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Victims’ group calls archdiocese panel idea ‘a sham’

Putting it bluntly, they’re calling it “a sham.” MPR’s continuing coverage of the latest sex scandal involving the archdiocese — this time from Mike Cronin, Madeleine Baran and Tom Scheck — says: “The director of a group that advocates for victims of predator priests dismissed as a sham an order from the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis that the church form a clergy sexual-misconduct task force. ‘It’s nothing but a smokescreen,’ said Bob Schwiderski, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), during a phone interview with MPR News Sunday afternoon.”

A real challenge for divers … Andrew Krueger of the Duluth News Tribune writes: “For 60 years, after it sank beneath the surface of Lake Superior in a pea-soup fog near Thunder Bay, the wreck of the freighter Scotiadoc slumbered undiscovered in the shadow of the Sleeping Giant. But now a group of shipwreck hunters with Northland ties have capped off a memorable year by confirming they’ve located the lost vessel resting in more than 850 feet of water, making it in all likelihood the deepest shipwreck ever found in the Great Lakes. That follows the group’s discovery of the long-lost, long-sought-after wreck of the Henry B. Smith offshore from Marquette, Mich., in May, a find that drew widespread attention.”

Maybe he’s an online “whale” looking to go live … Rupa Shenoy’s MPR story says: “Officials at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport say a 9-year-old boy got through security, boarded a plane and flew to Las Vegas without a ticket. Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan says the boy got off the light rail train Thursday morning, went through security screening, and got on a Delta flight to Las Vegas — apparently without ever presenting a boarding pass. … Hogan says the boy’s parents couldn’t explain why he would want to go to Las Vegas.”

In the Strib, Pat Pheifer says: “The boy got through the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) checkpoint, past a Delta gate agent and didn’t get scrutinized by flight attendants before the plane took off, said Terry Trippler, owner of ‘I put it more on Delta than the TSA,’ said Trippler, who said he stood next to the TSA checkpoint Saturday to talk to a TV news crew. … ‘The kid’s smart,’Trippler said. ‘I’m going to give them [the TSA agent] a little break. The way I look at it is, Delta, this is a person getting on your flight. You make sure they’re all there. A lot of people want to come down on the TSA. I could see where it could happen. I could see where it could happen with Delta, too, but it really shouldn’t happen with Delta.’ ” Did they sell the kid any drinks on the way out to Vegas?

Who cares about farmers and food when we’re trying to protect the country from … food stamps? Says Kevin Diaz of the Strib: “Overshadowed by the politics of the shutdown, the deadline for passing a new farm bill also brought with it the expiration of many federal farm programs, leaving in their place something called ‘permanent law,’ or the status quo of 1949. … with Congress still at loggerheads over Republican efforts to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program — the biggest and most controversial component of any farm bill — it’s back to 1949. … [Farmer Kevin] Paap said it’s bad enough for farmers, who have little idea what kinds of price supports, conservation and nutrition programs a deadlocked Congress might produce by next spring’s planting season. … Come January, consumers could feel the bite.”  

The GleanGood news for mosquitoes … Also at MPR, Stephanie Hemphill writes: “A fungus that eats at the bats’ wings has been found here and in Soudan Underground Mine, two of Minnesota’s largest bat caves. In East Coast states, the white nose fungus has wiped out nearly 6 million bats. State biologists still hope the bats here might survive. They’re looking for ways to contain or beat back the fungus. If not, the furry, peaceful creatures resting on the cave walls will likely die in the next few years. If that happens, there will be losers beyond the bats, Mystery Cave Park Manager Mark White said as he led a visitor recently through the caverns. ‘You’re just going to see an explosion of corn-borer moths, mosquitoes, midges, other night-flying insects, some aquatic insects’, White said.”                                        

Anarae Schunk’s brother spoke at her memorial service. Will Ashenmacher of the PiPress writes: “Tyson Schunk gripped the podium with both hands and exhaled forcefully. ‘I believe that Anarae deeply and fundamentally believed in the good of people,’ he said. Then he paused and looked out into the darkness of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. ‘That’s a profoundly dangerous idea, isn’t it?’ A simmering anger at the criminal justice system tinged the fond recollections of Schunk that friends, teachers and family members shared at her memorial service. … Though Schunk’s family tried to keep the focus of their remarks on their daughter and sister, their grief and frustration with the circumstances of her death, possibly at the hands of a man with a lengthy record and out on bail, never seemed far from the surface. “

Steve Karnowski of the AP says: “Starting next July, Minnesota will become the first state in the nation to require that most diesel fuel sold in the warm-weather months be a blend containing 10 percent biodiesel, under regulations finalized this week. Minnesota, like some other states, currently requires a year-round 5 percent blend known as B5 for most diesel sales. The B10 mandate will kick in July 1, 2014, and run through Oct. 31. But starting in 2015, the 10 percent requirement will be in effect May 1-Oct. 31. Biodiesel, which is made mostly from soybean oil, is promoted as an environmentally friendly, homegrown renewable fuel that creates jobs and demand for crops.”

