LOCAL

St. Paul Pioneer Press
★Thursday 6-25-2015

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3A

Minnesota

State getting older, more diverse
Census suggests aging baby boomers will cause changes
By Marino Eccher
meccher@pioneerpress.com
Call it old news.
The latest U.S. Census estimates, released this week,
confirm what we’ve known
for some time: a sizable segment of Minnesota’s population is entering its golden
years.
But a wave of millennials is
on their heels — give or take
three decades. And the state

instance, but were up 21 percent and 24 percent respecThat puts Minnesota at tively.
continues to become more
The
black
population
more than 1 million people of
diverse by the year.
The census figures, estimat- color — just shy of 20 percent remains the largest nonwhite
ed as of July 2014, put the of the population. Ramsey group in the metro, with
state at about 5,457,000 people County (30 percent people of 275,000 residents out of 2.98
overall — up 2.9 percent since color) and Hennepin County million — 9.2 percent. But
(24 percent) are among the Asians are the fastest-growthe 2010 census.
ing group in the metro, addAll race groups counted saw most diverse in the state.
But suburban counties in ing 34,000 new residents to
growth, but the state added
four times as many people of the seven-county metro area climb to 220,000.
Most every part of the state,
color as whites, said Andi are rapidly changing. Black
Egbert, assistant director of residents are still a small sliv- to one degree or another, is
the State Demographic Cen- er of the population in Dakota also getting older. Minnesota
and Washington counties, for has added about 97,000 resiter.

BY THE NUMBERS
Between 2010 and 2014 in
Minnesota:
The population increased
2.9 percent, to about
5.46 million.

The number of people
ages 65 and older increased
19 percent.

dents 65 and older since 2010,
a 19 percent increase driven
by the leading edge of the
hefty baby boomer generation.
The seven-county metro
skews younger than greater
Minnesota, but even there,

Roseville

● The number of people ages
40 to 49 fell 7.5 percent.
● The number of people
ages 30 to 34 increased
14 percent.
● The number of people of
color reached 1 million, about
20 percent of the population.

the number of people ages 65
to 74 climbed 28 percent to
209,000. The 85-and-older population grew nearly 15 percent.
“We really see huge gains in
OLDER MINNESOTA, 6A >

St. Paul

Creatures’ comfort

High court
reinstates
priest’s sex
conviction
New ruling affirms his
behavior with female
parishioner was illegal
By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com

PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: ANDY RATHBUN

Dr. Renee Schott bandages a mourning dove with a fractured shoulder at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota on Friday.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation
Center of Minnesota in
Roseville, which gives
orphaned, injured animals
a second chance, has seen
an uptick in critters lately.
By Andy Rathbun
arathbun@pioneerpress.com
On a recent morning, a tiny, newly hatched
bird came to the Wildlife Rehabilitation
Center of Minnesota in a cardboard box.
Heidi Eberle and her daughter Ashley
brought the bird from the yard of their
Andover home, where their dog had found
it.
“I think he’s perfectly fine, but we couldn’t
find the nest,” said Heidi Eberle, who left a
donation for the Roseville nonprofit during
her Friday morning visit.
While it’s often better to let nature do the
nurturing, human intervention was necessary in this case.
“After probably 24 to 36 hours, it would
have been dead,” said Phil Jenni, executive
director for the center.
Baby animals in cardboard boxes are a
familiar sight for the wildlife center, especially this time of year. From mid-April to
mid-July, the center may take in three-quarters of its animals for the year, Jenni said.
There has been an uptick this year. In
early June, the center was taking in more
than 100 animals a day, and so far this year

Workers at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota prepare meals for birds Friday.
The center has been operating since 1979 and typically sees about 9,000 animals a year.
Not all of the animals, it says, actually needed human help or intervention.
it has seen at least 1,500 more animals than
it had last year around the same time.
“We are seeing record numbers,” Jenni
said.
A number of factors may be contributing
to that rise. Good spring weather, more public awareness of the center and the ending
of wildlife rehabilitation services elsewhere
may all be having an influence, Jenni said.
But even though the numbers are high,
the center is not overwhelmed, he added.
With a team of on-staff and volunteer veterinarians and a contingent of interns, the

center has been able to keep up with all the
injured and abandoned creatures.
Jenni said he wants people to continue to
bring in injured and orphaned animals, but
only if human intervention is truly needed.
Some juvenile animals that look helpless
and abandoned are only out exploring the
world and should be fine on their own.
“We love the fact that people want to help,
but we want to make sure that the help is
appropriate,” Jenni said. “People should try

A St. Paul priest broke the law
when he had sex with a female
parishioner, the Minnesota Supreme
Court decided Wednesday.
The high court reinstated the conviction of Christopher Wenthe,
reversing a Court of Appeals ruling
last year that said he deserved a
new trial.
In a dissenting
opinion, Supreme
Court Justice Alan
Page said he believed
the appellate court
was right to strike
down Wenthe’s conviction.
It was the second Christopher
time the high court Wenthe
has reversed an
appellate ruling in
the case.
The court’s Wednesday ruling centered on three issues: whether the
trial court’s jury instructions misstated the law; whether the state’s
clergy sexual conduct law required
Wenthe to know the woman was
seeking spiritual counseling at the
time they engaged in sexual contact;
and whether Wenthe should have
been allowed to offer counter prosecution claims that the woman was
sexually naive.
A previous appeal and Supreme
Court reversal centered on First
Amendment issues. The case was
sent back to the appeals court on the
remaining issues, which were decided last year and reversed Wednesday.
Wenthe, a Roman Catholic priest,
was convicted in 2011 of third-degree
criminal sexual conduct for a sexual
encounter with a woman; their relationship began in 2003, while he was
working at Nativity of Our Lord
church in St. Paul.
The victim testified that when she
was a new parishioner at Nativity, in
St. Paul’s Macalester-Groveland
neighborhood, she and Wenthe
developed a close bond. She was 21;
he was 38.
They began to see each other regularly. Hours before the first sexual
encounter, on Nov. 13, 2003, the victim had disclosed to a counselor
details of childhood sexual abuse —
something she had previously told
Wenthe.

WILDLIFE CENTER, 6A >
CONVICTION REINSTATED, 6A >

Minnesota Sex Offender Program

Dayton appeals ruling that offender program is unconstitutional
But governor also plans to cooperate with long-running efforts to improve it
By David Montgomery
dmontgomery@pioneerpress.com
Gov. Mark Dayton will cooperate with a federal judge’s
attempts to fix the Minnesota
Sex Offender Program even
as he tries to appeal that
judge’s ruling that the program is unconstitutional.

“We are appealing the ruling,” Dayton told reporters
Wednesday. He said he had
discussed the decision with
Attorney General Lori Swanson, and “we’re in agreement
on that.”
But the governor also
acknowledged that appealing
could be hard.

Normally cases can’t be
appealed until they’re complete, and U.S. District Judge
Donovan Frank hasn’t yet
decided what Minnesota has
to do to fix the program he
found unconstitutional. Dayton has asked Frank to let the
state appeal immediately,
while the sex offenders who

successfully sued the state
say that appeal should wait
until the process plays out.
Frank is likely to rule on the
question of an appeal next
month.
The governor plans to attend
a meeting called by Frank,
tentatively scheduled for Aug.
10, with other top Minnesota

political leaders.
Dayton is planning to attend
a trade mission to Mexico that
day, and has asked Frank to
reschedule. But the governor
said he’ll prioritize the MSOP
meeting over the trade mission if the judge holds firm.
Dan Gustafson, the attorney
who represented the sex
offenders who sued the state,
has criticized Dayton for
standing by the Sex Offender

Program and for trying to
appeal the ruling. But he
applauded the governor for
promising to attend the hearing.
“I think that is a very positive step in the right direction
and I think that it shows that
the governor is going to take
this
matter
seriously,”
Gustafson said.
SEX OFFENDER RULING, 6A >

LOCAL

St. Paul Pioneer Press
Wednesday 7-1-2015

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3A

St. Paul

Two suspects take opposite pleas in Taco Bell attack
15-year-old boy was hit with tire iron during May 25 riot
By Elizabeth Mohr

emohr@pioneerpress.com
One defendant has pleaded guilty and another has pleaded not guilty for their roles in a
May assault at a St. Paul Taco Bell in which a
boy was hit in the head with a tire iron.
Laresha Marie Uting, 25, of St. Paul entered
a guilty plea to one count of aiding and abetting second-degree riot with a dangerous
weapon Monday in Ramsey County District
Court. She was originally charged with second-degree riot.
As part of a plea agreement, Uting will likely
receive a stay of imposition — meaning the
charge will be downgraded if she complies
with the conditions of probation. She’ll be sen-

tenced Aug. 20.
Joe Willie Ross, 20, of St. Paul appeared in
court Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty
to one felony count of second-degree riot with
a dangerous weapon. The prosecution revoked
a plea deal it had offered, which would have
resulted in a sentence similar to Uting’s. The
riot charge carries a maximum penalty of five
years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both,
depending on a defendant’s criminal history
score and other factors.
The final defendant, Krystynn Shirelle
Mems-Collins, 26, of St. Paul, was charged
with third-degree riot and fifth-degree assault.
She made her first court appearance Tuesday
and is scheduled for another hearing July 22,
when she could enter a plea.

so a regular customer — a 15-year-old boy
identified as “N.S.” — tried to intervene. They
argued and the trio left the restaurant, then
returned moments later.
Mems-Collins, identified in initial reports as
“BJ,” picked up a chair and threw it over the
counter at employees, a criminal complaint
said.
Laresha
Joe
Krystynn
Then she and her friends turned on the boy.
Marie
Willie
MemsUting had retrieved a tire iron from her car in
Uting
Ross
Collins
the parking lot, which she gave to Ross. Ross,
identified in early reports as “Guns,” used the
The assault incident occurred about 9 p.m. tire iron to hit the boy in the head. Mems-ColMay 26 at the Taco Bell near White Bear and lins then punched the boy, the complaint said.
When the three left Taco Bell, Mems-Collins
Nevada avenues in the Greater East Side
and Ross allegedly attacked a customer enterneighborhood.
According to charges, Mems-Collins, Uting ing the restaurant.
and Ross ordered food at the drive-through
and then came into the restaurant to complain
that their order was wrong. They were alleg- Elizabeth Mohr can be reached at 651-228-5162.
edly belligerent and swearing at employees, Follow her at twitter.com/LizMohr.

