Archdiocese Finds Old Abuse Records

St. Paul Pioneer Press [Minnesota]
September 8, 2006

After a new search of its files, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has found records indicating that a man did come forward eight years ago alleging he was abused as a teenager in the 1970s by the Rev. Michael Bik, before the priest was ordained.

The archdiocese had said last week it hadn't heard of Bik until an announcement in July by St. John's Abbey saying Bik had been accused in 1997 of molesting two teenage boys two decades earlier. Bik is a monk of the abbey in Collegeville, Minn.

Archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath said a further search of records indicated that an alleged victim of Bik, requesting anonymity, met with Archbishop Harry Flynn in 1998. Flynn subsequently relayed the information to the abbey, McGrath said.

Although not a priest of the archdiocese, Bik formerly taught at St. Stephen's Catholic School in Anoka.

A member of the St. John's abuse-review board quit three weeks ago protesting that the abbey and archdiocese kept silent for nine years about allegations against Bik and two other recently identified abbey monks.

— Steve Scott

Fursman filling in on west metro post

Former Maplewood City Manager Richard Fursman this week became interim city administrator of Greenwood, serving while the small city near Lake Minnetonka searches for a permanent administrator.

Fursman is not a candidate for the position, he said. He also will teach a leadership course at the University of St. Thomas this fall and is doing organizational and development consulting.

Fursman was Maplewood's city manager from 2000 until last April, when the City Council replaced him with interim City Manager Greg Copeland. Maplewood is planning a search for a permanent city manager.

— Steve Scott

City reimbursed for right-of-way

North St. Paul will receive $569,000 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation as reimbursement for the North St. Paul Animal Hospital site, which will become a right-of-way for the Minnesota 36 reconstruction project.

The city previously bought the site, along the frontage road at Second Street, and arranged to relocate the animal hospital to McKnight Road. The MnDOT reimbursement will replenish the city fund used for that purchase.

The city also gave small parcels along the highway corridor to MnDOT for no compensation. Cannon Park will remain city property, but MnDOT will remove the cannon so the site may be used during construction.

— Steve Scott

Services scheduled for 2 Iraq casualties

Funeral services have been set for two Minnesota troops recently killed in Iraq.

Minnesota National Guard Staff Sgt. Joshua Hanson, of Dent, Minn., will be buried on Saturday at Ringsaker Cemetery in Pelican Rapids, following a 12:30 p.m. funeral service at the Pelican Rapids High School gym.

Hanson, 27, was killed last week when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee near Khalidiya. Six other Guard soldiers from Minnesota were wounded in the attack.

Several memorial services in Hmong and English will be held Saturday and Sunday for Army Spc. Qixing Lee, 20, of Minneapolis. He died Aug. 27 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Bradley armored personal carrier during combat operations in Taji.

Lee's services will all be held at Washburn-McReavy Swanson Chapel. A final memorial service in English will be held at 9 a.m. Monday at the chapel, with interment following at 11 a.m. at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

— Associated Press

Boy, 15, shot near charter school

A 15-year-old boy was shot near a Hamline-Midway charter school Thursday, but police were still searching for a suspect.

The teen, who was not identified, was shot in the arm by a lone man who approached him about 2:30 p.m. in an alley behind a barbershop at 1728 W. University Ave., authorities said.

After getting shot, the teen ran back inside the barbershop, where he called police. He was later taken to Regions Hospital; police said he was in stable condition Thursday.

The gunman fled south on foot after the shooting; police had no known suspects Thursday night. Police said they were not certain what the motive for the shooting was, or if anything had been stolen from the teen.

The shooting took place across the street from Avalon Charter school, though school officials said they were not aware of any students involved in the shooting. At the time of the shooting, students were still in class.

— Tad Vezner

Crosstown closing for weekend work

A major stretch of west metro highway will be fully closed this weekend.

The Crosstown Highway (Minnesota) 62 will be closed in both directions from 8 p.m. today until 5:30 a.m. Monday between Interstate 35W and Hiawatha Avenue, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said Thursday.

The highway is being closed for lead paint removal and the painting of three bridges, MnDOT said.

Traffic will be detoured onto I-35W, Interstate 494, Minnesota 5 and Hiawatha Avenue.

The following weekend, Cedar Avenue-Minnesota 77 will be closed underneath the Crosstown for bridge painting. Traffic on the Crosstown won't be affected, MnDOT said.

— Associated Press

Police search for bank robber

Police were searching Thursday evening for a man who held up a Bremer Bank in downtown St. Paul earlier that day.

The man entered the bank at 444 Cedar St. just before noon and handed a note demanding money to a teller, authorities said. After placing the money in a black string tote bag, the robber fled on foot through the building's skyway. He escaped with an undisclosed amount of money, authorities said.

The robber is described as being slim, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, in his late 40s or early 50s with a short, salt-and-pepper mustache and stubbly beard. He was wearing a black hooded windbreaker, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

FBI officials said the man was seen speaking to another man, who may have been an accomplice, shortly before the bank was robbed.

— Pioneer Press


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