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May 14, 2002 // UPDATED 1:20 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Ellen Nigon
Ellen Nigon

Plant thief escapes The green-thumbed bandit is on the loose again. Harvey Lee Thomas was convicted in January of stealing plants from Downtown office buildings, among other charges. He was sentenced to serve in the county workhouse until Aug. 7, 2002.

But on April 25, Thomas was furloughed out to do day work outside the workhouse. He never returned and is currently on escape status.

Perhaps coincidentally, on April 27 or April 28, eight plants were stolen from One Financial Plaza, 120 S. 6th St. No cameras surveyed the theft area, so no one knows who the current plant thief is.

The Downtown Police Command is urging all property managers and security staff to call 911 to report these thefts.

Motorcycle mama hits Downtown The Waag family is expecting three additions to their family -- twins and a motorcycle shop. Cami Waag will give birth later this summer, but on June 1, she and husband Rollie will open a custom motorcycle store called Lucky's Garage at 1029 Washington Ave. S.

The high-end motorcycle store will specialize in custom motorcycles, used Harley Davidsons, motorcycle apparel and accessories.

"The trend is to match your gear to your bike, especially by brand," Cami Waag said. "We plan to specialize in selling a lot of apparel and fun things to add to your bike ... like customized chrome gas caps."

According to Cami Waag, the customized motorcycles (which will probably be Borgets) will cost $20,000-$50,000 and the used Harley Davidsons will retail for $5,000-$25,000.

Store hours are tentatively Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m.

Police command post will move this summer Sometime soon, the Downtown Command will move -- but not far.

Currently located on 5th Street South near Hennepin Avenue, the Downtown Command will travel a couple of blocks to the former Fire Station 10 at 19 N. 4th St., just east of Nate's Clothing Co.

According to crime-prevention specialist Luther Krueger, the current location, next to Banana Joe's Sports Bar and Grill, was never meant to be permanent because the city leased the space.

"The city already owned (the fire station)," Krueger said. "It's bigger and we'll fit into it better. Especially in times of a budget crunch, it's perfect."

Light rail is also a factor in the move. "We won't be able to park our squads out front once the rail's in place. Well, we can't right now. It's basically a mud pit," Krueger said.

Krueger said the Downtown Command is optimistic that rehabilitation of the old fire station will be completed by the end of the summer.

Downtown projects win preservation awards The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission announced four Downtown projects among its 2002 Heritage Preservation awards.

The Minneapolis City Council Chambers in City Hall, 350 S. 5th St., won a rehabilitation award. The Garr Scott Historic Lofts, 614 N. 1st St., Milwaukee Avenue Road Depot, 300 Washington Ave. S., and Jetset, 115 N. 1st St,. received adaptive reuse awards. Adaptive re-use is the renovation of a space for a different purpose.

A jury of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects decided the 11 citywide winners.

A beach near Target Center? When most people think of Downtown, they think business, bars and . . . beach volleyball?

This summer, Downtown workers can head from the office straight to outdoor volleyball courts at 700 3rd Ave. N. The courts are wedged between two I-394 highway bridges a block west of Target Center.

The courts are run by Spike Works Volleyball Oasis. Leagues are available for any ability level in many formats, including coed six-person teams, fours and doubles and men's and women's fours and doubles.

For more information or to register a team, call Spike Works at 813-0072 or visit their Web site at www.spikeworks.net.

Twin Cities Sport and Social Club leased the volleyball courts from 1995 until January 2001, when it went out of business. Last summer, the city entered into a short-term lease with two local companies for the volleyball courts. On April 25, the Minneapolis City Council entered into a five-year lease agreement with both Spike Works and Cities Sports Connection. Eight courts will be leased to each company through 2007.