SKYDIVE OVER CAPITOL
Navy 'Leap Frogs' jump from plane over Capitol
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A trio of skydivers made the Minnesota Capitol their landing spot, with one streaming a giant American flag as he came in.
The elite team of Navy skydivers jumped from a plane to the Capitol lawn on Wednesday afternoon as part of a Navy Week celebration in the state. The Leap Frogs, as they're called, are active-duty personnel sanctioned by the Department of Defense. The Leap Frogs are also scheduled to take part in festivities later this week in Duluth.
Two years ago, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon joined an Army team in a tandem jump over the Capitol.
Justice groups: Ruling protects property rights
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - In a decision that civil rights groups said would protect property owners' rights, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that evidence obtained during illegal searches cannot be used to take someone's property through civil forfeitures.
The ruling comes in the case of a man whose vehicle and money were seized by Plymouth police after they found drugs during a 2012 traffic stop.
A state court judge found that the stop was illegal. And the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the man has standing to challenge the civil forfeiture, and sent the case back to the appeals court to resolve a host of legal issues.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says his office is considering its options, including arguing before the appeals court or appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Settlement reached in clergy abuse case
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A man who was molested by a priest in the 1970s has become the first plaintiff to settle under a new state law that opened a three-year window for people to sue over older abuse cases.
Fifty-two-year-old Jon Jaker sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis last year, saying he was an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Leo's Church in St. Paul when the Reverend Thomas Stitts sexually abused him. Stitts died in 1985.
Jaker, who now lives in California, told reporters Wednesday he's ready to go public and is no longer afraid. He says he wants to encourage other victims to come forward.
Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed. But Bishop Andrew Cozzens issued an apology and expressed regret that the archdiocese didn't heed his pleas for help.
STATE FAIR-FROZEN BEER
Minnesota State Fair to offer frozen beer foam
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Visitors to the Minnesota State Fair will be able to cool off with ice cold beers topped with frozen foam.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that a fair restaurant and beer counter will serve frozen blueberry foam with Schell's Oktoberfest and new Grain Belt Blu beers. The foam will be chilled to 23 degrees.
Frozen beer foam isn't a new idea, but Charlie Burrows wanted to bring it to the fair. He owns several bars throughout the state and will operate the restaurant and beer counter that offer the frozen foam.
Burrows says beer breaks through the subtly-flavored frozen foam and blends together in the drinker's mouth.
A Schell's distributor and sales manager says the blueberry Grain Belt Blu was created just for the fair.
STATE FAIR-PRINCESS KAY
Princess Kay of the Milky Way crowned
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) - A University of Minnesota student from Norwood-Young America is the 61st Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
Nineteen-year-old Jeni Haler was crowned Wednesday night at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Her first official duty will be to sit for nearly six hours on the opening day of the State Fair on Thursday to have her likeness sculpted from a 90-pound block of butter.
Twelve county dairy princesses from across Minnesota competed for the Princess Kay title.
Haler represents Carver County. The runners-up were Audrey Lane of Prior Lake in Scott County and Sabrina Ley of Belgrade in Stearns County.
Haler will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for more than 3,600 Minnesota dairy farm families. She is double-majoring in animal science and Spanish/Portuguese studies.
ST CLOUD STATE LAWSUIT
University seeks dismissal of enrollment lawsuit
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former administrator against St. Cloud State University.
Mahmoud Saffari had been an associate vice president in charge of enrollment management. He sued alleging civil rights violations, discrimination, defamation and violations of the state Data Practices Act after he was fired in 2011.
Saffari claimed he was discriminated against because he's an Iranian Muslim, and that he was fired after he questioned a directive to not share enrollment figures with faculty.
But the university argued that Saffari was fired because he repeatedly failed to produce a comprehensive enrollment management plan that would have better predicted enrollment numbers.
The St. Cloud Times reports that U.S. District Judge Michael Davis dismissed the lawsuit last week, essentially justifying Saffari's firing.
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