- Associated Press - Sunday, July 6, 2014
Ventura must show sniper disregarded truth in book

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - When a man regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history detailed his kills in a bestselling autobiography, he also included details about a 2006 incident in which he says he punched a guy he called “Scruff Face” - later identified as former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Ventura, a public figure with a tough-guy image, says the fight didn’t happen, and he sued author Chris Kyle for defamation. The trial begins Tuesday, and it will be up to Ventura’s attorneys to prove that Kyle’s account about that night in a California bar was false - and even more difficult, that Kyle knew it.

“Ventura is going to have to prove falsity … but the harder part is proving actual malice,” said Raleigh Levine, a law professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. “It has to do with what you know about the truth - that you actually knew that what you were saying was false or that you recklessly disregarded the truth.”

Besides sorting out what happened in the bar, jurors will have to assess whether Ventura’s reputation was damaged and whether Kyle used Ventura’s name to make a profit.

Kyle and a friend were killed in February 2013 at a Texas gun range, allegedly by an Iraq War veteran they were trying to help. Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, is now the defendant.


Minn. high court to review defense of dwelling law

WASECA, Minn. (AP) - A Waseca man is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to decide whether his self-defense rights under the state’s “defense of dwelling” laws extends to his apartment’s shared hallway.

Daniel Devens, 51, encountered an intoxicated man in October 2011 in the shared second-floor hallway, according to the Mankato Free Press (https://bit.ly/VvEpSfhttps://bit.ly/VvEpSf ). The man was knocking loud and Devens asked him to leave the building.

The two men’s accounts vary at this point. Devens claims the man took several swings at him while he was walking the man out. The man claims Devens attacked him as he walked down the hallway, resulting in a fight.

In the end, the men both fell down the stairs to an entrance. The intoxicated man suffered injuries that hospitalized him for approximately a week. Devens was charged with felony first-degree assault, felony third-degree assault and misdemeanor fifth-degree assault. A jury convicted him of the third-degree and fifth-degree charges.

Devens appealed his third-degree conviction, saying the jury should have been given the “defense of dwelling” instructions during trial. The jury was only given instruction on the general self-defense requirements.


University of Minnesota is studying urban heat

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The University of Minnesota is studying whether urban farming can reduce heat in metropolitan areas.

The phenomenon of urban areas having higher average temperatures than their rural neighbors is known as the urban heat island effect, which is caused by structures such as roads and buildings replacing permeable vegetation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA already suggests that communities increase tree and vegetative cover, install rooftop gardens, and use cooling and reflective technologies for roofs and pavements.

But this summer Katherine Klink, a geography, environment and society associate professor, is using a $1,900 mini-grant from the University’s Institute on the Environment to monitor temperature and humidity on two St. Paul farms over two years, according to Minnesota Daily (https://bit.ly/1q8hBRZhttps://bit.ly/1q8hBRZ ).

“People just haven’t thought of (urban farms) as a potential heat island mitigation strategy,” Klink said.


Minneapolis bus driver died of natural causes

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A public bus driver who crashed in Minneapolis died of natural causes.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office on Sunday identified the bus driver as John L. Senior Jr., of Edina.

The Star Tribune reports (https://strib.mn/1ocmuqshttps://strib.mn/1ocmuqs ) the southbound bus veered off Nicollet Mall, hit a lamppost and trash bins and scraped a building before coming to a stop.

A passenger on the bus was slightly hurt as was a bicyclist clipped by the bus.

The medical examiner said the 58-year-old Senior “suffered a sudden collapse” and died of “apparent natural causes” on Friday morning.

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