Do You Want Your Bowel With That?
One day in January, Angela Cannon stopped at the Uptown McDonald's drive-thru to grab a cup of coffee with cream and sugar.
Cannon took a sip of the steamy beverage, then a gulp. Afterwards, according to a lawsuit filed in June, she realized that something was wrong: The cream was lumpy and rancid.
A couple of minutes later, Cannon asserts, she was in the ladies' room, violently retching into the nearest toilet. Cannon's reaction was so extreme, her lawsuit contends, that she wound up spending five days in the hospital with severe bowel problems requiring surgery.
Together with her husband, who claims he's been deprived of her "society, companionship, and consortium," Cannon is suing for at least $100,000 in damages.
Ken Darula, owner of the McDonald's in question, denies anything was wrong with the cream. He sees another explanation for the lawsuit, saying, "I have no clue what this lady is after besides money."—Jonathan Kaminsky
The annual college rankings from U.S. News & World Report were released late last week, and the results aren't pretty for the University of Minnesota.
The school came in at a thoroughly mediocre 71st nationally, just above the Colorado School of Mines. That's a whopping 33 spots lower than its nearby interstate rival, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, which was ranked 38th.
As if that weren't enough, Wisconsin is already ranked among the Top 10 schools in the country in USA Today and ESPN's preseason football polls. The University of Minnesota is...well, not. And just to rub salt in the wound, Playboy magazine last year ranked Wisconsin the No. 2 party school in the nation—another list from which the U of M was conspicuously absent.
All this may not mean much, except that the two schools are now seeking approval on a new reciprocity agreement, which allows students from each state to attend the other's college for the same tuition as their home school.
Because of tuition increases in Minnesota, a Wisconsin student at the U of M is paying about $1,200 less than a Minnesota native, a situation that University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks has insisted on rectifying.
But he may want to rethink that position. At this rate, the U of M might need to start offering Wisconsin students a free set of steak knives. —Matthew Smith
Strib Flushes Janitors
With print media becoming more and more web-based, you'd think the last workers who would need to worry about their jobs would be internet technicians. Leave it to the layoff-obsessed Strib to prove this assumption wrong.
Last week, the Strib's union announced that publisher Par Ridder—the master of Excel spreadsheets—is pressing the delete key on five of eight IT jobs.
"Having been through the cutback mill, we feel for them," announced the union memo. "And we're also wondering: Who will we call when tech problems pop up, as they surely will?"
Also in question: Who will fix the toilets? The latest round of cutbacks will also hit the maintenance department. Strib higher-ups are looking for 10 buyouts from janitors, and the company is considering relegating them to part-time status—thus stripping them of their benefits—if they don't agree to leave voluntarily.
"We're checking into reports that some of our fellow Strib unions have been told they'll be doing their own cleaning after the maintenance cutbacks, and are protesting with grievances," the union memo reads.
Helen Wainwright, the Star Tribune's vice president of human resources, did not return calls seeking comment. That is, assuming she wasn't fired already. —Matt Snyders
Whenever a conservative official—high or low, national or local, former or current—suffers an ironic fall from grace, there's a natural tendency to pile on and kick 'em while they're down. Sadly, we are no different.
Which brings us to one Tim Droogsma. It was revealed last week that Droogsma—who acted as spokesman for former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, as well as Gov. Arne Carlson—was arrested in a prostitution sting in St. Paul. Droogsma (allegedly) solicited sex via Craig's List. Which was fine until he offered to pay for it.
It's generally accepted that Republicans are pro-market and against government meddling in the exchange of goods and services...unless, of course, said service happens to involve an orgasm.
But in the unfair world of the interwebs, Droogsma's two-facedness is suddenly on naked display. He wrote the Strib's ombudsman Kate Parry back in June to take issue with a story that ran in the paper's sister publication, VitaMn. The piece, written by VitaMn's sex advice columnist Alexis McGinnis, was headlined "Sex al Fresco."
Complained Droogsma: "I don't think I'm too prudish (which, I realize, is what prudes always say) but do we really want this sentence: 'She hopped on my lap, facing forward. I pulled up her skirt in the back, slid her panties out of the way, and unzipped'?"
So we can assume that had he succeeded in picking up his prostitute, Droogsma would have been modest enough to pull down the shades in his glass house. —Matt Snyders and G.R. Anderson Jr.
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