Festival swings for the fence
Chicago resident
Greg Whalley works
Tuesday to set up some
of the 12,000 linear feet of
chain-link fencing that
will surround the 35th
Annual Hmong
Freedom Celebration at
McMurray Field in
St. Paul’s Como Park.
Informally known as J4,
the large festival, which
attracts Hmong from
around the country, will
run over the Fourth of
July weekend.
The festival is hosted by
the Lao Family Community of Minnesota, a St. Paul
based nonprofit organition. This year marks the
40th anniversary of the
start of the Hmong exodus
from Laos after a government overthrow in 1975.
PIONEER PRESS: SCOTT TAKUSHI

State GOP quiet about court’s
same-sex marriage decision
When the U.S. Supreme
Court decided health care
subsidies in states that lack
their own exchanges were
constitutional, opponents and
supporters of federal health
care overhaul were quick to
react.
The reactions were full force
in Minnesota, even though
the state has its own exchange,
which could exist no matter
how the court came down on
the key Obamacare provision.
The next day, when the court
decided to legalize same-sex
marriage across the nation,
we in Minnesota again heard
an overwhelming outburst.
The reactions came pouring
in – from state and federal
leaders — even though Minnesota had legalized samesex marriage in 2013.

On that day, the statements
were one-sided. “A great day,”
“love is love,” “I could not be
more proud,” the statements
said.
Official statements from
opponents were absent.
For those who support what
they call traditional marriage
and fought to keep it defined
as only the union between a
man and a woman, the day
was a disappointment.
Although a majority of the
state, like a majority in the
country, now supports samesex marriages, many in Minnesota still see them as
wrong.
Nonetheless, neither Republican Party chairman Keith
Downey nor any other Minnesota Republican expressed
outrage at or acceptance of
the court’s decision to allow

gay couples to wed in all 50
states.
Downey, however, like many
other Republicans, still has
strong feelings about the decision.
“The Supreme Court has
settled the issue only by
thwarting the full debate of
marriage policy in state-level
political processes,” he said in
a statement this week to the
Pioneer Press. “The implications of this ruling are as yet
unknown in practice, but it
must not undermine our freedom of speech and religious
liberty, nor coerce churches
or other religious institutions
into performing marriages
that their sincerely held religious beliefs do not recognize.
We should respect the views
of fellow citizens as we move
forward from this ruling.”

Rachel E.
StassenBerger
More Capitol news on 5A:
Ethics panel rejects DFLer’s
complaint against Republican
Unlike his widely circulated
statement about the health
care decision, which he later
repeated in a fundraising
email, his marriage statement
went only to those who asked
for it. The Republican Party,
which believes “that marriage
is between one man and one
woman” in its party platform,
did not mention the marriage
decision in its weekly email
last week.
Although Downey was not
available to discuss his relative silence on marriage, there
could be some clear reasons
behind it.
STASSEN-BERGER, 5A >

I’ve seen the future,
and kept the receipt
Even my own favorite gas
station, which still allows me
to pay inside at the counter,
has launched itself into the
21st century with new gas
pumps that not only offer
super-nice-to-the-Earth fuels
made from butterfly wings
and green grasses and weeds
and corn and God knows
what else, but feature television screens. Personally, I
don’t need “SportsCenter”
or “The Price is Right” when
I am pumping gas, but commerce never misses a beat.
The speed of commerce
doesn’t care if pumping gas
is supposed to be the time
when you kick tires and take
stock of the day that lies
ahead. Commerce wants you
to watch TV.
There was a piece in the
paper the other day about

Joe
Soucheray
people who have such a fear
of getting germs from a gas
pump nozzle that some
entrepreneur has come up
with disposable gloves at the
pump. The gloves feature
advertising, which is how I
suppose the maker of the
gloves makes money.
I believe we are headed for
a future when presidents of
the United States will
acknowledge that they are
bought and paid for anyway,
so they might as well come
SOUCHERAY, 9A >

St. Paul City Council

Former school board member Goldstein announces council bid
By Frederick Melo

fmelo@pioneerpress.com
Tom Goldstein, a resident of
Hamline-Midway, announced
Tuesday he will run for the
Ward 4 city council seat currently occupied by St. Paul
City Council President Russ
Stark. The election is Nov. 3.
Goldstein, an attorney, said
in his campaign announcement that poverty rates in St.

Paul are too high, the city
lacks living wage jobs, and
the “coziness between the
council members and the
mayor has not yielded significant benefits for Ward 4.”
“We somehow can find
money to fund a new minor
league ballpark … yet have
only recently begun to make
headway on the huge backlog
of streets in disrepair,” he
said. “Since when did luxury

Attorney Tom
Goldstein is
challenging
council
president
Russ Stark
in Ward 4.

from 2006 to 2009 and once
operated a retail business, the
Baseball Card Shop — later
known as The Sports Collection — on Grand Avenue.
He is a founding member of
the Historic Hamline Village
neighborhood group, which
condos and upscale grocery has opposed Hamline Universtores take precedence over sity’s long-term plan to
expand its campus by buying
the needs of people?”
Goldstein previously served and demolishing neighboring
on the St. Paul school board homes. Goldstein also sup-

ports banning plastic bags in
stores and “reform(ing) our
zoning code so that neighborhoods are adequately protected against senseless teardowns and the growing boom
in McMansions.”
Goldstein, who co-founded
the community group “Connect St. Paul,” said he wants
to reconvene an independent
citywide task force to study
the cost of building a commu-

nity-owned broadband network that can deliver affordable, high-speed Internet
service to residents.
Stark, who was first elected
to the council in 2007, is a former community organizer
and alternative transit advocate. He received the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement in February. Council
members serve four-year
terms.

LOCAL
6A

M

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Thursday 7-9-2015

Blaine

‘Ty’ Hoffman admits on-the-run bank robbery
Later captured, he’s serving time for ex-boyfriend’s murder
By Elizabeth Mohr

emohr@pioneerpress.com
Lyle “Ty” Hoffman, convicted this year of murdering his
ex-boyfriend in Arden Hills,
admitted Wednesday that he
robbed a bank in Blaine while
on the run after shooting
Kelly Phillips.
Hoffman pleaded guilty to
one count of armed bank robbery before U.S. District
Judge Richard Kyle in St.

Paul.
According to the charges,
filed in June, Hoffman used a
gun to rob a TCF Bank in
Blaine on Aug. 31 and made
off with about $20,000.
A presentence investigation
was ordered, and a sentencing date has not been set.
Hoffman, 45, remains in
custody at the state prison in
St. Cloud.
He pleaded guilty in January to intentional second-

degree murder for the death
of Phillips. He was sentenced
in March to 25{ years in
prison.
In 2009, when Hoffman and
Phillips were in a romantic
relationship, they opened
Lush Food Bar, a popular
club in Northeast Minneapolis. Phillips, a Boston Scientific executive, was the bar’s
owner and Hoffman the manager, court documents show.
At some point, the two

Lyle ‘Ty’
Hoffman
robbed a TCF
Bank during
the month he
spent on the
lam last year.

man and Phillips drove into a
Holiday gas station in Arden
Hills, not far from where Phillips worked, after 8 a.m. Witnesses said they heard arguing from the BMW and then
saw Phillips run from the
vehicle.
Hoffman followed with a
ended their romantic relationship, and Hoffman was .45-caliber Glock handgun
fired and evicted from Phil- and shot him twice from a
lips’ Minneapolis residence, distance and once at pointaccording to criminal charg- blank range in the back of
es. Phillips became engaged the head while Phillips was
to marry another man Aug. on his knees, according to
the criminal complaint.
11, 2013.
A monthlong manhunt folExactly a year later, Hoff-

lowed, as reports of Hoffman
sightings came in from
across the Twin Cities —
including his possible connection to the Blaine bank
robbery.
Hoffman was arrested Sept.
11 after a witness spotted
him and called 911; he was
arrested while standing in
front of a drive-through
menu outside an Arby’s restaurant in Shakopee.
Elizabeth Mohr can be reached at
651-228-5162. Follow her at
twitter.com/LizMohr.

St. Paul

Stillwater

WATCH OUT, WEEDS

Ruth Alliband, a Stillwater retiree, declares war on garlic mustard in the city’s ravines.

Ronald
McDonald
House gets
a fourth site
Children’s Hospital
hosts new space
By Maja Beckstrom

mbeckstrom@pioneerpress.com

PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: JEAN PIERI

Ruth Alliband pulls and then carries invasive garlic mustard to a garbage bag in a ravine off of Everett and Cherry streets Wednesday in
Stillwater. The 69-year-old naturalist and Iowa native said her goal is to rid Stillwater’s ravines of garlic mustard by 2020.

By Mary Divine

mdivine@pioneerpress.com
Ruth Alliband didn’t plan to
spend her golden years fighting
the spread of garlic mustard.
But the Stillwater woman’s
retirement plans were set in the
spring of 2012 when she went
for a hike along the city’s ravine
walking paths. Alliband, a master naturalist, kept seeing the
tall, leafy weeds along the trails
between Owens Street and
Fourth Street and couldn’t stop
herself from pulling them out.
“I thought, ‘Oh, I can take care
of this,’ ” said Alliband, 69. “I
carried a big bunch home in my
arms and put in the garbage,
and then I went back and got
more.”

Three years later, she is still
weeding.
Alliband and a team of volunteers — they call themselves
the Garlic Mustard Busters —
have logged hundreds of hours
in their eradication efforts.
“I’ve been picking up people
who come down the path and
ask about it,” she said.
Alliband said the volunteers
have put in more than 70 hours
fighting the weed. But none can
match her dedication: During
the spring and early summer,
she’s out there four hours a day,
five days a week.
On Wednesday morning, a
group of teenagers from St.
Michael’s and St. Mary’s CathoWATCH OUT, WEEDS, 7A >

Ruth Alliband, center, leads a group of teenage volunteers from St.
Mary’s and St. Michael’s churches in Stillwater to the area where
they will pull out invasive garlic mustard on Wednesday.

