PASSENGERS ON THOSE little armored buses that deliver inmates to state prison are usually making a one-way trip. But at press time Donna Miller, the subject of City Pages' April 14 cover story "The Fist and the Knife," was waiting for Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies to pick her up at the state prison in Shakopee and make the reverse journey to the county jail downtown. The Minnesota Supreme Court last week let stand an appellate ruling that the Minneapolis woman, convicted in 1997 of killing her boyfriend, was entitled to a new trial. The appeals court had found that Deputy Hennepin County Attorney Kathryn Quaintance misled the jury when she argued during her closing argument that Miller could not claim she had killed in self-defense because she failed to attempt to flee from Robert Earl Cosey, who she said had been battering her. Not only could Miller have fled on the night of the couple's fatal fight, the prosecutor asserted at trial, but she could have left the relationship at any time during the preceding weeks or months. Minnesota law, however, requires only that a defendant attempt to escape from violence at the moment it is occurring. Quaintance, who wouldn't comment on the Supreme Court's decision, confirms that Miller remains charged with second-degree murder. "We will probably be making another offer [for a plea bargain]," she says. "But we will be prosecuting. We will not dismiss." Miller's attorney, Assistant Hennepin County Public Defender Renee Bergeron, reports that when she told Miller of the ruling "it was hard to tell whether Donna was laughing or crying."
From New Age to...Old Age
WE'RE NOT QUITE sure what to make of this, but Hugh Delehanty, who left his post as editor of the locally based Utne Reader last fall, has found work as the new editor-in-chief of Modern Maturity, the bimonthly magazine published by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Tag, You're It
MINNEAPOLIS MAYOR SHARON Sayles Belton joined hands with Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar the other day to announce an anti-graffiti initiative. It's reassuring to know that while times may have changed since Sayles Belton was first elected in 1993, her firm conviction that graffiti-is-bad-and-you-guys-had-better-cut-it-out-already has remained a constant. To wit: Early in her first term, the mayor announced the "Don't Deface My Space" program, an anti-graffiti campaign supported by a host of public service announcements. "Graffiti has become a huge problem in the city," she proclaimed at the time. In 1997, with plague persisting, the mayor advocated creation of a so-called CCC program--a Clean City Corps whose job would involve removing, uh, well, you know. Then there's the city's anti-graffiti Web site (ci.minneapolis.mn.us/graffiti/index.html), which teaches us that "[n]ot removing graffiti encourages littering, loitering, violence and more graffiti." Evidently, it also encourages more press conferences. Last week Sayles Belton seized the opportunity to "reemphasize" that "[graffiti] is a crime and won't be tolerated." Got that?
The End of the Rugged Adventure
EVER SINCE APPLE Valley divorcé Steve Horner filed a complaint with the Minnesota Human Rights Department in 1993 claiming that so-called Ladies' Nights amount to gender discrimination, Off Beat's sources have been keeping tabs on the men's activist and self-published author. So when Horner signed on with ABC/Disney to produce a 30-minute community-affairs program for KQRS-FM (92.5), KZNR-FM (ZONE 105), and KXXR-FM (93X), we had our ears to the ol' Philco. In the wee hours of every Sunday for 20 weeks, The Rugged Adventure of Tackling Work and Family: From a Father's Point of View mixed Horner's anti-Robert Bly macho with "commonsense" advice on how single parents can arm their kids against the malcontents in Hillary's village. Now, not even halfway through his one-year contract, the host is gone. Seems Horner phoned state Sen. Linda Berglin's office to discuss the minor consent law--the state statute allowing young people to receive confidential medical care for certain things--while preparing for his April 18 show. The aide with whom he spoke subsequently complained to KQ general manager Amy Wagoner that Horner claimed he worked for the station and was abusive on the phone. Wagoner tells Off Beat that the decision to dump Horner was due not to any alleged abusiveness but to his repeatedly "misrepresenting himself as an employee of this station when in fact he was a third-party vendor on contract." Horner denies the accusation, adding, "I think they've been getting heat from the feminists. This might sound a bit paranoid, but they may have been looking for an opportunity to can me." He says he'll take his three months' severance (at $50 a show) and shop himself to other stations. And if he can't find a home in the Twin Cities, he vows to move elsewhere: "I'm on a mission from God."
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