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Minnesota man sues Vatican to release files on abusive priests

Plus: First Avenue to buy Fitzgerald Theater; Tim Walz declares support for $15 state minimum wage; Minnesota among states with lowest child obesity rates; and more.

Cardinals and bishops gather before Pope Francis arrives to lead a Holy Mass for the Pilgrimage to the Tomb of St. Peter at the Vatican, October 25, 2018.
Cardinals and bishops gather before Pope Francis arrives to lead a Holy Mass for the Pilgrimage to the Tomb of St. Peter at the Vatican, October 25, 2018.
REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Says Jean Hopfensperger for the Strib, “Jim Keenan, a Twin Cities clergy abuse survivor, is one of two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Vatican, demanding it release its files on thousands of priests who have sexually abused children. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court-Northern District of California by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who argued the Vatican is the central repository for the names and histories of priests worldwide who have been engaged in misconduct, and is endangering others by not revealing their identities.”

Peter Cox of MPR reports, “First Avenue announced Wednesday that it has agreed to buy the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul from Minnesota Public Radio. Terms of the tentative deal were not disclosed. First Avenue owner Dayna Frank said the Minneapolis-based operator of music clubs was ‘excited about the opportunities for more events and performances in another iconic space in this community’. MPR CEO Jon McTaggart said in a statement Wednesday said the sale of the nearby theater would allow the company to better serve other audiences, but he expects part of the relationship to continue.”

In the Strib, J. Patrick Coolican writes, “Democratic candidate for governor Tim Walz declared his support for an increase in the state minimum wage to $15 on Wednesday, after initially seeming to backtrack from that support at a news conference. At a news conference with a group of mayors, Walz, a southern Minnesota congressman, called the $15 pledge ‘aspirational,’ then declined to say specifically what increase he thinks is immediately appropriate. … Later in the day, Walz reaffirmed his support with a tweet that said, ‘I support a $15 minimum wage. I voted for a $15 minimum wage in Congress, and would be proud to sign it into law if it came to my desk as Governor.’”

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Says Stribber John Ewoldt, “The winner of the $1.537 billion Mega Millions lottery won not once, but twice. Someone bagged one of the richest lottery jackpots in U.S. history on Tuesday night and became a multi-hundred millionaire after taxes. As well, he or she bought the ticket in a state where they can choose to remain anonymous. The winning ticket, not yet claimed, was purchased in South Carolina, one of only eight states that allow winners to avoid having their name made public. The others are Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas. Georgia also allows its winners to remain private if the prize is larger than $250,000. Minnesota requires its winners to go public.”

A Bloomberg story by Arit John says, “From the Iron Range in the north to soybean farms in the south, the defining dynamics of this year’s U.S. congressional elections are playing out in four Minnesota House races that both parties view as bellwethers for the midterm election. Democrats are counting on anti-Trump sentiment in the affluent, well-educated suburbs around Minneapolis to knock out two GOP incumbents. Republicans have an edge in contests for two open seats in rural districts that voted for President Donald Trump by 15 and 16 points but had been held by Democrats. The shift in Minnesota, and across the country, has been fueled by eroding Democratic support among non-college-educated blue-collar workers and growing support among college-educated suburban voters.”

From a Duluth News Tribune story:  “It looks like that long line at the Department of Motor Vehicles offices just got a bit longer. The state of Minnesota is rolling out three Class D driver licenses for the public to use in various capacities — the traditional standard license, as well as a new Real ID license and an Enhanced license, though the Real ID license looks to be the most practical and popular going forward. Staffs are tasked with explaining a convoluted, hyper-particular process for licensing that’s left many residents taking three or four trips to the license office just to process their applications.”

Says a WCCO-TV story on Minnesota kids. “Just over 10 percent of kids in Minnesota, ages 10 to 17, are obese, according to analysis and data released Wednesday, putting the state at the low end of the national scale. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest U.S. philanthropy group focused solely on health, says that when looking at national survey data from 2016 and 2017, its researchers found that Minnesota was among the states with the lowest child obesity rates. Even so, the numbers aren’t that great.”

MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports, “Former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley registered this week as a write-in candidate for attorney general, although he said it’s short of a full-fledged effort to win the office as an alternate candidate. Foley, who ran in the DFL’s primary in August, said friends have said they want to vote for him in the Nov. 6 election, and his move this week allows those votes to be counted. Foley insists that he is not launching an active write-in campaign against DFL candidate Keith Ellison and Republican Doug Wardlow. ‘I’m not campaigning. I’m not going out asking people to vote for me as a write-in candidate,’ he told MPR News on Wednesday. ‘But if those people who want to vote for me do vote for me, they wanted to know that the vote would be counted.’”