Prince returns to Minnesota, Jacques Lemaire deals with devils


Say what you will about his personal life, his religion, and his weird stunts, Prince is a permanent part of Minneapolis. When he packed up Paisley and left for Los Angeles some years ago, we missed the crazy parties in Chanhassen and regular sightings at random Minneapolis haunts.

We never wanted to be your weekend lover, Prince.

So when we heard from several sources that we were getting our pop icon back, we felt oddly validated and most certainly excited. A sighting this weekend confirmed it: Prince has returned.

At approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday night, Prince and a few bodyguards hit up Envy Nightclub downtown, where his former DJ, Dudley D. (a.k.a. Dustin Meyer) was spinning in the main room.

"I spoke with him. I used to DJ and tour with him for five or six years, so we're cool like that," Meyer said. "He has been in town for a month or so now, back from L.A. after pretty much living there for a few years. This is the second or third time he has been to Envy recently."

Meyer, who is a part of local R&B group the New Congress, said Prince appeared with longtime keyboard player Morris Hayes, and might have been rehearsing with the rest of his band in the past few weeks.

"Let's just hope he cracks off a party or two at Paisley!" Meyer joked.

Another DJ at Envy, Jay "Strangelove" Tappe, said he saw Prince sitting in the VIP section of the club, where he remained for about an hour and then quietly left.

"I flashed him a peace sign and he flashed me one back," said Tappe. "He was bobbing his head by himself. Just chillin' like he always does."

On behalf of our staff and our readers, we'd like to welcome the Kid home. Let's go crazy and paint the town purple. Either that or host a mass purification in Lake Minnetonka. —Jen Boyles

Jacques's Wild

It had long been rumored but was made official this week: Jacques Lemaire, former head coach of the Wild, is returning to the New Jersey Devils, a team he coached to a Stanley Cup championship in 1995.

The Wild will play against their former coach at least once next season, but it is not yet publicly known whether the game will be home or away—the NHL was expected to announce the 2009-10 schedule on Wednesday.

"Every team plays every other team—whether it will be here or not, I don't know," said Ryan Stanzel, spokesman for the Wild.

A potential homecoming reception for Lemaire at the Xcel would be a sight to behold, but Stanzel said that talks have not yet begun on how Lemaire would be honored.

"Way too early," Stanzel said. "A lot of people would be involved in the decision."

Although Lemaire will likely only see the Wild once next season, he will play six games against former Wild winger Marion Gaborik, who signed with the New York Rangers earlier this month. —Kevin Hoffman

McNair's fling

If former NFL quarterback Steve McNair weren't already dead, he'd probably wish he were, given all of the sordid details of his extramarital love life getting dredged up lately.

Now the tragic national story has a local angle, with an article in the New York Daily News that quotes an anonymous Minneapolis strip-club business manager saying that McNair had a long-running affair with a local lap dancer.

"She liked money and athletes," the former business manager told the New York tabloid on condition of anonymity. "She went out with athletes before. She was one of those girls who said, 'You're married? You have kids? So what? Lets have fun.'" —Matt Smith

Laptop dunce

A north Minneapolis man is accused of stealing a laptop right out from under the fingers of its owner.

"The [owner] and another neighbor ended up chasing the [thief] down and held him for police, and he was arrested," police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia said. "Imagine working near your ground-floor window and someone coming along and snatching it from you! Hopefully the next window he reaches through will have bars on it."

Garcia says there has been a lot of petty theft in Minneapolis of late.

"We haven't had much big news lately—homicides are down, crimes are down," he said. "So we're focusing a bit on some of these smaller crimes. But people are getting tired of the riff-raff."

No word on whether the laptop survived the scuffle. —Jen Boyles

Gripe of the week

The more I interact with friends, and now family as well, the more I hear the following question: "Why don't you have a Facebook account?"

This is not a gentle question asked from a place of curiosity. Rather, it is a jeering and somewhat scolding question mixed with a tone of condescension and dismissal. Think of the way an evangelist responds when you look at him/her and say, "I'm not interested." These are magical words for any dedicated evangelist, and suddenly you find yourself in a heated debate regarding the immortality of your soul with an 18-year-old kid for an entire plane trip from Minneapolis to Norfolk, Virginia.

Okay, so that only happened once, and I have to admit it was somewhat amusing. Nonetheless, with the same enthusiasm and dedication as teenaged evangelists, Facebookers persistently ask this question over and over again, hoping that you'll see the light and join the millions of cyber-drones exchanging pictures of drunken college parties and spring-break trips to Cancun.

Despite the unobscured reality that I erased by Facebook page in 2006, and despite the fact that I've adamantly voiced my refusal to re-join the Facebook fun, these loyalists continue to ask me this tired question.

This leads me to a question of my own: Is there anybody who doesn't have a Facebook profile? And if so, why not? I know my reasons, but I would be interested to know why my otherwise typical peers choose to engage in this atypical lifestyle: a life without social networking sites. —Ruth, St. Paul