It does have the feel of everyone working from the same script … Tom Olsen of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “The Diocese of Duluth’s decision to conduct a private investigation rather than contact authorities about child sexual abuse allegations against a former priest was ‘unacceptable,’ St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said Thursday. … ‘Maybe statutes run out on priests that were offenders, but I have to wonder as to why folks who did the covering up are not being held responsible for concealing this,’ [survivors group spokesman Verne] Wagner said. ‘I really believe the county attorney should hold a grand jury and find out what happened … ’ ”
Another death by digital … Evan Ramstad of the Strib reports: “Archiver’s, a closely held [Minnesota-based] chain of 33 stores that supplied everything from quirky stickers to museum-quality archival paper for do-it-yourself scrapbookers and other keepers of family memories, announced that it will close by the middle of February. The company said its customers’ needs had changed. … ‘the combination of a weak economy and new technology resulted in steady declines in the memory craft business, significantly impacting Archiver’s and many other retailers and vendors in the craft industry’. … “The memory craft business”? So kind of like a classic-rock radio station?
Just another patriot expressing his Second Amendment rights … In Minnetonka Patch, Becky Glander writes: “A man is charged with first-degree arson after police say he set his Minnetonka home on fire on Dec. 1. Ronald Gary Bailey, 49, was charged with one count of first degree arson, a felony, and one count of prohibited person in possession of a firearm, a gross misdemeanor. … During a pat-down search, officers say they located a handgun magazine in his pocket that contained five live .380 caliber rounds and an empty holster around his waist. … Bailey allegedly told police that the FBI and CIA have his residence bugged and that he is the ‘first half-man/half-robot created by the government.’ ”
Sort of like … “kind of natural.” An AP story by Candice Choi says: “General Mills says some Cheerios made without genetically modified ingredients will start appearing on shelves soon. The Minneapolis-based company said Thursday that it has been manufacturing its original-flavor Cheerios without GMOs for the past several weeks in response to consumer demand. It did not specify exactly when those boxes would be on sale. Original Cheerios will now be labeled as ‘Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients’ … .” And how would the full disclosure label on, say, a box of Trix read?
Another 24 hours of grist for talk radio … The Strib story by Jackie Crosby says: “Glitches and hitches continue to mar the MNsure website, even as the first of several enrollment deadlines for the state’s new online insurance exchange has come and gone. The website went down Thursday about noon with a problem in the login area, MNsure spokesman John Schadl said. … It will reopen Monday at 6 a.m.”
Late Thursday, Minnesota Orchestra management responded to the demand that the city take over Orchestra Hall. At MPR, Euan Kerr writes: “In a letter to the city [Save Our Symphony Minnesota] argues that the Orchestra management broke its lease with the city by knowingly misstating its financial situation. … In late afternoon the orchestra management issued a formal statement: “ … The Orchestra fully disclosed the financial position of the organization for the City and State, including the need to reduce endowment draws and restructure salary and benefits expense. Our attorneys advise that the charitable trust cases cited in the letter don’t affect the terms of the MOA lease.’ ” So in other words, it’ll come down to whose attorneys are craftier?
PiPress sportswriter Tom Powers on the latest Chris Kluwe controversy: “[I]f Kluwe really had wanted to make an impact, he could have exposed the situation while he was still a Viking. That would have been courageous and honorable. Now it smacks of revenge and maybe a legal settlement. Obviously, he could argue that he feared for his job and, therefore, opted to stay silent. That’s understandable. But if you’re going to be at the head of the march and carrying the biggest sign, you probably have certain inherent responsibilities as far as walking the walk.”
In other Vikings v. The Law news, Dave Hanners of the PiPress covers the DUI case of Jerome Simpson: “Simpson pleaded guilty Monday to refusing to submit to a chemical test, and while prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired, they added a count of careless driving. … Simpson allegedly told the trooper he’d been at a nightclub but hadn’t imbibed. The trooper said he failed three field sobriety tests, and a preliminary breath test allegedly registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.095.”
The latest on the environmental fight over advanced taconite mining up north. John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune says: “Environmental groups continue to step up their challenge to mining projects in Minnesota, now questioning whether the state can approve an expansion to U.S. Steel’s Minntac taconite mine while the facility has outstanding permit violations. … Water Legacy on Thursday countered that the federal Clean Water Act, as well as Minnesota state rules, prohibit the state or federal government from approving projects if there will be any increase in emissions that already are in violation.”