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Minnesota gymnast was sexual assault victim of former Team USA doctor

Plus: serial rapist approved for release from sex offender program; U of Wisconsin football team resort stay may play into emoluments case; U of M first to implant new Parkinson’s device; and more.

Maggie Nichols
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A Minnesota connection to a horrible story. WCCO reports:Maggie Nichols, a Little Canada native and former U.S. national team gymnast, has publicly come forward as a sexual assault victim of former Team USA’s Dr. Larry Nassar. … In a statement released Tuesday, the Oklahoma University sophomore says she’s sharing her traumatic story and joining forces with her friends and teammates ‘to bring about true change.’ … Nichols, 20, says she was the first to alert USA Gymnastics officials about Nassar’s alleged criminal behavior. … ‘Up until now, I was identified as Athlete A by USA gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and Michigan State University. I want everyone to know that he did not do this to Athlete A, he did it to Maggie Nichols,’ she said.”

State might need to start searching the wastebasket for that key. The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “Thomas R. Duvall, a serial rapist who has spent the past 30 years locked up for a series of violent rapes of teenage girls in the 1970s and 1980s, has been approved for conditional release from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP). … In a decision Monday, a panel of state judges approved Duvall’s petition for provisional discharge, ruling that his progress in treatment outweighs his ‘fearful diagnosis’ as a sexual sadist.”

Little old Wisconsin may be thrust into the national limelight. The Washington Post’s Jonathan O’Connell reports:A week-long stay by the University of Wisconsin football team at a Florida resort owned by President Trump is providing new potential fodder for a lawsuit alleging that the president’s private business has put him in violation of the Constitution. … During a visit to Miami to play in last month’s Orange Bowl, the University of Wisconsin — a public university — put up about 250 players, athletic department staff, senior university officials and board members at the Trump National Doral golf resort. … The university’s stay may provide new ammunition to the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, which sued Trump in June for allegedly violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign and state governments to his private company.”

Interesting new medical device. KARE’s Cory Hepola reports: “It’s like a pacemaker for the brain, created to help people with Parkinson’s. … ‘It’s a huge deal. You can turn the clock back in these patients,’ said Dr. Jerry Vitek, a neurologist with University of Minnesota Health. … Dr. Vitek has been studying the brain at the U of M for years. This device, by Boston Scientific, called Vercise, is a new kind of deep-brain stimulation system, implanted in the chest, with a wire on the side. … ‘It comes under the skin, into the back of the neck, behind the ear and that connects to the lead that’s then in the brain,’ said Dr. Vitek.”

In other news…

Small update on ongoing case:Expulsion of Somalis on botched deportation flight halted” [Pioneer Press]

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Coming back:Justin Morneau reportedly set to retire, join Twins front office” [Pioneer Press]

FYI:Varsity Theater, reopening in February, announces a cluster of new shows” [City Pages]

Maybe too soon?Oh, great: Garrison Keillor’s writing a book called ‘Inappropriate Behavior’” [City Pages]

In case you were wondering:Fallon guests revealed for Mpls. Super Bowl show” [KARE]

Sounds about right:Want to livestream Edina boys’ hockey? It’ll cost you $100 a game” [Star Tribune]