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Archdiocese releases names of nine more problem priests

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

Nine more priests … eight from long ago. Says Jean Hopfensperger of the Strib: “Nine more priests who sexually abused minors were named Monday morning by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. ‘In all but one case, the incidents occurred 25-50 years ago and all of the clergy involved have been out of ministry in the archdiocese for many years, in most cases for decades,’ said a statement announcing the list. ‘Of the nine men disclosed today, three are known to be deceased.’ ”

Here’s an entertaining read … David Hanners of the PiPress on an alleged embezzlement scam run on Gerard Leon Cafesjian: “Assistant U.S. Attorney William Otteson wrote in a pretrial brief that [John Joseph Waters Jr.] engineered a scheme to embezzle millions from Cafesjian, and the scam lasted for years. ‘Waters used the stolen money to satisfy the expensive personal spending habits of himself, his family, and a mistress whom he was secretly supporting for years,’ Otteson wrote. The alleged embezzlement totaled more than $6.3 million, the government claims, and he gave more than $700,000 of it ‘to his mistress, Cheri Kuhn (now Cheri Waters), whom he met at the Deja Vu nightclub in the late 1990s and with whom he was having a long-term affair,’ Otteson wrote.”

With a Hinckley dateline, Tom Steward writes on the watchdog.org site: “For a high speed passenger rail line, the proposed Northern Lights Express has taken a long time to get up and running, with much farther to go before reaching its destination of $1 billion in funding. As the gears of government grind along on ridership and other studies, local opposition to bringing back the abandoned Amtrak 155 mile route from the Twin Cities to Duluth continues to gain steam. … Opponents fear the train will undercut businesses that count on tourists and other traffic on the freeway.”

“Polarizing” … but more popular. That’s the Strib poll on Sen. Al Franken. Says Corey Mitchell: “The 55 percent approval rating for the satirist-turned-senator matches a high-water mark reached last June, but the latest results also show a growing dissatisfaction with his job performance. Franken’s job disapproval rating has climbed to 34 percent, up from 29 percent last June. … Franken remains a polarizing figure, with job approval ratings of 97 percent from Democrats, but a 71 percent disapproval from Republicans. Both numbers have spiked since the last poll.”

On Bryan Preston’s (decidedly conservative) PJ Tatler blog, he looks at an earlier Strib/Minnesota Poll and writes: “Minnesota, perennially blue, is now rejecting what Battleground Texas and their hero Barack Obama are selling. Half of the residents of Minnesota now disapprove of President Obama’s performance, according to a new poll. Results of The Star Tribune survey represent the first time that his approval rating has turned negative in the state since the president took office in 2009. … So Obama still has the youth vote, but Obamacare could change that once younger Americans recognize that they voted for a guy who thinks forcing them to subsidize older, mostly richer people’s health care is ‘just part of growing up.’ ”  Another keen actuarial mind at work …

At Midwest Energy News, Dan Haugen notes CenterPoint Energy backing away from an energy-conserving “decoupling” mechanism … “After a three-year pilot program that won praise from state officials and environmental groups, Minnesota’s largest natural gas utility is proposing to walk away from a concept known as revenue decoupling. … CenterPoint was the first utility in Minnesota to experiment with decoupling, which is intended to promote conservation by removing utilities’ incentive to continually increase sales. If sales are lower than projected for a given year, the utility collects the difference in a surcharge the following year. If sales exceed forecasts, the utility must refund the difference to customers.”

On Sunday, Minnesotan Barkhad Abdi — of “Captain Phillips” film fame — won the British Academy award [BAFTA] for best supporting actor. Today The Guardian offers in Q&A form a look at him and his chances in Hollywood next month:
So was the Bafta win just a fluke, then? Nope. That was his fourth award win. In total, Barkhad has been nominated for 28 different awards for his performance. …
Will it be an Oscar next? That’s less likely. Captain Phillips didn’t get as many Oscar nominations as anyone thought it would, plus his competitor Jared Leto couldn’t have given a more relentlessly Oscar-friendly performance in Dallas Buyers Club if he’d stapled a Meryl Streep mask to his face and recited Gone with the Wind in its entirety.”

I don’t know about you, but right now the last place I’m thinking of for a getaway is the North Shore. Nevertheless … Jim Buchta of the Strib says: “Ever dream of ditching your job in the city and retreating to the woods and water? Here’s your chance. The Cascade Lodge on Lake Superior — the largest freshwater lake in North America — is now on the market. For $2.7 million you get a main lodge with 10 rooms and 1 suite, along with 11 cabins, a four-unit motel, a creek chalet, a private residence and a restaurant/pub. The listing includes 13 acres and 500 feet of Lake Superior shoreline.” I suppose some day in the distant future the temperature will rise above 10 and water will be liquid again …

How do you resist a story like this? Andy Rathbun of the PiPress reports: “Amery, Wis., Police Chief Thomas Marson was arrested early Sunday morning after allegedly driving with a blood-alcohol level at nearly twice the legal limit. … When asked, Marson said he felt he was over the legal limit to drive. He was unable to recite the alphabet or complete a one-leg stand test, and a preliminary breath test showed his blood-alcohol level was .156, according to the report.” There must be a joke somewhere that begins, “So a cop pulls over a car with Wisconsin plates. Inside are the local police chief, the minister and the town drunk …”

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/17/2014 - 02:09 pm.

    It’s a math problem

    “So a cop pulls over a car with Wisconsin plates. Inside are the local police chief, the minister and the town drunk. How many people are in the car?”

  2. Submitted by Chris Bjorklund on 02/17/2014 - 02:42 pm.

    RB Holbrook Shoots and Scores

    Well played, very well played.

  3. Submitted by Judy Jones on 02/17/2014 - 03:30 pm.

    brave victims do not give up..

    It is because of the brave victims, who did not give up, that the St Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese church officials were forced to release more names of accused predator clerics.
    It takes a lot of courage to come forward and take action about being sexually abused. But keep in mind it’s extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim, some have many. So let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Robert Blumeyer, Gerald Funcheon, Kenneth Gansmann, Thomas Gillespie, Michael Kolar, Kenneth LaVan, Francisco (Fredy) Montero, James Stark, and/or Harold Walsh, will find the courage to speak up and contact law enforcement, no matter how long ago it happened.

    Now Nienstedt needs to be forced to release ALL the names of accused child predators. But he will for sure hold off until he is forced to do so by law enforcement.

    Keep in mind your 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, and all clergy

  4. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 02/17/2014 - 09:56 pm.

    “He was unable to recite the alphabet or…:

    …complete a one-leg stand test”.

    I have to ask the question:

    What if the bar was lowered to standing on TWO legs and reciting only the first 3 letters of the alphabet ??”

    Could the Amery Police Chief have passed THEN ??

    Maybe the sobriety tests in Wisconsin are too demanding.

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