Sex offender program judge Donovan Frank, profiled

Judge Donovan W. Frank
Judge Donovan W. Frank

In the wake of his ruling the Minnesota Sex Offender Program unconstitutional, you might be asking yourself, “who is Judge Donovan Frank, anyway?” In the Pioneer Press, Rubén Rosario has a profile: “In two separate cases three decades apart, the small-town boy from Spring Valley, Minn., went to bat for a child-rape victim and for perhaps the most detested class of criminal. … That, in a nutshell, underscores the beauty of American jurisprudence and by extension the Constitution. It also echoes a favorite phrase Frank utters in talks he has given over the years as one of the state’s most publicly visible jurists: ‘We will be judged by how we treat the most vulnerable among us.’ ”

The new (interim) archbishop came to town. “Interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda arrived in Minnesota Tuesday evening and on Wednesday joined a few hundred priests gathered in Rochester for an assembly that convenes every two years,” reports the Rochester Post Bulletin. “Hebda says he wants to help area Catholics ‘get back to the point of being the joyful missionary disciples that Pope Francis has asked us to be.’ ”

Remembering a South Dakota businessman’s dream: locating the United Nations in the Black Hills. The Rapid City Journal has the story of “United Nations and Reptile Gardens Location Remembrance Day”: “The day commemorates the effort in the mid-1940s of Paul Bellamy, the local businessman with the United Nations vision for South Dakota. … After writing notices to 49 nations, Bellamy attended meetings in San Francisco and London to convince many eastern nations of the splendor of the Black Hills location. While in London, he met with representatives from more than 50 countries in four days.” The pitch? “The Black Hills would provide a tavern-free, prostitute-free and tax-free space that would be fair and ideal for quiet political deliberations.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of (Minnesota) rum. MPR’s Kara Tabor looks at the latest craft spirit hitting barrels here in the North Star state: “Rum — it’s a beverage distilled from sugar and a must-have in cocktail favorites like mojitos, daiquiris and piña coladas. Most commonly associated with tropical places like Cuba and Puerto Rico, production of the sweet liquor has started to spread north — Minnesota north. … ‘We’re in the middle of a full-fledged rum boom,’ said food writer Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. Microdistillers are experimenting with making the beverage that’s usually linked to warmer locales.” Sadly, under federal rules liquors distilled from Minnesota’s native-grown source of sugar — sugarbeets — are classified as vodkas.

In other news…

After heated public commentary, St. Paul is holding off on deciding whether to put bike lanes on Cleveland Ave. [Pioneer Press]

Planning to build any campfires this summer? Think pyramid, not log cabin. With supporting science. [WCCO]

Pour one out for Seven Corners Hardware. [Pioneer Press]

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire? “Twin Cities-based Famous Dave’s changes CEOs again” [Star Tribune]

In terms of flight delays, MSP is in the middle of the pack. [FiveThirtyEight]

Tent caterpillar outbreak in Vermillion Lake Township. [Timberjay]

On the tenth anniversary of his death, Soul Asylum bass player Karl Mueller’s widow, Mary Beth, on her KillKancer organization. [Emo At Heart]

Byron Buxton’s walk-up song? “Flashlight” by Parliament. [MPR]

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