MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Nienstedt address handling of clergy sex abuse
Archbishop John Nienstedt delivered a homily at an Edina church Sunday addressing how incidents of clergy sex abuse were handled. Neinstedt stood before parishioners at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church to deliver the message "I am here to apologize for the indignation that you justifiably feel. You deserve better." Nienstedt went on to say news reports about past incidents of clergy sex abuse have rightly been met with shame, embarrassment and outrage. Nienstedt's comments were made about a week-and-half after the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a court-ordered list of 34 priests credibly accused of abusing minors.
The two people who were arrested in connection with a shooting in Rochester on Wednesday have been formally charged. Police believe 20-year-old Albert Ryans of Rochester fired a gun outside an apartment complex near the Rochester Community and Technical College campus, and 24-year-old Emi Spandau of Oronoco acted as the getaway driver. Two apartments and a vehicle were hit by bullets. Investigators say the shooting is the result of a feud between Ryans and another man, who was arrested early Friday on unrelated charges. He is also being held at the county jail, and will be arraigned today.
Minnesota has some of the best drivers in the U-S, according to a new study. CarInsuranceComparison.com used statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists Association and Mothers Against Drink Driving to rank America's drivers, state by state. Drivers were ranked using five criteria: fatality rates, failure to obey traffic signals and seatbelt laws, drunk driving, tickets issued for speeding and careless driving. Only Vermont, Utah, and New Hampshire scored better than Minnesota. Louisiana, South Carolina, and Mississippi ranked top three worst.
Winter isn't yet ready to let go of it's icy grip on Minnesota -- even though it's not even officially winter until Saturday. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen says two waves of snowfall will arrive today (Mon), one that will move through between now and noon and a second after midnight. Those systems are expected to cover much of the state with between one and three inches of snow. A strong storm system may impact Minnesota on Thursday, but forecasters say it's too soon to be certain what track that winter storm will take and the route it travels will determine how much snow falls. They'll know more in the next couple of days but say some accumulating snow is likely and it will be followed by another dose of arctic air.
Minneapolis police are investigating the death of University of Minnesota freshman Jacob Anderson. Anderson's body was found Sunday morning near the Mississippi River just east of the Stone Arch Bridge. Police do not believe foul play was involved in the student's death. Temperatures where Anderson was found hit one-below zero Saturday night. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner is working to determine a cause of death.
The nonpartisan "Campaign to Fix the Debt" is applauding the U-S House for passing a two-year budget agreement. Former Minnesota Congressman Mark Kennedy says the plan is a good first step in the budgeting process and has gotten lawmakers in the habit of working together. Kennedy says the deal will reduce the deficit by 23-billion dollars, replace some of the blunt sequester cuts and prevent another government shutdown. Kennedy adds that "he would be shocked" if the Senate doesn't pass it Tuesday.
A Minnesota lawmaker has thrown his weight behind a bill intended to help protect Minnesotans from accidents and fatalities. U-S Senator Al Franken says more than 11 percent of all traffic deaths involve bicyclists and pedestrians, and the Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Bill would require the U-S Department of Transportation to create a plan to reduce such fatalities. Franken says as more people choose to walk or bike to work, the transportation system should be upgraded to protect the safety of all its users.
Expect some company at your local post office today. Minnesota U.S. Postal Service spokesman Pete Nowacki says today is the busiest day of the year in post office lobbies. As for last minute mailing advice--he says mail as early as possible. To guarantee your cards and letters are delivered in the U.S. before Christmas, be sure to get them in the mail by the 20th of December.
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train continues to make its way through Minnesota and beyond to benefit those in need. The train features 14 decorated railcars, including a modified boxcar that turns into a traveling stage for performers Since 1999, the program has raised nearly seven-and-half million dollars and three million pounds of food for local communities. Ed Greenberg with Canadian Pacific says the train is headed to Glenwood, Alexandria, Detroit Lakes and Thief River Falls this week. On Saturday, 15,000 people turned out in Cottage Grove to make donations and enjoy a free Holiday Train concert headlined by Sheryl Crow.
An upcoming documentary "Farmland" is now in post-production and follows the next generation of American farmers and ranchers in their 20s, in various regions across the U-S. Among them is Ryan Veldhuizen, a fourth-generation hog farmer in Minnesota. U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Board Member Lisa Lunz hopes the documentary will show the average public more about farming and encourage them to have conversations with their local farmers and ranchers. The documentary will be released in the spring.