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News Briefs: 13 ejected from van during rollover

Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.


Archbishop admits mistakes made in sex abuse cases

The St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic archbishop admits his organization made mistakes in handling allegations about priest sexual misconduct.

In The Catholic Spirit newspaper, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt compared his feeling about the scandal to how he felt in 2007 and 2008 when his parents died.

“The pain and sorrow I felt then reflects that which I have heard from so many of you in your own suffering and disillusionment these past few weeks,” he wrote. “I want you to know that I have been praying for all of you. I am experiencing that pain, too.”

Nienstedt said that he and his leadership team have studied the situation in recent days.

“The first thing that must be acknowledged is that over the last decade some serious mistakes have been made,” he wrote in a column. “We have indeed created many policies, procedures and practices designed to prevent and address clergy sexual misconduct.”

A task force is looking into how to fix the problem.

He used the column to apologize to victims: “Sexual abuse of anyone is absolutely heinous, and it must be opposed with every fiber of our being. And when it is perpetrated by a member of the clergy, it is an egregious betrayal of a sacred trust. These crimes, these sins, are a failure to be stewards of our pastoral care of God’s people.”

Nienstedt ordered an outside firm to review all clergy files that “will lead us to prudent and ongoing disclosure.”

The archbishop’s column comes after intense Twin Cities media coverage about how his office has handled allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy. Minnesota Public Radio reports that church officials disregarded concerns over priest conduct for a decade and the Star Tribune reported Thursday that the archdiocese spent almost $11 million in that time on costs related to that misconduct.

Traffic deaths hit 300

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is en route to nearly 400 traffic deaths this year, so the Public Safety Department plans a Halloween drunken driving crackdown this weekend.

The drunken driving enforcement period follows the state reaching the 300-death mark earlier this week. The highway death toll is running at the same pace as a year ago, when 395 people died.

Seven people died and 27 were seriously hurt in drunken driving Halloween weekend accidents a year ago.

“Impaired driving typically rears its ugly head during the Halloween party period, which creates a dangerous environment on our roads and highways,” Jody Oscarson of the Public Safety Department said. “Before you put on your costume and head out for the night, make sure you have a plan in place for a sober way home to avoid the dangers and consequences of driving drunk.”

13 ejected from van during rollover

WORTHINGTON, Minn. -- Thirteen people were thrown from a van after it slid off an icy section of Interstate 90 in southwest Minnesota and rolled.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the accident happened at 1:40 a.m. near Worthington. A 2003 Chevrolet Express G3500 was eastbound on Interstate 90. The driver, Altayeb Arbab-Azzein, 29, of Sioux Falls, S.D., lost control of the vehicle.

Fifteen people were in the van at the time of the crash, and 13 were ejected. All of the victims are from Sioux Falls and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the state patrol said.

All of the people are employed by JBS in Worthington, and had just left the pork processing plant after working the night shift, according to JBS Human Resources Director Jenny Andersen-Martinez.

New Hastings bridge to be open in full by mid-November

HASTINGS, Minn. -- All four lanes of the new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will be open before Thanksgiving, according to project manager Steve Kordosky.

Kordosky put the opening of the bridge sometime in mid-November, which is about a month ahead of schedule.

Crews are making quick work of the old Highway 61 bridge here. Much of the center span of the iron structure has already been cut away. The old structure is being hauled to a landfill.

Driver killed in broadside crash near Lake Lillian

LAKE LILLIAN, Minn. -- A motorist was killed Thursday morning in a two-vehicle accident east of Lake Lillian.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that a broadside crash occurred around 9:45 a.m. between a Ford pickup and a Freightliner semi at State Highway 7 and Kandiyohi County Road 2. The driver of the pickup was killed.

The patrol said information about the deceased would be released today.

Neil A. Dovenmuehle, 50, of Hutchinson, was driving the semi. His condition was not documented by the patrol.

Also responding were the Kandiyohi County and Meeker County sheriff’s offices.

St. Louis River estuary cleanup gets more money

DULUTH -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will pump another $1.5 million into the cleanup and rehabilitation of Radio Tower Bay on the St. Louis River in Duluth.

The federal grant is one of several NOAA announced this week across the Great Lakes totaling $15.8 million.

The money will be used to remove nearly 117,000 cubic yards of wood waste, restore historic water depths and re-establish aquatic vegetation in the bay that’s upstream from the Oliver Bridge and named for the radio towers located there.

The goal is to restore 24 acres the kind of shallow water habitat for fish, waterfowl and other species that dominated the lower St. Louis River estuary before the Duluth-Superior, Wis., area became industrialized.

The wood waste was left behind by sawmills that lined the river where it becomes the Duluth harbor in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The project received some $898,000 in federal and state funding in 2012. Phase II is expected to begin next summer, said Lisa Angelos, eastern district manager for ecological and water resources for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Ecological Services division.


Fire damages century-old home relocated to Fargo

FARGO – A fire broke out Thursday morning on the third floor of a century-old home that had been moved from Fergus Falls, Minn., to Fargo two decades ago.

Don and Mary Kinzler, along with two of their children and a pet rabbit, fled the house at about 5 a.m. Mary Kinzler said she was awakened by the smell of smoke and when family members searched for its source, they discovered smoke coming from the third floor, an area they mostly use for storage.

Don Kinzler, weekly gardening columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, and his family moved the Victorian house from Fergus Falls to a large plot near Rose Creek in 1992.

Don Kinzler said the house was built in 1895.

The fire caused moderate damage to the third floor attic area and light damage to the remainder of the house, according to the Fargo Fire Department, which said the cause had not been determined.

Man killed in highway accident near Cartwright

CARTWRIGHT, N.D. — A 53-year-old man died after skidding past a stop sign and colliding with a semi truck about 9 p.m. Wednesday at McKenzie County Road 16 and U.S. Highway 200.

The Harlowton, Mont., man was southbound in a Geo Sedan on County Road 16 at the time of the crash, and the Freightliner truck that hit him was traveling west on Highway 200.

When the sedan entered the intersection in Cartwright, the truck hit it on its left side and then veered toward the ditch. The Geo then rotated and skidded back toward the Freightliner, and was hit on the other side.

The man killed was not wearing a seat belt.

Fred Bell of St. Maries, Idaho, the driver of the truck, was not injured.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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