The Duluth International Airport wants to promote its new long-range master plan, which includes more hangar space, a new traffic control tower, new aircraft parking aprons to serve Cirrus Aircraft, general aviation and air cargo needs. To drum up some support for the plan, the airport had an open house ahead of a meeting to solicit public comment, which will lead to a vote by the Duluth Airport Authority at its July meeting. Candace Renalls of the Duluth News Trib notes that the Federal Aviation Administration will also have to give its stamp of approval since most projects are funded by the FAA.
Crystal Dey of the Bemidji Pioneer tells the tale of the owner of the Mi Rancho restaurant. David Mendoza told Dey he gave his wife’s cousin, Otoniel Carranza, 32, a job so he could put past troubles in Mexico behind him. But Carranza fought with other employees and Mendoza had to fire him, he said. Carranza hit him up for $2,000 to get him to Atlanta where he has family and Mendoza said he complied. The next day Carranza demanded $10,000 and Mendoza declined, leading to some threats. On Saturday, worried that Carranza might come to the restaurant and cause problems, Mendoza armed himself. On Saturday morning, Mendoza said, he heard an employee scream in the kitchen, so he got the gun from the office and entered the kitchen. Carranza came toward him “like he was on drugs,” Mendoza said, and Mendoza shot Carranza. He immediately called 911. On Monday, authorities confirmed the name of the dead man but have yet to name, arrest or charge anyone in the case.
Down in Rochester, Josh Moniz of the RPB took the temperature of Rochester’s Catholics on the resignation of Archbishop John Neinstedt, and found they are of many feelings about it. Dennis Pochron, of Eyota, attended Mass at Saint Marys Chapel on Monday. Holding a well-worn Bible filled with bookmarks, he said he wishes Nienstedt had quit after the initial calls for him to step down. The church hasn’t taken full responsibility for the sex-abuse scandal, he said, and the church, from the pope on down, hasn’t been listening to God’s will for years. Mark Peterson, a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Stewartville, said Nienstedt’s resignation was a good thing that can help the church heal. However, he said Nienstedt failed to act on the problems and failed to keep track of his church.
Enough of the downer stuff – it’s summer in Minnesota and time to rejoice! And what better way to rejoice than to eat ribs, which is exactly what happened at the second annual “Smokin for the Link” Ribfest at Glacial Lakes Winery in Spicer Sunday. The West Central Tribune covered the event from tail to snout, stating that contestants were basting and smoking as early as 9 a.m. for the 2 p.m. judging. First place in the People’s Choice was Long Lost BBQ — a team of Steve Maher, Rick Wehseler, Matt Holland, Dave Henle and Scott Shoemaker. The Pastor’s Choice winner was Smokin’ Rib Machine — Larry Peterson, Brett Larsen and Chad Larsen. Jackie Roberts won the pie contest with a Maple Bourbon Peach Pie.
Paul and Babe the Blue Ox have seen better days in Bemidji, and townsfolks are set upon fixing up the park where the pair resides. Matt Cory of the Bemidji Pioneer reports that the Bemidji City Council agreed Monday to remove planned structures in front of the statues as part of a $1.5 million redesign of the park. Also on the removal docket, a raised dirt mound and accompanying boulders and a tree stump in front of Paul and Babe that caused a public backlash the past two weeks.
You got trouble, trouble right here in River City. Trouble that starts with T and that rhymes with B and that stands for Blacktop Driveways. That’s right, my friends, two slick talkers from Arkansas are bilking good Winonans out of their hard-earned cash by promising to black-top their driveway but then performing no such deed. Jerome Christiansen of the Winona Daily News tells the story. Like that sheriff’s investigator fella Kraig Glover said, check your contractor’s priors.
Whoops! Cops in Baxter put an ad in Backpages.com that said, in part: “Fun and Frisky platinum BLONDE IN Town May 20th!!!!! … I’m super HOT & have tight lil’ body for giving you a real TREAT!!!” Chelsey Perkins of the Brainerd Dispatch writes that nine men answered the ad and came to the hotel room, where they were arrested for soliciting prostitution in a public place, a gross misdemeanor offense. “It’s hard to call it a success but I think it was,” Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted said. “It’s hard to call it that, because it’s frustrating to know that there was that much demand out there.”
A romantic tradition has jumped the pond. For many years it was tradition in Paris to buy a padlock, etch the initials of you and your lover on it, and then clamp it on the Pont des Arts Bridge and throw away the key — until the city had had enough. Now the Douglas Trail bridge is sporting such locks. John Weiss of the RPB wrote about it. It’s cute.