Minneapolis nonprofit suspected of fraud, misconduct

Oh, come on! Even the bike and walk people? MPR’s Tim Nelson reports, “A nonprofit sponsored by the city of Minneapolis to promote walking, biking, ridesharing and transit may have been falsifying accounts and misdirecting funds, according to an audit report made public at City Hall Tuesday. The city’s audit committee heard the results of an investigation launched after a former employee leveled allegations of mismanagement at Move Minneapolis, based downtown on the Nicollet Mall. City audit director Will Tetsell went through a list of what he described as suspected fraud and employee misconduct, citing kickbacks, ‘double dipping’ and altered invoices, some of them for what he called ‘fictitious businesses.’ He said a laptop thought to have held some of the organization’s records had also been scrubbed of nearly 1,200 files.” Please tell me there were no Ferraris, jaunts to Vegas and obscene boats.

Another report on that $1.7 billion the Archdiocese is supposedly sitting on. In the Wall Street Journal, Tom Corrigan says, “victims’ lawyers say they expect the archdiocese will soon propose a so-called cram-down chapter 11 repayment plan, a bankruptcy reorganization plan that permanently dismisses their claims over their objections, paying out what the victims consider to be a pittance. At least two other bankrupt Catholic dioceses — the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee — have filed nonconsensual plans. Those two cases, like more than a dozen other Catholic bankruptcies, ultimately resulted in compromises with victims.” 

A fast-fading memory. Says Mary Divine in the PiPress, “It was June 29, 1917, when orphan A-20913 arrived at the Milwaukee Road Depot train station in downtown Minneapolis. The 2-year-old girl was met by a couple who signed a receipt, promising to raise Sophia Kaminsky as a Roman Catholic, send her to school and “give her all the advantages that we would give to a child of our own.” Sophia Kaminsky Hillesheim-Kral, the last surviving orphan train rider in Minnesota, died Sunday at the Divine Providence Community Home in Sleepy Eye, Minn. She was 101. The orphan trains, which operated from 1854 to 1929, carried 250,000 children, abandoned in slums and orphanages in New York and other East Coast cities. Many children, like Hillesheim-Kral, went to live with families that placed orders specifying age, gender and hair and eye color … .” There’s a good weepy movie in there somewhere.

The ages make this story unusual. Jamie Delage of the PiPress reports, “A 72-year-old Woodbury man fatally beat his wife of 40 years last week and then hanged himself, a preliminary investigation indicates. James and Beverly Miller were found dead Friday afternoon after neighbors noticed newspapers piling up on the doorstep of their townhome in the 8800 block of Spring View Alcove. They last had contact with family and the property owner about five days earlier, according to Woodbury police spokeswoman Michelle Okada. Preliminary autopsy results indicate Beverly Miller, 85, died of blunt-force trauma to the head. Investigators believe James Miller, 72, caused that trauma and then hanged himself … .”

Kind of a large account. John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune writes, “Cliffs Natural Resources and Minnesota Power announced a multi-year power supply deal and other agreements Tuesday that will see the Duluth-based utility add Northshore Mining to its portfolio of giant electricity-gobbling clients. Under the deal, Minnesota Power will supply electricity for the Silver Bay plant through 2031 and has paid Cliffs $31 million for those rights.”

Also in Du-loot. Brady Slater writes about a new marker at Bob Dylan’s first home, “Duluth’s Judy Mitchell wore a wide-brim hat with a drawstring under her chin and a Dylan T-shirt to Tuesday’s gathering [in front of the home Bob Dylan first lived]. She said five of the eight siblings in her family gravitated to the songwriter. Sixty-two percent sounded about right as far as an approval rate to her. ‘I grew up on ‘Lay Lady Lay,’ she said. Duluth artist David Everett made the sidewalk monument, casting it at the University of Minnesota. ‘In Bob We Trust,’ it reads. ‘I’m honored to be part of the Bob Dylan legacy,’ he said. Hibbing resident and Dylan memorabilia collector Bill Pagel, who stays in the duplex he restored when he’s in town, said Dylan was born sometime between 9:03 and 9:04 p.m. ‘Within the minute,’ he said. When asked how he knew, he added, ‘I’ve got a copy of his birth certificate. Doesn’t everybody?'”

