- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Nienstedt returns to public ministry

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he’ll return to public ministry, after authorities announced they will decline to prosecute him over an allegation of inappropriate touching.

Archbishop John Nienstedt has always denied a claim that he touched a boy on the buttocks during a public photo session in 2009. But he stepped down from public ministry on Dec. 17 while police investigated.

Prosecutors said Tuesday there is insufficient evidence to bring charges.

Nienstedt says in a statement he’s thankful for the thorough investigation and looks forward to returning to public ministry as Easter is approaching.

He says he continues to pray for everyone affected by clergy sexual abuse.

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Asian carp eggs found in upper Mississippi in Wis.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Scientists have found evidence that invasive Asian carp have spawned much farther north in the upper Mississippi River than previously recorded.

The U.S. Geological Survey says Asian carp eggs, including late-stage embryos nearly ready to hatch, were recently identified in samples collected as far north as Lynxville in southwestern Wisconsin. That’s 250 miles upstream from previously known reproducing populations. And it says the spawning would have occurred upstream from the site.

The service’s Midwest regional director, Leon Carl, says the presence of eggs in the samples shows that spawning occurred, but it’s not known if any eggs hatched and survived in that area.

Scientists are still trying to confirm whether the eggs are from bighead or silver carp, though it’s possible some of the eggs are from grass carp.

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Gov. Dayton says still time for medical pot deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says there’s still time in the legislative session to negotiate an agreement on medical marijuana.

Dayton’s statement comes after Hibbing Democrat Carly Melin postponed a House committee hearing because of what she called an impasse with law enforcement groups that oppose medical marijuana.

Melin said Dayton must become involved.

The governor has said he won’t support medical marijuana unless law enforcement does. He didn’t change that position in his statement.

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Prosecutors won’t charge Minnesota archbishop

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Archbishop John Nienstedt will not face criminal charges in connection with an allegation that he inappropriately touched a boy during a public photo shoot in 2009, authorities announced Tuesday.

Nienstedt, who had strongly denied the allegation but stepped down from public ministry while police investigated, said Tuesday he will now resume all of his public duties.

“I look forward to returning to public ministry during this Lenten season, especially during Holy Week and the great feast of Easter,” Nienstedt said in a statement. “I continue to offer my prayers for all … who have been harmed by clergy sexual abuse. I once again offer my apology to all who have been affected by these terrible offenses.”

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said Tuesday’s announcement resolves this specific case against Nienstedt, but other investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis are ongoing.

Police say there are currently eight other open investigations.

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