Nicole Peterson has tried to nap on
the couch alongside her infant son
in neonatal intensive care, but the
beeping monitors and busy nurses
keep her awake. The new mother
from Eagan will soon have a quiet
haven when Ronald McDonald
House Charities opens its fourth
location in the Twin Cities, inside
the St. Paul campus of Children’s
Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
The Ronald McDonald Family
Room, which opens Thursday, will
serve an estimated 1,000 parents and
family members its first year. The
cozy and carpeted suite consists of
four bedrooms and a lounge with
sofas, a flat-screen television and a
gas fireplace. There’s a big eat-in
kitchen where volunteers will prepare evening meals as well as an
exercise room and washer and dryer,
all available free of charge for families with children in critical care.
More than $2 million was raised
from private donors for construction
and the first three years of operation.
The first local Ronald McDonald
House opened in 1979 near the University of Minnesota hospitals to
house the families of young cancer
and transplant patients and has
room for 48 families.
The new St. Paul location will be
the third site that the Ronald McDonald charity has built inside a children’s hospital in the Twin Cities. In
2010, the nonprofit opened 16 rooms
in the Minneapolis campus of Children’s Hospitals followed a year
later by four rooms at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St.
Paul.
“It’s a model that is really exceeded
our expectations,” said Joy JohnsonLind, director of child and family
services at Children’s Hospitals. “It
gives families a place to relax and
regroup, yet they’re literally a hallRONALD MCDONALD HOUSE , 7A >

The few, the proud — the Marines who got help at Veteran Court
You can take the man out of
the Marines but never the
Marines out of the man. I
know this well, given the
number of folks I know who
served in “the few, the proud”
branch. But it was refreshing
to be reminded of it this week
during my conversation with
Tar (Tim) Po of St. Paul.
I’m called a lot of names
over the phone. A few are
actually pretty nice. But “sir”
is a rarity outside of restaurants. Po, 29, is true-blue Semper Fi, though he was honorably discharged and returned
to civilian life seven years
ago.
He served 14 months in
Afghanistan and Iraq at the
height of the conflict. Then
came a 2005 IED explosion
while he was on patrol in
Ramadi, Iraq, during the
Ramadan observance. He suffered a traumatic brain injury

Rubén
Rosario
and serious shrapnel wounds
to his arm and leg. He lost so
much blood that doctors initially thought they might have
to amputate.
Po prayed. He healed well
from his physical wounds, but
the mental scars? Not so
much. They lingered like lint
on a wool sweater. Adjusting
back to civilian life was tough.
PTSD, later diagnosed, did
more damage to the rocky
transition, “but I wasn’t the
kind to seek help,” he told me.
When you have that mindset
and are then trained to suck it
up, reaching out is a tough
about-face.

He partied and drank hard
to self-medicate. That got him
two DWIs — the second one a
felony last year after he was
stopped by a state trooper
while driving back to St. Paul
on Interstate 35E from a bar
binge outing.
‘NOT DELIBERATE
CRIMINALS’
But Po lucked out. He was a
prime candidate for Ramsey
County’s Veteran Court, a
19-month-old voluntary alternative-sentencing effort being
replicated across the Twin
Cities and the nation in recent
years. He realized his destructive lifestyle was leading him
down a dead-end street.
On Thursday, Po and three
other veterans will become
the first to graduate from the
program and be honored at a

ceremony. Sober since the
bust, Po is flying straight and
pursuing a nursing degree at
Anoka-Ramsey Community
College this fall. He sounded
like a paid program pitchman
over the phone:
“Sir, I can tell you that it is
amazing. This was perfect for
me.”
The court was established in
December 2013 as a way to
deal with vets whose lawbreaking has some viable
connection to the adverse
consequences of their service.
There are currently 32 program participants. Five have
washed out since the program
began.
“The argument that this is a
two-tier justice system, that
we are giving these veterans
an undeserved benefit or
break, doesn’t hold much
water for me,” said Dustin
Rockow, the Veteran Court

me.
“This is a program that
requires accountability and
it’s a collaborative goal by
both the team and the veteran
to make sure that the needs of
the veterans are met and that
public safety is served at the
end. But it’s all about them —
the veterans. They’re the ones
really who are doing the
heavy lifting.”
To comply with the program, Po peed into a cup twice
a week. He had to spend at
least 40 hours a week engaging in a productive activity.
He took part in an outpatient
chemical-dependency treatSERVING VETS WHO
SERVED THEIR COUNTRY ment program at the VA center in Minneapolis. He had to
Kim Bingham, a hard-nosed satisfy other conditions set
county prosecutor involved in forth by a collaborative team
the Veterans Court since its that includes county judges,
prosecutors, public defenders,
inception, agrees.
“This isn’t a ‘get out of jail
free card’ program,” she told
ROSARIO, 7A >
coordinator at the courthouse
who also supervises the
machinations of the Drug,
DWI and Mental Health
courts.
This is more than a cause
for Rockow. He is also a member of the Minnesota National
Guard who was deployed to
Kuwait.
“Believe me, veterans are
the last to want something
special done for them because
of their service,” he said.
“They are not deliberate criminals who willingly break the
law.”

LOCAL

St. Paul Pioneer Press
Saturday 7-11-2015

M

3A

Ramsey County

Chickadee is nation’s first songbird with avian influenza
It’s the state’s second wild bird to test positive for HPAI
By Andy Rathbun

arathbun@pioneerpress.com
A chickadee found in Ramsey County is the second wild
bird in Minnesota — and the
first songbird in the nation —
to be confirmed as having
highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota director Phil
Jenni said the bird, which he
believes was found in Vadnais
Heights, exhibited “abnormal
neurological signs” when it
was brought to the center
June 10.
It’s not uncommon for the
Roseville facility to see such

signs in ground-feeding animals, and the bird was immediately euthanized according
to protocol. The chickadee
was not in contact with any
other animals at the facility,
Jenni said, adding that the
center has stepped up its biosecurity measures because of
the bird flu epidemic.

The center sent the chickadee and six others that had
displayed similar neurological
signs to the University of Minnesota’s diagnostic testing
laboratory, and only one of
the seven came back as having avian influenza. Further
testing showed it was highly
pathogenic avian influenza,
Jenni said.
The discovery follows confirmation of the virus in a

Cooper’s hawk found in Yellow Medicine County in April
— the first wild bird to test
positive for HPAI in Minnesota.
Nationally, several other
birds have tested positive for
the virus, but none of them
were songbirds.
“The report of a chickadee
testing positive for avian
influenza is the first detection
of the disease in a songbird,”

Lou
Cornicelli,
wildlife
research manager for the
Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources, said in a
statement. “This is further
evidence that while waterfowl
species can serve as a reservoir for avian influenza, other
species are susceptible to the
disease.”
Jenni points out, though,
INFECTED CHICKADEE, 4A >

St. Croix Falls, Wis.

Summer Fun > St. Paul

In the big leagues now

F-Bomb
firearms
store raising
hackles
Residents offended
by name, signage
By Andy Rathbun

arathbun@pioneerpress.com

PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: SCOTT TAKUSHI

Six-year-old Hakim Mzee concentrates on the ball Thursday during a day camp at Conway Recreation Center in St. Paul.

St. Paul Police Athletic League
hosts free camps for baseball,
basketball, soccer and fishing.
By Katie Kather

kkather@pioneerpress.com
Nearly 40 children lined up for “high
knees” and “bear crawls” in a grassy field
next to a baseball diamond at the Conway
Community Recreation Center on St. Paul’s
East Side on a warm July day.
They were there for a four-day St. Paul
Police Athletic League baseball camp, one of
many free camps being hosted across the
city this summer in partnership with the
Sanneh Foundation.
The free camps — baseball, soccer, fishing
and biking — are open to children ages 6 to
14.
It’s a departure from previous years, when
the Police Athletic League ran one team for
the summer.
“My goal was to give more opportunities
to more officers … and it opens it up to
more kids,” said Sgt. Mike McGinn, who
coordinates the program.
Thirty to 40 officers are working the
camps, some as volunteers and others during their shifts, he said.
The program’s goal is to build positive
connections between police and local youth.
The children get to interact with police in

Sophia Xiong, 7, tries to catch a ball at Thursday’s day camp as officer Jonathan Gliske
watches. See more photos of the police league’s camp sessions at photos.TwinCities.com.
a positive light, said John Hubbard, chief
operating officer at Sanneh.
“When they’re out in the community and
see police officers, they’ll have a relationship that’s developed,” he said.
The 15-year-old Police Athletic League is
part of the police department. It is funded
by grants from the national Police Athletic

League and also gets support from the
St. Paul Police Foundation.
The Sanneh Foundation, which supports
existing community organizations and operates its own programs for underprivileged
youth, has been running the recreation proATHLETIC CAMPS, 4A >

St. Paul

Mom briefly loses 6-year-old son when car stolen
Boy in back seat of running car during theft, was let out nearby
By Mara H. Gottfried

mgottfried@pioneerpress.com
A mother was hysterical when
she called 911 in St. Paul. Her car
had been stolen with her 6-yearold son in the back seat, police
said Friday.
Moments later, the car thief
dropped the child off in the area
unharmed, then sped off again in

the stolen vehicle, said Sgt. Paul
Paulos, a St. Paul police spokesman.
It happened about 4 p.m. Thursday in the area of University Avenue and Dale Street. A 27-year-old
woman parked outside Earth’s
Beauty Supply on University Avenue and left her car running with
her son in the back seat when she
went inside, Paulos said. She

returned moments later, found her
car gone and called 911, police
said.
A few minutes later, the woman
saw her car at University and Dale
as her son got out, and they were
reunited, Paulos said.
The woman didn’t get a look at
the male thief, who headed north
on Dale from University in the
stolen car, Paulos said.

The car and thief hadn’t been
found as of Friday. Police ask anyone who sees the 2000 white Mercury Sable with Minnesota license
plate number 011-RMU to call
them at 651-291-1111.
“This continues to be under
investigation, and the findings of
what happened, including why she
left the keys in the ignition, will be
determined through the investigator who has the case,” Paulos
said.

