That other very expensive battle for the Catholic Church, all those sexual abuse cases, isn’t getting any cheaper in Wisconsin. Annysa Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: “The court-ordered mediation between the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and victims of sexual abuse has failed, sending the parties back to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to resume what one court official has called a scorched earth legal battle. The church and victims — at 575 members, they represent the largest class of creditors in the bankruptcy — have been in court-ordered mediation since July 20. Victims attorney Jeffrey Anderson [of St. Paul] confirmed Monday that the mediation had failed but declined to elaborate on the sticking points, citing the confidentiality of the proceedings. He said victims would now move forward to force the disclosure of thousands of pages of documents now under court seal, and to scrutinize the transfer of millions of dollars off the church’s books into trusts in the years before the bankruptcy.”
In another big money issue next door … the AP says: “Democrat Tammy Baldwin has raised more money than her Republican opponent Tommy Thompson in recent months and had more cash on hand for the final push toward Election Day. Baldwin reported Monday that she started October with $3.5 million, while Thompson said he had nearly $2 million. Baldwin says she raised nearly $4.6 million over the three-month period that ended Sept. 30. Thompson says he raised $3.6 million.” Tommy must have lost the Koch brothers’ numbers.
Opponents of the state’s wolf hunt are not giving up. Josephine Marcotty’s Strib story says: “Two national wildlife protection groups today said they will file suit to return the Great Lakes wolf to the endangered species list, and asked that both Minnesota and Wisconsin suspend their wolf hunts. The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals served notice that they will file suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. … In other legal action today, two wildlife groups have asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop the state’s first managed wolf [hunt] that begins Nov. 3, arguing that the lower court was wrong when it ruled last week that the killing of 400 wolves would not cause irreparable harm.”
The unexpectedly tight race between Jim Graves and Our Favorite Congresswoman has Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon writing: “Muslim Brotherhood agents must have infiltrated the campaign arm of House Democrats, because the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced today that it’s giving a boost to the Dem candidate running against Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. … Graves campaign manager Adam Graves passed along this statement: ‘The DCCC’s decision to target our race confirms that this election cycle is by far the best shot we’ve ever had to defeat Rep. Bachmann. Her favorability has been in a free fall ever since her failed presidential bid, and she’s facing her toughest opponent yet — a businessman with a record of creating thousands of private sector jobs. Independents are dramatically shifting in our favor — we’re now up 15%.’ ” Uh, note to reporters … might want to corroborate that last item.
This sort of thing is still pretty rare. Tom Cherveny of the West Central Tribune reports: “Xcel Energy remains on track to remove the 107-year-old Minnesota Falls dam [in Granite Falls] yet this year. A contractor is lined up for the project, but Xcel Energy is waiting for a final permit now under review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before work can begin. If the permit is approved as expected, the dam could be removed by the end of November.”
Michael Osterholm says we need better influenza vaccines. In the PiPress story, by Christopher Snowbeck, it says: “Osterholm of the U’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy said during a news conference Monday … that people should still go out and get flu vaccines this fall. But as he did last year at this time, Osterholm presented results from a large review of research on flu vaccines that found the effectiveness of flu shots is not as high as many have believed. ‘Current influenza vaccine protection is substantially lower than for most routinely recommended vaccines and is suboptimal,’ Osterholm said.”
How desperate would you have to be? The AP says: “A former Minnesota high school principal is accused of stealing more than $37,000 that was supposed to go to his school’s baseball team. The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced Monday that 57-year-old Mark Wayne Antonson is charged with three counts of theft and one count of filing a false tax return in Kanabec County. He was the Mora High School principal and director of community education at the time of the alleged crimes.”
Woo hoo! Tim Harlow of the Strib writes: “Crews will take down the barricades and detour signs and open bridges on Lyndale and Plymouth Avenues in Minneapolis to traffic this afternoon. A little fanfare will surround the opening of the Lyndale Avenue Bridge over Minnehaha Creek as city and county officials, business owners and residents mark the occasion with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. at the Washburn Library at 5244 Lyndale Av. S. About an hour later, the ‘Road Closed’ signs will come down on the Plymouth Avenue Bridge, allowing traffic to pass over the Mississippi River just north of downtown for the first time in two years.”
How familiar does this sound? Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “A 32-year-old driver has been cited for being drunk when she struck six pedestrians at an intersection near the University of Minnesota, authorities said Monday. The incident occurred about 3 p.m. Sunday at Oak Street and Washington Avenue SE., when Kristine J. Peterson, of St. Francis, was turning left in her car and ran over the people crossing the street, police said. … While [Police Sgt. Steve] McCarty declined to specify Peterson’s blood-alcohol content reading, he did say it was more than 0.08 percent, the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.”
MPR has architectural drawings of the new Vikings stadium by firms pitching their work. The winning firm, HKS, has a couple of proposals that are quite futuristic. Personally, the airiness of the rejected Ewing Cole proposal is appealing.