Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Polish prosecutor claims evidence that Minnesota man was Nazi commander

Plus: Minnesota likely to lose congressional seat in next apportionment; white-nose syndrome takes devastating toll on Soudan mine bats; several Minneapolis adult entertainment establishments declared public health nuisances; and more. 

Michael Karkoc

Poland seeking extradition. The AP reports (via WCCO): “A prosecutor in Poland says that evidence shows without doubt that a Minnesota man was a Nazi unit commander suspected of contributing to the death of 44 Poles. … Robert Janicki said that various evidence gathered in years of investigation into U.S. citizen Michael K. confirmed “100 percent” that he was a World War II commander of a unit in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, which is accused of burning villages and killing civilians in Poland. … The Associated Press has identified the man as 98-year-old Michael Karkoc.”

Heard this before, but is it true this time? The Rochester Post Bulletin’s Matthew Stolle writes: “A state demographer says it’s likely that Minnesota will lose one of its eight congressional seats in the next round of U.S. congressional apportionment because of population trends. … ‘It looks like it’s going to be very difficult to hang on to another House seat,’ said State Demographer Susan Brower. ‘We have eight right now, and it looks like if nothing changes and we actually count the people we think we have, we could lose a House seat next time around.’”

Bad news for bats. The Pioneer Press’ John Myers reports: “The number of bats counted in the Soudan Underground Mine has dropped 70 percent due to white-nose syndrome, according to the annual survey of the state’s largest bat wintering area. … Researchers have known since 2013 that the deadly fungus was present on some bats that spend their winter deep underground in the former iron ore mine near Tower. Last winter was the first time they had seen hundreds of dead bats outside the mine during winter months, a sure sign of white-nose syndrome. … This winter, the deaths have mounted to catastrophic levels.”

Health department sweep reveals need for mop. The Star Tribune’s Emma Nelson reports: “A Minneapolis Health Department sweep of licensed adult entertainment establishments confirmed the presence of bodily fluids at about a dozen downtown venues, raising health and safety concerns and prompting department officials to push for updated enforcement measures.”

In other news…

The billion dollar question: “Healthy economy: The jobs are coming, but will the wages and workers follow?” [Duluth News Tribune]

Article continues after advertisement

Justices think it’s a matter for the Legislature: “Court of Appeals rejects suit alleging state promotes school segregation” [MPR]

As if it weren’t bleak enough: “Going solo: ND leads nation in young adults living alone” [Inforum]

Baiting ’em to shoot ’em: “Owl feeding controversy ruffles feathers” [MPR]

Meddlin’ kids: “Report: Dozens Of 17-Year-olds Voted Illegally In Wis. Primary” [WCCO]

In case you thought “Calhoun” was the most offensive lake name in Minnesota: “Washington County Could Vote on Lake Name Change Tuesday” [KSTP]

The movie, not the album: “Does ‘Purple Rain’ Actually Suck?” [Vice]