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Much of Archdiocese agreement includes policies already in place

Plus: a drunk zombie Santa Claus terrifies two St. Paul teens; Adrian Peterson headed back to court; Elizabeth Warren to campaign for Franken; and more.

For MPR, Madeleine Baran looks at yesterday’s settlement announcement and finds: “Much of the agreement, however, describes policies already in place. That was confirmed by the Winona diocese, which said the settlement ‘reaffirms’ its current child protection policies, and by Archdiocese Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer … . [Plaintiff’s attorney Jeff] Anderson on Monday said he would make sure the church complied with the new agreement, though he added that no plans exist for any independent monitoring. … It’s unclear how the Twin Cities archdiocese and the Winona diocese would be monitored to ensure compliance.” The more I read about this the less I understand.  

In a Q&A on the settlement, the AP’s James Nord writes, “[Attorney Jeff] Anderson and the church settled Doe’s case, but other civil cases are ongoing. Anderson said that working more collaboratively with the church would mean more mediation in lieu of litigation. Because it’s private, the size of the settlement is unknown. Also unknown is how it will affect the finances of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona. Rev. Charles Lachowitzer, vicar general in St. Paul, said bankruptcy under pressure from all cases brought against the archdiocese — not just this settlement — could be an option down the road.”

The new child protection task force had its first meeting. The current system didn’t fare well. Brandon Stahl of the Strib says, “Some members of the task force questioned how a Legislative Auditor report released in 2012 could say that child protection agencies make decisions in a ‘reasonable and deliberative manner,’ despite those same agencies not responding to about two-thirds of the reports they receive.”

A report on geek nirvana. Martin Moylan of MPR says, “In much of Minnesota, home Internet connections are far faster than those in the earlier days of the Web. But many Minnesotans want more speed and lower prices. Among them is Anton Schieffer, who has been a US Internet customer for two years. Schieffer, of Minneapolis, pays $48 a month for a 100 megabit connection … . Schieffer could buy a 1 gigabit connection from US Internet for $65 a month. At that speed, more than Schieffer thinks he’ll ever need, HD movie downloads take less than a minute. US Internet is tweaking the equipment in its central office to enable customers to get 10 gigabit connections next year.”

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The GleanYeah, it might be tough on impressionable minds. Mara Gottfried of the PiPress reports, “An intoxicated stranger dressed as a zombie Santa Claus terrified two teenagers when he entered their St. Paul home over the weekend. A 14-year-old boy fled from the Macalester-Groveland house to get help and his 16-year-old sister locked herself in a bathroom, said a neighbor, Margaret Marrinan, who is also a Ramsey County judge. ‘This guy ought to be examining his conscience … for what he did to those kids’, she said. … Police cited a man who is a University of St. Thomas senior for trespassing.”

Speaking of: Even though you were among the undead, you may have missed some of these folks from the Zombie Pub Crawl. City Pages’ Jessica Armbruster has a photo gallery of semi-to-fully intoxicated zombies.

Delta, where the customer is always king. Tom Webb of the PiPress reports, “Delta Air Lines is adding a new round of restrictions to its lowest-cost fares. Starting Feb. 1, passengers using its Basic Economy fares will no longer be eligible for upgrades, no matter what level of SkyMiles Medallion elite status the passenger holds. Delta quietly made the change last week, as it continues to prune back amenities from its E-class fares. Already, passengers traveling on Basic Economy fares faced greater restrictions, including a ban on selecting their seats ahead of time.” Next, hand grips on the wings.

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As you may recall, the prosecutor in the Adrian Peterson matter doesn’t like the current judge. Stribber Rochelle Olson reports, “Adrian Peterson will return to a Texas courtroom Wednesday to hear the prosecutor argue for a new judge in the Minnesota Vikings MVP’s felony child-endangerment case. In his motion, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon cited what he called an ongoing campaign of disparagement of his office by Judge Kelly Case, including Case’s calling Ligon and Peterson’s defense attorney media ‘whores.’ Ligon detailed several incidents stretching back to Case’s election in 2012, including the judge’s threat to jail the prosecutor.” Texas: it’s kind of like a bigger, hotter Wisconsin.

Another heavy hitter coming in to campaign. Rachel Stassen Berger of the Strib says, “Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, is headed back to Minnesota this weekend to stump for Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken. According to the Franken campaign, Warren and Franken will speak at Northfield’s Carleton College Saturday and then the two will visit a St. Paul DFL field office. Warren and Franken have long campaigned for one another.