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MPR: Archbishop hid abusive-priest information

As expected … . Madeleine Baran of MPR reports, “Archbishop John Nienstedt acknowledged in sworn testimony that he took steps to hide information on abusive priests and never provided complete files to police, according to a transcript released today. Nienstedt said he had followed a subordinate’s advice that he keep no written notes of certain discussions, in case those notes should later become public in legal proceedings. He said he didn’t publicly disclose which priests were being monitored, and that he relied on others to keep parish trustees informed.” Surely, it is what Jesus would have done.

The jury heard the vivid, live audio Byron Smith recorded of his twin killings. Pam Louwagie of the Strib writes, “The crystal clear audio included the gun shots that killed 17-year-old Nick Brady and, minutes later, 18-year-old Haile Kifer as they descended the stairs to Smith’s basement on Thanksgiving Day in 2012.  … The audio continued with the sound of a gun reloading, then more deep breaths. In a quiet, low voice several minutes later, a female mumbles ‘Nick.’ Gun shots are heard again, as well as the sound of Haile Kifer falling.” That’s just the start of it.

“More than twice” the national average? Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress says, “If you’re black in Minnesota, you’re six times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than your white counterparts, even though drug use rates are similar, according to a report released Monday. The report by MN2020, which looked at FBI arrest data for 2011, showed that the racial disparity in marijuana possession arrests in Minnesota was more than twice the national average.”

A group of doctors wants to stop bills allowing nurse anesthetists to administer spinal injections. The Northland’s NewsCenter in Duluth says, “The doctors visited Duluth Monday to share their concerns over two bills in the Minnesota legislature that would allow nurse anesthetists to administer complex and complicated interventional pain procedures without the direct supervision of a doctor.  The doctors say they are not properly trained. Physicians who practice interventional pain medicine point out they go through 14 years of training…compared with seven years of training for certified registered nurse anesthetists. The doctors say patient safety is their primary concern.” Two questions: Is there an outbreak of malpractice on the part of the nurses? And, do they charge at a different rate?

That’ll be … $8 million … they say.  An AP story says, “Minnesota lawmakers are being told they’ll have to come up with millions of dollars if they want to shut down the sales of electronic lottery tickets. The potential $8 million cost is attributable to lost sales and vendor contracts that would be breached if the Legislature prohibits the Minnesota Lottery from continuing with online games.”

The GleanThe New York Times likes Al Franken’s chances for reelection. Its new post-Nate Silver data site, The Upshot, Minnesota’s Senate race is rated the “Likely Democratic” with a 4 percent chance of a GOP victory. “In addition to the latest polls, it incorporates the candidates’ political experience, fund-raising, a state’s past election results and national polling.” But then these things are always mere “snapshots.”

Coincidentally … . The AP tells us, “Anoka Republican Jim Abeler says he won’t seek re-election to his House seat as he focuses on running for U.S. Senate. Abeler, 59, a chiropractor by trade, is among several Republicans seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Al Franken.” MinnPost’s Cyndy Brucato offers her take here.

This does not cover a kitchen populated with teenage boys … .  Says the AP: “The citizens board that oversees the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency … is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to drop a requirement for large feedlots to have water quality permits under the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System if they don’t discharge manure into public waters. These operations would still be regulated via state permits under the State Disposal System.”

Oh! That Bill Cooper! At City Pages Aaron Rupar was among those wondering why a certain Bill Cooper of Wayzata, railing against taxes, wasn’t identified by the Strib as the Bill Cooper, you know, of CEO/TCF fame? Rupar called Strib editorial page editor Scott Gillespie: “… who acknowledged the decision as to whether or not to mention Cooper’s job was ‘borderline.’ ‘He had a right to write it as a private citizen,’ Gillespie says. ‘It didn’t have anything to do with TCF and his job except that he makes a lot of money out of it’.”

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 04/22/2014 - 02:26 pm.

    Byron Smith

    He literally “executed” these people.

  2. Submitted by Greg Price on 04/22/2014 - 05:38 pm.


    They were committing a crime and had done so previously.
    Age does not excuse stupidity on either part.

    Greg Price

    • Submitted by jason myron on 04/23/2014 - 07:35 am.


      Does that include lying in wait, multiple shots, taunting as they lay dying and executing them with a “good clean finishing shot”?

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/22/2014 - 06:02 pm.

    Serial response

    Perhaps, somewhere in the country, there’s a Catholic Church official more blatantly corrupt and morally bankrupt than Mr. Nienstedt, but unless / until that person’s name comes is made public, the local archbishop wins whatever prize gets awarded for behavior that, were ordinary citizens to engage in it, would be called criminal. Mr. Nienstedt not only should be banished from his current post – and any other position of responsibility for which he might otherwise be considered, including parish priest – he should be in prison. If the Ramsey County Prosecutor fails to file charges, against someone who plainly admits to obstruction of justice, not to mention aiding and abetting further pedophilia and/or sexual assault, he should be removed from office.

    Byron Smith was not a terrified homeowner. He was an assassin.

    More than twice the national average? Racism takes many forms, even in Minnesota.

    Brian’s questions about nurse anesthetists are right on the mark.

    Given the Republican field at the moment, I like Mr. Franken’s chances, too.

    Not to belabor the point too much, but ALL the water in Minnesota is public water. Feedlots and other obvious polluters should not be exempt from water quality regulations.

    And finally, Mr. Gillespie is suffering from an acute case of tone-deafness. Mr. Cooper is certainly entitled to rail against taxes – in print, on the radio, or on TV – but his role as the head of a very large bank ought to be identified. It sounds suspiciously like Mr. Gillespie is well aware of which side of his corporate bread is buttered.

  4. Submitted by Tom Thueson on 04/22/2014 - 09:17 pm.

    The Nienstedt Deposition

    When (not if) Archbishop Nienstedt resigns his position, he may be eligible for disability pay — due to the bad back he’s surely acquired from throwing subordinates under the bus.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/22/2014 - 09:39 pm.


    You mean that guy hasn’t resigned yet?

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