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Archdiocese settlement: No more ‘internal handling’ of abuse cases

Plus: Gov. Chris Christie here for Jeff Johnson; deputy finds money blowing in the wind; officials seek Ebola screenings at MSP; and more.

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

Reporters and others are analyzing the settlement announcement by attorney Jeff Anderson and Catholic diocese in Minnesota. MPR’s Madeleine Baran writes, “Attorney Jeff Anderson said Ramsey County Judge Van de North approved the settlement terms in a meeting this morning. Anderson and church officials began detailing the settlement at a 1 p.m. press conference. However, it was unclear how much of the settlement was new. In a statement, the Winona diocese said the settlement ‘reaffirms’ child protection policies the diocese already has in place. ‘Today is the announcement of actions already taken,’ Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer told reporters. Anderson at the press conference laid out a series of ‘child protection protocols’ at the heart of the agreement.One of the most important, he said, was that there would be no more ‘internal handling’ of abuse claims within the archdiocese.”

The AP story — prior to this afternoon’s news conference — says, “The case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona is believed to be the first clergy sexual abuse case nationwide to use the public nuisance theory at trial. That claim allowed victims’ attorneys to seek evidence of sexual abuse across the archdiocese, rather than focus on allegations against one individual. It forced the unprecedented disclosure of tens of thousands of church documents and the names of dozens of accused priests.”

The Strib’s Jean Hopfensperger and Chao Xiong write, “The financial settlement will not be made public, under the request of the man identified as John Doe 1, who filed the lawsuit that has rocked the Catholic Church in Minnesota. However, the settlement includes a process for making public the names and church files of priests accused of abuse that are currently sealed, something that the archdiocese had long opposed.”

No traffic delays, I hope. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in town to stump for GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson. Stribber Patrick Condon says, “On Tuesday afternoon, Johnson and Christie are holding a public event at a charter school in Columbia Heights. Johnson has not made education issues a heavy emphasis of his campaign, but he has argued that families should have more options when it comes to their kids’ educations. Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden was also appearing at the event with Christie. Christie is also joining Johnson at two closed-door fundraisers.”

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What? He left it on the roof and drove off? Paul Walsh (again) says, “A patrolling sheriff’s deputy scooped up paper money blowing around in the prairie breeze of central Minnesota, finding more than $3,000 at the scene that was retrieved the next day by the rightful owner before any claim of finders keepers could be made, authorities said Monday. … The money ‘was being blown around in the breeze,’ Sheriff’s Lt. Jon Lentz said in a statement, prompting the deputy to stop and ‘eventually [collect] a large amount of cash’ near the rural intersection about 20 miles northwest of St. Cloud. The deputy also found a bank slip identifying the branch location and account holder, Lentz continued.”

Ratcheting up … . Paul Walsh of the Strib says, In order to prevent “devastating consequences,” Minnesota’s leading elected officials on Monday asked U.S. officials to reconsider their decision not to conduct Ebola virus screenings at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. In order to prevent ‘devastating consequences’, Minnesota’s leading elected officials on Monday requested that the Twin Cities’ airport be added to the short federal list of airports in the United States that are required to conduct screenings for the deadly Ebola virus. Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken sent a letter to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that asks U.S. officials to reconsider their decision not to conduct the screenings at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).” Uh, you don’t want to be the politician who didn’t send that letter.

And which of them will make an appearance at this event? John Woodrow Cox of The Washington Post says, “Next month, the Washington [football team] will fly to a state with a governor who has called their mascot racist, drive to a university with a president who wants their moniker changed, arrive at a stadium built with the help of a multimillion-dollar tribal donation and be greeted with what organizers hope is the biggest-ever protest of the team’s name. Minnesota Native American leaders, student organizations and other activists have been preparing for weeks to stage demonstrations outside the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, where the [team] will play the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2.”

Keeping in mind of course it’s all a monstrous liberal hoax … Lorna Benson of MPR reports, “In the last century, Minnesota has generally grown warmer and wetter, changes that have big implications for human health. Some Minnesota counties are much more vulnerable than others to health problems associated with climate change, concludes the first county-by-county Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. … Minnesota’s changing climate has also helped expand habitat for disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks, and extended the pollen season for some allergy-inducing plants.”

Well, it’s close to The Galleria. Sam Black at the Business Journal writes, “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will open its first retail store Nov. 8 in Edina. The store, in the Yorkdale Shoppes at 6807 York Ave., will host a healthy tailgating event with prizes, activities and refreshments in the parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. opening day. The 3,500-square-foot store will be the first of its kind in Minnesota offering sales, personalized service and claims support for Blue Cross health plans and free wellness and how-to seminars for healthy living.” The out-of-network game room should be great fun.

Soon to be clogging our federal courts. Bill Rochelle and Sherri Toub at Bloomberg report, “Residential Capital LLC for the most part must pursue lawsuits in federal court in Minnesota against lenders who sold it allegedly defective home mortgages. The former mortgage-servicing unit of Ally Financial Inc. (ALLY), which filed for Chapter 11 protection in May 2012, won approval of a reorganization plan in December and started more than 80 lawsuits against so-called mortgage originators … . The latest ruling was handed down on Oct. 10 by U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl in New York in a case involving PHH Mortgage Corp., which sold ResCap almost $1 billion of mortgages.”