What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to suzanne.ziegler@startribune.com.

Monday roundup: Block E-mpty, Native Mob gang, new fire chief gets nod

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer under Local business, Parks and recreation, Politics and government, Public safety Updated: January 30, 2012 - 9:41 AM

What's making news in Minneapolis, through the weekend:

If not a casino, what's Plan B for Minneapolis' Block E? Ten years after the retail-entertainment complex opened with promises to bring crowds to downtown Minneapolis, the storied building has become a ghost town. (Janet Moore and Eric Roper) Make sure you check out the photo gallery/timeline assembled by Chris Havens.

The complex got a $39 million city subsidy, which is small potatoes compared to what's being proposed for the new Vikings stadium. The Vikings are looking into the possibility of building on a site right next to the current Metrodome, so the team could continue to play in their current stadium as they built a new one, instead of having to play three seasons in TCF Bank Stadium. But NFL teams have played in college stadiums before, without major problems, and the beer taps will likely be open for Vikings games. (Kevin Duchschere)

Another subsidized sports complex downtown, the Target Center, has been "tying a millstone around the necks of two generations of city residents" because of millions in debt payments and maintenance costs, columnist Eric Wieffering writes.

Weigh in on the proposed train station at Target Field: The Interchange project, Hennepin County's proposed rail transit hub in downtown Minneapolis that officials want to begin building this year, will go up for public review Wednesday. (Kevin Duchschere)

New Minneapolis fire chief sees tough road. John Fruetel knows he's up against low morale and high scrutiny in the Minneapolis department. (Maya Rao)

Republican lawmakers in St. Paul want the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul to control the schools. Both mayors in the DFL-dominated cities say they're open to discussing the matter with Republicans, but say they back the work of their respective school superintendents toward improving student performance. (Steve Brandt and Daarel Burnette)

Charges aim to deal blow to Native Mob, one of the nation's most violent American Indian gangs. (Matt McKinney and Nicole Norfleet). Get more details and read the indictment here

Minneapolis Loppet race being moved to Wirth Park. The City of Lakes Loppet race set for next weekend has shifted from the Uptown area to Theodore Wirth Park, where artificial snow will keep cross-country skiers moving along. Having skied at Wirth this weekend, I got a flavor of just how many skiers can jam themselves on the little strips of snow in the woods. (Jim Adams)

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