Ramsey County Attorney files criminal charges against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

Jean Hopfensperger at the Star Tribune reports the office of Ramsey County Attorney John Choi will file criminal charges against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: “In a noon news conference Choi said the charges stem from the archdiocese’s handling of complaints about former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who is now serving a prison term for abusing two boys while he was pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul. Choi said church officials failed to enforce their own restrictions for Wehmeyer.”

Curtis Gilbert at MPR News reports the Minneapolis City Council may take up the issue of landlords denying rental applications to citizens receiving housing subsidies: “Dave Holt manages about 75 rental properties in Minneapolis. Many of the property owners he works for don’t currently accept Section 8 vouchers, and he says the city shouldn’t force them to. ‘Requiring a landlord to accept a program that now creates more paper work, more administration, more cost is not fair,’ Holt said.” Council Member Elizabeth Glidden has given formal notice that she’ll introduce a measure banning such bias.

Also at MPR News, Nancy Yang asks the difficult questions of how to kill and dispose of thousands of birds on Minnesota farms to prevent the further spread of the avian flu: “Because turkeys aren’t caged, a water-based foam containing carbon dioxide is pumped into an infected barn. The bubbles rise until they reach about 2 1/2 or 3 feet from the ground, enough to go over the birds’ heads, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. The foam eventually dries into a dust. Depending on the size of the flock, the euthanasia process usually lasts a few hours.”

You can recognize the rare spitting tree-lurker by its plumage. Jim Hammerand of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has a post on the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce mobilizing members against the repeal of lurking and spitting laws: “‘The Chamber stands with Council President Johnson on this issue,’ Klingel wrote in an email newsletter to members. ‘We are about to embark on a $50 million reconstruction of Nicollet Mall (1/2 of the money provided by business). I, for one, do not want to see this effort to make Minnesota’s main street more inviting thwarted because people are allowed to lurk in the trees and spit on the lovely new surfaces.‘”

Release the swimming monkeys: For this year’s Wizard of Oz Festival, the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids is promoting an underwater search of the Tioga Mine pit. Rumor has it one of four pairs of ruby slippers, stolen while on loan to the museum in 2005, was tossed in the pit. Michael Creger of Forum News Service reports: “John Kelsch, director of the Judy Garland Museum, said the dives are a response to a long-held rumor that the slippers were ‘sealed in Tupperware with weight inside’ and tossed into the deep, water-filled pit. ‘People are excited,’ he said. ‘It may solve the case or maybe someone will come forth.’ “

It’s not just about sitting in your cubicle getting a sugar rush: Tracy Mumford at MPR News delves into the history behind National Doughnut Day: “National Doughnut Day began as a way to honor the ‘doughnut lassies’ — women who volunteered with the Salvation Army to bring doughnuts and coffee to soldiers on the front lines. According to the Salvation Army, 250 volunteers traveled to France during the war to provide home-cooked meals, letter-writing supplies and, of course, doughnuts, to troops.”

In other news…

Pay less: After the biggest headquarters layoff in company history, Target execs reach out to local civic leaders. [Star Tribune]

All-female addiction and chemical dependency treatment program in Carlton salvaged. [Duluth News Tribune]

UnitedHealth funds renovation of historic Minneapolis apartments for the homeless. [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

Revising Friday’s jobs report: St. Paul Winter Carnival’s Vulcanus Rex resigns. [Pioneer Press]

No bikes or beer, but still great: The Minnesota State Fair’s 2015 poster by Twin Cities artist Adam Turman has been unveiled. [h/t @justplainbob]

Plane that led D-Day invasion discovered in Wisconsin. [NewsCut]

City Pages is not bringing back its 10 Thousand Sounds music festival this summer. [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/05/2015 - 04:14 pm.


    “Ramsey County Attorney files criminal charges against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis”

    It’s about time. In fact, it’s way past time…

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 06/06/2015 - 02:55 pm.

      Agree. The prosecution of the leadership is in order.

      But amazingly, the criminality alleged here is in the misdemeanor category, if I read the news right.

      It seems to me it’s more serious than a misdemeanor when the church is a virtual co-conspirator in the felonies its priests commit – by its coverup; by introducing the risk of these predators to new victims as they shuffled these guys around from place to place without warning the communities; by not removing them from their practice as priests.

      But maybe this case will embolden other prosecutors around the country to initiate similar prosecutions. This is a massive institutional problem.

  2. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 06/06/2015 - 05:40 pm.

    Who do you trust

    If the act of criminality against decadent priests is finally to be consistently sentenced in court and incarcerated for such unacceptable acts of grand betrayal against children, teens etc, let it begin.

    Secondary considerations:
    Confess to a confessor who also?… is this to be the beginning of the end of that structural icon of the church …the confessional booth?

    “Forgive me father for I have sinned.”
    “Me too.”

  3. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 06/07/2015 - 08:53 pm.

    As long…

    as the Catholic Church refuses to marry gays, denies their priests the opportunity to marry and does not allow women into the clergy they will be under the microscope. Anyone thinking that abuse toward young boys (and girls) is not happening in the Lutheran or other churches is delusional.

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