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Documents reveal details of Prince’s final days

Plus: Blooming Prairie woman suspected in two deaths apprehended in Texas; Federal regulators looking to fine Wells Fargo $1 billion; House passes $9 million for licensing offices harmed in MNLARS debacle; and more.

REUTERS/Steve Marcus

For the Star Tribune, Dave Chanen and Dan Browning write: “Long-awaited investigative documents released Thursday give the clearest narrative yet of Prince’s struggles with opioid addiction in his final days. The documents reveal concerns about Prince’s health first surfaced in the fall of 2015, when Johnson called his own doctor to see if he would agree to help the megastar.”

Riess apprehended. KSTP-TV reports: “A Blooming Prairie woman named a person of interest in the death of her husband and being sought in connection to a murder in Florida has been apprehended in South Padre Island, Texas, the U.S Marshals Service confirmed Thursday night. John Kinsey of the U.S. Marshals Service, Middle District of Florida, told ABC News that two deputies with the Marshals Service arrested Lois Riess at around 8:25 p.m. Thursday while she was sitting by herself at a restaurant. A press conference is planned for sometime Friday morning.”

Tough on shareholder value. In The New York Times, Glenn Thrush and Emily Flitter write: “Federal regulators are poised to impose a $1 billion fine on Wells Fargo for years of selling unnecessary products to customers, the toughest action by the Trump administration against a major bank. … The [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] is carrying out both agendas. The agency’s interim director, Mick Mulvaney, has pushed aggressively for the penalty against Wells. The consumer bureau’s portion of the penalty is likely to represent the largest fine in its history.” I don’t think they’ll be as tough on Deutsche Bank.

At American Banker, Kate Berry and Kevin Wack write: “It likely puts additional stress on Wells’ CEO Tim Sloan, who rose through the ranks at Wells and succeeded John Stumpf, who was forced to resign as a result of the phony accounts. Some critics argue that Sloan represents the same internal culture at Wells that caused so many scandals, and that the bank needs new blood. Even as Wells was struggling with its phony-accounts scandal, regulators found that it was also allegedly overcharging nearly 1 million auto loan borrowers for insurance they did not need, pushing a quarter of them into delinquency. Roughly 20,000 customers had their vehicles wrongfully repossessed, including some military service members who were on active duty.”

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$9 million. Says Tim Pugmire for MPR, “The Minnesota House has passed a $9 million bailout for local licensing offices that were harmed by failures in the computer system known as MNLARS. Lawmakers voted 123-1 Thursday for the bill. The measure would reimburse 174 deputy registrars for overtime and other expenses linked to MNLARS problems, which began after last summer’s launch of the new vehicle licensing and registration system.”

A bad thing. Helmut Schmidt for the Forum News Service says, “William Hillman, who’s charged in the killings of a mother and son at their rural Perham mobile home, told investigators that when he woke up early Tuesday everything went black and he didn’t remember what happened next, according to Otter Tail County District Court documents. Hillman told investigators that when he came out of the blackness, he realized he had done ‘a bad thing.’ The ‘bad thing’ a relative of the victims told Otter Tail County sheriff’s investigators, was that Hillman had used a pipe wrench to kill 42-year-old Denise Mcfadzen and her son, 21-year-old Dalton Mcfadzen, then tried to leave the rural northwestern Minnesota home in a vehicle.”

Hard to believe, but, okay. John Lundy for the Forum News Service says, “The perception that most high school kids drink alcoholic beverages isn’t true, the Minnesota Department of Health reports. And it’s less true now — much less true — than it was at the beginning of the century. … among Minnesota’s ninth-graders: The percentage of students reporting current alcohol use dropped from 30.4 in 2001 to 11.2 in 2016.”

For BuzzFeed, Henry Gomez and Molly Hensley-Clancy report, “Minnesota is the bleeding edge of how Donald Trump is remaking Midwestern politics — and positioned to be the most competitive battleground state in the US for this year’s midterm elections. Four of the nation’s most competitive House races are in Minnesota. Both Senate seats are on the ballot. A former presidential candidate is running for governor. … The terrifying part for Democrats is that Minnesota appears to be an anomaly right now. Republicans in other states are at risk of being dragged down by an unpopular president and a national electoral climate that’s expected to be brutal for their party. But Trump’s numbers have not cratered in Minnesota like they have elsewhere.”

At Deadspin, Albert Burneko is baffled by our Timberwolves. “It’s all baffling. Why, after a season of riding its starters into the dirt, has Minnesota suddenly discovered a passion for egalitarian playing-time distribution that would make a youth soccer coach roll his eyes? Why have Butler and Towns suddenly become the team’s fourth and fifth scoring options, respectively, after carrying the team on their backs to the playoffs? Why has nobody done the only right thing to do and duct-taped Rose to the locker room ceiling so he can’t touch the ball or the court? I have no answers, only the growing certainty that neither does Tom Thibodeau.”