TR stock not feeling the love

   The price of stock in one of Eagan’s largest employers, Thomson Reuters, has sharply declined in the last two weeks—plummeting even before an overall market correction—following the Jan. 30 announcement of the sale of a controlling interest in the company’s Financial and Risk division.
   Two weeks after that announcement, on Feb. 13, the company made another announcement: its chief executive officer, Jim Smith, was in the hospital. The company did not disclose the nature of the CEO’s illness, saying only he “was feeling unwell.”
   At the end of January, Thomson Reuters announced it was selling a 55 percent stake in its Financial and Risk division to private equity firm Blackstone Group for about $17 billion. The company also announced the departure of Board of Directors member Sir Kenneth Alisa.
   On Feb. 8, the company’s earnings announcement brought shares below $40, to a low of $39.36.
  Thomson acquired Minnesota-based West Publishing in 1996. In recent years, West’s publishing revenue has declined, according to company reports, as law firms and libraries replace print publications with online options. The company paid $212 million in severance in 2016.
   The moment many awaited arrived Feb. 8 as Chick-Fil-A came to Eagan. The new restaurant opened on Yankee Doodle Road near the City Vue and Promenade Oaks apartments. The restaurant chain's mascot cow was on hand for the grand opening to ask people to eat more chicken.
Thomson Reuters' stock price has declined sharply recently.

Vikings request would add fire to fuel at tailgating site

Caretaker charged with malicious punishment

    A South Saint Paul woman has been charged with a felony based on allegations she repeatedly withheld food from and tied up a child in her care.
   Flor Gallegos, 53, of 155 Richmond St., S. Saint Paul, is scheduled to appear in Dakota County district court on March 19 to answer to charges of false imprisonment, a felony, and malicious punishment of a child, a gross misdemeanor, according to court records.
   Gallegos was the legal guardian of the child she is accused of mistreating over a period of nearly three years, from Feb. 1, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2018, according to court records. In a criminal complaint, the prosecution details reports from several witnesses on various dates. Witnesses told investigators Gallegos withheld food from and tied the victim and a sibling to a pole in the basement and to his bunkbed.
   The charges come more than three years after South Saint Paul police investigated a report that the 11-year-old, living with his guardians, his great-aunt and uncle, had been deprived of food, and more than a year after his school reported to police the child had been physically abused, according to court records. Prior to that report, the victim’s school had reported to police the child came to school hungry and was not being fed at home.
    An older sibling of the child told school staff about a large bruise on the victim’s face. A witness reported the victim disclosed Gallegos had struck him in the face several times after he got into trouble at school. The bruise was reportedly so bad Gallegos kept the victim home from school for a week so no one would see it.
   A witness also reportedly disclosed Gallegos would lock the victim and his 13-year-old brother in their rooms and withhold food as punishment, according to court records.
   When police and a child services investigator went to the home and spoke to the victim, he initially denied the abuse, although Gallegos herself admitted hitting him in the face, according to court records.
   During a subsequent interview with investigators, the victim reportedly disclosed years of abuse, according to a criminal complaint. The victim reported he had gone as long as six days without food and would sometimes steal food at night. The victim also reported he and a sibling had been tied up when they were as young as five years old, according to court records. The victim reported Gallegos had tied the children to a pole in the basement or to a bed or dresser. The victim said his hands would sometimes be tied all night, so they were swollen in the morning, according to the criminal complaint.
   Witnesses reported seeing evidence of children being tied up with rope and duct tape, according to court records. Witnesses also reported family members and child protection workers intervened, telling Gallegos not to withhold food and restrain the children.
   Another child who had been in the home under Gallegos’s care while her mother worked reported the victim had once been tied to his bed all day, according to court records. She reported the victims’ rooms “smelled like ‘pee’ because Flor Gallegos would not let them out to use the bathroom,” according to the criminal complaint. She also alleged Gallegos would withhold food from the first victim. Gallegos allegedly told the child the victim “did not deserve to eat.”
   The Eagan City Council agreed to postpone action on a request regarding alcoholic beverages at the new Vikings headquarters site to allow Vikings representatives time to try to convince the city's fire chief to remove a proposed condition that would prohibit open flames in a tailgating area.
   The tailgating area, a parking lot where football fans would drink and party, was suggested by Mayor Mike Maguire at a previous meeting about the site. At issue is a proposed condition for the tailgating area,  referred to as “Condition 4.” The proposed condition reads: “For any tailgating event there shall be no flames or fire pits. Charcoal and propane grilling devices are permitted.”
   A Vikings’ representative appearing before the council, whom council members addressed only by his first name, Steve, told the board the condition would likely be unpopular with tailgaters.
   “That is the single largest complaint that we get from tailgaters,” the Vikings’ representative said. He requested the city council approve the matter without the condition to allow him to “have a conversation” with the city’s police and fire chiefs “to see if we could figure out a way that we could do that. That would be great.”

