Charge: Archdiocese knew of convicted sex offender

Good luck defending this one … . At MPR Madeleine Baran reports, “Curtis Wehmeyer kept his white 2006 camper parked outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul where he served for six years, three of them as pastor. With the shades drawn, Wehmeyer could avoid the obligations of priestly life. He got drunk, smoked pot and looked at child pornography. He also lured to the camper two boys whose mother worked at the parish, plied them with alcohol, turned on pornography and told them to touch themselves. Several times, he touched one of the boys, according to police records. The family trusted ‘Father Curt.’ As a priest, he had special powers. He could anoint the sick and baptize the young. Maybe, the mother hoped, he could inspire one of her sons to become a priest. … This wasn’t the first time Wehmeyer had been in trouble. Top archdiocese leaders knew of Wehmeyer’s sexual compulsions for nearly a decade but kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners, according to canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, who resigned in April, and dozens of other interviews and documents. A memo written in 2011 obtained by MPR News from police shows the former vicar general – the top deputy of the archdiocese – did not want parish employees to know about Wehmeyer’s past.”

Was the stuff blue and incredibly pure? Marino Eccher of the PiPress reports, “A Burnsville barber shop owner pleaded guilty Monday in one of the largest methamphetamine busts in Dakota County history, even as his lawyer continues to argue he was a bit player in the drug case. Albert M. Johnson, 36, pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis to drug possession with intent to distribute. He admitted in court to having 12 pounds of the drug in his home when it was raided by Dakota County Drug Task Force agents May 1, and to selling smaller quantities of the drug earlier that day and a few other times. The bust was the largest on record in the county.” No pork pie hat in the mug shot.

There’s a feud bubblin’ … . Sarah Horner of the PiPress writes, “From the front, nothing about the house in suburban New Brighton appears that different. … Behind the one-story house, however, is a different scene. There, you see sprawling vegetable gardens, berry plants, bee hives and lots of fowl. A large coop extends from the back deck and houses about 15 laying hens, a dozen quail, a few heritage turkeys, a couple ducks and one Serama rooster. A basket brimming with vegetables sits on a table near a garden bed. Next to it is a bowl full of multicolored eggs. The collection represents a day’s harvest at ‘Lost Boys Acre,’ an experimental urban farm operated by four women in the quiet residential neighborhood near Silver Lake Road and Interstate 694. What you don’t see is the tension with their next-door neighbors, a couple in their 70s who have lived in their house for nearly 30 years, allegations of dishonesty and bullying traded between the two households.” That’s “organic bullying,” I’m guessing.

They need a little crisis management advice … . Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “Members of Minnesota’s large Somali community on Monday condemned the deadly attack by Somali terrorists on a Kenyan shopping mall, while waiting anxiously to see if any Somali-Americans had a hand in the violence. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has the largest Somali community in the United States, and it’s been a recruiting ground for al-Shabab, the armed Islamic group linked with al-Qaida that carried out the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. Since 2007, at least 22 young men have left Minnesota to join al-Shabab.”

The GleanSomeone may have skipped a couple basic econ classes. Brett Neely of MPR interviewed Rep. John Kline recently. “As the standoff between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over a government funding bill and raising the nation’s borrowing limit deepens, Republicans, including 2nd District U.S. Rep. John Kline, have begun to argue that the U.S. Treasury will be able pay interest on the debt even if it can’t pay other bills. … Kline and others in GOP (including 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann during the last debt ceiling standoff in 2011) say in effect that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the nation wouldn’t be considered in default so long as holders of government debt get paid, even if that means that other portions of the government don’t get funded because the the Treasury lacks the funds. … Prioritizing government payments in the event the debt limit isn’t raised is ‘impossible to do,’ said Tony Fratto, a former Treasury official during the George W. Bush administration. ‘The only thing I can say is that [Kline is] not aware that what he thinks is possible is impossible.’ ” So it’s like a what? A “known unknown”?

Our monitored society …  . Stribber Chao Xiong is covering the Jeffrey Trevino murder trial. “A surveillance camera on a neighbor’s property four to five houses away captured lights flickering on and off for varying intervals between about 1:20 a.m. and about 2 a.m., and then resuming again between 4:11 a.m. and about 5:30 a.m., [St. Paul PD’s William] Haider testified. Prosecutors previously presented evidence that a car matching Steger’s vehicle was fueled shortly after 2 a.m. and turned left on Larpenteur Avenue toward Interstate 35E instead of turning right, the quickest way to their house in the 500 block of Iowa Avenue E. … Haider’s testimony capped the morning’s testimony before the lunch break. He walked the court through several still photographs taken from the neighbor’s surveillance video, which also showed a light-colored car matching Steger’s car in the couple’s driveway about 2 a.m. with its lights on.”

Oops … this from last week, for those of you assuming Best Buy is out of the woods. At Slate Matt Yglesias wrote, “The price of Best Buy stock has more than tripled from its $11 low point in December. Costs are down, profits are up, and people are excited about their vending machines. But cutting costs alone isn’t a strategy for a company to thrive. Has Joly actually made the store any good? Is it a place you could recommend that people go to shop? Are the buys the best? … The problem is that actually buying stuff at Best Buy often involves taking a bath. I saw a 32-gigabyte USB thumb drive from PNY for $49.99; Amazon is selling it for less than $30. In New York, Gartland found a SanDisk Cruzer model for $24.99, but Amazon has it for just over $20. The Wirecutter recommends Vizio’s 32-inch E320i-A0 as the best small television on the market. Amazon has it for about $290, while both the New York and Washington stores are asking $379.99. The KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer they were selling in DC for $349 is on Amazon for about $310. Not every price is bad, but the best bargains at Best Buy are really for things that are intrinsically scammy. Apple charges $19 for its first-party Lightning cables, and that’s exactly what they cost at Best Buy.”

And not a Gertrude or Mortimer to be seen … . Aaron Rupar at City Pages writes, “The Social Security Administration has released the state-by-state list of America’s top baby names for 2012, and it turns out that Minnesota is far from alone in liking girl names that end with the letter a. The most popular girl name in all 50 states ended with that letter. In Minnesota, as in nearly 30 other states, that name was Emma. For boys, Mason, for the third consecutive year, was the most popular (as was the case in more than a dozen other states).”

And at that very moment she crosses the lane and … . Paul Walsh of the Strib reports, “The driver did just what he was supposed to Sunday night when he wanted to send a text: He pulled his SUV off the dark highway north of Grand Forks and turned on his flashers. As 25-year-old David Jensen had his head down and was texting his girlfriend, a car coming the other way veered across a lane and struck his vehicle head-on. Bloodied, Jensen raced to the other vehicle and pulled the unconscious Minnesota woman to safety from the burning wreckage just before it went up in flames. Although Tracy Ludwig, 49, of Fisher, has difficult days ahead as she recovers from her injuries and also faces a drunken-driving allegation, the Highway Patrol said she can be grateful for Jensen’s quick action amid the chaos.”

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 09/23/2013 - 04:37 pm.

    RE: paying interest on debt while not paying anything else

    John Kline should get recognition for standing guard over the interests of the bondholders. Who matters more ?

    Even though it’s a hare-brained scheme, at least he’s showing us what he’s made of.

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