And by now you have seen Miley Cyrus as Michele Bachmann … yes, that Michele Bachmann … In a “Saturday Night Live” skit? In the Los Angeles Times, Jessica Gelt writes: “Two major topics of conversation are burning up the Twittersphere these days: Miley Cyrus and the government shutdown. Both came together on Saturday night when Cyrus hosted ‘SNL’ and starred in a racy video called ‘We Did Stop (the government)’ where she plays a crotch-grabbing, tongue-wagging Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) alongside Taran Killam’s white-leotard-wearing Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). Needless to say, the 20-year-old pop star’s performance, which includes her licking an Abraham Lincoln doll and twerking with Boehner while singing a chorus riffing on her popular ‘We Can’t Stop’ tune, is generating a lot of buzz on the interwebs. On Sunday morning the unlikely Google combo of ‘Miley Cyrus Michele Bachmann’ pulled up more than 400,000 results. Twitter was also roaring with chatter on the video, much of it positive. It seems Cyrus’ willingness to both mock herself and the GOP appealed to fans.” That shot of GOP twerkers stuffing Uncle Sam with cash is … just … so …

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/07/2013 - 08:02 am.

    the nine-year old escapee…

    I think the bigger question with this kid is not how he snuck through the airport but how he got out of his house for hours at a time and his parents apparently never noticed. Maybe he was going to Vegas in hopes of finding someone who actually cared about him.

  2. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 10/07/2013 - 08:15 am.

    The biodiesel story is a pretty big deal

    Once it goes into place, it should produce measurable reductions in several key air pollutants, including particulates, unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The biodiesel is made from excess soybean oil and waste grease we already have now in MN. Plus, it cheaper than petroleum diesel. A win-win for all of us.

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/07/2013 - 08:38 am.

    It’s kind of a No Win situation

    Every time complaints like the Schunk family’s come up, I can’t help but think of the State’s policy to civilly commit sex offenders. For as nice as it would be to permanently lock up the Bad Guys and throw away the key, the Constitution and our gov’t budget probably make it impossible.

  4. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 10/07/2013 - 01:45 pm.

    9-year-old kid

    Not only is it shameful that the boy’s parents didn’t seem to notice he was missing, but a 9-year-old-boy should have been in school on both Wednesday and Thursday. Didn’t his teachers notice he was gone? My experience with elementary schools is that schools usually are a lot more careful about absent children than that.

  5. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/07/2013 - 02:40 pm.

    No one noticed?

    I’m not sure where everyone is getting that idea. His parents didn’t know why he would want to go to Vegas, but the stories don’t say that he was not missed.

  6. Submitted by Judy Jones on 10/07/2013 - 09:29 pm.

    Cover up still going on..

    Why do church officials only take action when they are backed into a corner by victims and the media? And then they use the same MO as other diocese who are found to be covering up sex crimes against innocent kids. The bare minimum, which will not protect kids today.

    The sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy is still going on to this day. Cardinals and bishops are still covering up sex crimes against kids, they are still not removing accused predator clergy, and they still are not reporting to law enforcement. Their so called “zero tolerance” policy is not being followed by all the bishops who created it. They don’t have to, because there is no punishment to force the bishops to change their ways of protecting their image and the institution rather than protecting innocent kids.

    Many of these bishops and church officials need to be held accountable by outside law enforcement. The diocese secret archives records need to be subpoenaed, plus high ranking church officials need to be forced to sit on the witness stand and be held to tell the truth. If it is determined that they have committed crimes, then they need to spend time behind bars. Until this happens nothing changes and kids are still not safe within this secret archaic system.

    Sex abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems that allow it to continue to this day, so let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Fr Curtis Wehmeyer, Fr John Shelley, or anyone in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will come forward and contact police, not the church officials. They are not the proper officials to be investigating child sex crimes.

    Silence is not an options anymore, it only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511.,
    “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

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