   If the condition were removed, the city would allow people at the Vikings' tailgating site to light fires amid the gas tanks in a parking lot full of cars and trucks in a crowd of people consuming alcoholic beverages.  
   The request to allow open flames at the Vikings’ tailgate area came less than one month after the city narrowly avoided the explosion of a 20,000-gallon gasoline spill on Thomas Center Drive. The spill occurred after contractors boring soil for a construction project at Lifetime Fitness struck the gasoline pipeline with a metal auger. Had there been an ignition source nearby, the city’s fire chief told city councilors at a recent meeting, the gasoline likely would have exploded.   
   The city council repeatedly joked with and sought to accommodate Vikings’ representatives as they discussed the issue and another item on the agenda, construction of a 100-foot-cell phone tower at the new northeast Eagan headquarters site. At one point during the discussion Monday night, a councilmember questioned the best procedural option that would eliminate the multi-million-dollar organization’s need to pay another filing fee to the city.
   As has occurred at past meetings discussing issues related to the Vikings’ site, the Vikings’ representative referenced a discussion with a city council member—in this case, with Councilmember Cyndee Fields—before the public city council meeting.
   The council postponed the alcohol service issue to its Feb. 20 meeting to accommodate the Vikings. The council approved the request to build the 100’ cell tower.

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  St. Paul woman charged with shoplifting in Eagan
    A St. Paul woman has been charged with a felony for allegedly shoplifting from an Eagan store.
   Monica Jo Dahl, 49, of 630 Blair Ave., St. Paul, was charged with theft over $500 following a Jan. 12 report of a theft in progress at an Eagan store. Police searched the vehicle Dahl was driving and found about $863 worth of merchandise, two foil-lined purses, and a blond wig, according to a criminal complaint.

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An image from plans submitted to the Eagan City Council for a cell tower at the Vikings headquarter site.
 Woman accused of stealing baby formula 
   A Richfield woman is facing a felony theft charge based on allegations she stole baby formula from two grocery stores last December.
   Kelsey Detle, 32, of 6645 Queen Ave. S. #103, Richfield, is facing a charge of aggregated theft over $1,000 following an investigation by Eagan police, according to a criminal complaint.
   The investigation began after employees of the Hy-Vee grocery store noticed a large amount of baby formula missing from the shelves. A review of store video and further investigation led police to another grocery store, Cub. When police arrived at that store, an officer allegedly saw Detle leaving the store with a cart full of baby formula but no receipt, according to a criminal complaint.
Police seize pounds of marijuana "gummies"   
   Two men, including an Eagan man, are facing felony drug charges after investigators found large amounts of THC-laced candy “gummies” during police searches of the cars they were driving.  
     Brian Hiltner, 28, of 3898 Mersey Pt., Eagan, was charged with a felony sale of 25 or more kilograms of a controlled substance, according to a criminal complaint. Police allege Hiltner was driving a car away from a Lakeville house where the Southwest Metro Drug Task Force was about to execute a search warrant on Jan. 31.
     Police smelled marijuana in the car while they were talking to Hiltner, according to a criminal complaint. Police search the car and found 9 vacuum-sealed plastic bags believed to contain about a pound of marijuana each.
     Police also found 14 one-gallon size plastic bags filled with what police suspect are THC-laced gummies. A field test of one of the pieces of candy tested positive for THC, according to court records. The gummies, in total, weighed more than 50 pounds.
     Inside the house, the address of which was not disclosed by police, police found 183 vacuum-sealed bags of what police suspect is marijuana, more gummies, and “a large number of containers” of suspected “marijuana wax,” a concentrated form of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Police also found drug paraphernalia, a digital scale, and about $26,000.      
     The discovery of pounds of drug-laced candy was a particular concern to county drug prosecutors because of the marijuana-laced gummies’ attractiveness to children. The gummies prompt particular concern because they can be a starter drug for children and teen-agers averse to smoking and can attract young children who see them as candy, not drugs.
     “Gummies and other edibles are of great concern as they are manufactured with varying levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana,” Dakota County District Attorney James Backstrom said. “When products are shaped like candy, there is a not only a greater concern of possible overdose, there is also the concern that children will accidentally ingest them.”
     A second man, from Lakeville, was stopped by police in a vehicle containing even more gummies shortly after Hiltner’s arrest.
     Austin Hagen, 24, of 20580 Kearney Path, Lakeville, was charged with two felony counts of possession of more than 25 kilograms of THC, according to a criminal complaint. Police stopped the car Hagen was driving on Friday, Feb. 2. While talking with Hagen, police noticed the smell of marijuana and searched the car, according to court records.
     Police found a large duffel bag inside the car. Inside the duffel bag, police found eight plastic containers. “There appeared to be several thousand gummies in each container,” according to police. Altogether, police allege, there were more than 99 pounds of gummies.

Couple accused of stealing tv from senior housing

   A St. Paul man and a Zimmerman woman have been charged with a felony in connection with the theft of a television from an Eagan senior living facility.
   Nathan Crandall, 37, of 1348 Rice St., St. Paul, and Tessa Aguilar, 21, of 26312 147th St. NW, Zimmerman, were each charged with a single count of felony theft, according to Dakota County criminal complaints. The charges stem from an Eagan Police Department investigation into the report of a theft of an $1,100 television and stand from the senior living complex.
   A resident of the facility identified suspects on surveillance video as her son, Crandall, and his girlfriend, according to court records.