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USA Today: St. Paul is North America’s ‘Most Romantic Getaway’

Archdiocese won’t face charges; Pawlenty on housing finance reform; Super Bowl spending questioned; minimum wage post-Obama speech; walleye rustlers; and more.

Say what? St. Paul has won … as North Amerca’s “Most Romantic Getaway.” The USA Today story says: “St. Paul is the smaller, quieter and, many say, the more sophisticated of the Twin Cities. While not an obvious choice as a romantic getaway, couples love it for its diverse romantic offerings, like leisurely paddle-wheeler rides along the Mississippi, beer tastings, or ice skating.” And, of course, that candlelight dinner at Mickey’s.

One priest and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnepaolis have avoided additional charges. MPR’s story, by Eric Ringham and Tom Scheck says: “Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday that authorities would file no further charges in the case of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, now serving a prison sentence on charges of child sex abuse. Choi said authorities had investigated whether officials of the Twin Cities archdiocese had failed to report suspicions of abuse in a timely way. He said that while he continued to be troubled by the church’s communication practices, he had found no evidence that might persuade a jury.”

Our guy, T-Paw, gets some ink today with his response to President Obama’s very limited comments on what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For The Street, Dan Freed writes: “Fannie Mae … and Freddie Mac … reform efforts were notably absent from President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night, an omission that is likely to disappoint parties looking to dismantle the housing giants. … the Financial Services Roundtable — Wall Street lobbying group — picked up on his statement to make one of its own. ‘It is encouraging the President called for action on the critical issue of housing finance reform,’ said Tim Pawlenty, CEO of FSR. ‘Reforming Fannie and Freddie so that taxpayers are no longer on the hook is critical and the time to act is now.’ ” Adequate reforms of Wall Street banks are, of course, not so great a concern.

Gov. Dayton may have decided to forgo his trip to New York to schmooze up the NFL for a Super Bowl in Minnesota. But the folks running America’s favorite sport get a working over in a Vice media story titled “The Super Bowl Is a Web of Greed, Lawsuits, and Lies.” Writes Henry Cheadle: “[T]he big game is also a kind of traveling circus, only instead of clowns and acrobats, the people arriving in New Jersey and New York are tourists, security experts, the 1-percenter oligarchs who can afford the ridiculous prices for luxury suites at MetLife Stadium, and actual sex slavers. … Visitors coming to town for the football spend more at NFL-sponsored shops and events rather than local establishments, so the money doesn’t get funneled into the area’s economy.”

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At KARE-TV, John Croman takes another look at the prospects for a minimum wage increase in Minnesota, following the State of the Union speech: “President Barack Obama may not convince Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, but a proposed increase in the Minnesota minimum wage still has a lot of support in the Democratic controlled state legislature. … In Minnesota, most of the resistance to a higher minimum wage comes from small businesses and the hospitality industry.”

Walleye rustlers! A Forum News Service story says: “Charges are pending against an unknown number of people for illegally taking, transporting and/or possessing too many walleyes on Lake of the Woods, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. … The investigation included activities of fishing guides and also involved illegal bear guiding activity, the statement said.”

Apparently he couldn’t find his pepper spray … Tim Olsen of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “A Superior police officer who was captured on video punching a woman in the face is being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for possible criminal charges, Superior’s police chief announced Tuesday. … The video, taken from the dashboard of [officer George] Gothner’s squad car, shows the officer struggling with [Natasha] Lancour and throwing multiple punches at her face. In his report, Gothner wrote that Lancour was resisting and scratched him in the face.”

The Target effect? Brian Bakst of the AP writes: “The Minnesota Department of Revenue is choosing paper over plastic when it comes to tax refunds. The state tax agency confirmed Wednesday it is delaying a conversion from paper refund checks to preloaded debit cards for now. An official cited concerns over data security and a decision to focus on promoting direct-deposit refunds instead.”

The latest incident of seppuku by Twitter … At City Pages, Aaron Rupar reports: “Sen. Dan Hall — a second-term MNGOPer representing parts of Bloomington, Savage, and Burnsville — is no stranger to Twitter controversy. But he may have outdone himself with his live-tweeting of last night’s State of the Union speech. Hall savaged President Obama throughout this speech, at times making fun of him in ways most everyone found offensive. For his effort, the Twitter mentions filled up with a level of disgust we haven’t seen since this incident went down last summer.”  Stay classy, dude.