Ouch. From KTNV-TV in Las Vegas: “A missing hiker had to be rescued in northwestern Arizona over the weekend. … At about 7 p.m., [Amber] Kohnhorst [of Rochester, Mn.] was located 50 feet below of an approximate 800 foot cliff north of Cane Beds Road and Rose Cliff Road. Apparently, she was hiking near the cliff when she slipped and fell approximately 100 feet onto a small ledge. Kohnhorst suffered a possible back and head injury along with many bumps and bruises. She was knocked unconscious and awoke sometime during the night. She crawled approximately 50 feet back up until the terrain got too tough. Kohnhorst started blowing her whistle and screaming for help every half an hour. She eventually fell back to sleep.”

Want some “Click It or Ticket” stats? The Winona Daily News has this: “The 2015 Minnesota Seat Belt Survey shows 94 percent compliance for front seat occupants. In 1987, there were 4,176 vehicle occupants who suffered severe injuries in traffic crashes – that number has dropped substantially to 745 in 2015. In a three year period (2013–2015), 44 percent of the 832 people killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts. In 2015 alone, 91 unbelted motorists lost their lives on Minnesota roads. Seat belt use in Greater Minnesota is a serious problem. In fact, belt use is significantly lower here than in the Twin Cities area. As a result, in 2015, more than 87 percent of the state’s fatalities occurred in greater Minnesota.

For Roll Call, Nathan Gonzales says, “Republican Rep. John Kline is retiring  from his competitive, suburban district in Minnesota and expressed concern over the lack of quality GOP candidates to replace him. Those concerns are becoming reality as the seat continues to develop into a prime Democratic takeover opportunity. … [Jason] Lewis is potentially problematic for Republicans, not just because he is a conservative in a moderate district, but because he has a couple decades of talk shows and writings to be picked apart. For example, in the early stages of the race, he faced criticism for some comments he made about single women and birth control in 2012.   But beyond that, Lewis just hasn’t been a good candidate. He had just $111,000 in the bank on March 31, adding to some earlier concerns that the talk show host wouldn’t transition to becoming a candidate particularly well.” But what if Trump comes in to campaign for Lewis?

Another subject for anger management. Becky Jacobs of the Forum News Service says, “A Roseau County deputy sheriff has been accused of ‘shooting up’ a hunting cabin and burning the gun. Joshua McGurran Olson, Roseau, was charged in Roseau County District Court with first-degree damage to property, a felony, and falsely reporting crime, a misdemeanor. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began investigating the 34-year-old on March 2 after a man reported his hunting cabin in rural Roseau County had been damaged when someone fired numerous .223 caliber rounds into it, according to a complaint. … The cabin owner told law enforcement he suspected Olson did it because they previously had a disagreement about ‘Olson’s hunting party trespassing on his property’ last fall. Olson was questioned and ‘eventually admitted shooting up’ the man’s cabin … .”

Wait a minute. Is this going to be like The Who’s 20 year-long farewell tour? According to the AP, “Garrison Keillor is bringing back familiar elements of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ at least one more time. Keillor will host what he’s calling ‘The Minnesota Show’ on Sept. 2 from the Minnesota State Fair. It’ll be broadcast on public radio stations nationally the following evening. The show will be familiar to ‘Prairie Home’ fans, with sketches including private eye Guy Noir, his usual company of actors and his signature monologue, the ‘News From Lake Wobegon.’”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Doug Gray on 05/25/2016 - 10:16 am.

    20 year Keillor farewell tour


  2. Submitted by Jim Million on 05/25/2016 - 10:27 am.


    “sponsored” by the City of Minneapolis…

    Thinking the Council should moor a dirigible over the Mall: The Graft Zeppelin, perhaps.

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 05/25/2016 - 10:59 am.

    Jason Lewis

    The GOP is running a loud-mouthed, anti-insider pseudo-celebrity? And you think this is a problem??

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