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Donation jumpstarts Minneapolis riverfront parks project

Plus: Norm Coleman still believes he won his 2008 election against Al Franken; Twin Cities grocery stores to have supplies of romaine lettuce next week; arrest made in shooting of former Lake Park police chief; and more.

In the Star Tribune, Mukhtar Ibrahim says, “A $1 million pledge from Bank of America has moved the Minneapolis Parks Foundation closer to its $18 million fundraising goal for riverfront parks and trails in Minneapolis. The grant will support the foundation’s RiverFirst campaign, which has so far raised $15.9 million that will fund a Water Works riverfront near Mill Ruins Park and another project at 26th Avenue N. that would increase North Side access to the river.”

KSTP-TV reports: “There is not a trace of bitterness in former Republican U.S. Senator Norm Coleman regarding his historically narrow loss to Democrat Al Franken in the 2008 election. … But while there is no bitterness, make no mistake: Coleman still believes he won the 2008 election.’I do, I do believe,’ he said in an interview in his Minneapolis law office. ‘Do I believe there were more votes for Coleman than there were Franken? I do.’ A hand recount of millions of ballots and legal challenges over thousands of absentee ballots determined otherwise.”

Martin Moylan at MPR reports, “Twin Cities grocery stores will likely have significant supplies of romaine lettuce early next week. The lettuce is on its way says Mike Wilken, a spokesperson for Supervalu, which owns Cub Foods stores in Minnesota and supplies groceries to some 1,800 other stores across the country. Wilken says Supervalu’s romaine lettuce suppliers have resumed harvests in areas outside those under investigation by the feds for E. coli contamination.”

Also from KSTP: “Authorities have made an arrest in an apparent hunting accident that killed a former police chief in northwestern Minnesota earlier this month. The Becker County Sheriff’s Office and White Earth Tribal police arrested a 54-year-old rural Ogema man in the Nov. 10 shooting death of 53-year-old Jay Clayton Nelson. Nelson was former police chief of Lake Park. … Nelson was traveling on a trail when a bullet struck the vehicle he was driving. He died of a gunshot wound. Authorities say his death appears to be a hunting accident.”

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Say Tim Harlow and Paul Walsh of the Strib, “Michael Frank Simon has had numerous run-ins with police for breaking into places. But it’s his breakout that people will remember most. Simon apparently busted through a window on an upper floor of the Hennepin County jail in downtown Minneapolis before sunrise Wednesday, landed on a lower-level rooftop then ran across the top of a skyway to a parking ramp. … Simon, 57, of Hopkins, made his way to the St. Paul suburb of Little Canada, where he was arrested by federal authorities three hours later.

Says an AP story, “The University of Wisconsin System’s president reprimanded the La Crosse campus’ chancellor for inviting porn star Nina Hartley to speak on campus, questioning his judgment and warning him that he may not receive a raise next month. UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow invited Hartley to speak on campus on Nov. 1 during Free Speech Week. He paid the 59-year-old actress $5,000 from his discretionary fund for the 90-minute appearance.”

Says Sharyn Jackson in the Strib, “Nicollet Mall pub, the Local, is about to become a mini Irish empire. The idea is to expand to 10 locations in the Twin Cities metro, said Cara Irish Pubs CEO Peter Killen. … The company also owns Kieran’s Irish Pub (85 N. 6th St., Minneapolis, 612-339-4499,, the Liffey (175 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-556-1420, and Cooper (1607 Park Place Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-698-2000, Kieran’s and the Liffey will keep their own branding, while Cooper will be rebranded to become the Local West End.”

Also a MPR, this from Brian Bakst. “About 655,000 Minnesota children were enrolled in Medicaid, but only 36 percent of them received dental services included in their coverage, according to 2017 statistics. That puts Minnesota noticeably below the national average. The number of dentists who see children in public programs declined from 2,906 in 2015 to about 2,253 last year, according to the Department of Human Services. There are several causes, but relatively low reimbursement rates are a key reason.”

This from Christian Gollayan of the New York Post. “A passenger onboard a Delta plane was creeped out after a pilot messaged him on Grindr during their flight. JP Thorn, a 27-year-old college student, told The Post that the strange interaction happened while he was flying from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Chicago in August. When his flight landed, his cellular service returned and he noticed a new notification on the gay dating app. ‘I see you’re on my flight,’ the message read. ‘Enjoy the ride to Chicago.’ ‘My reaction was I knew I needed to get off this plane as fast as I can,’ Thorn, who’s studying communications at Hamline University, told The Post. ‘I’ve had some weird experiences with proximity stuff on Grindr.’ Turns out, Thorn told The Post that the message was sent 30 minutes prior to the plane’s landing, which meant he received the message during their 90-minute trip.”