Business group issues warning over ADA suits

The Mankato chamber of commerce warned its membership last week about a spree of lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The chamber encouraged its members to check their ADA compliance, and warned against ignoring the suits, which can stem from seemingly minor violations.

At least eight Mankato businesses have been sued since March 23 by the Disability Support Alliance, the same group that has filed at least 60 ADA suits statewide since it was formed last summer. The DSA has at least three members; two of them, Marshall, Minn., residents Melanie Davis and Zach Hillesheim, have filed the Mankato suits.

The suits are often dismissed after businesses pay cash settlements. The lawsuits and the group's strident tactics have alarmed disability advocates. The DSA's attorney, Paul Hansmeier, is under investigation by the state board that cites lawyers for ethical violations both for the ADA lawsuits and for suits he filed that targeted men for alleged copyright violations for downloading pornography.

Matt McKinney @_mattmckinney


FedEx facility expected to deliver about 100 jobs

A FedEx sorting facility is coming to Brainerd. City officials say the company will soon break ground on a 54,000-square-foot sorting and distribution complex in the Brainerd Industrial Park, which hasn't seen any activity since the recession.

FedEx isn't talking about its plans yet, but City Council President Gary Scheeler said the new facility could bring 100 jobs.

"This is what we need to move the city forward," Scheeler said.

In October, the City Council gave its initial OK to the sale of nine acres in the industrial park to RDC National Inc., which handles projects for FedEx and other companies.

The council finalized the $521,560 sale in late May. Construction could be complete by fall, Scheeler said.

Jenna Ross @ByJenna


DNR: Calling all paddlers to the Minnesota River

Kayaks and canoes will be out in force next weekend for a tag-team navigation of the Minnesota River, organized by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The "I Can Paddle! 2015" event aims to lure paddlers down every navigable mile of the 318-mile river, from the headwaters at Big Stone Lake State Park in Ortonville to its confluence with the Mississippi River at Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul, on Saturday, June 13.

Paddlers can navigate a section of the river on their own, or join up with organized paddles that will take place along the length of the river throughout the day.

For more information go to­inaday.html or call 888-646-6367.

Jennifer Brooks @stribrooks