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Shattuck-St. Mary’s abuse lawsuit says school warned 3 times

GOP trying to find new conservatives; watershed pilot projects; Jones is ready for committee “meatgrinder”; rallies promote e-pulltabs; NYC”s cronut craze comes to town; and more.

A new lawsuit says Shattuck-St. Mary’s had three warnings about sexual abuse. Pat Pfeifer of the Strib reports: “The suit was filed by Jeff Anderson & Associates on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff, who attended the school from ages 13 to 18 and claims [Lynn] Seibel sexually abused him several times between 2000 and 2003. During that time, the student lived in a boy’s dormitory that was supervised by Seibel. Seibel and his family lived in an apartment on the first floor of the dorm. … The suit against Shattuck St. Mary’s said Seibel held ‘group sessions which consisted of Seibel organizing the boys into an on-campus dorm room to watch pornography and masturbate’ and engaged in various other sexually graphic discussions and games with students.” … Probably not parts of the advertised curriculum.

At MPR, Madeleine Baran writes: “Days into the job, however, [Nick] Stoneman was confronted with a problem. There was child pornography on teacher Lynn Seibel’s computer. The discovery couldn’t have been a surprise to everyone at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. School officials had overlooked red flags about Seibel’s behavior, according to documents and interviews. … The discovery of child pornography in July of 2003 was serious. The school now had evidence that a teacher may have broken the law. Moreover, school officials suddenly were aware of what legal experts and law enforcement consider evidence of child sexual abuse. Stoneman, though, did not contact police. The school said it consulted its lawyers and decided that the child pornography on Seibel’s computer ‘did not trigger a reporting requirement.’ In addition, the school said it investigated and considered Seibel’s claim that the pictures were popping up beyond his control.”

Couldn’t they just collect names from the “Emmer and Davis Show”? Catharine Richert of MPR says: “This summer, the Republican Party of Minnesota is launching a massive voter identification effort, one that will target 200,000 unidentified voters with the hopes of finding new conservative supporters. ‘It’s pretty obvious to everyone that our technology and our lists were a disadvantage for us in the last election,’ said Minnesota Republican Party chair Keith Downey. ‘I’ve said all along that a critical first phase for the state Republican Party is to get our blocking and tackling back on track.’ … The party may spend an estimated $99,000 this summer on four field managers, phone banks, field technology and other expenses to find new conservative voters in key districts and urban centers, according to those documents.”

The AP says: “Four Minnesota watersheds have been selected for a new pilot project offering farmers incentives to reduce water pollution from their operations. … Certified farmers will agree to adopt conservation practices to control erosion and runoff in return for guarantees that they won’t be subjected to stricter rules for 10 years. The pilot areas are the Whitewater River watershed in southeastern Minnesota, the Middle Sauk River watershed in central Minnesota, the Elm Creek watershed in south-central Minnesota and the Whiskey Creek watershed in northwestern Minnesota.”

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U.S. Attorney for Minnesota B. Todd Jones enters the partisan meatgrinder. Kevin Diaz of the Strib writes: “On Tuesday, nearly six months after his name was put forward, Jones is expected to face off with some of the most skeptical Republican critics of gun restrictions and the ATF, an agency that has become a stand-in for GOP ire with Obama’s Justice Department and embattled Attorney General Eric Holder. The White House has prepared Jones for a fractious grilling when he enters the Senate Judiciary Committee room. But the long-anticipated encounter also will give Jones his first chance to go on national television to answer questions that have been raised about his leadership as ATF’s temporary acting director and Minnesota’s top federal law enforcement officer.”

The GleanRally for e-pulltabs! Another AP piece says: “The Minnesota group that represents charitable gambling operators is holding meetings around the state to promote the struggling electronic bar games that are supposed to help pay for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. … Tax revenue from last year’s expansion into electronic versions of traditional paper pull-tab games is supposed to help fund the state’s $350 million share of the $1 billion stadium. But the games have performed far below original projections.” I still say you could put an e-pulltab machine in boxes of kids’ cereal…

Let’s see: Fat? Check. Sugar? Check. Jess Fleming of the PiPress reports: “Perhaps you’ve heard of the cronut craze that’s swept New York City. Apparently New Yorkers are so crazy about the trademarked hybrid between a doughnut and a croissant that there’s a black market for knockoffs. (Cronuts were first offered last month by Dominique Ansel Bakery.) Intrigued? Well, you can try a version here, at Angel Food Bakery in Minneapolis. … Because croissants (and therefore their doughnut brethren) are so labor-intensive to make, the bakery can churn out only a few batches at a time right now. ‘There’s 80 to 100 layers of dough that you have to keep working on and working on, and we make them all from scratch,’ [owner Cynthia] Gerdes said.”  If there was a “craze” in SoHo or the Upper West Side for sugar-coated dog droppings, some fashionista here would be raving to her pals …

Demolition has started on the old Ford plant. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “After months of removing interior items such as light bulbs, equipment oil and mercury switches from Ford’s paint shop and surrounding buildings, the company started demolition. The long winter complicated getting heavy equipment to the site. The teardown of the entire Ford campus is tentatively scheduled to conclude in 2015, but land restoration could stretch into 2018. That schedule depends on how much soil contamination the company finds as it begins removing slabs and foundations and cleaning the soil.”

That Rule of 90 was a sweet thing while it lasted. MaryJo Webster of the PiPress says: “More Minnesota public employees are staying on the job longer — a result of the struggling economy and a change in the rules for public workers who have long enjoyed incentives to leave the workforce in their late 50s. Last year, about 60 percent of new retirees from Minnesota’s public workforce — not including public safety workers — waited until they were 62 or older to retire. Just seven years ago, that figure was 40 percent, according to data from Minnesota’s three statewide public pension plans. This trend is expected to accelerate sharply. Within the next decade, there won’t be any Minnesota public employees eligible for a full pension when their age and years of service add up to 90 — known as the Rule of 90. And changes by this year’s Legislature, taking effect in 2014 and 2015, will make other early-retirement options less attractive.” These would be part of the 47 percent “moocher” class, right?

Why does this sound so familiar? GOP Rep. Paul Gazelka writes a commentary for the Dairyland Peach out in Todd County. He says: “The Democrat budget that was passed for 2013-14 concerns me. I believe we could have done better. With Gov. Dayton and the House and Senate majorities controlled by Democrats, the state’s budget will increase by nearly $3 billion — from $35.4 billion to $38.3 billion — a more than 8 percent increase. Permanently increasing spending over the next two years by $3 billion to cover a projected $627 million deficit is inefficient and irresponsible budgeting and hardworking taxpayers will lose more of their paychecks to fund wasteful government programs. … Minnesota has a spending problem and we need to spend more effectively and stop wasting money on inefficient government programs that don’t provide a satisfactory return on investment for hardworking Minnesota taxpayers. Under the Democrats’ tax and spend plan, every Minnesotan will pay more in taxes. They’re overtaxing, overspending, overreaching, and Minnesotans can’t afford it.” I guess that’s why they call it an “echo chamber.”

Way to go, Shakopee. Dee DePass of the Strib says: “Emerson Process Management Rosemount announced Monday that it will convert part of the abandoned ADC Telecommunications site in Shakopee for a new engineering and manufacturing center, creating about 400 jobs over the next five years. The new facility will cost about $71 million to replace the ADC Building 2, which will transform about 60 acres of the site. Officials from Emerson Process Management, which is a division of the $24 billion Emerson Electric Co. in St. Louis, said salaries should reach the mid-$60,000 range.”