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UMD fitness director faces new sex harassment charges

  • Blog Post by: Karen Lundegaard
  • November 5, 2012 - 1:04 PM

A battle appears to be brewing in Duluth over sexual harassment charges against a prominent business owner and University of Minnesota Duluth employee. 

Rod Raymond is under investigation by the university following two complaints, the News Tribune reported this weekend following an open records request. 

The school won’t detail the allegations or even disclose when the complaints were filed. Raymond’s attorney issued a long statement here.
 
Raymond, the school’s fitness and wellness coordinator, an endurance athlete and co-owner of Fitger’s Brewhouse, Burrito Union, the Red Star Lounge and Tycoons Alehouse & Eatery, was disciplined three years after the school found he sexually harassed two students. 
 
In the wake of news of the new investigation, a former vice chancellor at the school says he was removed from his position in 2009 after he recommended firing Raymond.
 
Randy Hyman had ordered the investigation three years ago that took two months and resulted in himself and the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity recommending that Raymond be fired.
 
“The evidence from the investigation clearly indicated that he had been sexually harassing a number of young women,” Hyman said the News Tribune. “Because of that, the university has the obligation to take appropriate action. In that case, I felt termination was the most appropriate.”
 
But the chancellor didn’t fire him and Hyman was demoted and then let go. Raymond was ordered to attend a sexual harassment workshop, have witnesses present when meeting with young women and keep his door open. For the full story, go here
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Butter or cream sauce? That’s the big post-election question at the Vinje Lutheran Church lutefisk and meatball supper, an Election Day tradition for 95 years in Willmar.
 
“The only thing political about our lutefisk supper is the strong divide between people who top their lutefisk with butter or cream sauce,” the Rev. Jeff Engholm, pastor at the church, told the West Central Tribune. “People could debate about that subject for hours.”
 
The church expects up to 600 people for the supper and it plans on about a pound of lutefisk per person. 
 
If only we lived closer.
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North Branch police believe arson was the cause of a fire early Sunday at the North Branch Veterinary Hospital.
 
Five dogs and a cat were rescued without injury, as fire officials from North Branch, Harris, Rush City and Stacy put out the blaze.
 
For details on the reward and how to help, go here.
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