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Time to hear from Nienstedt’s clergy-abuse ‘point person’

Chilling killing testimony; the Replacements play Midway; Vikings ship and Vikings schedule; and more.

Archbishop Nienstedt might be able to sell the idea he was legally clueless. But McDonough? Jean Hopfensperger and Chao Xiong of the Strib write, “The release of … Nienstedt’s court deposition on clergy abuse Tuesday has aggravated his already difficult relationship with concerned Catholics but also reinforced his support among admirers. That divide could widen Thursday, when the deposition of the archdiocese’s point person on child sex abuse — the Rev. Kevin McDonough — will also be made public on video and text.” 

“The monologue” … was a large part of the Byron Smith trial’s day. Prosecutors played long sections of Smith talking to himself after the double killings. Sarah Nelson Katzenberger of the Brainerd Dispatch writes, “Smith makes dozens of statements, some fully audible, some difficult to hear, about the shooting, about not wanting to live in fear and about the repercussions of entering into the home of a stranger. ‘It’s all fun and cool and exciting and highly profitable until somebody kills you,’ Smith said. … ‘I don’t even see them as human’, Smith said at one point in the recording. ‘I see them as vermin.’” That’s often when things turn violent.

Big day for the flannel-and-fifty set. The Replacements announced their first local reunion show, at Midway Stadium Sept. 13, tickets $50 a pop. The ducats go on sale May 3, 10 a.m., at, the Strib’s Chris Riemenschneider reports. Paul McCartney is a better showman, but the first local Placemats gig since February 1991 is a happening.

Minnesota State is asking for an audit of its handling of the Todd Hoffner case. The AP says, “In a letter, Minnesota State President Richard Davenport and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said an independent review is warranted given the concerns raised about the process. ‘Concerns have been raised by Mr. Hoffner’s attorneys, legislators and others regarding the system’s and university’s actions in this matter,’ they wrote.”

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This will likely be filed under, “History is written by the victors.” Says the AP:  “Minnesota Republicans say the state Department of Revenue shouldn’t have cited Gov. Mark Dayton’s role in enacting recent tax breaks in a letter sent to people who might benefit. Republican state senators argued Wednesday that use of Dayton’s name in the letter turned it into a political document. The letter went to some people who qualified for additional deductions or credits because of a bill passed in March.” Dayton’s minions note GOP predecessor Tim Pawlenty also got his name on such things.

Over-the-top Vikings fans already have the 2014 schedule tattooed on their forearms. But if you’re only peripherally interested … . Ben Goessling of ESPN looks at the just-released schedule and says, “Tom Brady will make his first trip to Minnesota since his prolific Monday night performance at the Metrodome in 2006, and the New York Jets’ trip to Minnesota will allow Adrian Peterson to resume his rivalry with Chris Johnson. The Carolina Panthers also come to town, giving Captain Munnerlyn a chance to face his old team, and the Washington Redskins visit the Vikings for the second consecutive season — this time with Robert Griffin III’s newest toy (DeSean Jackson) in tow.”

Speaking of (replicas of) real Vikings … . Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune says, “Duluth’s replica Viking ship could finally have a suitable home by the end of this year. A site for the 42-foot vessel to go on permanent sheltered display will likely be secured Monday, when the Duluth City Council takes up a resolution authorizing the city to lease a triangular parcel of land from Minnesota Department of Transportation at an annual cost of $100.” And then what you do is  … paint it purple, and add a 60,000 btu gas grill, a keg-erator, gold braids … .

And no fracking is involved … . Neal St. Anthony of the Strib reports, “Segetis, the Golden Valley-based ‘green chemistry’ company that makes plant-based solvents that are petroleum substitutes, plans to start construction on a $105 million plant by next spring in wood-rich northeastern Minnesota.”

Expansion of a big, ugly, noisy, greasy industrial zone = public protest. Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports, “State Rep. Sheldon Johnson says the city of St. Paul’s environmental assessment worksheet doesn’t go far enough in analyzing Canadian Pacific Railway’s planned expansion of its rail yard at Pig’s Eye Lake, an extension of the Mississippi River. … More than 80 residents attended a city-sponsored forum on the project Wednesday night at the Battle Creek Recreation Center. Asked by a speaker for a show of hands, almost everyone raised theirs to indicate they were opposed to the project.”

Want more on GOP Rep. Mary Franson’s boyfriend troubles? Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie has a little backstory on the male (McLeod County Republican Chair Eric Harpel) involved. “There’s an interesting side note to the new lawsuit: an earlier lawsuit that Harpel filed against Marie Thurn, a bit player in the War of the Roses between the two Republicans. According to online court records, Harpel filed a lawsuit against Marie Thurn and Scott Nokes, her lawyer, on September 20, 2013. On April 1, 2014, according to the online records, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice. Bluestem has obtained the decision in the case.” There’s a budding FX series out in Hutchinson … .