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Judge takes issue with legal fees in archdiocese bankruptcy

Plus: Franken has heated exchange with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; cookie dough craze comes to Minnesota; bill would require schools to track sexual harassment; and more.

Cathedral of St. Paul
MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

The Star Tribune story by Jean Hopfensperger says, “The judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis expressed concern Thursday over the legal fees being racked up in the case — about $15 million to date. ‘It bothers me so much that all these attorney fees are being run up,’ U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel said at a hearing Thursday, adding that legal fees are consuming funds that could be directed to survivors of archdiocese clergy sex abuse.” 

AGs step in. Says the AP, “Democratic attorneys general in more than a dozen states announced Thursday they would attempt to intervene in a federal lawsuit that threatens to undercut funding for the Affordable Care Act. The legal move is intended to give the states a foothold in the case that could disrupt the lives of millions of Americans. The lawsuit was filed by House Republicans against the Obama administration and challenged the constitutionality of aid payments estimated at $7 billion this year. The insurance subsidies help cover medical expenses for lower-income Americans. At issue is how the Trump administration will handle the lawsuit.” If recent history is any indicator, probably quite badly.

Franken v. Rosenstein. The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe says, “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s meeting with senators on Thursday grew especially heated when he faced questions from two frustrated liberal Democrats, according to multiple people familiar with the meeting. … Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) especially grilled Rosenstein on Sessions’s role and the scope of Mueller’s new investigation, according to three senators in the room who asked for anonymity to speak frankly about the meeting. Another aide familiar with the exchange described Franken as ‘heated.’ But one of the senators asked to recount the meeting said that Franken and Gillibrand were ‘passionate’ – not rude.”

So far, not a lot of Donalds and Kellyannes. Says Sharyn Jackson in the Strib, “Looking at the annual baby names data released by the U.S. Social Security Administration, it’s possible to find potential links between name surges and the rise of stars in popular culture. … Granted, celebrities’ influence only goes so far. With the exception of Isla, most of the names we looked up didn’t land in Minnesota’s Top 100 for 2016. Minnesota babies are far more likely to be named Henry and Evelyn (this year’s chart-toppers) than Channing and Rihanna.”

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Another story by the Strib’s Jackson tells us, “The cookie dough craze that started on the East Coast and has taken social media by storm has finally worked its way to Minnesota. … With the Dough Boys’ food truck launch outside the Mayo Clinic in Rochester earlier this month, and the debut of Dough Dough in downtown Minneapolis this week, Minnesota is firmly on the cookie dough map.” At least in Rochester, you can get angioplasty with your snack.

But go ahead and ride a motorcycle without a helmet. A WCCO-TV story says, “If you don’t buckle up while driving, you could be paying up. More than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state will be on the lookout for drivers who aren’t wearing seat belts. The Department of Public Safety says there will be extra enforcement starting Monday until June 4.”

Weird. Golf.com says, “Check out this photo of a green at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee, Minn., which survived a lightning strike Monday night. And as luck would have it — or not, depending on your beliefs — the flag the bolt chose was on the 13th green. Guest Gordon Corder snapped this picture, which was shared on the club’s Facebook page. We’ve seen some pretty extensive course damage from lightning strikes, but it appears that this one took dead aim. One Facebook commenter said: Looks like God got a hole in one on 13’!” 

City Pages Susan Du has this story. “State law currently orders colleges to deliver statistics every year on sexual assault — but nothing on sexual harassment. Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) wants colleges to keep similar statistics for harassment incidents, and report annually the number of complaints investigated, victims who made police reports, perpetrators found responsible, and cases that resolved in discipline. Anderson’s bill, introduced this week, would also ask the legislative auditor to review the U’s current methods of handling sexual harassment allegations.”