As gunman's shots rang out, they fought for their livesby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Today on the Update we learn how Andrew Engeldinger 's shooting victims fought for their lives, the willingness of lakeshore residents to raise their own taxes in the fight over invasive species, a court battle over a Minnesota man's alleged links to Somali terrorists, and more.
FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL: Two employees at Accent Signage Systems fought for their lives and tried to grab a gun from former co-worker Andrew Engeldinger to try and prevent what turned out to be the deadliest workplace shooting in Minneapolis history, according to new details about the Sept. 27 incident released by the Minneapolis Police Department.
PREVIOUS TROUBLE: We've learned a little more about Engeldinger. He was arrested in 1997 for leading a police officer on a high-speed chase and driving with an expired vehicle registration in Bloomington. A squad car motioned for him to pull over, but he accelerated to between 90 and 100 mph, ran a red light, and nearly hit a pedestrian who "dove for the snowbank" to avoid being struck, according to an incident report.
MEDIA COVERAGE: In News Cut, Bob Collins writes that when the suburban Milwaukee temple shooting didn't get as much coverage as the Aurora theater killings, some claimed it was because of racism. And Minneapolis' horror, apparently, didn't get as much coverage as either of those two tragedies in a few national publications, so Media Matters for America has determined it's because America is now desensitized to gun violence. But is that really true?
INTERVENTION CONUNDRUM: Engeldinger's parents pushed him for two years to seek treatment for what they suspected was mental illness, but even though he became increasingly paranoid and experienced delusions, there was nothing more they could do. Minnesota law doesn't allow people to be forced into treatment without proof that they are a threat to themselves or others.
TAXING TO FIGHT: Some Minnesota lakeshore residents are turning to what until recently had been a little-used means of fighting aquatic invasive species. They've started forming lake improvement districts with the authority to levy property taxes in order to help fund the fight. But some argue that creating such districts is really a stopgap and places the burden in the wrong place.
SHRINKING WHITE BEAR LAKE: Speaking of lakeshore residents: These are difficult days for people who swim in White Bear Lake's usually cool waters and call its receding shoreline home. Paul Huttner, on the Updraft blog, says the sustained drop in the water levels in excess of 5 feet on White Bear since 2003 may be a harbinger of things to come for Minnesota's Land of 10,000 lakes.
VOTER ID BLOCKED: As Minnesota considers a state constitutional amendment requiring official government identification to, there's related news out of Pennsylvania: A judge is postponingthat state's tough new voter identification requirement, ordering that it not be enforced in the presidential election.
AL-SHABAB: Opening statements begin today in the trial of a Minneapolis man accused of helping send young Twin Cities men to fight with the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab. The federal government has charged Mahamud Said Omar with five terror-related counts, but he's not accused of planning attacks against the U.S.
ALL ABOARD?: Supporters of the proposed Southwest Corridor light rail line are celebrating an announcement by the White House that the project has been selected for fast tracking. The 15-mile line, which would connect downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie through the southwest suburbs, is still being planned, but the federal government's move is a boost for the project.
EXCEL TOLD TO KEEP THE SOLAR LIGHTS ON: Some people in the solar business say the Excel Energy's Solar Rewards program is the main driver of growth for the state's solar industry, but Xcel wants to curtail the program. Solar advocates say that if Excel gets its way, many of the industry's gains over the last few years will be lost. On Monday, Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said the utility company must fund its Solar Rewards Program at $5 million per year through 2015.
MUSICIANS MARCH: Minnesota Orchestra musicians took to the streets of Minneapolis on Monday afternoon to protest management's decision to lock them out following the breakdown of contract talks earlier in the day. The orchestra is trying to retire an outstanding deficit of almost $3 million this year and build a new financial model to prevent similar shortfalls in the future.
TIME FOR A RAISE: St. Cloud city employees could get their first cost-of-living raise in four years if the mayor's proposed budget passes in December, with employees seeing a 2 percent January increase followed by another 2 percent boost in July. Other central Minnesota cities also propose employee raises while cities around the region expect more financial stability in upcoming years.
UNNATURAL SELECTION: About 80 percent of American couples using sex-selection are doing so to have a daughter. The procedure is invasive and costly, running some couples tens of thousands of dollars. The Daily Circuit is asking whether it's ethical to choose the sex of a child, and could it, as some argue, lead to even more specific selection like hair color and eye color?
DULUTH BLAZES TRAILS: Aiming to become one of the nation's premier destinations for people interested in biking and hiking, Duluth is building trails designed to lure young educated professionals. Mayor Don Ness and other city officials hope the trails also will attract entrepreneurs seeking a talented workforce.
STEAL THIS SONG: When Minneapolis songwriter Jeremy Messersmith released his new EP, "Paper Moon," he sent out a Twitter message asking fans to remix it. That's because Messersmith released the new album under a Creative Commons license. The license gives users permission to share creations ranging from software to songs while avoiding standard copyright restrictions around sharing. Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer talked with Messersmith about his decision.
Matt Sepic is a newscaster and general assignment reporter for MPR News.