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In the winter, whole neighborhoods of fish houses sprout up on area lakes, but none is more popular, perhaps, than Mille Lacs Lake.
My friend, Alex Peterson, flew over a small portion of the lake yesterday and provided an example of how busy it is in January. He says there may be over 5,000 houses on the lake.(1 Comments)
The Minnesota Court of Appeals today provided a graphic account of why Minnesota locks up people after they've served their prison time under the theory that they might offend again.
The court ruled today that a man who has raped several women in the past, can be committed under the state's program just for taking steps that, while not sexually violent under the state's definition, mirror his pattern of behavior that preceded his previous violent behavior.
And what a past Timothy Joseph Crosby has. He raped two women in the '70s, got out of prison, then tried to rape another woman, and was sent to prison for a fairly short period of time.
The Court of Appeals today didn't bury the man's past in legal niceties, describing his days of freedom after his first incarceration ...
Before long, in April 1983, Crosby assembled a kit consisting of a gag, a blindfold, and rope, and then he drove around until he found a girl hitchhiking. He drove her to her requested destination, but then he put a knife to her ribs. He planned to blindfold and bind her hands before driving her to a rural area and raping her. And he imagined hanging her by her hands from the ceiling to facilitate his planned sexual assault. But she resisted, screaming and fighting for the knife. She finally wrested the knife from Crosby, cut him on the hand, and escaped from his car.
Crosby was reported and returned to the Minnesota Security Hospital in 1983 for more treatment. He continued to fantasize about rape and to constitute an "extremely high risk" to reoffend, but he was given passes to shop in St. Peter and the Twin Cities area. In early 1986, he again told treatment providers that he was no longer engaging in sexually violent fantasies, and he was provisionally discharged in June 1987.
If you're keeping score, that's just four years of incarceration for a man who'd already raped two women.
The Court of Appeals continued...
The month after his June 1987 release, Crosby brought a 21-year-old prostitute to his apartment. He choked her, tied her to a bed, taped her mouth and eyes shut, and raped her six or seven times over several hours. The victim eventually freed herself from the restraints and escaped after Crosby left her momentarily unattended. She tore through concealing cardboard and then broke through the window, which Crosby had nailed shut. She crawled outside and was found fleeing naked, bleeding from her hands and feet from their having been wired behind her back. Crosby pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct for this. Crosby's plea agreement in that 1987 case is the focal point of this appeal. In it, the state dismissed a count of false imprisonment, agreed not to seek an upward departure at sentencing, and, most important here, agreed not to file a petition seeking Crosby's commitment as a sexual psychopath or as a mentally-ill and dangerous person. The district court sentenced him to 41 months in prison. Crosby declined sex-offender treatment.
As part of the plea deal, Crosby got only a 41-month prison sentence and a promise from prosecutors wouldn't try to commit him as a sexual psychopath or as a mentally-ill and dangerous person.
In 2000, he was fired as a custodian at the University of Minnesota because he printed pornographic material.
But in 2009, a story about him in a newspaper prompted a complaint from a woman who said her 17-year-old daughter was spending time with Crosby. So the cops searched his apartment.
They found several trunks containing a hacksaw blade and an array of newspaper articles about violent sexual assaults, including rapes, kidnappings, murders, and serial killings. They also found hundreds of pornographic videotapes, magazines, and books depicting circumstances and conduct resembling Crosby's past violent sex crimes.
They also found books on how to rape and torture women. He also hired a 17-year old girl to have sex with a 24-year old woman while he watched.
For that, he got a two-year prison term.
But the judge let him remain free if he promised to follow directives for his sex-offender treatment.
Minnesota petitioned then to commit him as a sexually dangerous person but the Court of Appeals at the time overturned the attempt because "neither the probation agent nor the district court had specifically ordered Crosby into sex-offender treatment, making the revocation for failure to participate in treatment a violation of Crosby's due process rights."
In May 2011, however, a district court ordered him held until it determined whether he could be committed. Crosby argued, however, that the 1987 plea bargain prevented the state from trying to lock him up.
Today, the Court of Appeals rejected that argument, and it ruled what might have been obvious decades ago...
The district court was not presented with these facts in a vacuum; it received them in the context of Crosby's history of already having engaged--repeatedly--in the kind of violent and criminal sexual conduct depicted in the disturbing material that, apparently, once again captivated him. The district court was aware that this same self-tempting, fantasy conduct had accompanied Crosby's previous predatory sexual behavior. These facts do not necessarily prove, as Crosby maintains, "that he can be sexual and concurrently control his actions." At the very least their description in the commitment petition along with Crosby's past criminal activity alerts the district court that the question of renewed commitment is ripe. Crosby insists that this new conduct is not of the commitment-triggering violent nature of his former conduct because he had not acted on his fantasies. But having placed himself again on the self-tempting slippery edge, Crosby has no statutory reason to demand that the district court must wait for another fall before it entertains the state's civil-commitment petition.
So Timothy Crosby is off the streets.9 Comments)
What's a proper reward for finding a wallet with more than a thousand dollars in cash, credit cards, and important travel papers?
In New Hampshire, plow driver Adrian Pouliot found such a thing at the Gunstock Mountain ski area, the Manchester Union Leader reports.
He never looked inside the wallet, but instead turned it in to authorities immediately, according to Pouliot, who until recently had been out of work for a year.
The European tourists gave him $30 for his trouble.
Not surprisingly, Pouliot isn't fazed by the meager reward.
"We have instilled (in his children) small things, like if we see a homeless guy at a supermarket, we'll give him a buck or two or a bottle of water or an apple," he said. "It's so they'll know that other people have it worse than we have it."
