MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Former Priest says more needs to be done in Sex Abuse transparency
WINONA -- A former Catholic priest and monk says the list of fourteen Diocese of Winona clergy who have been credibly accused of molesting children is a step forward...but there are many steps yet to be taken. Patrick Wall is now a consultant and advocate for sexual abuse survivors, and says what we have is incomplete. He says the official Catholic directory, which they produced at the IRS, contradicts even what they produced Monday. Wall says we have a long way to go for transparency, for truth, saying there are more names, and more things that we need to know. Wall is one of many voices calling on the diocese to release documents held in secret archives that would outline the abuse that took place, which church officials knew about it, and when they knew.
An Apple Valley man has been found guilty of murdering his wife and her unborn child. After about 10 hours of deliberation, the Dakota County jury determined that 37-year-old Roger Holland strangled Margorie Holland to death in their townhome on March 7th, resulting in the death of the fetus as well. Holland initially called police to report his pregnant wife was lying at the bottom of the stairs and was not breathing. The medical examiner later determined Margorie died of strangulation, not a fall down stairs. County Attorney James Backstrom says she sent Roger a text the night before saying she intended to divorce him, and he's pleased that Holland has been brought, "to justice for this senseless and violent crime."
A 15-year-old student in the Pine City school district has been found and was taken into custody without incident. The teenager's father told police that his son ran away from home last Friday and was believed to have taken a hunting rifle, shotgun and ammunition with him when he left. Those weapons were recovered As a precaution, Pine County sheriff's officials sent out a KOPS alert to area law enforcement and Pine County Schools were notified. While the schools remained open, officials put extra security measures in place. Extra patrols were also in the areas around the school. Authorities say there was no information of a specific act or target of violence.
Lincoln Park Middle School went into lockdown Monday morning in Duluth District officials say the incident came about after a student told their parent they would have to pick them up at the jail because they were going to bring a gun to school. The parent alerted authorities, who placed the school in lock down for about 30 minutes. A short time later the student in question was located by officers and taken into custody. No specific threats were made.
Since yesterday (Mon) morning, three inches of snow has fallen in Winona, four in Rochester, an inch to two inches in the Twin cities, and two to three inches across northern Minnesota. Another inch or two is expected to fall in the southern valley, west-central, and southeast Minnesota this (Tue) morning, where roads are expected to remain slippery and blowing snow may also hamper commuters. Forecasters are still monitoring a storm that is expected to arrive Thursday, bringing accumulating snowfall. The track of the storm is still uncertain, but at this point the NWS expects it to most greatly impact the area south and east of the I-35 and Highway 61 corridors. A mix of snow and rain is expected in southeast Minnesota.
About 60 passengers escaped injury yesterday, when an incoming plane slid off a taxiway and into the snow at Madison's airport. Kim Joes of the Dane County Regional Airport said Delta Flight-385 from Minneapolis had just landed around four p-m, and was taxiing when it left its paved runway. Passengers were removed from the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and taken to the terminal. The airport was closed for about an hour, so a second runway could be cleared.
I-94 was at a near stand-still for several hours last night near Woodbury after several crashes injured multiple people. All four lanes of the interstate were closed by accidents that began when a semi jacknifed while avoiding a car that spun out, and at least two other cars crashed into the truck. Minnesota State Patrol says slippery roads may have been a factor, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported several crashes and spinouts overnight. A ten-year-old Grand Rapids boy was seriously hurt and a six-year-old girl and two adults suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a crash in Itasca County.
There were some scary moments for about 60 people flying from Minneapolis to Madison, Wisconsin yesterday when the plane slid off the runway upon landing. The passengers and crew were taken by a bus to the terminal, and nobody was hurt. A Delta Airlines spokesman says Flight 385 "exited the pavement and came in contact with snow" next to the runway The incident closed the Dane County Regional Airport for about an hour.
It's not often charges of creating a weapon of mass destruction are filed against someone, let alone 27 such counts. But that's exactly what 45-year-old Johnnie Long of Pine County is facing after allegedly sending envelopes filled with white powder to a pair of judges, the county attorney, sheriff and multiple deputies. Police raided his property last week and found evidence Long was trying to make explosives and had pure forms of two different bacteria. He faces up to 200 years behind bars if convicted of all charges.
Top G-O-P lawmakers say the MNsure health care enrollment deadline is only a week away and no insurance policy cards have been issued. House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says a man called him who had a heart attack and is scheduled to have surgery in January -- but isn't getting answers from MNsure whether he'll have coverage January 1st, even though he's signed up. House Commerce Committee Chair, Democrat Joe Atkins responds Minnesota is in a better position than the federal health care exchange with the lowest rates in the country. He says repealing health care reform would deny affordable coverage to tens of thousands of Minnesotans. Daudt responds MNsure is what the state has, and they want to be sure people have health coverage.
"We're far from done," says victims' attorney Mike Finnegan of Anderson and Associates, after the Diocese of Winona released its list of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. Finnegan says the plaintiffs want to see "secret files" that only bishops currently have access to. He says those files "show what the bishops knew, when they knew it, and what they did in response to abuse -- which was often covering up and concealing perpetrators and moving them around." Finnegan says even though many of the priests on the Winona Diocese list are dead, lawsuits will move forward.
The Salvation Army's mysterious "Saint Grand" is expanding into greater Minnesota. Spokeswoman Annette Bauer says the Willmar Salvation Army got an envelope Monday containing ten 100-dollar bills with a Twin Cities postmark and no return address. It follows earlier donations in Cambridge and Saint Cloud, plus nine so far this year in the Twin Cities area. "Saint Grand's" usual M-O is putting rolls of ten crisp 100-dollar bills into red kettles. The anonymous donor first began in 2011. Bauer says she believes the majority of donations come from the same person, couple or "Saint Grand's" secret agents.