Is an “f-bomb” inappropriate for
Main Street?
F-Bomb Ordnance recently opened
a firearms retail store in downtown
St. Croix Falls, Wis., and its signage
has prompted complaints about the
public display of a euphemism for a
certain four-letter word.
During an unusually packed-house
city council meeting last week, about
a dozen people spoke out against the
signage, Mayor Brian Blesi said.
“Residents have expressed that
our nuisance ordinance contains
language that this graphic violates,”
he said, adding that the city council
will take up the issue during a meeting Monday.
Amy Klein was one of those who
spoke out against the business’s
name at last week’s meeting.
“The innuendo around it is enough
that it really lowers the standards in
this community,” Klein said Friday.
“I just think that we as a community
need to hold ourselves to higher
standards.”
F-Bomb Ordnance’s owners say
they’re not trying to be inflammatory and that the business should be
able to display its name and website
— f-bomb.net — on the outside of
the building.
“We don’t think it offends the morals and decency of the community,”
co-owner Dr. Geoff Gorres said.
Blesi said he’s received a number
of calls and emails in support of the
business, but most have expressed
concern. Mayor for the past three
years and city council member for
several more, Blesi said he can’t
recall the last time the city of about
2,100 faced an issue this contentious.
Gorres said F-Bomb Ordnance —
which operated for the past several
years in nearby Amery, Wis. —
didn’t set out to be controversial or
offensive. A euphemism, he said, is a
word that is used in place of one that
is considered offensive.
“But we don’t control how other
people are offended,” he said. “There
are a lot of things that offend me in
America, and I just have to deal with
them.”
Gorres said he and other owners
believe they have “the moral high
ground.”
“We won’t be changing our name,”
he said. “We won’t be moving. And I
think it’s unlikely that we’ll be
changing our signage in the near
future.”
Both Blesi and Gorres said there is
another issue influencing the backlash against the business: concern
by some about F-Bomb Ordnance
selling firearms. Gorres said that is
“absolutely” a factor in the uproar
over the name.
“If the name of our business was
F-bomb Records, I don’t think that
we’d be having this discussion,” said
Gorres, who is an emergency room
physician.
Klein, however, said hunting is part
of the culture in St. Croix Falls and
the fact the business sells guns “is
really not the issue here.”
“The issue is the innuendo around
the name itself being really offensive,” she said.
Main Street, she added, is in need
of businesses, but it is seeing some
revitalization. To call a business
“F-Bomb” is out of place with the
effort that’s being made downtown,
she said.
“It just reflects such an inconsistency with what we want our comF-BOMB DISPUTE, 4A >

LOCAL

St. Paul Pioneer Press
Saturday 7-18-2015

M

5A

Minnesota

Salmonella illnesses in state spark nationwide chicken recall
All three Minnesota cases linked to Antioch Farms Cordon Bleu products
By Andy Rathbun

arathbun@pioneerpress.com
Salmonella illnesses in Minnesota have sparked a nationwide recall of nearly 2 million
pounds of stuffed chicken
products — the second major
chicken recall this month.

Aspen Foods, part of Chicago suburb-based Koch Poultry
Co., is recalling frozen, raw,
stuffed and breaded chicken
that was sold under a number
of brands. The chicken may
be contaminated with salmonella enteritidis, a common
form of salmonella bacteria

that can cause severe illness.
The U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Food Safety and
Inspection Service began
investigating a cluster of salmonella enteritidis illnesses
in Minnesota last month.
Three illnesses in May and
June were found to be linked

to the recalled chicken.
While the recall applies to a
variety of brands, all three illnesses in Minnesota were
linked to Antioch Farms Cordon Bleu products, said Carlota Medus, an epidemiologist
with the Minnesota Department of Health.

The department is also
investigating the possibility of
other cases of illness being
linked to the chicken.
Koch said in a statement
this week that it voluntarily
agreed to the recall.
The other national recall
this month also involved
stuffed chicken products that
made Minnesotans sick. Barber Foods of Portland, Maine,

recalled 1.7 million pounds of
frozen, raw and stuffed chicken products after five people
in Minnesota became sick
with salmonella — specifically from Barber Foods Chicken
Kiev. Illnesses linked to the
company’s stuffed chicken
also occurred in Wisconsin
and Oklahoma, Medus said.
CHICKEN RECALL, 6A >

St. Paul

Summer Fun > St. Paul

Blast from the past

7th Street
Tavern will
close at the
end of July
Strip mall owner plans
development as yet
another tenant leaves
By Sarah Horner

shorner@pioneerpress.com

PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: SCOTT TAKUSHI

Nai Yang dusts down the ornamental fireplace Wednesday in Courtroom 326 at Landmark Center in St. Paul. The building houses
18 nonprofit organizations and four businesses on four floors. It also hosts “Music In The Cafe” performances by musicians such as
Paul Seeba, below. The St. Paul guitarist and folk singer performed at noon Wednesday in the Landmark Center atrium.

St. Paul’s Landmark Center welcomes visitors to its mostly free museums, galleries and exhibits.
— the Schubert Club Museum
and the Gallery of Wood Art of
the American Association of
Woodturners — occupy the second floor.
Looking for the best time and
date to visit Landmark Center?
Here’s a cheat sheet:

By Frederick Melo

fmelo@pioneerpress.com
Every now and again, Judge
John “Sentence a Minute”
McGee returns to the stand to
preside over Prohibition-era
gangsters at Landmark Center,
St. Paul’s former Federal Courts
Building.
Ghostly bootleggers still roam
the halls in suit coats. Vintage
lathes still turn wood; harp,
mandolin and fiddle players still
serenade audiences; and couples
still say “I do” beneath a massive skylight 80 feet overhead.
In a city that prides itself on
preserving and celebrating history, the Landmark Center may
be St. Paul’s most interactive
and well-kept connection to its
past. Five museums, galleries
and exhibits invite visitors to
peer into the city’s cultural niches. Weddings, dance recitals,
historical re-enactments and
cultural celebrations add new
life.
And with a few exceptions,
they’re free.
Owned by Ramsey County and
managed by Minnesota Landmarks, a nonprofit organization,
Landmark Center completed a
historically sensitive restoration

HISTORY TOURS
Self-guided tours of Landmark
Center are always free during
building hours, and fans of marble wainscoting, ornate columns
and hand-carved woodwork are
in for a treat. James Knox Taylor, Edward Bassford and Cass
Gilbert were among the prominent St. Paul architects associated with various stages of the
building.
During the Great Depression,
Landmark Center was painted
over from floor to roof in government green to make it less
luminous. With the economy
Saved from demolition by civic collapsed, “the general public
of its tower roof in December,
replacing 6,000 tiles and more efforts, Landmark Center hous- really didn’t care for the fact
than 25 miles of masonry joints. es 18 nonprofit organizations that it was marble and handThe building, which once served and four businesses in floors 2 carved,” said spokeswoman
as the headquarters for all fed- through 5. The Ramsey County Krissy Schoenfelder. Be sure to
eral offices in the Upper Mid- Historical Society maintains a visit the Landmark Gallery in
basement.
More
at
west, was completed in 1902. It research center in the basement the
also housed a U.S. Post Office largely focused on St. Paul building histories, and two museums
until 1974.
SUMMER FUN, 6A >

Obituary > William Malevich, 82

Dean of students was a St. Thomas institution
Staff report
The longtime dean of students at
the University of St. Thomas
known for his “Ask the Dean” column in the student newspaper has
died.
William Malevich, the first layperson to serve as dean of students
at St. Thomas, was 82. He died
Tuesday at a hospice in Green Valley, Ariz., of complications he suffered in a fall last winter, according
to a report by the St. Paul-based
university’s news service.
Malevich worked at St. Thomas

from 1965 to 1993,
serving 26 of those
years as dean of
students. Before
that he was a student himself, earning a bachelor’s
degree in 1955 and
William
a master’s degree
Malevich
in guidance and
counseling in 1963.
His student experience as a newcomer from Eveleth,
Minn., inspired his approach to the
job of dean of students, according
to the St. Thomas report on his

death.
“Bill was a kid from the Iron
Range who came to St. Thomas
and was scared to death when he
got here,” the Rev. John Malone, a
retired business professor, told the
university news service. “He
wasn’t going to let that happen to
students when he was dean. … He
was a substitute grandpa to a lot of
people on campus.”
Malevich was known for his
efforts to connect with students,
most notably through his “Dean,
Dean the Answer Machine” booth
in Murray Hall and his “Ask the

Dean” column in the Weekly Bulletin, which began in 1983.
Over the course of a decade, he
responded to 2,233 questions on
topics ranging from alcoholism
and abortion to the cubic volume
of atoms on the surface of a chicken, according to the university
news service.
Malevich and his wife, Penny,
spent their winters in Arizona and
summers in St. Paul. He is survived by his wife and a son, Steven,
of West St. Paul.
Funeral arrangements are
pending.

Another light is about to go out at
the slowly shuttering Sibley Plaza
strip mall on St. Paul’s West Seventh
Street.
The 7th Street Tavern — formerly
Champps Sports Bar — is not renewing its lease. The bar and restaurant’s last day is July 31.
“It’s sad; we’ve been here for 30
years,” said owner Dan Greenberg.
Greenberg, who also owned
Champps, said he was forced to
change the restaurant’s name last
year after the corporation that
owned it emerged from bankruptcy
and was sold to another company.
That company wouldn’t allow any
Champps operating without a franchise agreement to continue using
the name, Greenberg said.
“Nothing changed inside, though:
same owner, same staff, same menu.
… Other than the name on the front
door, everything was the same,”
Greenberg said.
The name change, along with construction on the Minnesota 5 bridge
and other changes in the neighborhood, added to a dwindling customer
base at the sports bar, Greenberg
said.
It likely didn’t help that the strip
mall itself has endured dwindling
activity for years. Much of the
94,000-square-foot mall has sat
vacant as the property’s owner, Paster Enterprises, proceeds with tentative plans to redevelop it.
The only remaining tenants in the
decades-old building are Cooper’s
Foods, Tuesday Morning, a medical
clinic and a couple other retail
shops.
Neighbors have been calling for
improvements to the plaza for
years.
Paster announced tentative plans
last year that included razing the
property and redeveloping it along
with developer Bader Development
into luxury apartments, a multistory
fitness center, and a natural and
organics grocer.
It’s unclear whether the proposal
has changed since, and Paster Enterprises declined to comment on current plans. The company’s marketing manager said the company
would provide an update when there
was one.
Gary Cooper, owner of Cooper’s
Foods, said he’s heard the plan
remains on track but said he was
unsure of the timeline. “Last time I
talked to (Howard Paster) he told me
I’d be there another year yet,” Cooper said. “Obviously, we’d like to be
there longer, but I guess we don’t fit
in to the long-term plan.”
Cooper plans to make continued
investments at his other grocery
store on West Seventh Street in the
meantime.
“We’re putting in a deli, some new
checkouts, new flooring. … We want
to try and make that store as nice as
possible and grow that business for
when we lose this site,” Cooper said.
It’s hard to see 7th Street Tavern
go, Cooper added.
“I don’t like seeing all those spaces
sit empty,” he said.
Based on University Avenue in St.
Paul, Paster Enterprises has been
managing commercial real estate in
the Twin Cities since 1948, and St.
Louis Park-based Bader Development has been building multifamily
housing for nearly as long.
Sarah Horner can be reached at
651-228-5539.

