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TV report: Archbishop Nienstedt, others under criminal investigation

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

At KSTP-TV, Jay Kolls is reporting: “Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS officials at the Archdiocese are part of a criminal investigation by St. Paul Police, including Archbishop John Nienstedt and former Vicar-General Father Peter Laird. We are told the investigation, in part, involves possible child pornography on a computer used by former priest John Shelley. St. Paul Police closed their case into the child pornography when they could not find enough evidence to charge Shelley. But, sources tell KSTP, police are looking at ‘everything’ connected to the case, including possible obstruction of justice, failure to report possible sexual abuse as required by the state’s mandatory reporting statute and possible child endangerment.”

Score another (big) one for Mike Ciresi. Anne D’Innocenzio of the AP and Dave Phelps of the Strib report: “An arbitrator has concluded that Starbucks must pay $2.76 billion to settle a dispute with Kraft over coffee distribution. The two consumer products companies had been locked in a fight for three years after Starbucks Corp. fired Kraft as its distributor of packaged coffee to grocery chains. The arbitrator determined that Starbucks must pay $2.23 billion in damages and $527 million in interest, Starbucks and [Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez International] said Tuesday. The arbitrator will determine attorney’s fees later. Kraft was represented by Mike Ciresi, a well-known plaintiff’s attorney for the Minneapolis law firm of Robins Miller Kaplan & Ciresi.”

The AP might consider hiring Ciresi … The agency reports: “A new Associated Press investigation, which found that ethanol hasn’t lived up to some of the government’s clean-energy promises, is drawing a fierce response from the ethanol industry. In an unusual campaign, ethanol producers, corn growers and its lobbying and public relations firms have criticized and sought to alter the story, which was released to some outlets earlier and is being published online and in newspapers Tuesday. Their efforts, which began one week before the AP project was being published and broadcast, included distributing fill-in-the-blank letters to newspapers editors that call the AP’s report ‘rife with errors.’ Industry officials emailed newspapers and other media, referring to the AP’s report as a ‘smear,’ ‘hatchet job’ and ‘more dumpster fire than journalism.’ “

If that roasted chicken you bought from the street vendor looks a little odd … Liala Helal of MPR says: “A coop of about 35 racing pigeons was stolen from a St. Paul yard Monday night or early Tuesday morning, according to St. Paul Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul Paulos. The pigeons were valued at about $1,000. ‘There were two coops there, and the owner feels that they [thieves] must’ve known what they were doing because they did take the racing pigeons and left the other pigeons behind,’ Paulos said. The owner told police that he believes the pigeons will be used to breed other pigeons, or sold to other breeders.”

It’s fait accompli, but still … Eric Roper of the Strib says: “A district court judge said Tuesday that the Vikings stadium deal would have triggered a city charter requirement to hold a public vote were it not for a state-sanctioned override of that provision. The ruling by Judge Philip Bush has little practical effect, but revisits an argument that knitted stadium opponents in 2012: That the deal violated a charter mandate that the city hold a referendum if it spends more than $10 million on a sports facility. The city attorney’s office issued a written opinion at the time saying that — even without a legislative override — the referendum wasn’t necessary because the sales taxes used for the stadium weren’t ‘city resources.’ Bush wrote in a memo … Tuesday that the funds were ‘city resources’ and the charter provision would have applied. The judge tossed a petition seeking a referendum on the deal, however, because the stadium legislation passed by the Legislature explicitly preempted the city charter.”

ESPN is saying that the Timberwolves have made it clear that frat house hazing (and worse) is not tolerated in their locker room: “Even the most lighthearted hazing has no place in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ locker room. At least that’s what the team has told rookie Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad was given a Jonas Brothers backpack by his veteran teammates, but told the Los Angeles Times that team president Chris Wright and general manager Milt Newton told him he could no longer wear it. ‘They actually said they don’t want us carrying them, but I understand with the stuff going on with the football thing’, Muhammad told the Times. ‘They want to be separate from that. … Now I think rookie hazing won’t exist anymore.’ “

Tough neighborhood … Matt McKinney’s Strib story says: “WCCO morning news host Steve Murphy was robbed and assaulted while jogging to a South Minneapolis bus stop early last Thursday on his way to work, according to Hospitalized with cuts to his face, the well-known radio personality has taken a leave from his job to recover.  Murphy, who usually runs the mile from home to the bus stop during his early morning commute, told WCCO that he was jogging at 2:30 a.m. when he saw a white SUV slowly following him. He said he took a different route, but the SUV caught up to him near the corner of E. 53rd St. and 13th Ave. S.  Several men got out of the SUV and pushed him facedown onto the sidewalk, taking his wallet.” Heal up, Steve.

