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Minnesota men suing Vatican for names of abusive priests

Plus: still no budget deal at Minnesota Capitol; lack of supply continues to affect Twin Cities home sales; judge rules that journalists will be allowed to view Noor trial evidence; two popular bike trails close for Southwest LRT construction; and more.

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson
St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson
MinnPost file photo by Beth Hawkins

From the AP, Amy Forliti and Michael Rezendes report, “Five men who say they were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests when they were minors are planning to sue the Vatican and are demanding the names of thousands of predator priests they claim have been kept secret by the Holy See. In a Monday news release announcing the lawsuit, St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson said he wants to show that the Vatican tried to cover up actions by top church officials including former St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt and former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors and adults and defrocked by Pope Francis.”

MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports: “There’s still no budget deal at the Minnesota Capitol with the clock ticking toward adjournment of the legislative session. DFL Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders returned to the bargaining table Monday, and even traded some offers aimed at resolving their budget impasse. But they failed to make any meaningful progress and remain far apart on spending and taxes. At one point in the negotiations, Senate Republicans agreed to spend $100 million more on education and public safety. Walz and House Democrats agreed to reduce their 20-cent gas tax increase to 16 cents. It was some modest movement that didn’t last long.”

WCCO’s Jeff Wagner reports: “The soggy spring and record snowfall this year have made for a rough start to 2019, but it’s exactly what one popular body of water needed to return to true form. In 2013, White Bear Lake dropped to its lowest level on record of 918.84 feet. As of Monday, it’s at 925.07 according to the Minnesota DNR. That marks the lake’s highest level since 2003. … For the first time in nearly 16 years, the water level is high enough that there’s an overflow.”

In the Star Tribune, Jim Buchta reports, “From coast to coast, house listings are becoming more abundant, bringing relief to weary spring buyers. Not so in the Twin Cities metro, where demand for entry-level houses continues to outstrip supply, creating a listing logjam that’s choking home sales. … That’s in contrast to nearly every one of the biggest metros across the country, where buyers now have far more house listings to choose from than they did last year. ‘The Twin Cities are an outlier,’ said Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s director of economic research.”

The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson and David Chanen write: “Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will collect his $182,025 salary and face no deadline for returning to work from his medical leave, the reasons for which remained unclear Monday. Freeman has said that he needed time away from the ‘high stress’ of running the office. He did not give a timeline for his return but will be paid without interruption. As an elected official, he has unlimited sick leave and vacation time.”

Another AP story says, “The National Indian Gaming Commission has proposed fining the St. Croix Chippewa $5.5 million over accusations that the Wisconsin tribe’s leaders pocketed at least $1.5 million in casino funds. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the commission’s chairman, Jonodev Chaudhuri, issued a notice of the proposed fines on Thursday against the Burnett County-based tribe. It comes a month after Chaudhuri charged the tribe with 527 violations of federal and tribal ordinances. The maximum fine for the alleged violations would be $27.7 million.”

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For MPR, Jon Collins tells us, “Despite pressure from prosecutors, the judge who presided over the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor has ruled that the public and journalists will be allowed to view evidence presented at Noor’s trial. But Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance has not yet decided whether to allow journalists or members of the public to copy or obtain copies of exhibits.”

Another MPR story says, “Two popular Twin Cities bike trails will shut down Monday so work can begin on a new light rail line. The South Cedar Lake Trail between Hopkins and France Avenue in St. Louis Park will be closed through the fall of 2021. The Kenilworth Trail in Minneapolis will be closed from the Midtown Greenway to West 21st Street through the summer of 2022.”

For The Verge Josh Dzieza writes of Foxconn Wisconsin project. “Last summer, Foxconn announced that it would buy buildings across Wisconsin and turn them into ‘innovation centers’ as part of its record-breaking $4.5 billion tax subsidy agreement with the state. … At the event announcing the Madison project, Foxconn’s Alan Yeung said the innovation centers were ‘not empty,’ which prompted laughter from the crowd. Yeung also said The Verge’s story contained ‘a lot of inaccuracies’ and that the company would issue a correction soon. He did not say what those inaccuracies were, and Foxconn never issued a correction, nor has it responded to repeated requests to clarify Yeung’s statement. One month after Yeung’s comments and promise of a correction, every innovation center in Wisconsin is still empty … .”