LOCAL

St. Paul Pioneer Press
Saturday 7-25-2015

M

3A

Minnesota

State Patrol: Don’t make way for ducklings
By Andy Rathbun

arathbun@pioneerpress.com
Although drivers might be thinking
about saving animals’ lives when swerving to avoid them, they’re neglecting to
consider that they could be putting
human lives in danger.
That’s the message from the Minnesota
State Patrol after the release of a video
showing drivers on Interstate 35W near
Mounds View swerving suddenly to
avoid hitting a duck and its ducklings.
“I cringed when I saw it because I was
waiting for a crash,” said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol. “Based on the
swerving, the speed, the congestion, that
was what I was expecting to happen.”
In the Minnesota Department of Transportation traffic video, the ducks are
crossing southbound lanes of the 65-mph
interstate about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Several cars are seen quickly braking
and swerving into adjacent lanes and
the shoulders to avoid the ducks, who
appear to reach a grassy area on the side
of the road unscathed.
“Nobody got hit, which I think is amazing — including the ducks,” Nielson
said.
But it could have turned out differently,
if, for instance, someone had been changing a tire on the side of the road when
one of the cars swerved into the shoulder, she said.
“If there was a fatal crash, I think people would very much regret not making
a better decision,” Nielson said.
She said that while she’s not advocating for drivers to mow down animals on
the freeway, people do need to make
sure they’re driving in a way that isn’t a
hazard.
Drivers who follow cars at a distance of

3 seconds or more and who scan the
horizon 10 seconds ahead should be able
to slow their speeds and make lane
changes safely. However, some drivers
are distracted, and you cannot be certain
those in vehicles behind you or to your
side are paying attention, Nielson said.
She also noted that it is illegal to stop
on a freeway for a nonemergency.
When confronting an animal in the
roadway, a general rule of thumb for
drivers is to suddenly stop or swerve
only if the animal is large and above
your hood, Nielson said.
Deer, for instance, will rarely go over a
hood in a crash, and it generally is less
dangerous to strike one than it is to hit a
tree or other fixed object on the side of
IMAGE COURTESY OF MNDOT
the road, according to the State Patrol.
Drivers swerve Wednesday afternoon to avoid hitting a mama
duck and her brood on Interstate 35W near Mounds View.
Andy Rathbun can be reached at 651-228-2121. The ducks, who crossed the road successfully, look like a line
Follow him at
in the right side of the photo about midway down.

Washington County

Summer fun

Charting new waters
St. Paul’s Lake Como hosts rental kayaks, pedal boats and stand-up paddle boards

Deal to buy
Tartan Park
considered
Site a private park
for employees
and guests of 3M
By Bob Shaw

bshaw@pioneerpress.com

PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: JOHN AUTEY

Katie Klotzbach of St. Paul tries out a paddle board earlier this week. The board can be rented at the Pavilion in Como Park.

By Ben Bartenstein

bbartenstein@pioneerpress.com
Welcoming several new attractions this summer, St. Paul’s Lake
Como might rival Minneapolis’
Chain of Lakes as the local recreation hotspot.
The 68-acre lake nestled in Como
Park features the Como Park Zoo
and Conservatory, Como Town
Amusement Park and Como Golf
Course.
In May, two more businesses
joined the ranks. Wheel Fun Rentals, the adventure rental agency,
added Como to its list of metro
locations. Beside it, Jon Oulman
turned the former Black Bear
Crossings at Como Lakeside Pavilion into Como Dockside, a Cajunthemed restaurant.
Together, the Como newcomers
offer a relaxing evening on the
lake. Locals can rent kayaks, pedal
boats and stand-up paddle boards
(SUPs) until 8 p.m. to explore the
lake’s 1.75-mile perimeter and
then head over to Como Dockside
for outdoor music and theater on
the Pavilion, enjoy po’boys, boudin
balls or vegetarian gumbo along
with a beer, caffeine-loaded con-

View and Carey Bonnabeau, 45, of
Minneapolis also opted for pedal
boats. Long brought his daughters, 13 and 9, for their first ride,
and Bonnabeau joined her kids
and their babysitter for a 20-minute spin during her lunch break.
“It’s nice to have an ice cream
cone and paddle around the lake,”
Bonnabeau said.
And why not add to the fun?
Como Dockside’s summer entertainment schedule features outdoor performances almost nightly
during August.
Saturday evening, the Highland
Park Community Center Theater
will present “Fiddler on the Roof”
($10 admission for the 7 p.m.
show).
Minneapolis residents Megan Chastain and Collier White ride a
Other performances include the
two-passenger surrey that also can be rented at Como Park.
Minnesota State Band’s free
Earlier in the week, Ella Ryman, Wednesday concerts at 7 p.m. July
coction or a soft drink.
In the evenings, Dylan Koltz- 11, of Woodbury took a surrey 29 and Aug. 5, along with Music
Hale of Wheel Fun Rentals cap- bike ride with her grandma, mom and Movies in the Park on Friday,
Aug. 21, when folk-rock band Faretains hourly boat excursions that and dog.
She said it was “fun,” if not a bit well Milwaukee will play an hourhe called “unique to Lake Como”
with food and alcohol allowed on- taxing from pushing the bike up a long set before a showing of the
hill. She was back at Wheel Fun 1974 Mel Brooks comedy “Young
board.
A private trip is $99 for up to six on Wednesday afternoon to cruise Frankenstein.”
passengers; it’s $20 per adult and around Lake Como on a pedal
Ben Bartenstein can be reached at
$15 for children 11 or younger on boat with her aunt.
Darren Long, 47, of Mounds 651-228-5488.
the general boat.

Bob Shaw can be reached at
651-228-5433. Follow him at
twitter.com/BshawPP.

Police arrest or cite 10 after Rice Street Fest parade
mgottfried@pioneerpress.com
St. Paul police arrested or cited 10
people for disorderly conduct and
fighting after the Rice Street Festival parade, the department said
Friday.
The Thursday night parade itself
“went off without a hitch,” said Don
Apitz, parade director. The festival,
which started in 1910, is an annual
celebration of the community.
Investigators are looking into
“what enticed multiple fights and
the behavior that occurred,” said
Sgt. Paul Paulos, a police spokes-

man, who described the period after
the parade as a “volatile situation.”
Of the people cited or arrested, four
were juveniles and six were age 18
or older, Paulos said.
In one instance, officers broke up
a fight between three females near
Rice Street and Front Avenue about
8:35 p.m., Paulos said. They cited
the three, ages 17, 18 and 19, for disorderly conduct and released them.
No injuries were reported.
In another case, police cited a
23-year-old man for disorderly conduct and booked him into the Ramsey County Jail. That stemmed from
a fight in the area of Rice and Wayz-

ata streets about 9 p.m.
Last week, after the White Bear
Avenue Parade, there was a large
fight involving “numerous juveniles
and adults” in the area of Montana
and White Bear avenues, according
to a police report. On Thursday,
police arrested three men in the
case, a jail log showed. They haven’t
been charged in that incident, but
prosecutors charged one on Friday
in a March gang-related case.
The Ramsey County attorney’s
office charged John Demetrius
McCaleb, 20, with crime committed
for the benefit of a gang and seconddegree riot. McCaleb told a sergeant

he is a Hit Squad gang member, and
on March 25, was at a video shoot
on the West Side where a gun was
being waved around, and 15 people
were arrested, according to the
complaint.
He said he’d held the gun in certain scenes and had been dropping
rival gang signs as a way to disrespect them during the video, the
complaint said.
It wasn’t clear where police had
arrested McCaleb on Thursday —
the criminal complaint said it was
at the Rice Street parade; the jail
log showed it was at Oakdale Avenue and Page Street.

Tartan Park closing
Tartan Park, the 426-acre golf
complex owned by 3M Co., will
close in December.
Lake
Elmo

20th St.

15

17

10th St.
Tartan Park

N

94

Manning Ave.

St. Paul

By Mara H. Gottfried

Tartan Park is for sale —
and Washington County is
considering a proposal to buy
the site.
The 426-acre corporate
retreat could be purchased to
maintain open space in Lake
Elmo, according to Deputy
County Administrator Kevin
Corbid.
“We have had a conversation about it,” said Corbid. He
said county staff is studying
the idea and will make a recommendation to the county
board this fall.
Tartan Park has been operated since the 1950s as a private park for employees and
guests of the 3M Co. It
includes a 27-hole golf course,
four lighted baseball diamonds, 12 tennis courts and
clubhouse. The golf course
has been open to the public
since 2012.
The company announced in
May that it would be shutting
the facility down in December
and would sell the property.
Corbid said the Trust for
Public Land, a nonprofit group
that prevents building on
open spaces, approached the
county.
The group is proposing that
the county buy the property,
which Corbid said is assessed
at $5.1 million.
Tartan Park is near the
2,165-acre Lake Elmo Park
Reserve, owned by the county.
Corbid said it isn’t likely
that the county would keep
the golf course open because
golf courses are struggling to
maintain players and revenue.
But it isn’t known what
would happen to the land —
whether it would be turned
into a park or maintained as a
outdoor sports area.
If the county does not buy it,
said Corbid, it would be more
likely that the land would
eventually be sold for housing
and businesses.
“We need to figure out what
the options are,” said Corbid.

PIONEER PRESS

SUNDAY LIFE
TRAVEL > 5-7E

1E

St. Paul Pioneer Press

FEATURES EDITOR AMY NELSON ANELSON@PIONEERPRESS.COM 651-228-5182

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2015

Big screens in back yards
PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: JULIO OJEDA-ZAPATA

Gary Bingner and Pam Luer of St. Louis Park show the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom” during a session of Pam & Gary’s Lawnchair Theater, which is a neighborhood tradition during the summer.

