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Church document: Archbishop did not immediately report priest allegations

Hackers stole data from Target vendor;  Holder pledges to catch Target thieves; TCF closing eight branches; “Love Boat 2” fundraiser; tighter rules proposed for synthetic drugs; and more.

Not so fast on that “all clear” from the Ramsey County attorney Wednesday. MPR, which is obviously well-sourced on the procedures and paperwork of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has Madeleine Baran saying: “Archbishop John Nienstedt did not immediately report to police allegations that the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer sexually abused a child, according to a document the archbishop signed in 2012 and MPR News obtained on Wednesday. … The revelation came hours after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a news conference that he declined to file any charges for failure to report abuse by Wehmeyer to police.”

The AP reports:Target says investigators have found that hackers stole credentials from a vendor to access the retailer’s systems and pilfer about 40 million debit and credit card numbers as well as personal information for another 70 million people. Spokeswoman Molly Snyder declined to comment Wednesday on further details, such as the vendor’s identity or how the hackers stole the credentials, citing the ongoing investigation.”

Also from the AP: “Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department is committed to tracking down the thieves who stole information from millions of customers of Target Corp. In an appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder said that the government also will hunt down any people and groups that exploit the stolen data through credit card fraud.” If the department is as expeditious and tough with the hackers as it has been on the Wall Street kids, nobody’s sweating it.

Profits were up, but TCF is still “restructuring.” Says Jennifer Bjorhus in the Strib: “The Wayzata-based lender disclosed Wednesday that it’s closing eight more bank branches in Minnesota by the end of March. All are located at Cub supermarkets outside the core metro area, the bank said, and most are close to other TCF locations. The branches being shuttered are in Hastings, Forest Lake, Northfield, Rogers, Chanhassen, Lakeville South, Elk River and Mankato West.”

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For those who believe we live in a post-shame society … . Ben Goessling of ESPN reports: “Remember Fred Smoot’s illustrious tenure with the Vikings? We’re guessing you do, more because of how the cornerback (and many of his teammates) spent his 2005 bye week than anything he did on the field. Smoot, of course, was a central figure in the 2005 ‘Love Boat’ scandal … Smoot is throwing a charity event he’s calling ‘The Fred Smoot Love Boat Part 2.’ Proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, he says, and while organizers say it will be a ‘wholesome good time,’ they also promise ‘three hours on a damn boat with Fred Smoot.’ ” I’m guessing the “ladies” float free.

The GleanEven Wisconsin will have a hard time topping this. The AP says: “A school bus driver in southeastern Minnesota is accused of being drunk when he lost control of a bus carrying five children and crashed into a ditch. … [Karl] Herber was driving a Lewiston-Altura school bus Tuesday afternoon when he crossed the center line, drove into a ditch and struck several trees.”

Simultaneous with inexorable movement toward de-criminalizing the natural stuffTim Blotz’s story for KMSP-TV says: “Minnesota lawmakers are looking to tighten regulations on the sale of synthetic drugs. … A new draft report on synthetic drugs recommends that the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy — responsible for regulating potentially dangerous and illicit drugs and pharmacy conduct — be granted the power to order businesses to stop selling synthetic drugs.”

Not that they don’t trust St. Paul, you understand … John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune says: “Iron Range officials should figure a way to permanently keep the state Legislature away from what’s supposed to be a local taconite tax trust fund. That’s the recommendation of a 17-member task force that met over the past six months at the request of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board Commissioner Tony Sertich.”

Mayo liked what it heard in the State of the Union speech. Corey Mitchell of the Strib writes: “With the Mayo Clinic still smarting from federal budget cuts that slashed grant funding last year, CEO Dr. John Noseworthy is hopeful that President Obama’s State of the Union speech signals a brighter future for medical research. The National Institutes of Health lost $1.71 billion during sequestration and has seen a 25 percent reduction in overall funding since 2003. The agency is the largest provider of federal research money to universities and labs across the country.” Someone will still have to reassure the likes of Congressmen Steve Stockman and Louie Gohmert that “medical research” is not code for “the work of the devil.”