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Franken: ‘Everything points to’ collusion between Trump campaign and Russians

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Sen. Al Franken

To Letterman, no less. The AP says: “A conversation between two comedians turned serious late Tuesday when U.S. Sen. Al Franken said “everything points to” collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians. The Minnesota Democrat did not cite any evidence, noting a special counsel has been appointed to lead an FBI probe into the Republican administration’s ties to Russia. But Franken shared his ‘feeling’ when pressed by late-night comedy legend David Letterman during a joint appearance in New York City.”

Finally! Tax breaks for a sports stadium! In the PiPress Andy Greder tells us, “After two fizzled efforts to obtain tax exemptions for a soccer-specific stadium, Minnesota United was successful Tuesday when Gov. Mark Dayton said he will allow the tax bill to become law without his signature. The tax bill, which was passed in the Legislature’s special session, includes property and sales tax breaks to help United build a privately financed, $150 million stadium in St. Paul. Property tax forgiveness has been included in every pro and college stadium project in Minnesota since 1998.” Really!? I had no idea.

This is about as classy as it gets. Says Josh Verges in the PiPress, “A former St. Paul assistant principal admitted Tuesday to stealing more than $100,000 from a Wisconsin church. Kara Amundson-LaVenture, 42, cried as she pleaded guilty in St. Croix County Court to one count of theft in a business setting. Five additional theft charges will be dismissed under a plea agreement. … Her husband, Michael LaVenture, 45, also faces numerous theft charges related to the church. He has pleaded not guilty and indicated in court Tuesday that he would fight the allegations at trial in November.”

In a similar vein, here’s a guy who may have worn out his welcome a while ago. Another Brian Bakst piece says, “A former Minneapolis nonprofit executive sentenced to four years in federal prison for a fraud scheme is appealing. Bill Davis was sentenced earlier this month to time behind bars and ordered to pay restitution for stealing from the now-defunct Community Action of Minneapolis nonprofit that received public grants to help low-income people. … In court filings made public Tuesday, Davis asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the judgment against him, which also requires him to pay restitution of nearly $400,000.”

Another blow to … fine dining. Says Stribber Rick Nelson, “The Twin Cities metro area is about to lose another fine-dining restaurant. Brewer’s Table, Surly Brewing Co.’s high-end, beer-focused restaurant, will close in early August. Chef Jorge Guzman will leave the Southeast Minneapolis destination brewery. … The impending demise of Brewer’s Table is another stark measure of fine dining’s decline in the Twin Cities, mirroring a national trend that has consumers opting out of formal, special-occasion restaurants in favor of casual, less-expensive dining experiences.” Casual: yes. Less expensive? Mmmmmm.

Forty stories. On hold. Says Jim Buchta for the Strib: “A proposed 40-story condo tower along the banks of the Mississippi River faces another delay. A Hennepin County district judge issued a stay that temporarily prohibits Twin Cities-based Alatus from tearing down a 90-year-old building to make way for the tower while Neighbors for East Bank Livability, a neighborhood group, appeals an earlier decision allowing the demolition.”

You did see this, yes? A survey of the words people in states looked up to check spellings? For example, Michiganders have a problem with pneumonia, which understandable. In Arkansas, it’s chihuahua. In New Hampshire: diarrhea. But, come on! Wisconsin! You make this stuff too easy. What word do the cheeseheads struggle with? Wisconsin.

Measles …ebbing. Sophie Carson in the PiPress writes, “The number of new measles cases in Minnesota has not risen in 13 days, giving health officials hope that the outbreak could be nearing its end. The Minnesota Department of Health’s daily tally on the outbreak remained at 68 Tuesday, where it has been much of the past two weeks. In fact, it dropped one when a Ramsey County case a few days ago tested negative. But optimistic health officials still urge caution and vaccinations.”


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