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New Minneapolis police chief vows to bring more women into ranks

Plus: Pregnant Fargo woman died from ‘homicidal violence’; Muslim model from St. Cloud to appear in Nike campaign; Denny Hecker news; and more.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo
Minneapolis Police

An MPR story says: “New Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo picked four veteran officers, all men, as his executive leadership team. But the city’s 53rd police chief says he knows the department must do more to break down barriers for women. … He said he’s been talking to female officers on the force to ask them about the challenges of bringing more women into the department and why fewer women already in the ranks are taking promotional exams. Arradondo said he’s committed to including women on the force and in department leadership.”

MPR’s story on the murder of a 22 year-old woman from Fargo says: “Preliminary findings from the autopsy of Savanna Greywind show the 22-year-old Fargo, N.D., woman died from ‘homicidal violence,’ Fargo police said Tuesday. … While Fargo police on Tuesday disclosed the initial findings of the Ramsey County Medical Examiner, officials said they were unable to release the specific details of Greywind’s death, or how the baby was born.”

Seems like she’s getting the hang of this modeling thing. Says Allie Shah in the Strib, “Minnesota fashion model Halima Aden has done it again. The 19-year-old who has challenged attitudes about the wearing of hijabs has broken yet another barrier — this time appearing in a new Nike ad campaign celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Air Max sneaker. She joins an elite group of Nike spokespeople that includes tennis champion Serena Williams and supermodel Bella Hadid. Aden was photographed in her hometown of St. Cloud earlier this month at a batting cage and go-kart racing course.”

Michelle Andrews for Kaiser Health News reports on a Mayo program dealing with pain and avoiding opioid addiction. “We don’t take a medical approach. It’s a biopsychosocial approach, [which] acknowledges not only the biological aspect of pain, but also recognizes that psychological and social variables contribute to how people experience pain. That is not to say that pain is imagined, but rather how people experience pain is influenced by mood, anxiety, and how that person’s environment responds to the person’s symptoms.”

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The PiPress, S.M. Chavey writes about a “convicted groper” at the fair: “Jeffrey Thomas Pendzimas, 62, of Isanti, Minn., was arrested at 2:11 p.m. Monday in the Coliseum. One woman told officials she was watching chickens hatch in the Miracle of Birth Center with her son and nephew, both under the age of 6. She felt a man reach into her shorts from the bottom and felt a hand squeeze her buttocks in a cupping motion, according to the complaint. … In 2012, Pendzimas masturbated in the presence of two teenage girls, and in 2014 he was arrested and convicted for groping a female shopper at Walmart in Blaine.” Is “convicted groper” a legal term?

Kind of related. Mike Longaecker of the Forum News Service says, “An assistant Hudson High School girls basketball coach was placed on unpaid leave from the school district amid sex-related charges filed this week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Louis J. French, 42, was charged Tuesday with first-degree child sex assault, repeated sexual assault of a child, using a computer to aid in a sex crime and causing a child to view sexual activity. … French’s behavior, the victim told the investigator, also included arriving home early from work, then intentionally leaving a bathroom door open so she could see him showering. She said he also sent her sexual recordings of himself over the social media app Snapchat.”

State Fair bonus item: Denny Hecker news! Says Dee DePass of the Strib, “A U.S. bankruptcy trustee has sued jailed auto mogul Denny Hecker and the Minnesota Department of Commerce, claiming the state and other entities collected or issued thousands in unclaimed funds, including a nearly $35,000 check sent to him in prison. … In his lawsuit Tuesday, the attorney for the bankruptcy trustee, Randy Seaver, filed an ‘adversary complaint’ in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, saying that the Department of Commerce has collected several ‘unclaimed funds’ that third-party businesses issued to either Hecker or to one of the dozens of limited-liability companies he owned.”