What a seven-year-old can do (5×8 – 1/14/13)

Long Lost? No problem. The trafficking of our little girls, the man Peter Linnerooth couldn’t help, when things aren’t what they seem, and coming together on climate.


The Monday Morning Rouser, as suggested by reader Chuck Pederson of Chaska.

1) LONG LOST? NO PROBLEM

Chalk up another one for social media. A brother and a long-lost sister were reunited in Davenport, Iowa over the weekend.

It took a 7 year old kid with a computer to get them back together after 60 years.

Now, who wants to step forward with a complaint about how kids are spending too much time on their computers these days?

2) THE TRAFFICKING OF OUR LITTLE GIRLS

MPR’s Laura Yuen reports today that “Minnesota girls who run from their homes are not only more vulnerable to being sold for sex, but also face a higher risk of being raped or sexually abused in other ways.”

This may be the part where a lot of people turn away, but don’t. Her story today is gripping. And depressing, of course:


When I ran away, I was with my friends,” the girl replied. “They put me on drugs, so I don’t remember getting these tattoos; I just woke up with them.”

Though soft-spoken, the girl calmly recounts what sounds like a stint in hell. It began, she said, when she was staying at a boy’s house in the neighborhood, where he and other gang members made her take codeine pills. She recalled getting high on what the teens called “lean” — a mixture of Nyquil and Sprite, with the pills thrown in for good measure.

She stayed at the house on and off for about a month. After she told the gang members she wanted to leave, they doused her in gasoline, she said.

“I wasn’t going to school because of the drugs. I just sit there all day, do the same thing over and over, go to sleep, wake up,” she said.

At the end of December, she ran barefoot into the street and escaped. The gang never made her sell her body, but she told the officers she regularly had sex with an 18-year-old while at the house.

In an editorial this weekend, the Duluth News Tribune marked human traffic awareness month in the city.


“There’s this horrible perfect storm right now with runaway girls and predators on the streets,” St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin explained. “That’s a horrible combination, especially when the runaway girl thinks this is a boyfriend (or) this is the only person in the world who cares for her. Then he ends up taking her out of the city and introducing her to friends, and then she’s trapped.”

Just last month, two men were charged, accused of forcing two teenage girls from Duluth to engage in prostitution in St. Paul. The men used a knife and a gun to threaten the girls after they arrived in our state’s capital by bus, according to authorities. The girls reportedly were taken to a motel and repeatedly forced into sex.

Last year 39 girls and young women reported to PAVSA they were victims of the sex trade. It was actually a milestone. That so many young women are starting to see themselves as victims rather than as criminals was another crack in the shell protecting trafficking. And here’s one more: A new Minnesota law prevents anyone under age 16 from being charged as a delinquent when caught engaged in prostitution.

3) THE MAN PETER LINNEROOTH COULDN’T HELP

Peter Linnerooth of Mankato was an army psychologist, a mental health professional. But he couldn’t save himself from the effects of PTSD, the Pioneer Press says. Linnerooth killed himself earlier this month.


“He was really, really suffering,” Linnerooth’s widow, Melanie Walsh, told Time for its story on his death. “And it didn’t matter that he was a mental health professional, and it didn’t matter that I was a mental health professional. I couldn’t help him, and he couldn’t help himself.”

Linnerooth was highly critical of the military’s callousness toward its soldiers suffering the effects of war.

His death, Time.com suggests, is particularly shocking because of his awareness of mental health issues:


Few who wore the uniform in the nation’s post-9/11 wars better understood the perverse alchemy that can change the rush and glory of combat into a darkening cloud of anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress. But strikingly, all that understanding — and the knowledge, education and firsthand experience that nurtured it — didn’t save Linnerooth.

“Pete struggled with PTSD and depression after his deployment to Iraq,” an Army comrade says. “Pete is a good example of how serving in combat can change someone. Pete was one of us,” he adds. “He’s the first Army psychologist that I know who killed himself.”

