World-Class Soccer Field Comes To TCF Bank Stadium

July 29th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — World-class soccer is coming to the Twin Cities this weekend, and world-class soccer needs a world-class field.

It takes a lot of effort to put real grass over the artificial turf that covers TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Scott Ellison, the University of Minnesota’s assistant athletics director for facilities, says the sod comes from KLM farm in North Branch. It’s being shipped in and installed in preparation for the match between England’s Manchester City club and Greece’s Olympiacos club.

“There’s 30 trucks total is what I was told, and 10,000-square yards of sod going in,” Ellison said. “International soccer, or Premiere League soccer, typically is played on the natural grass surfaces because of the caliber of play and the tradition of the game.”

It’s all part of the busiest summer in the short history of this stadium, starting with a rock concert before Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and leading up to the first Vikings preseason game, which is a week from Friday.

“We didn’t envision hosting a major concert and a major soccer game, you know, the same summer that we would start off with Vikings,” he said.

The new stands in the endzone are ready, and so is the Gophers grounds crew.

“We were going from seven home games to 17, so that says it right there,” Ellison said.

In fact, from the time they start until the end of December, there will be football on all but two weekends. And it’s not like the field will stay the same for all those games.

“Put the Vikings’ markings down, pull those off, put Gophers’ markings down, pull those off, so it’s constant flips here and there,” Ellison said.

Olympiacos and Manchester City play at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by Minnesota United against the Ottawa Fury.

The grass will be gone by Tuesday so they can paint the football field on Thursday for the Vikings game on Friday.

Philips Lighting Recalls Lightolier Glass Lenses Due to Laceration Hazard

July 29th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

The “Lightolier” brand decorative glass lens can shatter and result in falling pieces of glass. This poses a risk of laceration.

SUZUKI ( 14V363000 )

July 29th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

Dated: JUN 23, 2014 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (Suzuki) is recalling certain model year 2004-2006 Verona vehicles manufactured June 2003 to October 2005. In the affected vehicles, there may be heat generated within …

FORD ( 14V360000 )

July 29th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

Dated: JUN 19, 2014 Palfleet Truck Equipment Company, LLC (Palfleet) is recalling certain model year 2009-2013 Ford F-350, F-450, and F-550 super duty vehicles modified by Palfleet and equipped with certain Muncie Power …

Twins Celebrate 20th Anniversary Of ‘Little Big League’

July 27th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Twenty years ago, a boy took over as manager and owner of the Minnesota Twins.

At least he did on the big screen.

The film “Little Big League” turns 20 years old this month, so the Twins decided to have some fun with it Sunday at Target Field.

They invited back the actor and had a kid as their honorary manager for Sunday’s game.

They showed the movie on the big screen after the game, which the Twins won, after some anxious moments in the 9th.

Photojournalist Melissa Martz takes us there.

Newest Brewery In Duluth Is Serving Up Craft Ciders

July 27th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Downtown Duluth has a new brewery for visitors to enjoy and it doesn’t just serve up beer.

Endion Station Bar and Grill opened this weekend in Canal Park.

While it’s the fifth brewery owned by Fitger’s Brewery, it’s the city’s first cider house.

Almost half of its 20 taps are craft ciders.

“Our neighbors at Canal Park Brewing are right down the way. And we think that’s so cool because now we have a little craft beer corridor going here in Canal Park, right on the corner of the lake,” Brad Nelson of Endion Station Bar & Grill said.

Unlike a lot of brew houses in the metro, the new spot in Duluth also serves food.

Finding Minnesota: Still Floating After All These Years

July 27th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sometimes people think they’re witnessing disaster at a Minnesota lake when they see a classic car plunge into the water.

But then, the car doesn’t sink; it floats.

Minnesota has several collectors of Amphicars, quirky vehicles that are part car, part boat.

They haven’t been made since the 1960s and there are just a few hundred still in use. But Minnesota’s lakes still attract dozens of them.

Rich Rosenberg of Minneapolis received one as a gift from his wife 27 years ago.

“This is the best place to have a car that drives in the water,” he said. “The Amphicar changed our lives.”

In the southwest metro, there are six families that own Amphicars and they’ve become closer friends because of it.

Robbie Soskin also received an Amphicar as a birthday present from his wife.

Dave Wright said he “married into it,” because his wife owned one.

“Just that moment of going in the water. When you’re driving from land into water, it’s just, it’s always magical,” Wright said.

“It just makes you smile,” Soskin said. “You’re smiling to be in it. People are looking at you, they’re smiling.”

Members of the group enjoy the reactions they get from people on shore and in the water. Rosenberg pulled up to a group of canoeists in Eden Prairie’s Bryant lake, saying “Excuse me, sorry. Am I in your parking place?”

“You get it all,” Mark Lellman, another Amphicar owner, said. “It’s like you’re in a parade wherever you go.”

The German company that made the vehicles in the 1960s failed after just a few years, and for good reason.

“Because it’s actually a pretty bad car and a pretty bad boat,” said Soskin.

That’s why members of this group rarely go out alone.

“I mean these cars are 50 years old,” Wright said. “And most of them have original parts.”

“You’re not really sure each time you go in, is it really going to float,” Soskin said. “When there are four, five, six of them, chances are something will go wrong with at least one, so you just pretty much count on that.”

They put up with the mechanical issues because they have so much fun the rest of the time.

“On the way here, a police officer came up behind me and I thought, ‘Oh no, what’s going on?’ Wright said. “And of course, he just wants to talk about the car.”

