10/1 Morning Must Reads

Wednesday's five most interesting stories printed on wood pulp.

Warning: Don't raffle off your house When a Twin Cities man tried to raffle off a $1.8 million home in foreclosure, all he got was a trip to jail and a bad story on WCCO. Now he is suing two Minneapolis police officers and WCCO's Esme Murphy, claiming they violated his rights, smeared his name and derailed his well-planned raffle. We know desperate times call for desperate measures, but what we like best is how you won the raffle in May. Participants had to try and guess the number "closest to the correct amount of nuts, bolts and screws in a wooden chest without going over the amount would win the house." EASY!

Watch out for the MP3 police If you plan to run the Twin Cities Marathon this weekend, leave your iPod at home. "The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon takes its ban on headphones and other electronic devices so seriously, it disqualified more than 100 racers last year for breaking the rule. It even disqualified a woman in the marathon's exclusive Charter Club, reserved for runners who have run every Twin Cities Marathon successfully." It's not about some runners getting an unfair motivational push from Jock Jams, but that runners might become so selfish and zoned out that they trip and run over other competitors. At least the people on the sidelines would be more entertained by extreme marathons, right?

Who could lose it all because of Petters? During Petters Group Worldwide's days of big success, many non-profits had invested and saw big returns from their money. One says it earned as much as 24 percent on 90-day loans that Petters Co. Inc. said were used to buy and resell electronics goods. A week after the raid at Petters headquarters and Tom Petters' home, the government is investigating a fraud that may have tricked investors out of $2 billion. Fidelis Foundation of Minneapolis holds $27.6 million in Petters Co. notes that may now be worthless. Five notes are for $5.7 million to Teen Challenge, a nonprofit program that Petters personally supported.

Commuters switch to bike, more accidents reported More people in the Twin Cities are switching to bikes as a way to commute, but that comes at a cost. According to Strib data: Through July, HCMC in Minneapolis admitted 88 bicyclists after crashes. By the time data for the final two months of the summer are in, the total is expected to surpass the 115 the hospital saw in 2007. There were 77 bike-crash-related admissions in 2003, 90 in 2004, 79 in 2005 and 84 in 2006. One person in Minneapolis thinks this is a good thing: it might kill off some Democrats before the election.

Remember that St. Paul cop that took you down with a bite to the leg? He's famous now. The St. Paul K9 cops are going to be celebs in no time after their debut tonight on Animal Planet. The unit is being featured on a new show about dogs on the police force and follows them around Cops-style. When you got busted on Cops in the past, you hoped your mom wasn't watching your public embarrassment. Now it's guaranteed she will be tuning in. Don't mess it up. You will be bit!

Watch the Pioneer Press video here:

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