Leader at St. John’s Abbey accused of sex abuse

This seems sadly familiar. A prominent Catholic leader in Minnesota has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, Jean Hopfensperger writes for the Star Tribune: “The Rev. Thomas Andert, the prior at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, has been removed from his leadership position following an allegation of student sex abuse. The allegation was made in a letter by a former student at St. John’s Preparatory School, where Andert served as headmaster from 1988 to 1994. It alleges abuse about three decades ago. The abbey is not providing details of the complaint.”

As does this. KARE-TV’s John Croman reports: “A new study found lingering racial discrimination among Twin Cities lenders when it comes to denying mortgages and small business loans. Researchers found, even when accounting for factors such as historic income and employment disparities, persons of color are more likely to have loans denied. … The report, Responsible Banking in the Twin Cities, was produced by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and was unveiled Thursday at a Minneapolis City Council study session as part of that city’s ongoing effort to monitor fair lending practices in the city.”

They couldn’t be any more disruptive than former Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald. MPR’s Riham Feshir reports: “Black Lives Matter St. Paul plans to march to the Minnesota State Fair during the event’s first Saturday and attempt to interrupt business because organizers claim the Fair denies minorities vendor opportunities. Calling the event #BlackFair, the group said it plans to shut down streets Saturday, Aug. 29, as members call attention to their movement for justice.”

Because everyone else at the U has handled it so well. From MPR’s Tom Scheck: “The University of Minnesota has appointed a Board of Regents committee to oversee an investigation of sexual harassment in the school’s athletics department. The U said Thursday two regents, College of Education & Human Development Dean Jean Quam and General Counsel William Donohue to direct the investigation launched after Athletics Director Norwood Teague resigned earlier this month. Teague stepped down after two high level U of M employees complained that he sexually harassed them. Since the resignation, several others complained about Teague’s conduct.”

MnDOT loves roads; hates art, fun, drones, Van GoghMPR’s Euan Kerr reports that “The Minnesota Department of Transportation has ordered a halt to drone flights over a work of art in Eagan. In a written statement, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Thomson Reuters confirmed that MnDOT had ordered them to stop flying an unmanned aircraft system, commonly known as a drone. The device was being used to document the progress of crop artist Stan Herd’s reproduction of Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘Olive Trees’ on a one-acre plot owned by Thomson Reuters in Eagan. The project is part of the institute’s centennial celebrations, and is designed to be seen from planes landing at Minneapolis-St Paul International.”

Maybe if MnDOT wasn’t so worried about art, they could help out. WCCO-TV writes about efforts to create a “Butterfly Highway”: “There is a national effort to help rebuild the monarch butterfly population, and it is starting here in Minnesota. The number of monarchs has decreased by more than 90 percent since the 1990s, which is mostly due to the use of pesticides and weed killer. The pollinating butterflies rely on milkweed plants to survive. They lay their eggs on the plant, which is also their main source of food. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, announced plans Thursday to tag and track the monarchs. The national effort will also plant milkweed along Interstate 35 from Minnesota to Texas, making a ‘butterfly highway.’”

The Glean

The Fab Four did not put on such a fab show in the Twin Cities, writes the Strib’s Jon Bream on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles concert at the old Met stadium: “The anticipation was unprecedented. Mail away for tickets. One of only 10 cities on the tour. Make a poster declaring your love for John, Paul, George or Ringo. Get your parents to drive you there. So what if there were maybe 12,000 empty seats at the 40,000-capacity Twins stadium. So what if there were four opening acts you’d never heard of. So what if the world’s greatest band was using the inadequate Twins sound system and performed for a mere 30 minutes. Fifty years ago today, the Beatles landed at Met Stadium in Bloomington. About 3,000 fans met the Beatles at the airport. Then came the WDGY-staged news conference at the stadium for which some 150 media people (and plenty of their children) showed up.”

Politico goes deep on first-term Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame, in a story by frequent MinnPost contributor Ibrahim Hirsi: “Abdi Warsame might be the only city council member in the nation who lies awake at night thinking about how to fight ISIL. Fighting terrorism half a world away wasn’t what brought the 37-year-old to politics—he’d originally hoped to fix employment and education disparities, create affordable housing and transportation and give his community a voice in local politics. Yet just months after he took office in 2014, the first Somali-American elected to the Minneapolis City Council, members of his south-central ward began to disappear, lured to the Mideast to join the brutal and ambitious terrorist group. By summer, the first Minnesota man had been killed fighting for ISIL; two more would die by the end of the year in Syria.”

Was it “Minneapolis Day” at Politico? In a slightly less sexy story, the site’s Caleb Hannan writes about the HERC, aka the downtown the trash incinerator: “You would never know that you’re standing next to what is arguably the nation’s most successful trash incinerator, a massive 12-acre project that has emerged as an unlikely, low-profile resident of one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. Just blocks away is Bachelor Farmer, a nouveau Scandinavian restaurant that has emerged as one of the nation’s hottest restaurants and hosted Barack Obama for dinner when the president passed through town in 2012. Loft condos nearby sell for a half-million and above. There’s a Caribou Coffee right next door, which itself is across from the renovated historic building that houses the city’s top architectural and advertising firms. And assuming things break right, all of these offices will one day be powered by that incinerator, which gobbles up 1,000 tons of trash a day — some of it from the surrounding North Loop neighborhood.”

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