Prince remembered throughout Minneapolis 1 year after death

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

A lone jogger sprinted down the pathway between the hulking white Paisley Park compound and Minnesota Highway 5, indifferent to the history living on the other side of the sagging chain-link fence.

A purple makeshift wall on the property – the Prince4Ever Tribute Fence – cluttered with fan-donated mementos and photos, remained off limits Tuesday as Paisley Park closed to prepare for Celebration 2017, a four-day event launching Thursday.

The first anniversary of Prince’s still incomprehensible death arrives Friday, and the commemorative gathering is expected to attract about 2,000 fans from 28 countries, as well as offering musical performances from The Revolution, Morris Day & The Time and New Power Generation – a collective hug to honor the memory of the musical titan who died of an accidental opioid overdose at 57.

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Although Paisley Park, located about 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis in the suburban enclave of Chanhassen, now functions as a museum – a quick turnaround from studio to tourist attraction by the same folks who manage Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee – many fans have chosen to contribute to a “Graffiti Bridge” of sorts a few steps from the property.

The Riley Creek underpass, which connects Lake Ann Park and Paisley Park, was, before April 21, 2016, a naked slab of curved concrete.

Now, spray-painted R.I.P.s and messages of sadness, hope and gratitude are etched on the walls.

“Purple rain is what we bleed,” read one, while another also invoked a Prince lyric: “There’s something else…the afterlife.”

While Prince spent his later years in his Chanhassen hideaway – an area that was devoid of commercialism when he built it in the ‘80s but now resides less than a mile from a Target and across the street from a day care center – his loss is hardly relegated to the city of about 25,000.

In nearby St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center retrieved one of its treasured artifacts – the purple coat and white, ruffled shirt Prince wore in his 1984 career-making “Purple Rain” movie – to put on display this week.

The outfit, which Prince gave to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1992, is in danger of fading, so it can make only brief public appearances.

St. Paul residents Jason and Rachel Gorski donned purple attire Tuesday evening specifically to visit the small exhibit at the History Center.

“He and I were born the same year,” Jason Gorski said. “I’m trying to maintain just a tenth of his coolness.”

Rachel Gorski, 50, said she and her friends became Prince fans in high school.

“It was wild to be here (in Minnesota) when he died. The entire energy of the city was just down. People would cry spontaneously,” she said.

But, like many of Prince’s fans, the Gorskis eventually found a way to combat the sadness – they attended a Prince tribute show with Morris Day & The Time at the famed First Avenue music club in downtown Minneapolis and “danced the night away.”

Jason Gorski is confident that Prince’s legacy is solidified for generations.

“He will beat time because he has 100 more years of music (in the vault),” Gorski said. “It’s just too bad he won’t be here to spread it.”

It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that everyone who lives in Minneapolis has some sort of Prince story.

But it makes sense that the staff at the Electric Fetus, a funky independent record shop that has been a musical mainstay in this city since 1968, would have much to say about one of the shop’s most famous, and most loyal, customers.

Fans might recall that Prince visited the store on Record Store Day 2016, five days before he died. He tweeted his thanks on April 16, and noted that he “rocked” a Stevie Wonder album on the way home (he also scooped up albums by Santana and Missing Persons).

Despite his obvious feelings of nostalgia that day, Prince was renowned for his interest in new artists.

“He would always be on top of the new music,” said David “Chilly” Caufman, who has worked at Electric Fetus for 18 years. “He really supported the scene here. He loved supporting local businesses.”

The store, unsurprisingly, has created a Prince sales display of books, candles and T-shirts, as well as a mug with the inscription from that final tweet.

 

World’s largest Starbucks to set up shop on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 7:37 AM

Starbucks will open a Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019.
Starbucks

Chicago’s swanky Magnificent Mile will soon have a mega jolt of caffeine as Starbucks announces plans to open the world largest coffee shop of its brand.

The chain announced this week that it will open Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019, WMAQ reported.

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The North Michigan Avenue business will be four stories tall and will be a “full sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world,” according to a press release from Starbucks.

The 43,000-square-foot Starbucks will open in the building currently holding a Crate and Barrel at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.

It is the third roastery in the U.S. The first is in Seattle and opened in 2014. The second is scheduled to open in New York City next year. There are roasteries planned for Shanghai, Milan and Tokyo.

Check your change jar for rare penny worth up to $85,000 

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 7:23 PM

A rare coin, the 1943 copper wheat penny, also known as the Wheat Cent, is worth a pretty penny these days, selling for up to $85,000 at auction.

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That’s according to the online coin value service CoinTrackers, which said the pennies are so valuable because so few were made and they were released by mistake.

The Wheat Cent is made mostly from copper, but steel versions were issued during World War II, CoinTrackers said on its website. Because the 1943 coin was mistakenly minted of copper instead of steel and released, its value skyrocketed.

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Coin experts have suggested the mistake occurred when copper plates were either tested or left among the steel plates from 1942, KTRK-TV reported.

A penny worth $85,000 may sound astronomical, but consider that in 2012 a 1943 Lincoln penny sold for $1 million at auction.

 

Firefighters rescue woman clinging to top of crane

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 8:02 AM

A woman is rescued from a downtown Toronto crane early Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Some streets in the downtown core were closed as dozens of construction workers and commuters gazed skyward to watch police and firefighters try to rescue the woman who got stuck atop the tall construction crane. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Frank Gunn/AP

A woman in Toronto can thank firefighters for getting her down from a precarious perch.

She had climbed a construction crane but then needed firefighters help getting down.

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When rescue crews arrived, she had been clinging on to a steel cable for at least four hours, The Associated Press reported.

Crews strapped her to a firefighter who rappelled, bringing her safely to the ground.

Officials do not know why the unnamed woman decided to climb the large crane, without the aid of safety equipment, in the middle of the night. She faces a mischief charge for her death-defying climb, The AP reported.

United Airlines changes policy after man dragged from plane

Published: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 10:31 AM



Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

United Airlines will no longer allow crew members to bump passengers already on board flights after facing heavy criticism for its removal of a Kentucky physician earlier this month.

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The policy change came after video surfaced on social media of officers with the Chicago Department of Aviation dragging Dr. David Dao off Flight 3411 after he declined to relinquish his seat to make room for a crew member.

Dao’s attorney said last week that the confrontation left Dao with a broken nose and a severe concussion. Two of his front teeth were knocked out and he was hospitalized for three days.

>> Related: United passenger suffered broken nose, teeth while being dragged from plane

The change was outlined in an internal email on April 14, The Associated Press reported. Crew members are required to make “must-ride bookings” at least an hour before the flight is scheduled to leave, according to the AP. The airline previously allowed crew members to make bookings until the time of departure.

A spokesperson for United confirmed the policy update to NPR, saying it “ensures situations like Flight 3411 never happen again.” 

"This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience," the spokesperson told NPR.

>> Related: Delta will now pay passengers up to $9,950 to give up seats

United is not the only airline that has adjusted its policies in the wake of the dragging incident.

Delta Air Lines updated its financial incentive policy to offer up to $9,950 to passengers who volunteer to give up their seats on overbooked flights. American Airlines changed its conditions of carriage and said it would not “involuntarily remove a passenger who has already boarded,” The Washington Post reported.