores (of the Haskell’s variety) in the larger towns, but not the variety that we have in the Twin Cities, nor in other cities around our state).

    I mean, really, what is the problem with just making another stop when you do your errands? Because I know you’ll miss those municipal liquor stores and mom & pop places when they close after liquor is available in grocery stores.

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