Their most avowed enemies couldn’t generate worse press … Tony Kennedy of the Strib reports: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was at the forefront of extensive lobbying against efforts to expand the time limit for lawsuits by victims of childhood sexual abuse, according to a document obtained by the Star Tribune. An internal accounting analysis prepared by the archdiocese shows that the lobbying association known as the Minnesota Religious Council received more than $800,000 from the Catholic Church during a seven-year period ending in the middle of 2008. A similar analysis was not available for subsequent years, but state lobbying records show the council spent more than $425,000 on lobbyists from 2006 through 2012.” Add that to the cash they spent on trying to defeat gay marriage and pretty soon you’re talking real money.
But will there be Personal Skate Licenses? Rachel Bachman of The Wall Street Journal tells her readers: “Workers will tear down Minneapolis’s Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome early next year, clearing the way to build a sleek, $975 million stadium. The design element in the Minnesota Vikings football team’s new home that most concerns Jim Hoffner isn’t the sloped clear roof or the 95-foot pivoting doors on one end. It is the hallways. For more than two decades, thousands of people like Mr. Hoffner have been strapping on in-line roller skates and cruising the corridors of the Metrodome on cold days when the stadium doesn’t host a major sporting event. … Mr. Hoffner has lobbied designers of the new stadium to eschew carpeting and tile on concourse floors in favor of smooth surfaces to ease the way for skates. … The powers-that-be have listened. … In fact, the activity is even informing its architecture.”
Obviously this isn’t news to those of you writing the checks … Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield at WCCO-TV says: “Minnesota ranks as one of the most expensive places in the country for child care, which eats up more than 15 percent of income for a married couple making around $90,000 a year. According to Child Care Aware, that’s the third worst in the country. On the flip side, the state has strict child-caretaker standards. For parents, it’s a double-edged sword.”
And with snow rolling in, not a moment too soon … The AP says: “Minnesota’s corn harvest is now ahead of the five-year average for the first time this season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers were able to harvest 25 percent of their corn for grain in the week ending Sunday. That pushed Minnesota’s corn harvest slightly ahead of normal. Seventy-three percent of corn for grain has been harvested, compared with the normal 72 percent. Minnesota’s soybean harvest remains ahead of normal at 96 percent complete.”
Beth McDonough of KSTP-TV reports: “There’s been a shakeup and now, an investigation, of the Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS). The Wildcat Sanctuary is located in Sandstone, about 1.5 hours north of the Twin Cities. It’s one of 9,000 nonprofits registered with the state. TWS relies solely on private donations to operate, and insiders are now raising questions about where thousands of dollars went. The founder, Tammy Thies, is under fire after a report claimed embezzlement and fraud. It says the founder was treating the charity’s bank account like her own. … KSTP confirmed the Minnesota Attorney General’s office is reviewing and looking at complaints but couldn’t tell us if a full investigation is underway.”
Not exactly your best example of an “outdoorsman.” A Grand Forks Herald story says: “A Baudette, Minn., man has been charged with 16 offenses in an investigation into illegal possession of bear and deer, the state Department of Natural Resources said today. Keith R. Slick, 32, has been scheduled to appear in Lake of the Woods County Court. … Authorities, who confiscated numerous bear capes and skulls as well as deer antler sets from Slick’s home, said he had not registered an adult male deer or bear in the past 10 years. DNR records go back 10 years. A cell phone seized in the investigation contained pictures of Slick with a dead bear, as well as text messages in which Slick allegedly told people that had shot seven bears in his life.”
The Strib’s Curt Brown gets a quote from the guy who defaced Pompeys Pillar out in Montana: “The confessed vandal who carved a pair of names into a national monument says it was all just a misguided declaration of love. Minnesotan Cole Randall told investigators that a cancer scare for his new wife led him to carve their names into Pompeys Pillar, a sandstone column that also bears inscriptions marking the passage of the Lewis and Clark expedition that explored the American West. In his statement, which he also e-mailed to the Star Tribune and posted on its website, he called the act ‘definitely stupid and misguided.’ … In his letter, Randall noted that Clark and he were both following a tradition of American Indians and other earlier travelers who left their names.” Except, pal, you are not an “early traveler.”
Also a bit more on the Wisconsin couple who “didn’t see” the “Road Closed” sign and ended up stranded for a week on the Beartooth Highway northeast of Yellowstone. Rob Rogers of the AP writes: “By the end, they had just eight pieces of bread and a half tank of gas left. It was Sunday night, Nov. 3, and Mark and Kristine Wathke, missing since Oct. 28, were sitting in their Kia Forte trapped in a foot of snow above 10,000 feet on the Beartooth Highway. They had come to the realization that probably they weren’t going to be found, that this was likely the end. It had dropped to 7 degrees below zero that night; Mark’s water bottle, sitting in the back window, froze solid in a matter of hours. … They had reservations for a hotel in Miles City and so they punched the address into their cellphone’s mapping application. The route it gave them took them out of the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park on Highway 212 over the Beartooth Pass. ‘Thank you, Google,’ Kristine said.”
It’ll be tough to stop boat waves from hitting Big Island. Tom Meersman of the Strib says: “Hundreds of boats jam the waters of Cruiser’s Cove next to Big Island on Lake Minnetonka on summer evenings and weekends, but by late last week there was nothing to be seen but a barge moving through fog to remove some of the lake’s last docks before winter. On the island, however, crews are hard at work on an off-season project. They stand along the shoreline before bare, vertical bluffs that are collapsing and pulling trees into the water. The problem is erosion caused by too many waves, especially those produced by ever-larger boats that pound the shoreline relentlessly … ” But I need the 58-footer with the three 300-horse inboard-outboards to impress clients!