It’s been decades since anyone made parts for the vehicles, and only a few mechanics can figure them out. But these loyal owners find a way.

“You do what it takes to keep them floating,” Soskin said.

The Amphicars can ride in any freshwater lake that allows motorized vehicles. Each one is registered in Minnesota, both as a car and a watercraft.


Send us your Finding Minnesota ideas here.

Talking Points: Why Is The Jury In The Ventura Trial Taking So Long?

July 27th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Last week, the jury for the Jesse Ventura defamation trial deliberated for nearly 25 hours without coming to a verdict. The lengthy deliberations even have experts wondering what could be taking so long.

The former governor says he was defamed in the book “American Sniper”, when author Chris Kyle claimed he punched out Ventura in a California bar for making offensive comments about Navy SEALs.

Ventura says it never happened and the story has cost him his career.

The jury in the Ventura trial must decide whether the late Kyle acted with malice and reckless disregard when he published his account. If the jury finds there was defamation, they must also decide damages.

Ventura says the book destroyed his reputation and as a result he lost jobs. Ventura says his income plunged from $11 million between 2002 and 2012 to $100,000 dollars a year annually. He is seeking up to $15 million from Kyle’s estate.

Hamline law professor David Schultz had been named as possible expert witness in the case. Schultz was ready to testify that in his opinion Kyle’s book did not damage Ventura’s reputation.

In the end, Schultz never took the stand. He was a guest, however, on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I think the more likely scenario is that it’s a 10 person jury, that it is a split jury at this point. That you have several jurors who have made up their mind and want to rule in favor of Kyle, several in favor of Ventura and they are not going to be able to bridge that gap. It’s just literally — I am going to make up a number — it’s 6-3, 7-4, who knows whatever it is. It could even be 9-1,” Schultz said.

Adding to the mystery of were the jury is in their deliberations is the fact the judge has not revealed the three questions jurors have asked him so far. Often, jury questions are made public immediately. The judge says he will make those questions public after the verdict is in.

Schultz said if jurors cannot reach a verdict, the judge could either make them continue to work or declare a mistrial. It would then by up to Ventura to pursue another trial.

Testimony will continue Monday.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

S. Mpls. Sees An Increase In Thefts As Summer Gets In Full Swing

July 27th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – At the Hub Bike Co-op in South Minneapolis, lately customers are calling about their new bikes being stolen.

“We end up talking to somebody replacing a bike that has been stolen almost every day,” Hub Bike Co-op employee David Meyer said.

They all have a common theme. The bikes were stolen out of their garages.

“Every year about this time we start to see an uptick in this sort of crime,” Minneapolis Police officer John Elder said.

South Minneapolis has been hit hard by thieves targeting garages for high end bikes, motorcycles and other valuables. Police say more than 720 burglaries have been reported in that area, which is up 16 percent from this time last year.

“People are in and out of their garages more, they’re leaving their garages open. People are going by being able to see what’s worth stealing,” Elder said.

Elder says aside from always closing your garage, the best things to help deter a garage theft are: dead bolting access doors, installing a visible security system and blacking out garage windows.

“A curtain covering over it. It keeps people from being able to be on the outside looking in to see what is worth stealing in here,” Elder said.

With many of the thieves taking bicycles, the best thing you can do is to save the bike’s serial number.

“That’s the best thing for getting your bike back,” Meyer said. “If you don’t have the serial number with it, they can go and bring it to a pawn shop and it’s never going to have any red flags on it.”

Mpls. Activist Speaks About Arrest, Alleged Attack

July 27th, 2014 by ConsumerBob

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Community activist Al Flowers says he could feel every blow given to him by Minneapolis Police officers during an arrest at his home late Saturday night.

Flowers was arrested on charges of assaulting an officer after an altercation with police inside his home.

WCCO sat down with Flowers as he describes a night he hopes no one ever has to experience.

“I’ve got grandkids and I felt like I did not know if I was going to see them,” Flowers said.

Al Flowers says he’s lucky to be okay after his arrest by Minneapolis police.

“All I felt was punches,” he said. “Over 30 to 40 times, I mean, just successive punches.”

The community activist and former mayoral candidate says he did nothing wrong.

“I don’t know what happened that night,” he said. “I did everything I was supposed to do right. And I still end up with staples in my head, stitches in my eye and my ribs I don’t know what’s going on.”

Flowers says the officers came to his home saying they had a warrant for a teenager who lives there.

“If it had of been about my daughter, then she was saying ‘I’m right here. I’m right here. And they still attacked,” he said.

When Flowers asked to see a copy of the arrest warrant, he says officers responded with violence.

“I was stumped, stumped in my back and kicked. The first two officers did the majority of what’s up top because they were the ones choking me,” Flowers said.

“I am frustrated, I’m sure our entire department is frustrated,” Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said.

At a news conference Sunday Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau asked the public to be patient while the incident is investigated.

Flowers say the staples, stitches and bruises are not enough to stop him from his passion for helping the community.

“I’ve got to continue doing what I do so this don’t happen to my son, or my nephews or any community members. Nobody should get treated like this right here, and I never thought I would,” Flowers said.

Flowers also said he too wants people to remain calm until the investigation is complete.

Minneapolis police say there’s more to the story.

In a statement, Chief Harteau says the entire department is frustrated because they cannot comment as this case moves through the legal process.

For that reason, they’re asking members of the general public to withhold judgment.