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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Woman found in blanket died of natural causes

ST. PAUL  --  Officials say the 39-year-old woman whose body was found wrapped in a blanket in a wooded area of St. Paul Saturday died of natural causes. 

Officials found Rahel Nigusse's body near Minnehaha Avenue and St. Paul Police Sergeant Paul Paulos says it appears she had been moved to that spot.  On Monday, police arrested a man in connection with the death, but he was released yesterday pending further investigation.


A Minnesota priest who admitted in a recent deposition to improperly touching underage boys also said officials with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis never told him what he did was wrong, even after victims' parents told church leaders of the abuse, and that his access to children was never restricted.  Under questioning by victims' attorney Jeff Anderson, 73-year-old retired Reverend Jerome Kern admitted to sexual contact with three boys and when asked what happened to him, Kern said "nothing."  The first complaint against Kern was made in 1969, and Anderson says there were several more in later years.  One victim sued in 1993.  Kern said he eventually came to realize the harm that sexual abuse can cause a child.  He retired in 2002.  Officials with the archdiocese had no comment.


U.S. Senator Al Franken (DFL-Minnesota) says the state will easily meet the $7.3 million threshold to receive federal assistance to repair damage to public infrastructure from recent storms and flooding.  Franken says Governor Dayton should be asking the president to declare a disaster area.  Franken says he and other members of the cognressional delegation will also ask the president for the declaration.  Obama will be in Minnesota later this week.  Many rivers across the state have crested or are close.  But officials say water levels are expected to remain high over the next few weeks.  More rain is in the forecast later this week.


U.S. Congressman John Kline (R-Burnsville is among those calling on Governor Dayton to request a presidential disaster declaration for flooding in Minnesota.  The 2nd District Republican sent Dayton a letter Tuesday noting widespread damage from heavy rains in Scott, Goodhue, Dakota and Rice counties.  Kline is asking the governor to immediately make the request so vital federal programs can begin aiding Minnesotans in their recovery efforts.  President Obama will be in Minneapolis on Thursday and Friday. 


Prince and the Revolution's soundtrack to the movie "Purple Rain" was released on this day 30 years ago (6/25/1984).  The album spent 24 straight weeks at number-one on the Billboard charts and has sold more than 20-million copies.  "Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry" reached number-one on the charts while "Purple Rain" went number-two and "I Would Die For You" was number-eight.  The soundtrack won two Grammy Awards and an Oscar in 1985.  It was added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry in 2012.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced $800,000 in "Brownfield" grants for Duluth and Hennepin County to clean up polluted sites.  EPA is awarding a $400,000 grant to Duluth to conduct enviromental assessments in neighborhoods, redevelop the former Hardwood Manufacturing site and establish a new industrial park and trails  Hennepin County will use its 400-thousand-dollar grant to redevelop six transit corridors to attract companies and jobs.  The EPA awarded grants to 171 communities to clean up contaminated properties and redevelop former polluted sites. 


An open house tomorrow on a calf farm near Hancock in west-central Minnesota is meant to allow Minnesotans without farm exposure or experience get a look at what goes on in the barns.  Riverview LLP's Kevin Wulf says they're offering 15- to 20-minute tours of Moore Calves, followed by a free meal of cheeseburgers, chips, and milkshakes.  Moore says the company wanted to let the public in to see the passion they have about animal agriculture.


Barnes & Noble plans to split off a business unit.  The national bookstore chain announced today it expects to complete the separation of its retail unit from its Nook Media business by early next year.  The company also posted its latest quarterly results today, with Nook posting a 22-percent drop in revenue to $87-million. There are around 20 Barnes and Noble stores across Minnesota.