- Associated Press - Thursday, January 16, 2014
Sides hone arguments in Minn. Vikings stadium case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The government authority in charge of constructing the new Minnesota Vikings stadium claimed in a legal brief filed Thursday that the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit is trying to disrupt it with “endless litigation,” and asked the state Supreme Court to shut him down.

Parties in the lawsuit over the stadium project are submitting a last flurry of briefs to Minnesota’s high court as stadium backers are ask for quick action in order to avoid obstacles that could derail an already tight construction schedule and drive up the nearly $1 billion price tag. The lawsuit has already caused a delay in a $468 million bond sale.

Plaintiff Doug Mann “appears to be a serial litigant, determined to keep asserting meritless claims until this Court, the final arbiter of Minnesota law, definitely disposes of those claims,” stated a legal memorandum from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “Allowing Petitioners to continue to disrupt, delay and thread the Stadium Project … by endless litigation does not further justice.”

Mann, a frequent but unsuccessful candidate for office in Minneapolis, and two other plaintiffs sued late last week to block the bond sale, claiming the stadium’s funding plan is unconstitutional. The same plaintiffs were previously unsuccessful with a Hennepin County lawsuit on similar grounds, a suit they’re asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to revive.

Mann and his fellow plaintiffs argue the stadium financing arrangements were designed to circumvent a Minneapolis charter provision that would have triggered a city referendum. The stadium funding plan splits construction costs between the Vikings, state and city taxpayers.

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Reward offered for info in Polk Co. hit-and-run

BALSAM LAKE, Wis. (AP) - Polk County authorities have announced a $5,000 cash reward for information leading to whoever struck and killed two men and then fled the scene.

The sheriff’s office on Thursday also provided a more detailed description of the vehicle involved in the Jan. 11 crash.

Authorities describe the vehicle as a black Ford F-150 pickup, between model year 1997 and 2003. The vehicle will have damage to the passenger side headlight assembly area.

Authorities say the victims - 41-year-old Richard Cobenais Jr., of rural Luck and 28-year-old Benjamin Juarez, of Frederic - were involved in a fight that had spilled out onto Highway E in the Round Lake Native American Community Saturday evening.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

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Auditor: Minn. law unclear on political travel

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