A train station does need, you know … trains. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “Amtrak’s passenger rail service rolled a step closer to coming to downtown St. Paul, though it won’t happen for another few months. The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a 20-year lease with Amtrak, which will begin passenger service through the Union Depot on St. Paul’s Kellogg Boulevard ‘in the first quarter of 2014,’ according to the agreement. … Amtrak had been expected to shutter its Twin Cities station on St. Paul’s Transfer Road and relocate to the Union Depot in late 2012. That never happened, but Amtrak and county officials have repeatedly said they’re confident the nation’s passenger rail provider will become one of the cavernous depot’s most visible tenants.”

If you ever wanted to visually ID the true believers … City Pages’ Aaron Rupar reports: “Vice Presidential candidate-turned-unintentional punchline Sarah Palin will be signing copies of her new book at the Mall of America’s Barnes & Noble store on Friday, November 22 from 6 until 8 p.m. The book, entitled ‘Good Tidings and Great Joy,’ explores ‘the traditional roots and true meaning of Christmas,’ according to a press release. In other words, it’s about one of the gravest threats confronting our civilization today — the ‘War on Christmas.’ A Time Magazine piece published today hits a few of the book’s ‘highlights’:

For readers who want classic Palin, have cheer. There are plenty of references to ‘dopey-hopey-changey things you hear from politicians,’ criticisms of the Lamestream Media, digs at ‘cultural elites,’ jokes about NPR-loving liberals, mentions of the ‘unfolding train wreck of Obamacare’ and even an allusion to death panels … A central trope in the book is Palin’s disgust and frustration at people saying ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas.’ While hitting on various points about the commercialization of the holiday (it’s good, it’s bad, it’s beside the point), she extolls businesses like Hobby Lobby that use religious imagery in advertisements and shames businesses like Target and Wal-Mart who have eschewed ­Christmas for more politically correct terms.”

I still hope she’s planning a Paul Revere book  …

Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by Judy Jones on 11/13/2013 - 03:11 pm.


    Thankfully officials at the Archdiocese are part of a criminal investigation by St. Paul Police, including Archbishop John Nienstedt. The full truth needs to be exposed and those responsible need to be held accountable. Until that happens children will continue to be sexually abused within this system.
    Let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed will come forward and contact police, no matter how long ago it happened.

    Silence 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)

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/13/2013 - 08:34 pm.

      And thankfully

      People being investigated but not yet charged are identified so that they may be judged, and if not charged in the future well, too bad. Fortunately the St. Paul police already advertised for victims and witnesses weeks ago and should have a lengthy list to go through.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/14/2013 - 06:42 pm.


      Spoke too soon Ms. Jones. At least the Archbishop and other officials have been dragged into the mud falsely this time. How many others has this happened to? Perhaps that is why the Church did want to release names of persons only accused but not proven to be guilty or even charged.

  2. Submitted by David Clohessy on 11/13/2013 - 03:18 pm.

    You’re part of the problem or part of the solution. If you have even the slightest knowledge or hint about clergy wrongdoing – either child sex crimes or the cover up of those crimes – you have a duty, a moral obligation, to call police and prosecutors. It really is just that simple.

    David Clohessy, Director, SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (7234 Arsenal Street, St. Louis MO 63143), 314 566 9790 cell (

  3. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 11/13/2013 - 03:19 pm.

    So the city attorney’s false opinion swung critical votes…

    …for the Vikings stadium ?

    Deception works !! Fraud works !! Here in Minneapolis city government, these are winning strategies and tactics !!

    It appears Susan Segal, the attorney who penned the opinion to be used to influence Council members, is still working for the city. At whose pleasure does the City Attorney serve ? Certainly it cannot be at the pleasure of the citizens of Minneapolis, who will pay some $675 million dollars for 30 years due, at least in part, to her faulty opinion.

    Has an opinion by a City Attorney ever cost more ?
    Unfortunately, some City Council members relied on that misguided opinion, issued most assuredly to assuage any doubts they may have had.

    Council member Sandy Colvin Roy said Segal’s opinion was what got her to re-examine the deal. Then Council member Reich wrote “I am bound by the city charter and any city funding must meet the requirements set forth in our governing documents,”

    So of the 7 votes that worked to approve the stadium, at least 2 were swayed by the erroneous beliefs encouraged by the City Attorney.

    The fraud of this stadium has ever-emerging dimensions, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Much thanks to Doug Mann, whose effort cast light on some of the real culprits in this monstrosity. This surely would have remained in the dark without his suit.

  4. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 11/13/2013 - 03:20 pm.

    The ethanol advocates have a point

    It’s not the AP’s finest hour. The piece reads more like an op/ed than a news feature. There is a “counterpoint” in today’s Star Tribune from a local corn grower that spells out his beef with the AP series. It’s worth a read.

