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Less than a year of jail time for man who raped two girls

PLUS: State tax collections lag; Stanley Hubbard denies ordering stations not to air anti-Mills ad; and documents show Archbishop Nienstedt made false statements under oath.

This won’t play well. Paul Walsh of the Strib says, “A 19-year-old man was sentenced Monday to less than a year in jail — time he’s already served — after admitting to raping two teenage girls in separate attacks in Rosemount. … [Michael] Stucky, who was 18 at the time of the assaults, confessed to raping a 15-year-old girl in the middle of the night in her home and a 13-year-old girl months earlier at a different residence.”

Dry = good for farmers. For now. According to the AP: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly crop progress and condition report for the state Monday that 6.3 days were suitable for fieldwork last week. Despite the heavy rain earlier in the season, the report says most row crop farmers now would like to see some additional moisture.”

A little short on the revenue stream:  Also from the AP:  “Minnesota’s tax collections for July have come in $69 million below expectations. The Department of Minnesota Management and Budget released its monthly revenue Monday. It shows the state took in 6.6 percent less than was forecast.”

The City Hall beekeeper is staying busy. Steve Brandt of the Strib says, “Inhabitants of one of the two beehives installed last year in the Romanesque building’s seldom-seen courtyard had subdivided. The swarm resettled in a honey-gorged beard of bees on a fifth-floor gutter. The job fell to Jim Doten, one of [Minneapolis] City Hall’s three designated volunteer beekeepers, to pop out of a rooftop hatch with a safety harness to nudge the docile horde into a large box that more typically would hold city files.”

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The cops won’t complain. Matt McKinney and Eric Roper of the Strib follow-up on the shooting of nine people at the 400 Soundbar Friday with news “that the owner of the 400 Soundbar told city officials Monday that he does not intend to reopen the club following a weekend shooting inside that left nine people wounded. If he changes his mind, the city could act to keep the troubled nightclub shut down for good, said Grant Wilson, the city’s director of business licensing.”

Stanley says, “It wasn’t me.” Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib relays word on those anti-Stewart Mills that were denied air time on Hubbard-owned stations up north. “Republican donor Stanley Hubbard said he and his family were uninvolved with his television stations decision to pull an anti-Stewart Mills ad. ‘I heard someone accused the Hubbards of being behind that decision. We had nothing to do with it,’ Hubbard told the Star Tribune. … ‘Our legal department received the complaint, and they inspected the ad, and felt that there were things in it that were out of context and not true. Tell the truth and you’ll have no trouble with us, Hubbard said. ‘Our stations do not get involved in politics, period.’” 

Details are the essence of a good story. MPR’s Madeleine Baran has the latest development in the Archdiocese’s sprawling sex scandal: documents showing that Archbishop John Nienstedt made false statements under oath about his knowledge of an accused priest. “The documents also indicate that Nienstedt had spent time socially with [the accused Rev. Kenneth] LaVan. On June 24, 2013, Nienstedt wrote a letter to the accused priest: ‘I write to thank you and Father Custodio for your gift of the Wild Turkey that you gave me in Rochester. That was very thoughtful of you. I will remember the two of you when I consume the contents.’ Through a spokesman, Nienstedt declined an interview request.” So that’s at least one connection between the Archbishop and the late Hunter S. Thompson.

Some last-minute ching for Kurt Zellers. Catharine Richert of MPR says, “Minnesota’s Future, a group reportedly backing GOP Rep. Kurt Zellers in his quest to unseat Gov. Mark Dayton, received $20,000 from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux in late July and $25,000 from Northern Oil and Gas last week. Typically, the group has worked to elect Republicans to the Minnesota Legislature.”

Over in St. Paul, the trial has begun of the woman who egged on her husband in an incident that leads to a man’s death — over feeding deer. Emily Gurnon of the PiPress reports, “Testimony in Paula Zumberge’s trial began Monday. She waived her right to a jury trial; the case will be decided by Ramsey County District Judge Lezlie Ott Marek. … When Paula Zumberge was yelling at her from across the street that night, [Jennifer] Damerow-Cleven told [Todd] Stevens to stay inside. But then Paula Zumberge said, ‘I’ll kick your a–. I’ll kill you myself.’ Damerow-Cleven testified. ‘He heard that and he came out of the house,’ she said about her boyfriend. ‘He was standing next to me and we heard this big boom — really loud noise.’ They saw Neal Zumberge coming around the side of the house with a shotgun. ‘He was just standing there, a blank look on his face.’ Stevens said, ‘He shot me…. Those were the last words he said, ever,’ Damerow-Cleven said.”