A Facebook memorial page is full of tributes from people he helped.

fb_linerooth.jpg

Dr. Linnerooth was 42.

4) FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THINGS SOMETIMES AREN’T WHAT THEY SEEM

Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. So what?

5) COMING TOGETHER ON CLIMATE

Is it possible to find common ground on climate change? A new video suggests it is.

But enough about climate, how ’bout that weather! People are waking up and going to work in the summertime today…

N E W Y E A R from Chris Arnold on Vimeo.

Bonus I: What’s with the crows, Minneapolis?

Bonus II: Every year around this time, the employees of Minnesota Public Radio hold their “employee cabaret,” an opportunity — in some cases — to showcase what we’re not known for: humor, for example.

Here’s MPR News reporter Tim Post’s annual work of comedic brilliance:

TODAY’S QUESTION

Efforts are underway in the state Legislature to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage. A bill in the House would raise the wage to $9.38 per hour, and a Senate version would raise it to $7.50 per hour. The current state minimum wage is $6.15. Today’s Question: Is it time for Minnesota to raise its minimum wage?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: One of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, shares his thoughts on the national health care decisions we will soon be facing.

Second hour: Are libraries obsolete?

Third hour: Margaret Atwood talks about her new serialized novel project, ‘Positron.’

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough,speaking on John Adams (from the Commonwealth Club of California).

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The life of a president has always provided rich fodder for biographers. President Obama is no exception; in just one term, dozens have already taken on his story. Authors on Obama – the man, his life and his presidency. Plus, our weekly turn to the opinion page,

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - On January 14th, 1963, Alabama’s newly elected governor delivered an inauguration speech destined for the history books. George Wallace’s “Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever” speech embodied a moment in American history that changed politics forever. Fifty years later, NPR News looks back at the story behind hose famous words and the man who spoke them.

Statewide literacy folks say demand for volunteer tutors is up sharply, MPR’s Dan Olson profiles Lark Flynn-Lippert, an AmeriCorp literacy teacher at a St. Paul charter school, as she teaches English and writing to four-year-old students.

Three and a half years ago, MPR News told the story of one detainee held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement inside the Ramsey County Jail. David Soto was a 23-year-old college student who’d crossed the border from Mexico with his parents when he was six. Last week, David Soto learned he’d been accepted for Deferred Action, a temporary status that allows him to live and work in the country legally for two years. MPR’s Sasha Aslanian will have the story.

  • Kassie

    I’d like to see johns who get caught with underage prostitutes get charged with statutory rape (and getting put on the sex offender registry) instead of just soliciting a prostitute. If johns weren’t interested in sex with underage girls the market would dry up and there would be less girls brought into the system. Or at least they would be brought in later.

    Of course, I’d like to see all johns and pimps who are caught with a prostitute have to go on the sex offender registry, if we are going to continue to have one. I’ll never understand how the men involved in the buying and selling of women aren’t considered sex offenders.

  • boB from WA

    Nice piece of work, Tim Post.

    Or should it read; “Mice peal spork, tin most.”

  • Tyler

    What’s with the crows? Why, the next season of Game of Thrones is starting!

  • Kevin Watterson

    I don’t recognize where the video was shot but the crows around my neighborhood are insane. Last week I fell asleep on the couch and about 3 in the morning woke up to thousands of them swirling about like a school of fish. There’s a row of trees about 200 yards away, the tops were a solid black, full of crows.

  • David

    “What’s with the crows, Minneapolis?”

    They were here first.

    From the DNR ” They participate in flocking behavior, with large flocks gathering in winter feeding and roosting areas. Communal roosting occurs from autumn through mid-winter, and typically occurs in areas with large trees.”

  • http://iwastoldtherewouldbebacon.blogspot.com Jess

    Even now knowing *why* they do it, hundreds of crows hanging out in the trees and on the rooftops on my block scares the bejeebus out of me. I’ve lived in the same place for almost seven years now, and I’ve never noticed it until this year.