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Minneapolis entrepreneur named in Children’s Theatre abuse lawsuit

Plus: Abbott Northwestern to eliminate McDonald’s; no progress on body camera legislation; Twins add Korean slugger; and more.

Children’s Theatre Company
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Rohan Preston of the Star Tribune says: “Alleging sexual abuse in the 1970s and ’80s, two former student actors at Children’s Theatre Company have filed suit against the Minneapolis theater, co-founder John Clark Donahue and Minneapolis entrepreneur Jason McLean. The civil complaint, filed Monday in Hennepin County District Court, revisits a disturbing chapter of the company’s past that sent Donahue to jail after he pleaded guilty in 1984 to sexual misconduct with three teenage boys. This is the first time that abuse allegations have been filed in court against McLean, 61, who owns the Loring Pasta Bar and the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.”

For MPR Madeleine Baran says, “The lawsuit is being brought under the Child Victims Act, which gives victims more time to sue for old incidents of abuse. The act opened a three-year window for filing claims that closes six months from now.”

And how long did this take? MPR’s Martin Moylan reports, “Allina Health is planning to eliminate some unhealthy foods — and shut down the McDonald’s at Abbott Northwestern hospital. The McDonald’s has been inside the hospital since 1988. But by Jan. 1, sugar-sweetened beverages and deep-fried foods won’t be available in Allina’s 13 hospitals and 90 clinics in the Twin Cities metro area.” Apparently Allina has finally caught up on the professional literature.

Good luck with this. Don Davis of the Forum News Service says, “Far more young Americans can name an ‘American Idol’ judge than the U.S. Supreme Court chief justice (John Roberts). Many youths cannot name one of the three branches of the federal government (executive, legislative and judicial). Not many know what we call the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (Bill of Rights). Minnesota state Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, said Tuesday that he wants to correct that. He told a House education committee about his bill to require students to pass the same test immigrants must pass before becoming U.S. citizens.” Pal, it’s our ignorance that makes us exceptional.

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Going nowhere fast on the body camera question. Says Kyle Potter for the AP, “After months of grappling with how to regulate body cameras and pressure from police to lay down ground rules in state law, Minnesota lawmakers found themselves no closer Tuesday to finalizing those guidelines next year. The Legislative Commission on Data has met with police organizations, community groups and civil liberties experts, only to find more questions than answers in its quest to queue up legislation for the 2016 session, which begins in March.”

NOT an invasive species. John Myers in the Duluth News Tribune says, “Gypsy moth numbers increased some from 2014 to this year in Minnesota but could spike even higher next year after a warmer El Nino winter. That was the word Tuesday from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture which reported 1,049 gypsy moths trapped this year, up from just 523 moths in 2014 but still well down from the record high of 71,000 in 2013. Almost all the moths trapped have been in Northeastern Minnesota.”

Print those World Series tickets. The AP story on the Twins new slugger says, “Byung Ho Park agreed Tuesday to a four-year, $12 million contract with the Twins, who are looking to add power to their lineup around promising youngster Miguel Sano and veterans Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier. The 29-year-old will get $2.75 million in each of the next two seasons and $3 million each in 2018 and ’19. The Twins have a $6.5 million option for 2020 with a $500,000 buyout. … Exactly how those numbers will translate against the better pitching he will face in the major leagues remains to be seen, as FOX Sports Insider Ken Rosenthal explained.”

Manufacturing is having a tough time. Says Dee DePass in the Strib, “Minnesota and Midwest manufacturers digested more bad news this week as factories reported the worst monthly business conditions in three years. The closely watched nine-state Mid-America Business Conditions Index, compiled by Creighton University, slumped to just 40.7 in November, down from the already dismal 41.9 index in ­October.”

VICE news picks up on the story of the four guys now in custody for the Black Lives Matter shootings. Brian McManus writes, “Every blue moon, they make their way into the news cycle: so-called ‘sovereign citizens’ groups. These anti-government crusaders believe they are not subject to laws on the local, state or federal level. That means they often refuse to carry proper ID, or pay taxes, which they deem illegitimate—if not unholy. They don’t even recognize United States currency. These types don’t much trust police, either, and in that sense, you might expect them to share a kinship—however tenuous—with protesters outside a police department. But sovereign citizens are also frequently racists, and the people protesting American police in 2015 are often black. Maybe that’s why, when a hail of bullets erupted last Monday during a protest headed up by Black Lives Matter and the NAACP outside Minneapolis’s fourth precinct police department, the gunfire allegedly came from at least one man linked to the anti-government movement.”