In the PiPress, Richard Chin reports that St. Paul police are denying a KSTP-TV report that Archbishop John Nienstedt and other high-level church figures are under criminal investigation: “Police previously declined to comment on whether the investigation was targeting additional priests. On Wednesday, Padilla denied media reports that Archbishop John Nienstedt and the Rev. Peter Laird, former archdiocese vicar general, are part of the investigation. ‘At this moment, at this time that we’re speaking, Archbishop John Nienstedt and former vicar general Father Peter Laird are not the focus of investigation as we sit here and talk,’ Padilla said. ‘Does that mean they won’t be later on? It does not. What it means is they aren’t at this moment.’ He said the two are ‘not the center of our investigation at this time, and as a matter of fact, at this moment as we stand here this day, they’re not being investigated.’ But Padilla also said, ‘We are not going to limit the focus of this investigation.’ “
But still gouging Edina, I see … John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Minnesota’s average gas price today dipped to $3 per gallon for the first time in nearly a year as cheaper crude oil and strong refinery production merge with declining demand by drivers. Minnesotagasprices.com listed the statewide average for self-service, unleaded regular gasoline at $3. In Duluth, prices this morning ranged from $3.03 to $3.09 per gallon. Statewide, prices ranged as low as $2.82 in Coon Rapids to $3.19 in Warroad and Edina. That’s down from the $4.28 per gallon it cost in May when global crude oil prices were higher and at least one Minnesota refinery had slowed production.”
That fits nicely with the Strib’s front-page story on transportation costs. David Peterson writes: “The cost of just getting around town is threatening to push right past the cost of a roof over your head in the Twin Cities area. And the sudden narrowing of the gap between those two bills is catching even well-informed analysts off guard. … In 2007, the annual cost of housing was $3,173 more than annual transportation costs. By 2012, the gap had shrunk to $462. The shrinking gap between the cost of transport and that of owning or renting is twice as pronounced in the Twin Cities area as in the nation as a whole, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey.”
UnitedHealth is getting into low-cost housing. The Strib’s Jackie Crosby says: “Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group said Thursday that it has invested $50 million to build affordable housing in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. The insurance giant is working with the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, a 17-year-old nonprofit housing developer that recently created a new fund designed to attract ‘socially motivated’ businesses as investors. Investors provide equity capital to the fund, which is used to finance low-income housing for families, and in return are awarded federal tax credits for 15 years.” And if they weren’t “rewarded”?
What part of “outrageous liberal hoax” don’t these people understand? The AP’s Steve Karnowski writes: “Conservationists warn that climate change threatens big game animals that call Minnesota home — from moose to deer to bears. A new report from the National Wildlife Federation says climate change is already having significant impacts on big game and habitat across the country. The study’s author, Doug Inkley, says Minnesota’s moose are the ‘poster child’ of how climate change is affecting big game. The moose population in northwestern Minnesota has nearly died out while it has fallen precipitously in the northeast part of the state.”
The words “details” and “sexual misconduct” always get your attention. Tom Olsen of the Duluth News Tribune has such in his story on the Cook County prosecutor’s case up in Grand Marais: “The parents of a girl who allegedly engaged in a relationship with Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell were concerned about the prosecutor’s behavior several years before filing a restraining order against him, according to court documents that recently became public. While giving guitar lessons to the girl, who was about 14 years old at the time, Scannell told the girl’s father that ‘he was not sure if he should be alone with’ her, investigators said in the documents. … Scannell’s sister, Tara Scannell of New Hampshire, first reported to a school counselor a possible inappropriate relationship between her brother and the girl. She reported receiving an inadvertent phone call from her brother in June 2012, during which she heard an ‘inappropriate interaction’ between Scannell and the girl in the background. The call lasted about five minutes.” He pocket-dialed her …?
The real news is that Bob showed up to accept it … BBC News Europe reports: “The French government has presented US singer Bob Dylan with the country’s highest award, the Legion of Honour, in a brief ceremony in Paris. Presenting him with the award, Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said he was a hero for young people hungry for justice and independence. Dylan has famously never liked being used as a spokesman for other people’s causes, a BBC correspondent reports. After the speech, he said simply that he was ‘proud and grateful’ and left. No cameras were allowed for the ceremony at the culture ministry.” He didn’t hang around to shuck and jive with the press? I’m shocked.
Also in Bob-watching … . BBC’s entertainment department reports: “A collection of iron works by singer and artist Bob Dylan will be displayed for the first time in a major new exhibition in London. Mood Swings, which opens at the Halcyon Gallery this November, is the outcome of Dylan’s lifelong fascination with welding and metalwork. Among the items are seven iron gates which he welded out of vintage iron and other scrap metal in his studio. They will be shown alongside original paintings and limited editions. ‘I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country — where you could breathe it and smell it every day,’ explained Dylan.” And his next album will be … heavy-metal covers of his greatest hits?
No one was holding their breath. Brandt Williams of MPR says: “The Minneapolis police officer involved in a crash that killed motorcyclist Ivan Romero Olivares will not face punishment. Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau made the announcement Thursday, releasing the results of the investigation into the May crash that killed Olivares. Video released Thursday showed the motorcycle driven by Olivares sliding through an intersection at Blaisdell Avenue and 16th Street, hitting the back-end of a police SUV. Harteau said that an investigation and accident reconstruction by the Minnesota State Patrol suggested that Olivares may have been speeding when he lost control and hit the police vehicle. Harteau also said that Olivares didn’t have a motorcycle endorsement on his drivers license or a Minnesota drivers license.” Karen Boros has MinnPost coverage here.