Three metro households have brought outdoor
movie gatherings to a whole new level
By Julio Ojeda-Zapata

jojeda@pioneerpress.com

Twin Citians, eager to enjoy
warmer months to the
fullest, often abandon
their indoor home theaters and set up
outdoors with video projectors and
makeshift display surfaces.
Backyard movies, relatively rare in
the days of clunky film reels, are now
commonplace in the DVD era, with
high-quality projectors available even
to those with tight budgets.
As a result, these movie gatherings
have become popular ways to catch up
with friends and bond with the neighbors over drinks and popcorn.
But some backyard-movie moguls
are more ambitious than others.
We looked at three metro households
that have aspired to outdoor-theater
immortality courtesy of their hands-on
ingenuity and a love of community.

Guests at Pam & Gary’s Lawnchair Theater sessions are
greeted by hosts Gary Bingner and Pam Luer with their
miniature, illuminated marquee announcing that evening’s feature.
MOVIE CLUBHOUSE
Jason Thomas shares a passion for the cinema with his
wife, Lisa Antony-Thomas. If the couple can watch movies outdoors with their friends during the summer
months instead of in their cramped living room, so much
the better.
But Thomas’ initial backyard-movie attempts were, he
recalled, profoundly unsatisfying.
The West St. Paul homeowner tried throwing a white
sheet over a clothesline to fashion a crude projection
surface, but the primitive screen was not smooth, and
the line bowed downward.
Lame.
“I wanted something that had a rigid backdrop that

Hosting backyard movie
nights has let me get all geeky
I had long been envious of homeowners
who can turn their back
Julio
yards into summertime
Ojedamovie venues using
Zapata
projectors,
giant
screens and the like.
Living in high-rise
apartments and condominiums all my life, I could never
try anything like this. It made me sad.
So when my wife and I moved from a downtown St.
Paul condo to a Summit-University house five years ago
— my first house, ever! — I put backyard movies on my
must-do list.
We did not get to it for a few years. The first summers
in our house were consumed with home-improvement
work that gave us no free time. The yard was a disaster,
in any case.
Last year, with pavers installed to make a lovely patio,
and a large, lush lawn planted to allow for all manner of
warm-weather fun, we were finally ready to do our
movie nights.
Since then, we have hosted a half-dozen gatherings,
ranging from intimate get-togethers with close friends
to grander affairs attracting dozens of guests from
within and beyond our neighborhood.
In 2014, we did two child-focused screenings, a teen
event for my son and all his friends, and a supergeek
gathering featuring a “Star Wars” movie. So far this
year, we have had a couple of animation-movie screenings, with more film occasions in the planning stages.
As a tech writer, I’ve found backyard movies to be a
fine opportunity for experimenting with projectors,

BIG SCREENS IN BACK YARDS, 4E >

Entertainment > Profile

Diablo Cody continues daring streak
with new film about a rocker mom
based on her own mother-in-law
asserts that her directing debut,
“Paradise,” also will be her
directing finale because “I am a
Former City Pages writer and sh---y director and I have no
Oscar winner Diablo Cody has a intention of ever doing it
more secure place in Hollywood again.”
Cody’s latest — and the reathese days, but at least one
thing has not changed: She still son feminism is on her mind —
is “Ricki and the Flash,” a
tells it like it is.
She has a word for women drama about a singer in a bar
who say they’re not feminists band, played by Meryl Streep,
“because they like men”: “idi- who essentially abandoned her
ots.” She thinks a lot about her, husband and children to pursue
her husband and their soon-to- that dream. The film, which
be-three sons getting the heck
out of Los Angeles. And she
DIABLO CODY, 8E >

JULIO OJEDA-ZAPATA, 3E >

Relationships > Daily Juggle

Hot days, dogs in cars:
Yes, Minnesota has a law

By Chris Hewitt

chewitt@pioneerpress.com

Meryl
Streep

Molly
Guthrey
It was a sauna-hot summer’s
day in 1983 when we pulled
into the Hornbacher’s parking lot in Fargo, N.D., in a
powder-blue Cadillac.
Despite the heat, after my
friend’s mom parked the
Caddy and turned off the ignition, we stayed put.
“Girls?” she asked, peering
in at us from the open back-

seat window. “Aren’t you
coming in?”
“No,” said my friend, “we’ll
just wait here.”
After a few minutes of waiting, though, we were too hot
PIONEER PRESS: MOLLY GUTHREY
and too bored. Instead of the I’ve become paranoid about
logical solution — going ever leaving dogs or kids in
inside to the cool grocery cars, thanks to roving Social
store to join my friend’s mom Justice Warriors.
— we decided to roll up all the
nonpower windows and have
mom when she found us
a sweating contest.
We giggled as the rivets of sealed up in the car. “What on
moisture rolled into our eyes earth?”
When we told her about the
and glued our legs to the
leather seats.
“Girls!” said my friend’s
MOLLY GUTHREY, 14E >

Passion for

Wild,
Blackhawks
to face off
in outdoor
game at
TCF Stadium

PIZZA
Big River Pizza uses farmers’
market to its advantage
EAT, 1C

SPORTS, 1B

ST. PAUL

THURSDAY

AUGUST 6, 2015

> CLASSIFIED, SECTION D

Charges for friends of teen killed in holdup

Lavauntai
Broadbent,
16, tried to
rob the man
who then
shot him,
police say.

Boys accused in alleged crime spree that ended with fatal robbery attempt on St. Paul river bluff
After nightfall, he was at it
again. This time, his target
pointed a gun right back.
The man fatally shot BroadBefore dawn Friday, Lavauntai Broadbent, 16, robbed a bent, of West St. Paul. He told
man at gunpoint in St. Paul police he feared Broadbent
and got away in a stolen car. would kill him and the woman

By Mara H. Gottfried

mgottfried@pioneerpress.com

he was with, and said he had
obtained his permit to carry a
gun for his protection after he
had recently been assaulted
while walking home from a
grocery store.
On Wednesday, the Ramsey

County attorney’s office
charged four teens who had
been with Broadbent on Friday, and spelled out more
details about what they say
happened that day.
The Ramsey County attor-

The juvenile petitions give
ney’s office charged Donte
Edward Foster, 16, of Wood- the following account:
St. Paul police were disbury; Kendell Anthony Lewis,
16, of St. Paul; Malcolm James patched about 4:40 a.m. Friday
Devion Golden, 17, of St. Paul; to a man who reported his
and Nautica Delshaun Cox,
16, of St. Paul.
TEENS CHARGED, 14A >

Pilot spots
drone while
landing at
MSP airport

Who will
stand out
in GOP
debate?

Such encounters
‘a growing issue,’
airport official says

10 top presidential
candidates will
share stage tonight

By Nick Ferraro
nferraro@pioneerpress.com

By David Lightman
Tribune News Service
CLEVELAND — Donald
Trump needs to act presidential. Jeb Bush has to erase the
notion that he’s just another
Bush. And a host of Republicans have to make enough of a
first impression on the American public that they can vault
into the top tier of a crowded
presidential field.
Ten Republicans will vie
Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m. CDT
in the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 campaign.
The other seven candidates can
participate in a one-hour forum
starting at 4 p.m.
The debate at Cleveland’s
Quicken Loans Arena is likely
to shake up and redefine the
huge field, the biggest in modern times. Here’s what the contenders need to do to stay in, or
reach, the front of the pack:
TIER ONE:
THE FRONT-RUNNERS
DONALD TRUMP: Can he
look and act presidential? He
needs to show (a) he’s thought
out policy positions and (b) he
has a commander in chief’s temperament. What’s his remedy
for overhauling the nation’s
health care system? Will there
be some detail, or another burst
of vivid sound bites?
JEB BUSH: Can he be pithy?
And can he separate himself
from his brother? The former
governor of Florida tends to
ramble and get too nuanced.
GOP DEBATE, 15A >

TwinCities.com

PIONEER PRESS: JEAN PIERI

Sisters Sammy and Hannah Binsfeld (holding bucket) of Vadnais Heights spend time at Lake Johanna in
Arden Hills with other swimmers Wednesday. The beach was closed for two days last week because of high
levels of E. coli and blue-green algae, which can be toxic.

Common threats
return to lakes
By Nick Ferraro
nferraro@pioneerpress.com
Minnesota swimmers might be
fretting about a lethal microscopic
parasite these days, but health
officials say they should be on the
lookout for more common threats.
High temperatures and runoff
from heavy summer rains can create conditions for harmful bluegreen algae and high E. coli levels,
both of which have shown up in
lakes across the state.
“This time of the year is when
we see an increase in waterborne
diseases,” said Trisha Robinson,
supervisor of the waterborne diseases unit for the state Department of Health.
Last week, high levels of E. coli
bacteria closed the swimming
beaches for two days at Long Lake

New blog explores St. Paul’s past
at blogs.TwinCities.com/fromthearchives.

exposed to toxins while swimming
in Alexandria’s Lake Henry in late
June and hospitalized.
“The blue-greens will continue
to prosper as long as the water is
staying warm,” said Steve
Heiskary, a research scientist for
the Pollution Control Agency.
Dogs are at particular risk if they
wade along shorelines where algae
can accumulate. Two dogs have
Regional Park in New Brighton died this summer from exposure
and at Lake Johanna at Tony to toxic blue-green algae — both in
Schmidt Regional Park in Arden Red Rock Lake in Douglas County
in west-central Minnesota. In all of
Hills.
The beach at Valley Lake Park in 2014, the blooms were blamed in
Lakeville and two beaches in Min- the deaths of three dogs.
However, people rarely suffer illneapolis also closed briefly this
nesses or conditions from bluemonth.
Last month, the Minnesota Pollu- green algae serious enough to
tion Control Agency cautioned require hospitalization, Heiskary
swimmers to watch out for bluegreen algae after a young boy was
SWIMMING RISKS, 14A >

Health officials say
swimmers should worry
more about blue-green
algae and E. coli than
deadly but rare parasite.