    • Submitted by Lance Groth on 11/13/2013 - 05:37 pm.

      Not so much

      They may have a point about accuracy in reporting, but not so much about the benefits of corn based ethanol.

      Corn, grown for any reason, is an ecological disaster. It requires heavy use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, all of which are ecologically damaging. I grew up in corn country, which is sometimes referred to as a “green desert” for a reason. Ecologically, it is a desert. That is not just a “greenie” term, I have heard farmers use the same term. They know the effects of growing it, they just feel the need, and profit potential, outweighs the costs.

      As for ethanol plants producing cattle feed as a byproduct, this is true, but I don’t know that it’s anything to boast about. Corn is not a healthy food for people or animals. It makes both fat (which is why it is fed to beef cattle), and in humans contributes to the obesity epidemic which ultimately leads to insulin resistance syndrome and type 2 diabetes, particularly when processed into corn syrup and infiltrated into nearly every processed food available in the grocery stores. The reason beef is so often cited as an unhealthy meat that leads to cardiovascular disease is because commercial beef are fed grains, primarily corn. Beef, just like bison, is actually a healthy source of protein when it is grass fed. It is corn that turns it into an artery-clogging problem food. Which is why I buy only grass-fed beef.

      As far as I know, use of ethanol in gasoline has not served to reduce CO2 output, once the entire chain of production and processing is factored in – and again, you don’t get there without use of harsh chemicals. Ethanol would be far more beneficial, in every sense, if it were produced from alternative sources such as switchgrass, that would not require such a toxic stew of chemicals to produce. I know that a few years ago, the technology did not exist to efficiently produce ethanol on a commercial scale from plant cellulose sources such as switchgrass, but R&D efforts were under way. I haven’t really kept up so I don’t know where it stands today, but I believe progress has been made.

      Corn is simply the wrong (least desirable) source for ethanol production, and needs to be swapped out for for benevolent sources as quickly as possible.

      Oh, and as for wetlands, again, I grew up in “prairie pothole” country, which is a misnomer today because good luck finding any prairie potholes. They’ve all been drained and filled in for cropland. Minnesota’s practices have been worse than surrounding states in this regard. There is no room for wildlife, because the fields are plowed ditch-to-ditch, and the ditches are even mowed. This leaves no place for waterfowl, and is also why any pheasant hunters who actually want pheasants go to South Dakota – we leave little room for them in Minnesota. Sorry, but the environmental record in farm country is dismal.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 11/13/2013 - 08:29 pm.

      No they don’t

      Ethanol is an environmental catastrophe. There is nothing green about it. You’re a smart guy, Robert – why you haven’t figured out what environmental groups have known for a long time is beyond me.

  5. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 11/14/2013 - 07:09 am.

    We all make our choices

    Dan, I don’t know if I’m smart, but I like to think I’m a practical guy. No fuel or technology is perfect, but some are much better than others. Ethanol production continues to improve its energy balance, water use and environmental footprint, but you cannot say the same about gasoline and diesel.

    Renewable ethanol currently replaces or displaces millions of gallons of traditional petroleum fuel in the upper Midwest region; there is no other alternative fuel or vehicle technology available that could quickly take its place. That means more petroleum would be consumed, and more pollution in our air.

    Some of us choose to embrace the alternatives we have available, others do not. We all make our choices.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 11/14/2013 - 09:24 am.

      Cites for your claim

      That ethanol production continues to improve its energy balance, water use and environmental footprint? Beyond that your comment on the fact that the increased planting of corn is very detrimental to the environment, esp the quality of our rivers and streams.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 11/15/2013 - 02:41 pm.


      Even if gas and diesel are not improving, they are still better than ethanol. You have made a choice to push a product that makes oil look environmentally friendly by comparison.

  6. Submitted by Richard Owens on 11/14/2013 - 09:26 am.

    Ethanol SUBSIDIES is the crux of the matter.

    With cheaper corn this year than in the last 2, the corn ethanol industry will now need to stand on its own, sans blending fees and “JOBZ” tax giveaways.

    All citizens should be alarmed that aquifers have been drawn down beyond their permits by these “water-mining” operations.

    Brazil’s sugar cane ethanol is a better environmental product than corn ethanol. Do we still have protective tariffs on Brazil’s ethanol?

  7. Submitted by Ray Marshall on 11/19/2013 - 06:31 pm.

    Possible Child Porn Charges

    Authorities have had two copies of the computer files of Father Jon Shelley for at least six months.

    And we’re still hearing about the possibility of those files containing “possible” child pornography. Just how long does it take to decide that issue?

    The only reason I can see for the delay in the decision as to where it is, or it isn’t, is a search for birth certificates.

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