MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Nine-year-old sneaks onto plane for Vegas
MINNEAPOLIS -- M-S-P Airport officials are investigating after a nine-year-old boy managed to sneak onto a Delta flight that landed in Las Vegas on Thursday. It appears the boy was able to get through security and onto the plane without a boarding pass or seating assignment. Airport spokesman Pat Hogan says it's not yet clear how the boy, who is believed to be a runaway from the Twin Cities, was able to get on the plane without a boarding pass. Hogan says officials are working to ensure it never happens again.
A new task force is being appointed by Archbishop John Nienstedt to review how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have handled sexual misconduct by clergy. Reverend Reginald Witt has been selected to lead the independent group which will review all allegations of clergy misconduct. A letter from the archdiocese to parish priests calls the effort the top priority for the archdiocese. The letter also indicates that the task force will make recommendations based on their findings and will pass that information on to the public. On Thursday, Nienstedt's second-in-command, Peter laird resigned, he says in an effort to repair the trust of many, "especially the victims of abuse."
Nearly three-quarters of businesses surveyed in the Minnesota Chamber's annual "Business Barometer" say higher taxes will harm Minnesota's ability to grow its economy. Chamber spokesman Bill Blazar adds that 61 percent of the companies said that taxes were either the number-one barrier or the number-two barrier to job creation in Minnesota. Democrats say higher taxes will go to improve education and infrastructure so Minnesota can be more competitive in the world economy. But Blazar says only 20 percent of businesses surveyed say higher taxes are needed to invest in core services.
Different approaches to taxes in Minnesota and Wisconsin -- that's the topic at a Humphrey Institute forum today (noon-1:15pm) featuring state Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans (FRANZ) and Wisconsin counterpart Richard Chandler. There's a continuing disagreement because people who live in one state but work in the other must file two income tax returns. It's because then-Governor Tim Pawlenty canceled a reciprocity agreement in 2009. The sticking point appears to be tax credits: Frans says Minnesota doesn't want to subsidize higher taxes paid in other states. Chandler responds Wisconsin has moved all the way to Minnesota's position on two other issues, but a tax credit reversal is unreasonable.
The Diocese of Duluth has released a statement saying that a retired northern Minnesota priest has been accused of sex crimes against a young girl. Father Cornelius Kelleher worked in the diocese as a priest from 1956 to 2012, serving parishes in Duluth and on the Iron Range, and the church says he "has recently been credibly accused in the sexual abuse of a minor female during his time as pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Chisholm from 1975 to 1986." Officials say Kelleher was immediately removed from public ministry when the allegations surfaced, and has been stripped of his abilities to function as a priest in retirement. No criminal charges or lawsuits have yet been filed.
The Minnesota State Patrol says all of the highways in southeastern Minnesota that were closed after mudslides caused by heavy rain have reopened. Highway 61 was closed in Winona County, but not before a mudslide trapped a semi on Saturday. Fillmore County got the most rain, with 5.8 inches recorded near the county seat, Preston.
Family members and friends gathered for a public memorial service Sunday for slain University of Minnesota student Anarae Schunk in Burnsville. Her body was found a week ago today after she was reported missing September 22. Schunk's ex-boyfriend, known as both Shavelle Chavez-Nelson and Anthony Nelson, is the main suspect but is not expected to be charged for several weeks. Nelson is charged with the death of 23-year-old Palagor Jobi, who was killed the night Schunk disappeared.
Minnesota rock icon Prince took to the stage at his Paisley Park Studio over the weekend to entertain 12-hundred fans in his first show there in four years. The concert was his ninth in the Minneapolis area this year and the first time he's combined his two bands, the New Power Generation and 3rdEyeGirl, for one show. Prince played from just before midnight Saturday until 1:30 a.m.