U of M Regents order investigation into athletics department

University of Minnesota

What else can they do? KSTP-TV reports: “the Board of Regents has ordered a full, independent investigation into the University of Minnesota’s Athletics Department. The investigation comes after the resignation of Athletic Director Norwood Teague, who quit Friday after admitting to sending inappropriate text messages to two non-student university employees. Regent President Dean Johnson tells KSTP Reporter Jay Kolls that the investigation will be conducted by an outside firm, which has yet to be decided, and will take three to six months. The audit will look at compliance, expense reports, the culture, hiring practices and everything in between. It was agreed to by President Eric Kaler.”

And who will check on his Pay-Per-View preferences? Tad Vezner of the PiPress says, “When University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler touted the hire of athletics director Norwood Teague several years ago, he called him ‘a relationship builder and experienced fundraiser.’ And a review of the past year of Teague’s expense reports showed that the former director spent money to make money — treating donors from Minnesota to Florida to Arizona with golf outings, limo rides and expensive dinners. In some cases, he offered ‘consultants’ the same treatment. Not all of the expenses were fully reimbursed by the University.”

Precedent setting? Brian Bakst of the AP says, “A 68-year-old man who has spent two decades in the Minnesota sex offender treatment program is on the verge of provisional release after a special court panel granted his placement in a four-bed residential facility in rural Olmsted County. The three-member panel’s order last month paved the way for Benjamin Gissendanner’s conditional release.”

But will rural Minnesota remember it next March? Brandi Jewett of the Grand Forks Herald reports, “The Minnesota legislative session doesn’t resume until March, but two DFL party leaders are making rounds this week in the state’s northwestern corner looking for public feedback. Rep. Paul Marquart, D-Dilworth, called the previous session a ‘missed opportunity’ for economic development in the state’s rural areas. ‘There was expected to be this great focus on Greater Minnesota … and so there were all these great expectations, but in the end, there was great disappointment,’ he said. … The pair listed off broadband, transportation, education, workforce housing and infrastructure projects as areas where more could have been done during the session.”

Abused … prior to their slaughter. Says Steve Karnowski for the AP, “An animal welfare group called on prosecutors Tuesday to file criminal charges against workers and managers at a Minnesota hog farm, saying its undercover investigation documented 36 specific violations of the state’s animal cruelty laws — backed up by graphic video evidence. Los Angeles-based Last Chance for Animals made the call as it released a five-minute video from footage shot over four months this spring at a Christensen Farms breeding facility in the southwestern Minnesota city of Luverne. Christensen Farms is one of the country’s largest pork producers.”

By “up to date” do you mean “maybe next year”? Christopher Magan of the PiPress says, “Many Minnesota public high schools are not giving their students complete information about available dual-credit college programs as required under a 2014 state law, a new study says. The analysis by the St. Paul-based Center for School Change of randomly selected schools found none had complete information on its website about higher education options available to high school students. Last year, state lawmakers required all district schools to provide up-to-date information on their websites and in writing about students’ option to take college courses while in high school.”

Only Donald Trump gets more free media. In the New York Daily News Melissa Chan tells curious New Yorkers, “This pint-sized politician has tiny shoes to fill. James Tufts, 3, was elected as the new mayor of Dorset — and the youngest mayor to lead the small tourist town in northern Minnesota is following the footsteps of his 6-year-old brother.” TIME has a story about him, too.

So where is he working, now? The AP reports, “A Minnesota contractor who allegedly took advantage of an elderly homeowner in North Dakota has been banned from doing business in the state. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued a cease-and-desist order against Joe Beaulieu, doing business as Dakotah Roofing and Remodeling LLC. Beaulieu did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment. Stenehjem says his office’s consumer protection division received a complaint that a homeowner in 2013 gave the company $91,000 in advance for home repair work, and two years later more than $50,000 in repairs have not been completed.”

On her Bluestem Prairie blog Sally Jo Sorensen writes, “When MinnPost’s Andy Mannix researched and wrote “Minnesota crime is at a 50-year low. So why are we imprisoning more people than ever?,” it’s not likely that the young investigative reporter could foresee his examination of the state’s rising rate of incarceration used in the effort to re-open Correction Corporation of America’s private prison in Appleton. The story has been cited in an public affairs firm’s proposal to Swift County to promote the expansion of the private prison and in a local newspaper’s coverage of the county’s effort.”

Steven Tellier at KSTP-TV reports, “It is the lifeline that links Minnesota’s two largest cities and big changes could be on the way for Interstate 94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is about to begin a two-year study of I-94 between the two downtown areas, stretching from the west end of the Lowry Hill Tunnel to the eastern edge of downtown St. Paul, with an eye toward moving that highway into the future. The study seeks to determine what I-94 should look like decades from now.” Before all that, would it kill them to do a little landscaping?

Walker Watch: Taking care of your friends edition. At Blooomberg News, Tim Jones and John Mccormick write, “Gov. Scott Walker’s fiscal conservatism will collide with the reality of sports-team subsidies when he commits Wisconsin taxpayers to pay $400 million for a new basketball arena. At Wednesday’s signing, the Republican presidential candidate’s message of being a tightfisted taxpayer champion will be weighed against public costs spread over 20 years. The ceremony also may draw attention to the $200,000 that the co-owners of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks donated to a group backing his campaign.” Fortunately, after that trip to London last winter, he’s now a foreign policy expert.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 08/12/2015 - 08:27 am.

    Investigations

    The interesting question to ask always about “a full, independent investigation” is just how full and how independent the investigation will be? How much scrutiny can a big time university athletic department withstand?

  2. Submitted by richard owens on 08/12/2015 - 11:13 am.

    3 is just too young to run a city like Dorset.

    James Tufts does not have the real-world experience to deal with the problems facing an entire community.

    The absolute minimum age for eligibility for mayoral duty should be put back to 6, like it was for his brother.

    So much can be learned in those ages 4 and 5 that a 3 year old can’t possibly know.

    That said, I saw him on TV. The kid sure has a pleasant personality and genuinely likes other people. He has a positive and uplifting message about his community.

    He does seem more advanced than your typical GOP presidential candidate.

  3. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 08/12/2015 - 12:52 pm.

    U of M Regents order investigation into athletics department…

    This really sounds familiar. Haven’t we been down the road before?

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