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St. Paul to erase employee emails after six months

Plus: Starkey lawsuit sheds light on firings; Minnesota Catholics invited to archbishop hiring listening sessions; Lake Calhoun signs updated; and more.

St. Paul
MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

Let the congressional hearings begin. Curtis Gilbert at MPR News reports on the city of St. Paul’s new policy of erasing messages from employee inboxes after six months, just to keep things tidy and probably for no other reason: “Documents obtained by MPR News through a data practices request show city officials also wanted to lighten the burden posed by requests — like the one MPR News filed. A draft of a presentation from March noted ‘the more email that is available, the bigger the job of searching for emails that respond to a specific request.’ That line was later removed, because according to one city employee, ‘the lawyers want to avoid the perception that the city is trying to minimize transparency.'”

Dee DePass at the Star Tribune exams a lawsuit filed Friday alleging that Starkey Laboratories Inc. CEO Bill Austin fired President Jerry Ruzicka and seven other employees in retaliation for Ruzicka’s refusal to promote Austin’s stepson: “The lawsuit said, Austin ‘marginalized and ignored Ruzicka’ after Austin’s stepson, Brandon Sawalich, the company’s marketing senior vice president, was not promoted. Austin, the lawsuit says, began yelling and bad mouthing Ruzicka and Guggenberger around the office. Austin ‘detests any limitation on his authority and power in the company,’ the lawsuit said.”

Jennie Lissarrague at KSTP-TV reports Minnesota Catholics are being invited to weigh in on what qualities they are looking for in the next archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis; “[Archbishop Bernard] Hebda says the meetings are an opportunity for the local church to help Pope Francis make the decision about the next archbishop. He also said the listening sessions are a reminder for people to be praying about the process and for the right leader.”

Neal St. Anthony at the Star Tribune notes the various forces allied against the payday loan industry are rolling out alternatives to the practice: “Sunrise Banks of St. Paul, which has developed a small-dollar loan program that already covers 10,000 employees through participating employers, last month won a $2.2 million Next Opportunity Award, which is funded in part by Wells Fargo. Sunrise CEO Dave Reiling said the fresh capital will bring its 2015-launched TrueConnect program ‘to scale nationally and offer a safe-loan alternative for 26 million Americans who do not have a credit score.’

In other news…

Boater accused of drowning buck claims he was herding it to shore. [Brainerd Dispatch]

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Not ‘North’ caps? Saint Paul Hello offers big fuzzy winter hats to city’s newcomers. [Pioneer Press]

Lake Calhoun signs updated to include the lake’s Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska. [MPR News]

Related: Yale University is also grappling with a Calhoun conundrum. [The Atlantic]

Today St. Paul officially co-names a portion of 4th Street near the new CHS Field ballpark to “Positively 4th Street.” [WCCO-TV]

Search continues for 3 missing boaters on Lake of the Woods. [MPR News]

Twin Cities-based Angel Foundation is looking for a new president. [Ballinger | Leafblad]

994 mass shootings in 1,004 days: this is what America’s gun crisis looks like. [The Guardian]