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Walz wants tougher penalties for shooters

Plus: State Fair attendance this year failed to match 2019 crowds; Twin Cities couple die in Washington plane crash; the University of Minnesota Duluth gives mascot a makeover; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz, center, and Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, right, et al., discussed safety at the Minnesota State Fair on Tuesday.
Gov. Tim Walz, center, and Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, right, et al., discussed safety at the Minnesota State Fair on August 23.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

An MPR News story by Dana Ferguson says, “Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday called for lawmakers to back more public safety spending and tougher sentences for criminals after one person was shot just outside the Minnesota State Fair on Monday, two days after a person was shot at the fair’s Mighty Midway entrance. Walz said Monday night’s victim was discharged from the hospital with minor injuries and that police have a suspect in the shooting, which took place near Como and Snelling avenues just outside the fairgrounds. … Walz called on judges to issue harsher penalties for those involved in shootings, and he renewed his call for lawmakers to approve additional funding for public safety. ‘There’s too many guns on the streets, and 15-year-olds with guns shooting someone or a 20-year-old being shot last night — we have got to make it as difficult as possible for folks to be getting these guns,’ Walz said.”

Stribbers Shannon Prather and Briana Bierschbach report, “Minnesota State Fair attendance rebounded to 1.8 million this year, with many fairgoers returning after skipping last year’s event due to COVID-19. This year’s 12-day extravaganza fell short of beating the all-time attendance record of 2.1 million set in 2019, though attendance was up from 1.3 million in 2021. It remains unclear whether emerging public safety concerns — including two Labor Day weekend incidents that drew a sharp rebuke from Gov. Tim Walz — may have affected attendance. … Labor Day weekend, which typically draws the biggest crowds, started strong with 249,000 in attendance on Saturday. Crowds were a bit smaller on Sunday, at 222,000, and about 157,000 revelers were at the fairgrounds on Labor Day. This year marks the fifth best-attended fair ever, according a news release. Attendance figures were higher from 2016 through 2019.”

At KMSP-TV Theo Keith says, “Think for a minute about next year’s Minnesota State Fair if Minnesota snags an early date in the 2024 presidential primary calendar: candidates would crisscross the fairgrounds to reach tens of thousands of voters. But it’s not a reality yet. The Democratic National Committee has delayed a final decision on its primary calendar until after the November election, not wanting to upset the states whose bids they don’t choose. In Minnesota, the delay gives DFL Chairman Ken Martin more time to convince his GOP counterpart, David Hann, to make the switch. Minnesota law allows the state to change its primary date if both party chairs agree, but the Republican National Committee’s 2024 calendar is already set.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “A married couple from the Twin Cities have been confirmed as two of the 10 people aboard a float plane that crashed on the west coast Sunday and are among the nine victims still missing and presumed dead.  A family member confirmed that Luke Ludwig, 42, and his wife, Rebecca Ludwig, 42, were killed in the Puget Sound crash on Sunday northwest of Seattle, Washington. The married couple with kids lived in Excelsior; their kids are safe and with other family.”

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At KSTP-TV Callan Gray says, “Minnesota’s tourism industry has seen growth this summer. A survey conducted in mid-August of 324 hospitality and tourism businesses statewide showed 81% reported they’re in a growing or stable but positive financial position. The survey was conducted by Explore Minnesota, Hospitality Minnesota and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. … The survey showed the highest level of growth occurred in the Twin Cities metro during the summer of 2022. Sixty-four percent of metro businesses surveyed reported an increase in revenue compared to the summer of 2021, while 42% reported higher revenue than in the summer of 2019.”

In the Strib, Jana Hollingsworth writes, “The Bulldog mascot at the University of Minnesota Duluth got a major makeover — and it has fans foaming at the mouth. Champ, the beloved furry canine that roams UMD athletic events and is considered celebrity-level special by the 12-and-under set, debuted a new look last week on the university’s social media accounts and at a football game. The idea was to make the gray mascot look more like the school’s yellow-gold Bulldog logo. But reaction from alumni, students and other fans was both swift and ruff. ‘Absolutely ugly,’ read one tweet. Well, UMD got the message. ‘We are going to listen to the fan base,’ said Lynne Williams, a spokeswoman for UMD. ‘It was a reminder to engage the community and have them be a part of the process.’ The result: Ol’ gray Champ will return for the 2022-23 school year, and the would-be yellow replacement will be mothballed.”

For Eater.com Justine Jones says, “Summer was packed with exciting restaurant openings in the Twin Cities — and fall 2022 promises even more to look forward to. … As the leaves turn, look for vegan burgers in Northeast; banh mi in the iconic 38th Street snack shack in south Minneapolis; hotdish specials in East Grand forks; pork belly ssam on Nicollet Avenue; and more. These are the most exciting restaurant openings of fall 2022. D’s Banh Mi Opening: Mid-October or November. Great news for south Minneapolis: A year-round banh mi restaurant is setting up shop in the iconic, red-and-white snack shack at 38th Street and Longfellow Avenue. Hilda Tov, owner and stylist of local hair salon Hilda’s Hair Hut, bought the snack shack with her sons Dylan, Dyon, and Dustin this summer. The 280-square-foot shop was previously home to Milkjam Creamery’s summer outpost, Lil’ Jam — Racket reports that the building itself dates to 1951. With D’s moving in, expect a robust banh mi menu with plenty of vegan options, like deep-fried curry tofu, salt-and-pepper tofu, and mock duck, and gluten-free alternatives to the Vietnamese-French baguettes. There’ll be sticky rice and noodle bowls, too. … .”

For CBS Sports John Breech writes, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Season 10 of my NFL picks. … If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be an MVP-caliber quarterback in the NFL, I have some good news for you: Aaron Rodgers revealed the secret this offseason.  Apparently, all you have to do is have a psychedelic experience in South America. Rodgers did that this offseason and as far as I know, he is now the only NFL QB who has obtained omnipresent, super-galactic oneness. If Rodgers says it works, it clearly works, because he’s won two straight MVPs. Also, this would explain why Kirk Cousins has never won an MVP. I mean, if we had to rank every NFL quarterback on the possibility that they would go on a South American psychedelic bender at some point in their life, Kirk Cousins would rank dead last.  Although Cousins didn’t do any psychedelics this offseason, I actually think he’s going to be good this year. For one, he finally has a head coach who doesn’t hate his guts, which seems like a positive step forward for him. Also, Cousins will be in charge of a high-powered offense that includes Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. Although I’m picking the Packers to get to the Super Bowl out of the NFC this year, I’m NOT picking them to win this game and that’s because I think it’s going to take a week or two for them to adjust to life without Davante Adams. The pick: Vikings 26-23 over Packers.”