Principal found dead in car outside Eden Prairie elementary school

Yikes. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports: “The man found dead inside a vehicle parked outside an Eden Prairie elementary school was its principal. … Police acting on a request to check on Joe Epping’s whereabouts found the 67-year-old from Chaska about 9:15 p.m. Monday at Cedar Ridge Elementary School on Braxton Drive. The school had a regular day of classes Monday as nearly 10 inches of snow fell in blizzard-like conditions. … Police Lt. Matt Sackett said Epping’s death appears to be from natural causes. Results of an autopsy by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office are pending.”

Boutique hotels are the new luxury apartments. The Star Tribune’s Nicole Norfleet reports: “A new $60 million boutique hotel is planned to open in Lowertown in downtown St. Paul. … Building owner Jim Crockarell said Tuesday he wants to convert empty office space into a 127-room Marriott Tribute hotel in the Park Square Court building on the corner of Sibley and 6th streets near Mears Park. The hotel will be called Hotel Mears.”

Justified. The Duluth News Tribune’s Tom Olsen reports: “St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said Deputy Derrick Deutsch and Officer Joseph Bradach used reasonable force in responding to a shot fired by 40-year-old Jeffrey John Golnick of Chaska, Minn., on Dec. 22 in Gilbert. … Deutsch suffered non-life-threatening injuries when he was struck by the round fired by Golnick. Authorities said the two officers were attempting to arrest a different person on a warrant when Golnick fled a Michigan Avenue residence and fired the shot. … ‘I have concluded that the actions of the law enforcement officers were authorized, justified, and necessary,’ Rubin said in a statement.”

This is a weird one. The Pioneer Press’ S.M. Chavey reports: “A San Diego priest has admitted to sexual misconduct while celebrating a private Mass eight years ago in a woman’s Mendota Heights home. … He is an ordained Catholic priest currently on a leave of absence from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, according to the Dakota County attorney’s office. … Jacob Andrew Bertrand, 35, pleaded guilty Monday to one charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The second count was dismissed as part of the plea agreement. … The two had previously kissed and Bertrand had ‘mystically proposed’ to her, according to the criminal complaint.”

In other news…

Nothing to say about this but “Sad!”:Minnesota town’s Ice Castle demolished early because of public safety concerns” [Duluth News Tribune]

More like toys were us:Toys ‘R’ Us closing 182 stores; 4 are in Twin Cities” [Star Tribune]

This guide from the Strib is aimed at Super Bowl visitors, but there’s good stuff for us mere mortals as well:Essential Twin Cities Guide” [Star Tribune]

Also in Super Bowl:Red Lake youths to perform in Minneapolis during Super Bowl week” [Fargo Forum]

More Super Bowl:Cordarrelle Patterson On Jon Gruden, Trash Talk, And Surviving The Bleak Minnesota Winter” [Deadspin]

Yet more Super Bowl:Former NFL player, The Voice contestant Esera Tuaolo throwing Super Bowl party to recognize LGBT community” [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

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