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Sun Country CEO: Company should have staged ‘rescue’ flight for stranded passengers

Do you think? At MPR Tim Nelson says, “Sun Country airlines CEO Jude Bricker says his company should have flown a ‘rescue flight’ to Mazatlan last weekend to pick up the airline’s stranded customers and will cover the extra costs those ‘rightfully frustrated’ travelers were forced to pay to get home after Sun Country abandoned them in Mexico. … Bricker said the stranded passengers would hear from the company by the end of Tuesday that the company will refund the entire cost of their tickets plus ‘any additional reasonable transportation costs they incurred in excess of their original Sun Country round-trip fare’ including taxis, shuttles or ‘any reasonable transportation costs required to get them to and from the airport.’” By “reasonable” do they mean “under $25”?

The Sun County fiasco also gets an editorial in the Strib. “As part of its Contract of Carriage language, Sun Country includes this astonishing sentence: Purchase of a ticket does not guarantee transportation. What on earth, then, are passengers purchasing? It’s understood that a budget airline may lack the niceties of a major carrier. There may be additional fees. The seats may be a little more cramped. But no way home? That’s too much. … Sun Country has done incalculable damage to its relationship with its customers. That trust must be rebuilt, and the best way would be with a pledge that a return ticket is an obligation the airline intends to honor.” Now that is setting a high bar.   

John Reinan and Paul Walsh of the Strib took a drive to Blooming Prairie to hear from the locals about the grandma on a murder spree. “Most everyone in this southern Minnesota prairie town of 2,000 people is talking about Lois Riess. But nobody seems to know quite what to make of her.  … While fleeing Minnesota in the family’s Cadillac Escalade, Riess is believed to have stopped at an Iowa casino on the way to Florida. The Diamond Jo Casino is just over the Iowa border off Interstate 35, an easy 45-minute drive from Blooming Prairie. Riess was a regular there, said one casino employee, and has been accused in Minnesota state court affidavits of stealing money from her disabled sister to spend at the casino, though she was never charged with a crime.”

Julie Carr Smyth of the AP reports, “Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt is among Republican legislative leaders from various states who took part in a London summer trip with lobbyists. An Ohio speaker recently resigned citing questioning by federal investigators about his activities. Daudt, Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos, Michigan Speaker Tom Leonard and North Dakota House Majority Leader Al Carlson were at the four-day event with Republican Ohio Speaker Cliff Rosenberger last August, The Associated Press confirmed. … Daudt’s office said his trip was paid for by GOPAC. It said he had not been contacted by the FBI about the trip … .”

This time, it’s the AG getting suedSays Stribber Stephen Montemayor, “A national right-to-die group that was convicted of helping an Apple Valley woman end her life is now asking a federal judge to declare that Minnesota’s prosecution violated the group’s free-speech rights. The Final Exit Network, a Tallahassee, Fla.-based nonprofit, sued Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson late Monday after exhausting its efforts to appeal its convictions of assisting a suicide and interfering with a death scene delivered by a Dakota County jury in 2015. Attorneys for Final Exit argue that a critical element of a statute used to prosecute the group — assisting a suicide — amounts to ‘pure First Amendment-protected speech.’” 

At Atlas Obscura, Eric Grundhauser writes: “After we ran writer Andrea Appleton’s story about ‘The wild beast of North Long Lake,’ a four-acre, floating peat bog that has been causing havoc recently, our readers were eager to offer some ad hoc solutions for how to deal with the troublesome natural phenomenon. … [Randy] Tesdahl and company’s current plan is to lasso the whole thing with chains, swing it towards a less intrusive part of the lake, and stake it in place. It’s an ambitious plan, but the whole community is pitching in. Along with the North Long Lake Association and the Department of Natural Resources, Tesdahl and other members of the Legion plan to complete the operation in a single day. If he gets his way, there will even be a volunteer breakfast in the morning and a celebratory barbecue at night. ‘I’m a retired marine, and I know that if everybody pulls together, humanity can do some pretty cool things.’” 

Alert Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs. Mukhtar Ibrahim at MPR reports, “A former agent with the FBI’s Minneapolis division, whose lawyers say was required to ‘implement FBI investigation directives that profiled and intimidated minority communities in Minnesota,’ pleaded guilty Tuesday to two federal offenses of unlawfully retaining and leaking classified documents. Terry Albury, who was assigned to the bureau’s counter-terrorism squad, was charged last month by the Justice Department’s National Security Division with one count of ‘knowingly and willfully’ transmitting documents and information relating to national defense to a reporter for a national news organization. Albury was also charged with a second count of refusing to hand over documents to the government ‘related to use of an online platform for recruitment by a specific terrorist group.’”

What will I do with a snow-free driveway? Says MPR’s Paul Huttner, “The weather maps by next week are starting to look like spring. First we get through one more mostly unwelcome late-season snow Wednesday. The latest model trends favor a slightly more southerly track on Wednesday snow system. That probably means less snow for the Twin Cities. I am leaning toward just flurries or a light coating for parts of the Twin Cities Wednesday. But accumulating snow will not be far to the south. The latest map from the Twin Cities NWS removes the southern Twin Cities counties from the winter weather advisory.”

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