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Minneapolis police warn of robberies during Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist exchanges

Plus: Big snow day in Minnesota; state commerce officials issue consumer warnings about crypto-interest accounts; Vikings plan ‘Winter SKOLstice’ with ice maze and more in Eagan; and more.

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At Patch.com William Bornhoft says, “The Minneapolis Police Department is warning residents about a spike in robberies involving people trying to buy or sell items over Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. The crimes are taking place during the planned in-person meetings. Unsuspecting victims have been robbed of the item they’re trying to sell, or robbed of the money they were planning to exchange for a product. Some victims have even been shot, police said.”

For MPR News, Paul Huttner says, “A significant shot of snow is on the way Tuesday for much of Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Winter weather advisories are posted and will expand in coverage Monday afternoon to include the greater Twin Cities area. Winter storm warnings are possible. There are facets of this storm we know with confidence, but forecast models are still split by 20 to 50 miles on the storm’s track.”

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KAAL-TV has a story saying, “ The Minnesota Department of Commerce issued a ‘Consumer Alert’ on Monday cautioning potential investors interested in crypto-interest accounts after the recent bankruptcy filing by the giant cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. The FTX bankruptcy follows two other filings in July by two other cryptocurrency companies, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital. The department says that companies offering interest-bearing crypto accounts are not governed by the same rules and protections as banks and credit unions. Many of the products and services offered by cryptocurrency companies are similar to traditional financial services offered by banks and brokerages, but without any of the regulatory safeguards provided by registered firms and products. It’s being reported that $1 billion in client funds invested through FTX appear to be missing and that hackers may have stolen $370 million.”

Says Stribber Tim Harlow, “Nice Ride Minnesota is losing its main sponsor next year, and without a replacement, the popular bike and scooter sharing program may shut down. Without sponsorship money from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, nonprofit Nice Ride will face a $2 million shortfall in 2023 and would need to find a new sponsor or secure public funding to open for the season.”

For Axios Matt Phillips writes, “The residential real estate market has screeched to a halt, and some economists believe home prices are about to drop significantly. The big picture: Existing home sales have fallen for nine straight months. The supply of single-family homes is growing. And with mortgage rates near 7%, experts say a large-scale housing slowdown is becoming increasingly likely.”

A KARE-TV story by Alexandra Simon and Samantha Fischer says, “Investigators believe a fatal shooting inside Bloomington’s Co Tu restaurant was motivated by jealousy, according to new information provided by court documents and Bloomington police. Aaron Le, of Lakeville, Minnesota, is now facing two second-degree murder charges after opening fire inside the restaurant on Nov. 23. In a press conference Monday, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said in the coming days, the department intends to up Le’s charges to first-degree murder in an amended complaint, as he claims Le’s actions were premeditated.  According to the complaint, Le, 47, was recently divorced or in the process of getting divorced. Investigators learned Le’s ex-wife was seeing a 49-year-old man who was a regular customer at Co Tu. Hodges revealed Le, his ex-wife and the shooting victim were all once classmates at the same college.”

Another story from Ms. Simon says, “For Minnesotans looking to fully immerse themselves in the cold winter climate, the upcoming ‘Winter SKOLstice’ at the Minnesota Vikings’ Eagan campus will have lots of opportunities for some frigid fun. For 45 days starting on Jan. 6, 2023, the grounds around Vikings Lakes in Eagan will transform into an icy winter wonderland, complete with an ice skating rink, warming house, pond hockey, and new this year, the Minnesota Ice Maze. For the past two years, the elaborate ice maze made from nearly a million pounds of ice was housed outside the Zephyr Theater in downtown Stillwater. This year’s ice maze will have eight-foot-high walls that twist and turn for nearly half a mile. The frozen fortress is fully lit and equipped with ice thrones, theme nights, scavenger hunts, fire pits, hot cocoa, snacks and more.”

For the centersquare.com Samuel Stebbins says, “According to an index of 38 metrics created by data blog Lawnstarter, Minneapolis, Minnesota, ranks as the 14th best city for veterans out of the 200 largest U.S. cities. Minneapolis’s highest-ranking category in the index is employment and volunteering, which includes the number of veteran job fairs and vet friendly volunteer opportunities. About 12,718 veterans live in Minneapolis, accounting for 3.7% of the city’s total population, according to five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.”

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