If you run into this guy, better stick to a simple “Yes, sir.” Matt McKinney and Alejandra Matos of the Strib report: “A woman claimed a police officer slammed her head against a wall, punched and kicked her in the torso. A man said he was beaten with a flashlight. A woman blamed an officer for restraining her boyfriend so violently that it killed him. Each of these people allege misconduct by Minneapolis police officer Lucas Peterson, a decorated cop who joined the force in 2000. Since then, he has been named in at least 13 excessive force complaints that so far have cost the city and other agencies more than $700,000 in settlements, court and city records show. … Sources said Peterson was the one who shot and killed [Terrence] Franklin, whose death prompted protest marches and pressure on Chief Janeé Harteau to release more details on the deadly encounter.”
Abortions in Minnesota are near an all-time low. Jeremy Olson’s Strib story says: “Abortions continue to decline in Minnesota, reaching levels not seen since 1975, the first year the state started keeping track. The state reported 10,701 pregnancies that were electively aborted in 2012, which is 3 percent lower than the total in 2011 and is the lowest annual total since 10,565 procedures in 1975. The number of abortions involving women 19 and younger has nearly been halved in five years — down from 2,137 in 2007 to 1,229 last year. … Increased access to birth control, particularly hormonal birth control pills for young women, explains why births and abortions are declining while sexual activity is increasing, said Judith Kahn, executive director of Teenwise Minnesota.” So you mean it isn’t “just saying ‘No’ ”?
The AP’s M.L. Johnson reports on a document dump by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee: “The Archdiocese of Milwaukee released thousands of pages of documents related to clergy sex abuse Monday, including the personnel files of more than three dozen priests and the depositions of church leaders including New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the former archbishop of Milwaukee. The documents were made public as part of a deal reached in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and victims suing it for fraud. … The collection also has drawn interest because of the involvement of Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the nation’s most prominent Roman Catholic official. Dolan has not been accused of transferring problem priests. … But there have been questions about his response to the crisis, including payments made to abusive priests when they left the church.”
The Minnesota Orchestra — remember them? — is returning roughly $1 million to the state. Graydon Royce’s Strib story says: “Orchestra management last December had pledged to sequester its fiscal 2013 grant from the state until a contract was reached with locked-out musicians. There is still no deal, so when the state’s fiscal year ended on Saturday, the funds were returned. Grants cannot be carried over to new fiscal periods. In June, the Office of the Legislative Auditor reviewed the orchestra’s use of public money and determined that between 2010 and 2013, all state funds were used appropriately, including $14 million in bonding for a renovation of Orchestra Hall. The report also indicated the orchestra and arts board should negotiate on the question of whether any of the 2013 grant could be applied to general operations. It appears that none of the grant was allowed.”
Showing gratitude toward your friends is always a good strategy … Tim Pugmire of MPR reports: “Some of the state legislators who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota this year will receive some extra help in their re-election campaigns — whether they want it or not. Officials with a recently formed political action committee are raising money on behalf of the DFL and Republican lawmakers that they have named ‘The Minnesota 15.’ … [Minnesotans United PAC director Richard] Carlbom made his first fundraising appeal in mid-June, naming five of the 15 lawmakers targeted for support — DFL state Reps. Joe Radinovich of Crosby, Shannon Savick of Wells, Tim Faust of Hinckley, Roger Erickson of Baudette and John Persell of Bemidji. The five represent rural districts where a majority of voters favored last fall’s proposed constitutional amendment.”
Yup, it’s the Henry B. Smith … . Andrew Krueger of the Duluth News Tribune says: “New video taken more than 500 feet beneath the surface of Lake Superior confirms that a shipwreck discovered earlier this year is indeed the long-lost freighter Henry B. Smith. As reported in the News Tribune last month, a group of shipwreck hunters with Northland ties located the wreck in May about 30 miles north of Marquette, Mich. The location, and video collected on that first trip, left little doubt that the wreck was the Smith, which had vanished with all hands in a storm in November 1913. But the group wasn’t able to get video footage showing the ship’s name — until a return trip to the wreck site last week.”
Also in the News Tribune … . Peter Passi writes: “Tonight, the Duluth City Council is expected to vote on a resolution that would authorize the expenditure of up to $200,000 to tear down 10 condemned houses. That’s more than twice what Duluth dedicated to removing abandoned dwellings last year. In 2012, the city authorized spending as much as $74,000 to demolish six properties. But Keith Hamre, Duluth’s director of planning and construction services, said the city clearly must do more. He pointed out that 34 buildings in Duluth have been condemned for demolition.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Keith Ellison have a response to last week’s Supreme Court ruling on the Voting rights Act. Says Tom Scheck for MPR: “[They] say they want Congress to make changes to the Voting Rights Act, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated a key portion of the law. The court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act last week that required nine states to get federal approval before making changes to election law. The court, however, did say Congress could create a new formula for the Act as long as it was based on current data. … It isn’t certain whether Congress can agree on creating a new law, given that Congress is sharply divided on a number of issues.” That crowd couldn’t agree on the value of motherhood.
A little June weather recap by Bill Enderson at MPR: “The third consecutive soggy month for Minnesota has come to an end. I measured 6.11 inches of rain in my backyard rain gauge in Minneapolis during June. That was about an inch more than fell at the international airport but a bit less than what the National Weather Service measured at their office in Chanhassen. Other totals for the month include 6.86 inches in Rochester, 5.76 inches in Saint Cloud, 4.54 inches in Duluth and 7.73 inches in Fargo, North Dakota. One dry spot was International Falls with just 1.60 inches.”