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Dayton leaving Mayo, defends office’s handling of hospitalization

Plus: Judge to rule on making state’s Amazon bid public; no manual recount in Hennepin County sheriff’s race; Minnesota man arrested in Moldova for faking own death; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs

From the AP: “Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday his health has rebounded enough from post-surgical complications for him to leave Mayo Clinic this week, and he defended his office’s low-key handling of a hospitalization that lasted more than a month. Dayton, 71, said he will be ‘thrilled’ to be back in St. Paul on Wednesday to celebrate his last Thanksgiving as governor with his family and his dogs. Speaking in a strong, clear voice, Dayton spoke with reporters by phone from the Rochester, Minn., clinic.”

At MPR, Brian Bakst reports, “A state judge is considering whether Minnesota’s failed bid to land the new Amazon corporate headquarters will forever be kept sealed or if a state agency’s role in crafting it makes every detail open to the public. … Public Record Media, a nonprofit dedicated to public disclosure, sued to unlock the rejected Amazon proposal, saying the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the regional business development group Greater MSP were part of a ‘coordinated attempt’ to evade public disclosure of the offer that Minnesota put on the table.

The Star Tribune’s David Chanen writes: “The Hennepin County sheriff’s race is finally over. Sheriff Rich Stanek on Tuesday declined to ask for a manual recount, a move that would have cost him $95,000. He had seven days to request a recount after the county canvassing board certified David Hutchinson the winner. He also considered proceeding with an election contest, which would have consisted of a lawsuit challenging election results, said his campaign chairman Steve Wise. At issue were the 60,000 votes cast in Minneapolis by people registering the same day as the election, he said.”

A KMSP-TV story says, “A Minnesota man was arrested earlier this month in Moldova and extradited to the United States after he allegedly faked his death as part of a scheme to collect a $2 million life insurance policy. Igor Vorotinov, 54, was arrested in Moldova on Nov. 14 and extradited to the U.S. on Nov. 17…. According to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, in March 2010, Vorotinov took out a $2 million life insurance policy on himself, designating his wife as the primary beneficiary.”

MPR’s Riham Feshir reports: “Eden Prairie police say they’re investigating a report of a man flashing a gun at a group of Somali-American teens Monday night at a McDonald’s restaurant. Video of the incident, viewed on Twitter more than 500,000 times, shows some of the confrontation that reportedly began when several of the girls heard a white man make a comment about them allegedly trying to use an electronic benefit transfer card to buy food. The situation escalated, and a manager asked everyone to leave. The man then reportedly pulled out a gun as he left the restaurant.”

In the Strib, Stephen Montemayor writes, “Referred to by her nickname, Amy, the young woman spoke through an interpreter as she described falling prey to a sweeping and lucrative organization that trafficked hundreds of Thai women to the U.S. to be sold for sex. Five people described by prosecutors as ‘higher level’ members of the group are the last to face charges in a trial that began earlier this month. … The rest have pleaded guilty for their roles in one of the largest international sex trafficking conspiracies ever dismantled by federal law enforcement. Federal authorities in Minnesota helped lead a probe called Bangkok Dark Nights, which began with reports of Thai women being flown into the Twin Cities and shuttled between apartments.”

Says KSTP-TV: “The Department of Homeland Security has determined Minnesota is now in full compliance with the REAL ID Act and regulation. The department informed Gov. Mark Dayton of that determination in a letter dated Monday. ‘With this notification, federal agencies may continue to accept for official purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by Minnesota’, the letter reads.”

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Says Terry Blain in the Star Tribune, “Minnesota Orchestra announced two major appointments this week. Violinist Felicity James was appointed associate concertmaster, a top leadership position, acting as deputy to concertmaster Erin Keefe. (The concertmaster is the top-ranking player, leading the orchestra from the first violin position.) James, 22, recently completed a bachelor’s degree at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Despite her youthfulness, she brings considerable experience as concertmaster with the Verbier Festival Orchestra (Switzerland), the Colburn Orchestra and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra.”

At Fox News Jennifer Earl says, “Apparently, the first time’s a charm for this teenage angler. Matthew Swanson, of Woodbury, Minn., recently caught a record-breaking northern pike during a fishing trip with his dad and brother on the Rainy River. … Right away, Swanson knew he had hooked something huge. Following a ‘brief fight and some careful netting’, Swanson managed to examine his impressive catch: a 45.25-inch northern pike.”

For City Pages, Jay Boller reports, “You’ve heard of the turkey club sandwich. Now meet the turkey strip club cake. Thong-clad and dollar-strewn, the so-called Twerkey Cake sold out almost instantly at Nadia Cakes, a Minnesota-headquartered bakery with locations in Maple Grove, Woodbury, and California. Lead designer Lucas Rorvick cooked up the cheeky concept, despite apprehensions from his boss, Nadia Cakes owner Abby Jimenez….Turns out demand is high for sweet, twerking turkeys. The cake sold out at every location, Jimenez reports, and won’t be available again before Thanksgiving.”