As one might expect, the comments section of the newspaper article is worth making a bowl of popcorn first before reading.
(h/t: Adam McCune)(1 Comments)
The social networking site, Reddit, has done it again.
This story starts, as they all do, with a post on Reddit, in this case from a woman whose husband was dying of leukemia. He wanted to see the new Star Trek movie.
I've seen some amazingly kind and generous stuff happen on here. I'm hoping there's room for another amazing act of generosity and kindness for a friend of mine who is really sick. I couldn't begin to put into words what he has gone through. Luckily his wife did it for me... "My amazing healthy film buff husband diagnosed with leukemia (CML) at 38 had to endure 3 rounds of chemo before they found a bone marrow donor match had a Bone Marrow Transplant, which was MORE chemo, full body radiation & lots of other horrific things....then endured/survived 3 major infections + a massive GI bleed that put him in the hospital 10+ times over 3 1/2 years not to mention 100's of doctors visits.... he is my hero; I am his caregiver - I would do anything to help him.... he is now ravaged by a new TOTALLY UNRELATED cancer, (isn't that a ******?) an aggressive and EXTREMELY rare vascular tumor that is crowding out his healthy liver tissue... they grew under treatment; there is nothing left to do but make him comfortable, at 41, he is jaundice & his liver is enlarged, his body has had enough, he has weeks to live, He was hospitalized and had to exchange our HOBBITT tickets (where the 10 min Star Trek preview was supposed to be shown) we were able to put him in a car and get over to the HOBBITT but NO PREVIEW???? we, his friends and family, the love of my life - WOULD LOVE him to be able to see the Star Trek movie but even the 10 minutes of the trailer would be AMAZING." If there is anything any one of you or anyone you know could do to make this happen that would be an amazing, kind and generous thing. Please help. Thanks.
Reddit fans picked up the cause and the director of the movie made it happen.
A friend of the man, who died a few days later, posted the story:
I don't come to this subreddit much, but I wanted to publicly thank all of you here on r/StarTrek and especially ideeyut who started this thread for Dan. I want all of you to know what you did.
Dan was super-bummed that he hadn't gotten a chance to see the 9 minute Star Trek: Into Darkness teaser before The Hobbit. He's a big movie fan, and one of the directors of the New York Asian Film Festival, and movies mean a lot to him. He has known he's dying for a few weeks and he wanted to see as many movies as possible before he went. When ideeyut started that thread for him to get a chance to somehow see Into Darkness it seemed like a long-shot, and it had a hard time getting traction. Other Reddit boards didn't upvote it much, and I figured it was a nice try, doomed to failure. But you guys wouldn't let it disappear, and as you upvoted ideeyut's post some of you also took to Twitter and Facebook. Word got out. The press picked it up. A lot of different people started making noise about this online and word traveled fast and got to the right people through a variety of channels. But it started here, and it started with ideeyut and you guys.
A day or so after the thread began, Paige, Dan's wife, got a voicemail from JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof that was very nice and very straightforward: a producer for the movie would get in touch with them. The next day, one of the film's producers showed up at the door of their apartment with a DVD containing a very rough cut of Star Trek: Into Darkness in his hands. Paige had made popcorn, Dan had spent the previous day resting so he could sit through the movie, and after signing about 200 non-disclosure agreements they watched the film and had a blast.
Afterwards, Dan got back into bed, exhausted, and didn't get out again. Yesterday he was pretty non-responsive and Paige took him to the hospital for hospice care. Last night, at 10:15pm, with Paige and his brother in his room, Dan died. The last thing he got to do that gave him pleasure was watch the new Star Trek movie. And it's because of you.
At a time when he didn't have a whole lot to look forward to, r/StarTrek, JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Bad Robot performed a simple act of kindness for a total stranger and gave Dan something to be excited about for a couple of days. The movie did exactly what movies are supposed to do, it helped him forget about his problems for a couple of hours. It doesn't sound like much, but in this case it was.
Dan was pretty clear that he didn't want to be the inspirational cancer story of the week, but I wanted you all to know what you had done, and how much it meant. At the risk of sounding all grand like the prologue to LOTR or something, Reddit can be a force for great evil, or a force for great good. Every day, all of us come together here and choose which. This time, you all chose kindness, and it made a huge difference to Dan, his wife, and his friends. So thank you ideeyut, and thank you r/StarTrek. You should all be proud of yourselves. Thank you.
The Associated Press, the news cooperative that is widely known for it unbiased reporting, is going to start blurring the line between content and advertising.
The AP announced today it will start using its twitter account for sponsorships.
But it's OK, the news agency says, because someone not connected with the editorial side of things will type the tweet and push the button.
"We are thrilled to be taking this next step in social media," said Lou Ferrara, the AP managing editor overseeing its social media efforts, in a statement. "As an industry, we must be looking for new ways to develop revenues while providing good experiences for advertisers and consumers. At the same time, advertisers and audiences expect AP to do that without compromising its core mission of breaking news."
The execs at Twitter say they view the move as equivalent to a banner ad.
Whether it works or not -- or spreads, for that matter -- depends on whether Twitter users view it as spam.(0 Comments)
Photographer Kent Frost has produced a video showing the one second he filmed of every day of his life in 2012.
In the process, he showed why it's probably not a great idea to show one second of your life every day for a year. He also proved the theory of relativity.(3 Comments)
A hearing for the alleged mass shooter in Colorado, a new secretary of defense, the Minneapolis water main break update, sinking homes in southern Minnesota and cancer rates: still going down. Except.
Here's your news the old-fashioned way.