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Wetterling case raises challenge to Minnesota data practices law

Plus: update on St. Paul teacher free-speech lawsuit; Minnesota United moving forward on stadium plans; pilot error blamed for wrong-airport landing in South Dakota; and more.

Jacob Wetterling
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Jacob Wetterling

Interesting dilemma. MPR’s Cathy Wurzer reports: “It will likely be months before the case files related to Jacob Wetterling’s abduction and murder are released. A district judge stopped the release on Friday after his parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, filed a suit saying some documents from the investigation are too private to be made public. The Stearns County sheriff had planned to make public more than 56,000 pages of material from the investigation that spanned nearly three decades. … Minnesota’s data practices law says documents from closed and inactive investigations must be made public, but the Wetterlings argue releasing certain documents that deal with intimate details of their family would constitute a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. … Jane Kirtley, media law professor at the University of Minnesota, says this case could set a new precedent on government data practices.”

Case is still ongoing. The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges writes: “A judge has dismissed part of a lawsuit brought by a substitute teacher who claims she was blacklisted by St. Paul Public Schools for speaking to the media about a student assault. … Candice Egan says a seventh-grader at Creative Arts Secondary School seriously injured her in March 2016 after she took away his cellphone. The boy cursed at her and repeatedly pushed her into a window, she said. … Egan further claimed that after she described the incident to a Pioneer Press reporter, the St. Paul district directed Teachers on Call to stop assigning her to jobs in their schools. … That claim, that the district infringed upon her right to free speech by refusing to grant her more work, is still alive after a judge ruled on the school district’s motion to dismiss the case.”

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One winner from the legislative session? Minnesota United. MPR’s Brian Bakst reports: “Minnesota’s new professional soccer franchise is still working to finalize its stadium construction schedule, but it now knows that tax breaks related to the $150 million facility will come through. … Minnesota United FC president Nick Rogers said Tuesday that a timetable should be released in a matter of weeks. But Rogers said the soonest the team will get into the new St. Paul stadium is 2019, meaning the club will play two full seasons at TCF Bank stadium at the University of Minnesota.”

Small oopsie. Fox 9 reports: “Pilot error is the conclusion of the National Transportation Safety Board’s final report on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Rapid City, South Dakota last summer that landed at the wrong airport. … Delta Flight 2845 landed July 7 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, about 6 miles northwest of the intended destination of Rapid City Regional Airport. According to the NTSB report, the flight crew’s misidentified the landing runway due to excessive altitude and their failure to use all available navigation information. … According to the report, both crewmembers had little to no experience flying into either Ellsworth or Rapid City. … ‘You got the right one in sight?’ the first officer asked. The captain replied, ‘I hope I do.’ 

In other news…

Hope they don’t find anything fishy: “Outside experts to review DNR’s Mille Lacs walleye management” [Star Tribune]

It’s more of an Open Meeting Suggestion: “‘Open Meeting Law’, thy name is ‘Secrecy’ ” [MPR]

There’s a lesson in this, and that lesson is: never tweet. “Drunken tweetstorm deserves felony sentence, MN court rules” [MPR]

Canadians get Furious for first time ever: “Mpls.-based Surly goes international with foray into Canada” [Star Tribune]

What to do: “Summer Guide to the Twin Cities 2017” [City Pages]

Simple Crisp of Fate: “Bob Dylan Potato Chips, Anyone?: What They’re Snacking on in China” [Open Culture]

Fun recollections of Minneapolis: “Oskar Eustis: The First Time I Burned Money (and Found My Calling)” [New York Times]

FYI: “Renovated Children’s Museum reopens today, and the kids already love it” [MPR]

Not a bad idea: “Go outside: Minnesota state parks are free on Saturday” [MPR]

Your ash is doomed: “Tiny beetle poses big threat to northern Minnesota trees” [Echo Press]

Truly a prince among men: “Prince Was a Secret Patron of Solar Power” [Bloomberg]