Denny! Says Star Tribune reporter Eric Roper, “Onetime automobile magnate Denny Hecker is a free man. After serving more than seven years in prison for fraud, Hecker was released on Tuesday, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He had been staying in a Minneapolis halfway house since February. Hecker was sentenced in 2011 to 10 years in prison for his crimes, which included defrauding lenders out of millions by falsifying loan documents. … The former attorney, Brian Toder, told the Star Tribune in 2017 that Hecker’s expertise could be valuable to auto dealers.”
Also, the AP says: “A man convicted of killing a Minneapolis police officer in 1981 will be released to a halfway house next week after spending nearly 37 years in prison. Isaac Brown, 59, will wear a GPS monitor when he is released July 10 and the Minnesota Department of Corrections said he will be closely monitored. But his impending release has upset the officer’s widow, who said she thought Brown would never be freed.”
Only four? In the Pioneer Press, Dave Orrick says, “A Minnesota government watchdog agency is running four separate probes related to the state’s troubled computer system for vehicle titles and registration. The system, known as MNLARS, has been beset by problems since it was launched nearly a year ago. ‘It’s extremely unusual to be dedicating this much resources to one topic,’ said Judy Randall, who is overseeing the four projects for the state Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA), a nonpartisan agency that scrutinizes government for the Legislature.” So let’s get this straight. We’ve got the cost of the screw-up, the cost of trying to fix the screw-up, and now the cost of investigating the screw-up. I think we’re finally getting somewhere.
Faiza Mahamud of the Star Tribune trib reports, “On a recent muggy afternoon, Ahmed Burhan Mohamed stood on a basketball court in Hopkins ready to play when his friends suddenly surrounded him, digging into his phone to see pictures of him doing things they could only dream of: jet skiing, scuba diving and even exchanging handshakes with a prince. The mild-mannered teen and hoops fan from New Brighton has become an overnight sensation in the Muslim world and a local celebrity after winning a prestigious international contest last month recognizing the best reciter of the Qur’an.”
Overdue. Leila Fadel and Talia Wiener at MPR report, “After winning her Democratic primary, [Deb] Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, a Native American tribe, is running for the U.S. House in a strongly Democratic district in New Mexico. That means she may soon be the first Native American woman in Congress. … She’s one of a record number of Native American women running for office this year — a record number of women among a record number of Native American candidates. … Then there’s Peggy Flanagan, a state representative in Minnesota now running for lieutenant governor. Her top campaign issues include access to child care, education and inequities affecting ‘children of color and indigenous students.’”
Re-re-strategizing in Minneapolis. Says Anthony Lonetree in the Strib, “A conference of the nation’s educators winds down in Minneapolis on Thursday with few more ready to take on an anti-union tide than a battle-hardened group from Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association has withstood membership losses that followed Gov. Scott Walker’s limiting of collective bargaining rights statewide, and it has racked up victories by rallying parents and community members behind its pursuits.”
Speaking of our neighbor to the east, here’s some Foxconn news by Brian Murphy in UrbanMilwaukee: “Back on May 23 the Nikkei Asian Review did a story citing industry sources who said Foxconn was going to scale back its plans for Racine County and would not build the kind of plant it promised the administration of Gov. Scott Walker. … As Arthur Thomas reported for the Biz Times on June 20th: ‘The first LCD fabrication facility on the Foxconn Technology Group campus in Mount Pleasant will be a Gen 6 plant, not a Gen 10.5 plant as originally planned.’ This is not a small change. Bob O’Brien, a partner at Display Supply Chain Consultants … said a $10 billion investment makes sense for a Gen 10.5 plant, but a Gen 6 plant would require a $2 billion to $3 billion investment.’ That’s a massive scale-down of the proposed project, both in size of the plant and products manufactured.” A simple misunderstanding, I’m sure.
Tornado? A Forum News Service story says, “Severe weather that destroyed a garage, damaged houses and uprooted trees is being reviewed to determine whether a tornado touched down in Bemidji. Beltrami County emergency officials asked the public to avoid an area west of Bemidji State University after a storm swept through the city about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 4. County Emergency Management Director Chris Muller said about 12 square blocks were affected. The storm destroyed a garage, which was either lifted or blown off its foundation, while shingles were ripped from homes and several large trees were snapped and uprooted.”
I bet the parents didn’t buy it at first. The AP says, “A 16-year-old driver in Minnesota had to climb out the back window of his car after he drove into a sinkhole following heavy rains. WCCO-TV reports that the Renville County Sheriff’s Office says the sinkhole formed after a culvert under the road washed out. The driver wasn’t injured in the Tuesday accident. The driver’s grandmother, Candace Leopold, says the teen had gotten his driver’s license last month and only had the car for a few weeks.”