Sunday liquor sales? (5×8 – 2/5/13)

Liquor v. family time, the mother who lost four kids to gun violence, the cyber safe crackers, the fix is in, and fun things to do in the cold.


The Sunday liquor store sales bill is back at the Capitol where it died last year and probably will again unless the public makes a racket, the bill’s sponsor says.

“The liquor stores are the ones against this,” Sen. Roger Reinert tells the Duluth News Tribune. “They want a day off.”

Reinert says 80 percent of Minnesotans want to be able to buy booze on Sunday.

“Think of the families,” Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont said during floor debate last year. “If someone wants to drink, they can go Saturdays to buy their liquor and drink it at home with their family. My dad drank too much. My brother probably was an alcoholic. I don’t think they ever spent a Sunday drinking; they spent it with their family. Let the families have a day together. ”

Vote early and often… then discuss


While President Obama was in Minneapolis yesterday to push his gun proposals before a sympathetic crowd, Shirley Chambers of Chicago was burying her fourth child. Her last remaining son, Ronnie, was killed a weekend ago.

In 1995, her then-18-year-old-son was killed by a high school classmate. In 2000, LaToya, 15, was shot in the head by a 13-year-old boy at the Cabrini-Green housing complex. A few months later, 23-year-old Jerome died almost at the same spot.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune then, Ms. Chambers said her son expected to die violently.

“He’d said he’d be [dead] too soon, that now he wouldn’t have to worry about people hurting him and the police chasing him,” she said. “He said he couldn’t wait to get to heaven with Carlos, where it would be beautiful.”

She and her sister, Nancy, were guests on WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift program.

Related guns: Most members of the Minnesota congressional delegation won’t reveal their relationship with guns. (St. Cloud Times)


Fox 9 has revealed the ease with which crooks are reaching into accounts, lifting the money that’s there, and (mostly) getting away with it. In Edina, it reports, they got a million dollars.

It’s a frightening tale of how otherwise honest people around here can be duped into being part of the heist:

FOX 9 Investigator Jeff Baillon spoke with two men who unwittingly got mixed up with cyber crooks. Each had been out of work and posted a resume on a popular job search website, and both eventually got a phone call and offer from what sounded like a legitimate business. They jumped at the chance.

To maintain the ruse, the thieves told their new hires the company is expanding and needs someone to scope out potential office locations, write up proposals and open a bank account. The mules never know the money flowing into the account is stolen.

“Those mules are instructed to go down to their bank to pull the money out in cash and they’ll do that, $5-10,000 to pull out in cash,” Krebs explained. “Then, they are instructed to wire it overseas via Western Union and money gram.”

(h/t: Dan Murphy)


Gambling is destroying sport, the BBC declares today, a day after a report that hundreds of soccer matches were fixed.

There are about 20 to 30 fixers who travel the world fixing sporting events. They regard themselves as “brokers” rather than fixers. They form alliances with local criminals, who in turn are able to form connections with corrupt players, referees and team officials.

The Asian criminals deal with fixing the gambling market by placing bets in such a way that no-one suspects the games are fixed. In this way, there is a network of corruption that stretches quite literally around the world.

Police say gang members around the world were tasked with maintaining contacts with corrupt players and officials. Laszlo Angeli, a Hungarian prosecutor, gave an example of how it worked: “The Hungarian member, who was immediately below the Singapore head, was in touch with Hungarian referees who could then attempt to swing matches at which they officiated around the world. Accomplices would then place bets on the internet or by phone with bookmakers in Asia, where bets that would be illegal in Europe were accepted.”

Related gambling: Super Bowl gambling in Nevada reached almost $100 million, Reuters reports. That’s a record.


Nick Ziegler specializes in showing Minnesota in all of its cold glory with his “Minnesota Cold” series. Last year, he didn’t get to produce very many of them because it was too warm. This year, he’s cranking them out.

Oh, and winter is over. The downtown Saint Paul skating rink is no more.


Related: Reality TV comes to the Minnesota ice houses. (Duluth News Tribune)

Bonus I: What does a solar wave sound like when it hits the earth, as one did this past weekend? It sounds really cool. (

Bonus II: It always comes back to photographs after a disaster. People in New York are trying to salvage photographs of what existed before Hurricane Sandy. (BBC video)


Scholars in England have identified the remains of Richard III, the king described in Shakespeare as a “pois’nous bunch-back’d toad.” Shakespeare’s version of history blames Richard for the presumed murders of the young princes in the Tower of London, among other deaths. Today’s Question: Among great figures of history, whose remains would you like to see discovered, and why?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The gun-control debate.

Second hour: The push for the ouster of college president Jack Ohle at Gustavus.

Third hour: Are families passé?

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Two economists debate our economic future: Christina Romer from the Obama administration and Keith Hennessey from the George W. Bush administration.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – What is torture and what’s not?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The number of books being churned out in the publishing industry is booming. But these days, when anyone can self-publish a book, how can big publishing

houses keep up? A soon-to-be CEO of a major publisher looks ahead at challenges and opportunities for the traditional literary gatekeepers.