- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015
Ex-Twin Cities archbishop denies allegations in affidavits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt said he remains “dumbfounded” by allegations of personal misconduct that emerged last year during an internal church investigation, according to a published report Sunday.

“It pains me deeply that my good name and reputation have been put into question by allegations that are entirely false and based wholly on rumor, hearsay, or innuendo,” Nienstedt said last week in written responses to questions from the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1MiDTynhttps://strib.mn/1MiDTyn ).

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis commissioned the investigation. The Star Tribune reports the probe looked into claims that Nienstedt had engaged in behavior that was inappropriate for a priest.

Nienstedt resigned June 15 after prosecutors filed charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children from a priest later convicted of molesting two boys. Nienstedt said he hoped his resignation would “give the archdiocese a new beginning.”

Interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda is considering whether to make the investigation of Nienstedt public. Hebda must balance those demands against the promise of confidentiality granted to those who participated in the investigation.

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Xcel Energy hopes to have nearly all power restored Sunday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Xcel Energy says the number of Minnesota customers still without electricity after a weekend storm continues to shrink.

A company spokeswoman says as of mid-afternoon Sunday, the number of customers without service was down to about 11,000, mostly in the Twin Cities metro area.

At the outage’s peak, about 250,000 Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota and western Wisconsin lost power during the storms. Power has been restored to all Wisconsin customers.

The company expects to have power restored to 97 percent of affected customers by midnight Sunday, although some of the hardest-hit areas won’t get power back until Monday.

Xcel Energy says 750 company employees, contractors and partners are working 16-hour shifts to restore power.

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Man who jumped into river rescued by boat near Red Wing

RED WING, Minn. (AP) - Emergency responders used boats to rescue a 21-year-old Wisconsin man who was seriously hurt after jumping into the Mississippi River near Red Wing.

The Goodhue County sheriff’s office says the accident happened shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday on a sand island in the river. The man had climbed 30 feet up a tree, then jumped into the river where it is only 3 feet deep.

Crews used a boat to transport the man to Treasure Island Marina, where he was met by an ambulance. The Red Wing Fire Department says he was airlifted to a hospital with a “traumatic injury” but was in fair condition when he was airlifted.

A sheriff’s official tells the Post-Bulletin (https://bit.ly/1Icjk4ehttps://bit.ly/1Icjk4e ) the island here the accident happened is a popular spot for boaters and swimmers.

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Zoo’s grizzly exhibit reopens after bear cracks barrier

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Zoo’s grizzly bear exhibit has reopened after one of the bears shattered a glass enclosure pane.

The bears returned to their public habitat Saturday after spending 12 days behind the scenes while temporary repairs were made.

On July 6, one of the three grizzly bears in the Russia’s Grizzly Coast exhibit pushed a rock against a five-paned glass wall of the exhibit.

No one knows which of the three was the culprit, but zoo spokesman Josh Le tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press (https://bit.ly/1HCLx2Ahttps://bit.ly/1HCLx2A ) zookeepers suspect Haines, who’s larger than his two companions, Sadie and Kenai. The zoo believes Haines was playing and didn’t crack the glass out of anger or distress.

The glass stayed put, but was spider-webbed with cracks. Full repairs will be made this fall.

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