Standoff at U of M hotel ends after SWAT team storms room; suspect in custody

Enough was enough. Says Steve Karnowski for the AP, “A SWAT team stormed a hotel room on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus to end a 38-hour standoff Tuesday after a man who claimed to be armed started setting small fires and threatened to burn the building down, police said. University Police Chief Matt Clark said officers used a battering ram to enter the man’s sixth-floor room at the Graduate Hotel on Tuesday afternoon.”

Still a bad number. Says Sarah Nelson in the PiPress, “At least 24 people died from domestic violence in Minnesota last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. The number includes 19 women who died by homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner and five friends, family or bystanders involved in violent situations, according to the 2017 Femicide Report. … Though the number of deaths is higher than the 21 reported in 2016, the coalition said it does not consider the increase a trend.”

With Al out, Stras is in. Say Jennifer Brooks and Stephen Montemayor in the Strib “Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras won Senate confirmation to the Eighth Circuit Court bench on Tuesday, becoming the first appellate nominee in decades to earn a seat over the objection of a home-state senator. Stras’ nomination was delayed for months by former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who argued that Stras was qualified for the job but too conservative for a lifetime appointment to a federal appeals court.”

We’re No. 2! From WCCO-TV: “Minnesota is one of the strongest states in the country. That’s according to the website Politico, which released its quasi-annual ‘State of our Union’ rankings Tuesday ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address. Minnesota earned the No. 2 spot on the list, which ranks states based on a number of criteria, such as crime rates, income inequality, well-being and student test scores. For the fourth straight year, New Hampshire topped the list, although it tied with Minnesota in 2016.”

$825 million is a chunk of change. Says Neal St. Anthony in the Strib, “California-based Shutterfly, the big online retailer and manufacturer of personalized photography and related products and services, plans to pay $825 million in cash to buy Eden Prairie-based Lifetouch, an employee-owned company and a leader in school photography.”

This’ll hurt. Anna Haecherl in the St. Cloud Times reports, “Electrolux will cease production at its St. Cloud facility, according to a press release Tuesday from the company. Production is expected to continue through 2019. The company’s St. Cloud facility manufactures Frigidaire upright freezers and employs approximately 900 workers, said Eloise Hale, Electrolux corporate communications executive. Employees were notified of the decision to close Tuesday morning.”

There’s probably some reason why you should know this. The AP says, “At least one Prince superfan hopes the late superstar’s Paisley Park jacked up the price to rent out his former home and studio outside Minneapolis for a Justin Timberlake party ahead of the Super Bowl. ‘That’s probably what Prince would have done with Justin being there,’ laughed Jeremiah Freed, known as Dr. Funkenberry in the fandom. The idea of Timberlake being allowed at the Chanhassen mecca has upset some fans still mourning the Purple One, as has the idea of Prince’s 65,000-square-foot spread being granted a temporary liquor license for the duration of Super Bowl mania. … .”

Or how about still more of Tom Brady’s Minnesota memories? Tim Yotter at writes, “It was on return trips to Minnesota that Brady’s uncles exposed him to a vice that didn’t sit well with him when he was young. ‘I’ve had a lot of great memories,’ Brady said of his summer visits to the family farm in Minnesota. ‘I remember my uncles gave me chewing tobacco for the first time when I was really young. It’s a pretty good story. ‘We were fishing and we went sunfishing and on the way home I said, ‘I want to try it.’ And they said, ‘Look, if we give it to you then you can’t spit it out until you get home’ and it was like a 30-minute ride back to my grandpa’s farm. So, of course, they give it to me and within five minutes I’m outside of the car throwing up all over the place and I don’t think I’ve had much chewing tobacco since then.’” Sunfishing? 

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