Abuse allegations loom over Faribault's elite prep schoolby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Today on the MPR News Update, Fairbault residents are coming to grips with news about suspected abuse at the city's iconic prep school. Another victim of the shooting rampage at a Minneapolis business has died. Hundreds turned out for a memorial service dedicated to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone. And some Minnesota schools are having a hard time meeting the state's high expectations for arts education.
JOLTED: Faribault is a picturesque community dominated by churches, shops on Main Street, and the elite Shattuck-St. Mary's prep school, which sits on a hill overlooking the town. The relationship between the city and the school has taken an uneasy turn as allegations about sexual abuse by a former teacher there have surfaced.
FAR-REACHING IMPACT: The private boarding and day school in Faribault is small, but it has a big reputation. Its 439 current middle and high school students hail from 39 different states and 31 countries. Tuition for the boarding school is about $40,000 a year. Alumni are spread throughout the country, some pursuing high-profile careers including professional hockey and movie acting.
ANOTHER RAMPAGE DEATH: Hennepin County Medical Center said Thursday that Eric Rivers had died of wounds suffered in the Sept. 27 shooting at Accent Signage Systems in the city's Bryn Mawr neighborhood. He was one of the employees shot by Andrew Engledinger, who pulled a gun and opened fire when he was terminated from his job there.
DISILLUSIONED: What began as a quest to become a "good Muslim" took 27-year-old Kamal Said Hassan from his home in the Twin Cities to a far-off battlefield in Somalia, he told a jury in federal court. But the al-Shabab recruit said that he became disillusioned when he discovered that the terrorist group was intent on doing far more than routing Ethiopian troops from his homeland.
WELLSTONE REMEMBERED: A memorial at Macalester College in St Paul gathered hundreds of friends and family together for the first in a series of events to honor the late Sen. Paul Wellstone. The former professor, his wife, Sheila, and their daughter, Marcia Markuson, died in a plane crash Oct. 25, 2002 over Eveleth, along with campaign staffers Tom Lapic, Mary McAvoy and Will McLaughlin, and the plane's captain, Richard Conry and co-pilot Michael Guess.
KLOBUCHAR vs. BILLS: A budget deal worked out by President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats and House Republicans will dramatically raise taxes and cut government spending across the board on Jan. 1 if another compromise is not reached before then. Now, Republican Kurt Bills is attacking DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who voted for the deal. The man who wants to unseat Klobuchar in the Senate says she should be held accountable if the tax hikes and spending cuts go into effect.
CRAVAACK vs. NOLAN: Former DFL congressman Rick Nolan is leading Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack, 46 percent to 45 percent, according to a SurveyUSA/KSTP poll of 578 likely voters taken Oct. 7-8. He's also leading by a slightly wider margin in an internal poll.The two are locked in what's believed to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the country following Cravaack's 2010 upset victory over 18-term DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar.
ARTS PUSHED ASIDE: Minnesota has some of the highest standards for arts education in the country, but schools don't always meet those lofty expectations. But as schools work to increase student test scores in math, science and reading, arts education is often pushed aside, according to a survey to be released today by the Perpich Center for Arts Education.
JOBLESS NUMBERS: There's more positive economic news likely to impact the presidential debate: The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted last week to seasonally adjusted 339,000, the lowest level in more than four years.
NO LICENSE: The Massachusetts pharmacy that sold contaminated steroids to two Twin Cities-based pain management facilities did not have a Minnesota license to distribute the drugs in bulk quantities. The situation is linked to three confirmed cases of meningitis in the state, and many more across the country.
MORE ON MENINGITIS: Have you heard or read about the meningitis outbreak, and come away wanting a little more background on what the illness is and what it does to the body? All Things Considered host Tom Crann sat down with Dr. John Hallberg to get answers to those questions and more.
WOLF HUNT WILL GO ON: Advocates of wolf hunting and trapping in Minnesota are applauding a decision by the state Court of Appeals that allows the hunt to proceed next month. The court rejected the arguments made by two conservation groups that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources did not provide the proper opportunity for public comment on its hunt. State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, chair of the state Senate environment committee, welcomed the news.
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.