Cornbread Mafia pardon, student athlete collapses, the problem with Congress

Ex-Cornbread Mafia member gets presidential pardon

As state and federal investigators came through the front door of a barn in Minnesota during a bust of the “Cornbread Mafia” in October 1987, Les Berry Jr. went out the back with six others and nearly escaped. Now after a conviction and prison time, his slate has been wiped clean by a presidential pardon this month.

Berry, a former U.S. Marine, was a farm worker in west-central Minnesota for the “Cornbread Mafia” for about three weeks when the raid occurred. He slipped out of the barn and made his way to a small Minnesota town, bought a 1972 Chevy Impala and drove east with six others before being caught. (AP)

In flood aftermath, Moorhead tries to kick-start housing market

The city of Moorhead and the state of Minnesota have spent $60 million since 2009 to buy homes along the flood-prone Red River and replace them with permanent levees and floodwalls (MPR News).

Moorhead City Council: Community program funds may get ax

The City Council was presented a budget plan Monday that would end community partnerships such as those with the Humane Society and FirstLink but retain current police and fire staffing levels (Forum of Fargo Moorhead).

Army Corps to restore fish barrier power setting

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that it is restoring a higher power setting on an electric barrier designed to prevent Asian carp and other fish from using a Chicago-area waterway to migrate between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems (AP).

Minnesota wind farm suit forwarded to high court

Consumer groups challenge regulators’ permit approval (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Minn. utilities don’t want more coal power from ND

North Dakota — a big coal producer — wants Minnesota to drop its restrictions on electricity generated by coal. But utilities in Minnesota are already conforming to the new energy goals, and they say they aren’t interested in buying additional coal-based electricity (MPR News).

Minnesota appeals court rules cop’s spotlight on man was lawful

A spotlight is not unconstitutional.More specifically, when a Minneapolis police officer turned her squad car spotlight on a couple of men, that did not amount to an unlawful seizure (Pioneer Press).

Anoka high school student dies after basketball collapse

Students at Anoka High School are mourning the death of a 16-year-old classmate who collapsed Saturday night while playing basketball (KARE11).

Delta to start using jets at Minn. Range airport

Delta will replace its 34 passenger turbo-prop planes with larger jet-powered aircraft on Thursday. The new 50-passenger jets will make the 45-minute flight from Hibbing to Minneapolis twice a day (MPR News).

Retail and online holiday sales off to strong start

Holiday sales appeared to continue briskly as shoppers scoured the Web for bargains on what’s known as Cyber Monday. The Thanksgiving weekend brought an unexpectedly strong start to the holiday shopping season (MPR News).

Northland woman accused of illegally shooting two trophy bucks

The two deer had been seen frequently this fall at a local golf course. The woman allegedly used bait to draw them to her stand, a practice which is illegal (Duluth News Tribune).

Longer effort aids smokers’ quit rate, University of Minnesota study finds

There could be a better way to help people snuff out the smoking habit.A new study suggests that counseling services that try to help people stop smoking might be more effective if they were structured like programs that help patients manage chronic diseases (Pioneer Press).


“I’m happy to say I don’t think that I’ve said anything inaccurate in any of the debates. And I’m extremely grateful for that. It’s a high-profile stage and so I’m grateful that I don’t think I’ve made a blunder” — Michele Bachmann, Washington Post.

Bachmann has provided job security to fact checkers here at MPR and elsewhere.


U.S./Canadian border: A not-so-straight story

What is the longest straight-line international boundary? Why, that has to be the American-Canadian border between Lake of the Woods (Minnesota/Manitoba) and Boundary Bay (Washington State/British Columbia), which runs for 1,260 miles along the 49th parallel north. Right? Nope (New York Times).

Jim Weygand: The problem with Congress

I heard that Congress’ approval rating is down to 9%. Probably just ahead of Wall Street.

Many feel the problem is that members of Congress are:

– Overpaid

– Isolated from the problems the rest of us face because of their pensions and healthcare

– Not bound by term limits

These certainly may be concerns, but these are not the true problems. I think the real problems are the huge sums being spent on election campaigns, how these campaigns are financed, and the large sums devoted to lobbying our elected leaders. (MN2020)

Recommended Links

This one from our resident foodie and wine connoisseur Chuck Kanski

Virtual Wineknow: Why Do We Drink Wine Chilled?

Great quick read on wine temperatures. I agree with everything in this posting, I would also sugest that you follow the ‘half hour rule’. If you’re not using a temp controlled wine unit, pull your whites from the refrigerator about a half hour before you want to serve them and place your reds in the refrigerator for about a half hour before serving.

By the numbers

The city of Duluth will get $11,000 from state ski pass sales this year to help cover grooming costs expected to run $20-$30,000 (MN2020).

Chanhassen considered a good buy

Click the image to enlarge
Best places to buy a house
Source: FixR

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