Wetterling neighbor, wrongly suspected for years, vows to sue

Jacob Wetterling
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Jacob Wetterling

You can understand where he’s coming from. Martin Moylan at MPR says, “Daniel Rassier, a man wrongly suspected of abducting Jacob Wetterling, says he plans to sue law enforcement authorities for how they treated him. A Wetterling family neighbor and St. Joseph, Minn., music teacher, Rassier says police treated him like a murderer for years before another man, Danny Heinrich, confessed Tuesday to abducting, molesting and killing 11-year-old Jacob in 1989. … ‘The suit is going to involve many agencies,’ he said in an interview. ‘It’s going to involve a certain TV news station, a certain reporter. It’s going to involve the BCA (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension), probably the FBI because they were part of it, and obviously the Stearns County Sheriff Department.’”

Also in the wake of the Wetterling case’s conclusion: Robin Huebner of the Forum News Service says, “John North is glad the parents of Jacob Wetterling finally know what happened to their son after he was snatched from a rural road in St. Joseph, Minn., in 1989. … But North, formerly of Fargo, is still waiting for the same for his youngest daughter. … Jeanna North’s killer was convicted of murdering her, but her body has never been found.”

Eli Saslow of The Washington Post has a good story on Philando Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. “Diamond had gone to New York a few days later to appear on ‘Good Morning America,’ leaving behind an apartment that was ransacked and robbed while she was away, and so far the main consequence she noticed in her own life was how one crisis spiraled immediately into the next. No more boyfriend to watch her daughter while she worked nights at the dollar store. No more paycheck to help cover her rent. No more roommate with a pistol to make her feel secure in St. Paul’s most dangerous neighborhood. No more car to go searching for a new apartment, because the car was Castile’s and had been seized as part of the investigation. No one left to help her move except for a social worker who said the only place available for a single mother with limited income and a previous eviction on her record was a dingy two-bedroom across town in a neighborhood that was almost as bad. Every day took her further from those 10 minutes that had come to define her.”

Tough season for bears. Says Sam Cook for the Forum News Service, “Minnesota’s bear hunters are off to a good start this season, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials. The season opened Sept. 1, and through Sept. 6, hunters had taken 1,664 bears. That’s more than 50 percent higher than for the same period last year, said Dan Stark, DNR bear and wolf specialist.”

Less education at UMD. Says Jana Hollingsworth in the Duluth News Tribune, “About $2 million in cuts to academic programs this fall will mark the next step in the University of Minnesota Duluth’s long slog through reducing an annual deficit that once was more than $9 million. The cuts will be felt mostly by just three of the five colleges that make up the university: the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Fine Arts and the College of Education and Human Service Professions.”

A flu shot won’t do much for this. An MPR story says, “State health officials have confirmed five cases of Legionnaires’ disease in people who live or work in Hopkins and are investigating the source of the outbreak. Of those who became ill between Aug. 4 and Sept. 1, three are currently hospitalized, and two others were hospitalized and have recovered, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday. The patients are all over the age of 50. Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia usually caused by infection, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s spread by inhaling fine spray from water sources containing Legionella bacteria.”

Today’s top fraud story. From Kristi Belcamino in the PiPress, “Randy Scott Miland, 62, of White Bear Lake, pleaded to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. According to Miland’s guilty plea, between 2010 and 2014 he fraudulently solicited about $575,000 from his chiropractic clients, telling them that he would use their money to make investments on their behalf. Instead, he used it to pay personal expenses, including court-ordered restitution to victims of his prior scams, and to make Ponzi-type payments to other investors.”

Classy. A Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal story says, “Was it a harmless, vulgar joke or an inappropriate banner promoting a college campus rape culture? … Instagram and Facebook images of young men with the banner offering a lewd sexual act have created a social media storm, with more than 65,400 people talking about one Facebook post condemning it, and more than 1,800 sharing that post. The banner went up last weekend, as freshmen were moving into residence halls.”

Do you think? The Strib editorializes, “Donald Trump, who has railed endlessly about ‘Crooked Hillary,’ who says he alone can upend a ‘rigged system,’ has been confronted with his own conflict of interest — and it’s a doozy. … Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi personally solicited a campaign donation from Trump in 2013, even as her office was looking into complaints that Floridians had been bilked out of thousands of dollars by Trump University. … Bondi’s office later decided it had insufficient grounds to proceed with a lawsuit.” 

Want some fair numbers? Here’s Neal St. Anthony of the Strib, “An analysis last done for the fair board in 2014 by Markin Consulting, its third since 2003, estimated the ‘economic impact’ of the fair at $250 million per 12-day run. That would include gross revenue generated by fair businesses, including the amount they pay to suppliers for beer, food, fuel and other supplies.”

Tough interview. Says Chris Tomasson in the PiPress, “Chris Spielman at least tried last week to get his brother to reveal to him the Vikings’ starting quarterback. Spielman, a former Pro Bowl linebacker and the brother of Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman, served as Fox television analyst for Sunday’s opener for the Vikings at Tennessee. Until NFL.com reported Friday it would be Shaun Hill, it wasn’t clear during the week whether the starter would be Hill or newly acquired Sam Bradford to initially replace Teddy Bridgewater, out for the season with a knee injury. ‘I tried once, but it was a futile attempt,’ Chris Spielman said before Sunday’s game about calling his brother Thursday. ‘But as a professional courtesy to my colleagues at Fox, I gave it a shot. He said, ‘Coach (Mike Zimmer) is making that decision and we’ll let you know Sunday’. ”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Emily Sojourn on 09/12/2016 - 07:34 am.

    Diamond Reynolds

    It’s disappointing that was a Washington Post writer and not someone local who turned out such an extraordinary piece. This really highlights what so many have to deal with daily. This is an important piece… To be fair, I haven’t been following local news regularly— maybe local journalists have checked in with Ms. Reynolds. But if the WP really beat them to it, they should be ashamed.

  2. Submitted by David Schimpf on 09/12/2016 - 09:09 am.

    UMD budget cuts

    The budget shortfall at UMD is manufactured by those who allot the University of Minnesota’s State funds among its campuses. Research published by M. A. Titus and others in Research in Higher Education last month has UMD among the 20 most cost-efficient public masters universities out of the 252 across the country that they analyzed. UMD is the only top-20 among the couple dozen such campuses in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. If the State doesn’t have enough money, it looks like other campuses should be the ones that need to get financially leaner.

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