- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014
Settlement reached in Accent Signage shooting suit

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The family of a man killed in a 2012 office shooting at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis has reached an undisclosed settlement with the company, according to an attorney and an order filed Monday by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Jacob Beneke, 34, was one of six people who died after being shot on Sept. 27, 2012, by Andrew Engeldinger, who took his own life. Two other workers were also injured in what became the deadliest workplace shooting in Minnesota.

Beneke’s family sued Accent Signage and Engeldinger’s estate last year, alleging the company should have known from Engeldinger’s work history that he was potentially dangerous. Last summer, a judge threw out claims against the gunman’s estate but allowed two negligence counts against the company to proceed.

In Monday’s ruling, the appeals court said “the underlying matter has been settled, pending district court approval.”

Phil Villaume, an attorney for Beneke’s family, confirmed the case was settled, saying the matter was resolved within the last couple of weeks. He said he could not make additional comments or provide details.


Dayton directs changes in child protection system

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota’s central social service agency will conduct random screenings of child-protection decisions made by county officials under measures ordered Monday by Gov. Mark Dayton in response to the death of a repeatedly abused child.

In addition, a new consultation system staffed by state and county experts will be established as a sounding board for social workers looking into maltreatment allegations.

The executive actions announced by Dayton follow an Aug. 31 Minneapolis Star Tribune story about 4-year-old Eric Dean, whose repeated abuse at the hands of his stepmother prompted little scrutiny despite 15 separate abuse reports lodged with Pope County social workers. Amanda Peltier was convicted this spring in Dean’s death, but a state review of institutional failings is still in progress.

Dayton said a photo of Dean smiling through the wounds on his face “will haunt me for a long time.”

State Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said putting a second set of eyes on county decisions could prevent children from suffering more serious injuries or even death by catching cases that were wrongly closed without adequate investigation.


GOP state House candidate sued over land dispute

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota House candidate is being sued in civil court after cutting his neighbor’s garage in half in a property dispute.

A lawsuit filed in Itasca County by Mark Besemann, of Iron, against Roger Weber, a Nashwauk Republican, asks for $20,000 in damages to the garage and $20,000 in punitive damages, as well as a small portion of Weber’s land.

According to the civil complaint, Weber’s father owned 40 acres near Nashwauk and in 1978 gave 39 acres to his son. Father Robert Weber kept the house, garage and remaining acre of land. When he died in 2012, the smaller parcel was passed to his daughter, Ann Anderson, who later sold it to Besemann.

Before the land was sold to Besemann, Roger Weber said he told his sister he was going to take down any structures on his 39 acres. Besemann knew there was some sort of dispute over the exact property line, according to his attorney, Jaclyn Corradi Simon. Weber said half the garage was on his 39-acre property.

“He got stuck in the middle of a family dispute,” said Simon.


Gun found in St. Paul child care center crib

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Human Services is looking into a St. Paul child care center where police found a gun in a crib.

Police found the weapon Friday while executing a search warrant at a house north of downtown St. Paul that doubles as a child care center.

Police have not said whether the gun was loaded or if any children were there at the time.

According to the Department of Human Services website, the child care center has an active license that was renewed in May.

Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1v1u11jhttps://bit.ly/1v1u11j ) reports department officials said in a statement they are working with Ramsey County to review the history of the license holder and determine what action to take.

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