Authorities are investigating a
close encounter between a recreational drone and an airliner
preparing to land Monday at
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The pilot of Shuttle America
Flight 3504 spotted the drone
flying about 50 feet from the
plane at an altitude of 2,500 feet
about five miles southeast of
the airport, airport spokesman
Patrick Hogan said Wednesday.
“That’s obviously very, very
close,” Hogan said.
He said the encounter with
the
twin-propeller
drone
occurred just before 5:30 p.m. as
the airliner passed over Interstate 494 in Eagan.
No warnings were issued by
the flight crew, and the plane
landed without incident, said a
spokesman for Republic Airways Holdings, which owns
Shuttle America.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported the incident
to Eagan police, who searched
the area but did not find the
drone or its operator, said
Detective Desiree Schroepfer,
police spokeswoman.
FAA rules prohibit drones —
also called unmanned aircraft
systems — from flying within
five miles of an airport and no
higher than 400 feet.
As the popularity of drones
increases across the United
States, so has the number of
reports of the unmanned craft
being flown near airports and in
other restricted areas.
Hogan said Monday’s close

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Volume No. 167, No. 101, 4 sections, 38 pages
© 2015 St. Paul Pioneer Press (Northwest Publications)

DRONE INCIDENT, 14A >

LOCAL
4A

M

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Thursday 8-6-2015

St. Paul

School district corrects scores on statewide test
School-level gains on MCA science tests called ‘way off’
By Josh Verges

science tests.
In a July 30 announcement
of Minnesota Comprehensive
St. Paul Public Schools offi- Assessment results, the discials have acknowledged they trict identified 13 schools it
made numerous errors last said improved by 5 percentweek in reporting school-level age points or more on science
gains on mandatory statewide proficiency. But none of
jverges@pioneerpress.com

increases shown for those
schools was correct.
Chief executive officer
Michelle Walker said Wednesday that the district made the
correct calculations internally
but ended up publishing the
wrong list. An initial email to

district employees also contained a link to the incorrect
information.
An updated news release
from the district Tuesday
removed nine schools from
the list of those showing
improvement on the science
tests and corrected the gains
of the other four.
The district also found 12

schools that were not on the
initial list of improving schools
but should have been. In addition, one school’s reading calculation was revised.
The updated release still
doesn’t quite match what’s on
the Minnesota Department of
Education’s “report card”
website. Gains listed at four
schools differ by 1 percentage

point each because the district rounded to whole numbers before comparing yearto-year proficiency scores.
A July 30 Pioneer Press
story about the MCA results
relied on data released by the
Minnesota Department of
Education, not what the St.
Paul district published.

St. Paul

Minneapolis > Walker Art Center

No bike
lanes on
Cleveland
for now
Community group
will weigh other
locations this fall
By Sarah Horner
shorner@pioneerpress.com

PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: SCOTT TAKUSHI

No longer as
still as a statue
Above: David Dick, left, and Peter Hannah prepare the Deborah Butterfield
“Woodrow” sculpture for a move to indoor storage Wednesday in Minneapolis
as removal of artwork from the Walker Art Center’s collection in the Sculpture
Garden begins in preparation for the reconstruction of the Sculpture Garden
and renovation of the Cowles Conservatory.
Right: From left, Derek Rydberg, Peter Hannah and Joe King lift part of the
Louise Nevelson “Dawn Tree” sculpture off its base and prepare it for the
move to indoor storage.

There will be no bike lanes
going in on Cleveland Avenue
in St. Paul anytime soon.
The Ramsey County Board
voted earlier this week to proceed with the resurfacing
project planned this summer
for the county-owned roadway between Summit Avenue
and Highland Parkway, but
without striping for cyclists
as previously planned.
The action will allow the city
of St. Paul more time to
engage residents on where
best to put bike lanes in that
corridor of the city. Several
business owners and residents who live on and near
Cleveland
Avenue
had
expressed concern about losing parking to accommodate
the cycling infrastructure.
A community group will
likely be assembled in September to start studying other
options for bike facilities in
the area, including putting
lanes on Finn Street or Prior
Avenue. The group will also
reconsider the merits to lanes
on Cleveland Avenue, according to city staff.
Members are expected to
make a recommendation to
the St. Paul City Council in
December, though no formal
timeline has been approved.
Seen as an important connection between the University of St. Thomas, St. Catherine
University, Highland Village
and commercial cross streets
such as Grand, St. Clair and
Randolph avenues, Cleveland
BIKE LANES, 5A >

St. Paul > East Side

West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan schools

Man charged in slaying
of neighbor’s boyfriend

School security upgrades at
elementaries back on track

By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
One minute, Parnell Robinson was on the front porch,
joking with a friend walking
by.
The next minute, Robinson
was shot dead from behind.
A neighbor, Lepierre Cortia
Carpenter, 24, is charged with
second-degree murder.
The shooting occurred about
6 p.m. Monday at a public
housing complex in the 1500
block of Ames Avenue.
Witnesses told police that
Robinson, 26, was visiting his
girlfriend and they were on
the front porch, along with
the woman’s 3-year-old
daughter, when Robinson saw
a friend and teased him about
walking to the store.
Their backs were turned to
the neighboring unit, where
Carpenter lives and with
whom they shared a front
porch. They heard shots,

according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in
Ramsey County District
Court. The girlfriend, identified as KNS, heard Robinson
say, “Why?” before he fell to
the ground. She then saw Carpenter throw a handgun into
the yard and walk back into
his unit, the complaint said.
KNS told police she didn’t
know her neighbors and
denied that there was a dispute with them. “She could
not understand why the
defendant shot her boyfriend,” the complaint said.
Robinson’s friend, with
whom he’d been joking before
he died, said he rushed back
to the scene when he heard
shots. He told police that Carpenter had been asked why
he shot Robinson and
responded, “That’s what he
gets for talking (expletive),”
the complaint said. When he
was told that Robinson had
been talking to a friend and

Lepierre
Carpenter

had not directed his comments at Carpenter, Carpenter “said nothing else and just
waited for police,” the complaint said.
When police arrived, Carpenter was sitting on the curb
and put his hands up. As he
was being put in a squad car,
he said, “I let my rage get the
best of me,” the criminal complaint said.
Carpenter’s sister, who was
visiting and inside his unit at
the time of the shooting, said
that she saw Carpenter head
toward the door with a gun
and that she tried to stop him,
the complaint said. The sister
said Carpenter was “very agitated before the shooting.”
Carpenter appeared in court
Wednesday; bail was set at $1
million.
His next court hearing will
be Sept. 2.
Elizabeth Mohr can be reached at
651-228-5162.

Board OKs contracts after price, contractor criticized
By Christopher Magan
cmagan@pioneerpress.com
West St. Paul-Mendota
Heights-Eagan school leaders say planned school security upgrades are back on
track after some initial sticker shock and criticism over
two contractors hired for the
$2.2 million work.
School board members on
Monday
unanimously
approved three contracts to
better secure entrances at
Garlough, Somerset and
Mendota elementary schools.
The work is the final piece of
$3.2 million in security
upgrades approved by voters
last fall.
Before awarding the contracts, the board heard local
construction union leaders
charge that the two contractors were unqualified and
that past poor performance

made them unfit to work on
local schools.
However, the board rejected the criticism and said the
district’s staff and construction consultants assured
them the contractors —
Derau Construction of Burnsville and Ebert Construction
of Loretto — were responsible.
“I came away from the discussion convinced that the
issues and allegations did
not reach a threshold that I
felt we should not award the
bids to these bidders,” board
chairman Mark Spurr said.
Markus Ebert, a vice president at Ebert, said unions
have criticized his nonunion
company in the past, but the
district’s decision to hire his
company speaks for itself.
“I think the board is confident they got a good contractor, and we are ready to per-

form,” Ebert said.
Representatives of Derau
Construction could not be
reached for comment.
Kevin Pranis, a spokesman
for the unions, said that
although the district didn’t
heed their advice, they were
glad they got the board’s
attention.
“I have no doubt they will
be closely watched,” Pranis
said of the projects.
The district has struggled
to keep the security upgrades
on budget and on schedule.
The work includes school
entrances that lead visitors
through an office, digital
security cameras and building-wide lockdown buttons.
Voters approved the projects by passing a $3.2 million
capital levy in November
with a $3 per year cost to the
SCHOOL SECURITY, 5A >

FAIR LASSIE,

A FAIR

St. Paul’s summer celebration
of Irish Heritage this weekend
PAGE 1C

ST. PAUL

FRIDAY
> CLASSIFIED, SECTION D

AUGUST 7, 2015

GOP debate: Trump vs. the rest
The bombastic businessman leaves little room 9 other hopefuls to shine
From news services
Businessman Donald Trump
lived up to his sharp-edged
reputation during the first
Republican debate of the 2016
presidential campaign, sparring with moderators and
other candidates as everyone
else on a 10-person stage
struggled to stand out.

Trump became the center of
the debate’s attention from
the very beginning, when he
was the only candidate who
refused to forswear the idea
of running a third-party campaign against the Republican
party, if he could not be its
nominee.
“I cannot say, ‘I have to
respect the person, who is not

Minnesota
Legislature
is getting
grayer

me,’ ” Trump said, as the
crowd booed him. “We want
to win, and we will win. But I
want to win as the Republican. I want to run as the
Republican nominee.”
Immediately, Kentucky Sen.
Rand Paul attacked, saying
Trump was “hedging his
bets,” and accusing him of
being too close to the Clinton

family. “He’s already hedging
his bets on the Clintons,” Paul
said, pointing in Trump’s
direction. “He’s already hedging his bets, because he’s used
to buying politicians.”
As the debate proceeded, it
seemed to veer between two
broad topics: America, and
GOP DEBATE, 9A >

ASSOCIATED PRESS: ANDREW HARNIK

Donald Trump makes a point as Gov. Scott Walker looks on in
the first Republican presidential debate, Thursday in Cleveland. For more photos, go to twincities.com.

Tami Heart’s mother found a serviceman’s medal — a Purple Heart —
in an Iron Range dump. Now that treasure will be returned.

