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Latest gunfire incidents in downtown Minneapolis draw scrutiny, spark ire

The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh writes: “The outbreaks of gunfire on busy Hennepin Avenue ignited outrage Wednesday from Minneapolis business leaders and law enforcement, citing a string of similar street crimes in that area since the warm weather took hold. …The number of serious assaults such as shootings and stabbings downtown has climbed steadily in recent years, peaking at 81 in 2015, according to department statistics. This year, assaults leading to serious injury downtown are on pace to hit 78, a 42 percent jump from 2010, records show.”

Also in the Strib, Libor Jany writes about where most Minneapolis cops live. (Spoiler: not Minneapolis): “In fact, Minneapolis police officers living outside of the city is more the rule than the exception. Of the department’s 873 sworn officers, only about 8 percent — or 72 officers — live in ZIP codes that cover most of Minneapolis, according to a Star Tribune analysis of city records. Not that times have changed all that much: in 1989, about 70 percent of the police force lived elsewhere.”

RIP Red. The Pioneer Press’ Jess Fleming writes: “Seven days a week, 365 days a year for 52 years Earl ‘Red’ Schoenheider ran his pizza joint on St. Paul’s East Side. Red’s Savoy Pizza was closed on Christmas, but Schoenheider would go in anyway to do inventory and give some of his buddies, guys he knew didn’t have anywhere to go, a holiday gathering. That ended this week, when Schoenheider, 82, died on Monday after a brief illness. His three children, Cindy Cockriel, Valorie Johnson and Rory Schoenheider, stopped by the Pioneer Press to remember their dad, a larger-than-life man with a big heart and an unflagging work ethic. Of course, they brought pizza.”

Pro tip: At MPR, Nancy Yang has some info for those who haven’t been paying attention about the best time to attend the Fair: “If long lines and huge crowds aren’t your thing — but Pronto Pups and carnival rides are — listen up: The least crowded day to visit the Minnesota State Fair is also the first day. On average, the first Thursday — typically the first day of the Great Minnesota Get-Together — draws about 105,403 people, the ‘lowest’ number of daily visitors during the fair’s 12-day run, according to attendance figures from the past five years.” Another reason to go early: Fresher trans fats.

Nobody knew it could be so complicated: In a Strib commentary, Perry Aasness, executive director of the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, writes:  “Minnesota farmers do much more than supply food for people in the Upper Midwest or the United States. Our state ranks fifth in the nation in agricultural exports to markets outside the U.S. and those exports have nearly tripled over the past 15 years. Agricultural exports play an important role in providing jobs for Minnesotans. Our state’s ag exports support 51,000 jobs here in Minnesota and generate $18.4 billion in total economic activity in our state. That’s why it is important for Congress and the Trump administration to work to strengthen, not damage, our ability to access overseas markets.”

Kind of like Willie Sutton said of banks. Stribber Karen Zamora writes, “A former Town & Country Club employee has been indicted on charges that she embezzled more than $1 million from the club, the United States attorney’s office announced Wednesday. As controller for the private golf club in St. Paul from 2008 to 2016, Julie Ann Lee managed the club’s finances and used that role to steal thousands of dollars in cash and write fraudulent checks over the course of eight years, the attorney’s office said.” 

Bit of a “Soylent Green” vibe here. Shruti Dati Singh of The Washington Post reports, “Cargill Inc., the Minnetonka-based global agricultural giant, has joined Bill Gates and other businesses to invest in a nascent technology to make meat from self-producing animal cells amid rising consumer demand for protein that’s less reliant on feed, land and water. Memphis Meats, which produces beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells without raising and slaughtering livestock or poultry, raised $17 million from investors including Cargill, Gates and billionaire Richard Branson, according to a statement Tuesday on the San Francisco-based startup’s website.”

Probably not going to help his caseRandy Furst and Tim Harlow at the Strib write, “Residents of a south Minneapolis apartment building will be out of their units for a least a couple of days after part of its brick facade fell to the ground Tuesday night. The building is owned by Stephen Frenz, one of the city’s biggest landlords. The city’s regulatory services division is seeking to revoke his license on the building and about 60 other apartment buildings because of his failure to disclose that Spiros Zorbalas, a banned landlord in Minneapolis, retains a financial interest in Frenz’s properties. Authorities were called to the three-story building on the 600 block of E. 16th Street around 11:45 p.m. after a 100 to 120-square-foot section of the facade fell … .”


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