Lawmakers’ median age
is a decade older than it
was 20 years ago

At forum,
neighbors
fret about
robbery
But St. Paul police
reassure residents that
area remains safe

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
and David Montgomery

By Jaime DeLage

Pioneer Press

jdelage@pioneerpress.com
Slowly and with little notice, the Minnesota Legislature has been graying.
This year, the median age of House
members is 54, according to a Pioneer
Press analysis. The median age of senators is 55. Twenty years ago, the median age for both was nearly a decade
younger.
The aging of the Legislature raises
crucial questions for the men and
women who are designing the state’s
laws. Can they accurately represent the
state’s diversity if they do not represent
it chronologically?
Are barriers to legislative entry and
legislative service keeping younger
LAWMAKERS’ MEDIAN AGE, 12A >

Tax credit
keeps St. Paul’s
old buildings
standing
State program awards
about $47 million to
city’s private developers
By Tad Vezner
tvezner@pioneerpress.com
Minnesota’s most recent historic
rehab — the long-abandoned “upper
post” of Fort Snelling — is expected to
receive a full $70 million in public funding, or more than two-thirds its projected costs.
That funding stream comes from a
new state law that — unlike the Legacy
Amendment — goes to private, forprofit developers, rather than non-profits or municipalities.
Since its inception several years ago,
the Minnesota Historic Tax Credit program has awarded nearly $120 million
to private developers, to rehab historic
HISTORIC BUILDINGS, 6A >

TwinCities.com

PIONEER PRESS: JEAN PIERI

Tami Heart holds a photo of Wiljo Matalamaki and his Purple Heart on Thursday. She learned
that Matalamaki grew up in her cabin and was killed in action during World War II.

Neighbors and members of the University
of St. Thomas community had questions
about guns, gangs and
growing lawlessness
Thursday night during
a meeting with St. Paul
Lavauntai
police after an armed
Broadbent
robbery just off campus
left suspected teenage
robber Lavauntai Broadbent dead.
More than 100 people attended the
meeting hosted by the St. Paul Police
Department and the St. Thomas Public
Safety Department in the John Roach
Center auditorium. They received the
latest information about the incident
from police and had an opportunity to
ask questions, of which there were
many.
Police shared much, but not all, of
what they know about the incident late
July 31, when they say suspected teenage gang members approached two
people near the World War I monument at Summit Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard and pulled a gun
after asking to use a cellphone.
Broadbent was shot to death by the
man they attempted to rob, who had a
permit to carry a weapon.
Many audience members expressed
frustration with petty crime such as
SUMMIT SHOOTING, 9A >

HEARTS IN THE

RIGHT PLACE
By Richard Chin

rchin@pioneerpress.com
A woman named Heart will be returning a
long lost Purple Heart on Sunday.
For about 15 years, White Bear Lake resident Tami Heart has held onto a stranger’s
military decoration, a Purple Heart medal,
which is awarded to a serviceman wounded
or killed in combat.
Heart, 51, said the medal was found by her
mother in a garbage dump on the Iron Range
in the mid-1990s.

Looking for a taproom in the Twin Cities? Check
our list at pioneerpr.es/Taprooms.

Heart said her mother, Susie Mistelske, who
lived in St. Paul, had purchased an old homestead in Wawina, Minn., near Grand Rapids,
that included 40 acres of property and an old,
rustic house without electricity or running
water.
The family used the property as a summer
cabin and hunted deer there.
Another activity for the family was visiting
the local dump to spot bears and scavenge for
stuff that could be reused.
PURPLE HEART, 12A >

Passing judgment

PIONEER PRESS FILE: SHERRI LAROSE-CHIGLO

Gophers fall camp opens with the
team needing players like four-star
recruit Jeff Jones to improve a passing game that ranked near the bottom of the 14-team Big Ten Conference a year ago. Sports, 1B

SECTION A LOCAL, NEWS, OBITS, BUSINESS, OPINION, A&E LIVE SECTION B SPORTS SECTION E WEEKEND LIFE
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Volume No. 167, No. 102, 4 sections, 40 pages
© 2015 St. Paul Pioneer Press (Northwest Publications)

LOCAL

St. Paul Pioneer Press
Saturday 8-8-2015

M

3A

White Bear Lake

21-year-old accused of killing his father’s friend
Man, 47, stabbed in the back of the head during argument at family’s home
By Sarah Horner

shorner@pioneerpress.com
A 21-year-old man is charged
with murder after authorities
said he repeatedly stabbed
his father’s friend in the back
of the head and neck during
an argument at his family’s
White Bear Lake home.
Police arrived at the residence in the 2500 block of
Crown Hill Court about 3 p.m.

Thursday and found Robert
Darren Olson, 47, lying in a
pool of blood in a basement
bedroom.
Joseph James Derks, the
man later accused of killing
him, was in the driveway, sobbing, according to a criminal
complaint filed Friday in Ramsey County District Court.
Derks’ 17-year-old brother
was sitting next to him, bleeding from a long gash in his

leg.
“I stabbed him,” Derks told
police, according to the complaint.
When officers asked if he
was referring to his brother,
Derks responded by saying
he had stabbed another man
in the head and thought he
had killed him.
Derks said the man — Olson
— had been choking his
younger brother inside the

house, so he repeatedly
stabbed him to make him
stop, the complaint said.
Derks said he’d inadvertently
stabbed his brother in the leg.
Another witness at the
scene, who told officers she
knew Olson through her boyfriend, said she watched
Derks arrive at the house in a
car with another male. Both
got out wielding knives and
went into the house, which

Joseph Derks
was charged
with seconddegree unintentional
murder.

The three told her to leave
and said they planned to say
Olson had attempted to rob
them.
Derks was charged with
second-degree unintentional
murder. He was being held at
the Ramsey County Jail.
The incident took place after
she said Olson and Derks’
brother had recently entered the brother reportedly got
instructions from his father
after arguing outside.
Shortly thereafter, she said, via telephone to make Olson
Derks emerged from the leave the house. A dispute
house with his brother and ensued between the two that
the other male, all three covered in blood.
MURDER CHARGE, 7A >

Summer Fun > White Bear Lake

Not just horsing around

PIONEER PRESS PHOTOS: JOHN AUTEY

Natalie Priner, 12, of Vadnais Heights helps Addie Rinehart, 8, of Stillwater stand upright on a moving horse Wednesday during equestrian vaulting club practice at the Valencia
Farm in White Bear Lake. Below: Coach Beth Whillock helps Jaelyn Comer, 9, of Blaine perfect a pose Wednesday during practice at the farm.

Northern Lakes Vaulters
helps young riders learn
to perform gymnastics on
horseback. One practitioner
says it’s ‘safer than golf.’
By Richard Chin

rchin@pioneerpress.com
If your kid came home one day and said
she wanted to do a sport you’ve never
heard of and wasn’t really done around
here, would you make it happen?
Sarah Whillock’s parents did, which is
why Minnesota now has an equestrian
vaulting club. Equestrian vaulting is a
sport that can be done competitively and
essentially involves performing gymnastic
and dance moves on the back of a moving
horse.
It’s an activity with a long tradition and
an active following in Europe, where it’s a
common way to teach people to ride a
horse, according to Beth Whillock, Sarah’s
mother. But it’s not very well known in the

but she found that just riding them was a
bit boring.
Then she saw a demonstration of vaulting on a piece of training equipment called
a vaulting barrel. She told her parents she
wanted to do it for real.
“I thought it was the perfect combination,” Whillock said. “I got to do gymnastics and be on a horse.”
Beth Whillock said she did some research
and bought a second-hand surcingle, which
is a sort of strap with handles and foot
loops. In vaulting, a surcingle combined
with a pad is put on the horse instead of a
saddle.
“When I was assured I could do this
safely, I said OK,” Beth Whillock said.
For the next year or so, they practiced
basic vaulting exercises on a fat pony.
Word of the activity spread in the barn
where Sarah Whillock practiced and other
girls started to get into the activity.
That turned into a club that started in
about 2007. Northern Lakes Vaulters, based
Whillock is a 20-year-old University of at Valencia Farm in White Bear Lake, now
Midwest.
Sarah Whillock said that after she told Minnesota student who is beginning to has 20 members with its own horse and
her mom, “This is what I’m doing; this is participate in international equestrian equipment. Beth Whillock is the coach.
She said she wasn’t really a horsewoman
my sport,” the Shoreview family had to get vaulting competitions. As a 9-year-old, she
a book about vaulting to figure out exactly followed her older sister in taking horseback-riding classes. She loved the horses,
how it is done.
EQUESTRIAN VAULTING, 7A >

St. Paul

New public park likely along Green Line light-rail route
City, land trust team up to buy 5.4 acres near Griggs Street
By Frederick Melo

fmelo@pioneerpress.com
There’s a new public park
all but certain to come to
Griggs Street, just south of
the Green Line light-rail corridor in St. Paul.
The city has teamed with
the Trust for Public Land on a
five-way deal to purchase 5.4
acres of vacant lots between
Gordon Parks High School on

hoped that the trust could
broker a deal with each owner.
They were surprised, howev“The main ideas we’ve er, when officials with the
University Avenue and St.
Anthony Avenue, which is heard so far would be a gar- parks group informed them
den area on the north end, they were almost ready to
north of Interstate 94.
The future parkland would and in the middle and south sign on the dotted line.
“It’s an area that we have
be located across from Com- end a soccer field for pickup
monBond Communities’ Sky- games,” said Bob McGillivray, been looking at for eight
line Tower housing develop- senior project manager with years,” said Ellen Stewart,
ment, which has a large the Trust for Public Land. senior landscape architect
low-income and East African “But nothing has been deter- with the Parks and Recreation Department. “In multimined yet.”
population.
The three parcels of vacant ple studies, we’ve identified
The parks group hopes to
close on the properties before land are owned by three sepa- this as a spot where we need
rate owners, and city staff had to have more parks. There’s a
the end of the year.

gap.”
“But also with the increasing density along University
Avenue, we need to keep up,”
Stewart said. “We’ve been
rated the No. 1 park system
by the Trust for Public Land.
But we can’t just rest on our
laurels.”
To fund the land purchases,
the city is devoting $1.5 million from its 8-80 Fund, which
was created last year by the
mayor’s office with the goal of
supporting projects that make
St. Paul more livable. The

Trust for Public Land plans to
raise an additional $1 million
or more.
The trust hopes to close on
the land before the end of the
year and then convey the
properties to the city. The
city’s Parks and Recreation
Commission will vote on the
purchase agreement Wednesday, and the City Council is
expected to take it up Aug. 19.
Stewart emphasized that a
community process will deterPARK PLANS, 7A >