Former Archbishop Nienstedt ‘dumbfounded’ by allegations of personal misconduct

Archbishop John NienstedtArchbishop John Nienstedt

The same word was applied by a lot of other people, too. A Strib team of Paul McEnroe, Jean Hopfensperger and Tony Kennedy reports, “Former Archbishop John Nienstedt said he remains ‘dumbfounded’ by the allegations of personal misconduct that emerged last year during an internal church investigation of his behavior — a report that the archdiocese now is considering making public. ‘It pains me deeply that my good name and reputation have been put into question by allegations that are entirely false and based wholly on rumor, hearsay, or innuendo,’ said Nienstedt last week, in written responses to questions from the Star Tribune.” 

Also in the Strib: Dan Browning on one well-remunerated public employee. “No state employee works longer hours than Abu Kamara. In the past five years, the 59-year-old ‘security counselor’ at the Minnesota State Security Hospital in St. Peter has worked an average of nearly 74 hours a week, year-round. No other state employee comes close. … Kamara made $301,557 in overtime over five years, which amounts to about 54 percent of his $553,315 in total wages. The overtime will roll into his retirement payments. Kamara said his future pension earnings played a minor role in his accepting so many overtime assignments. ‘Some things are bigger than yourself,’ Kamara said. ‘My main driving force is … I am providing for my family.’ A native of Sierra Leone, Kamara has used his earnings to support 27 nieces and nephews, whose fathers were killed by rebels in the West African country, as well as seven of his own children — ages 9 to 33 — in the United States.”

Who wants to prorate the cost of the pot bureaucracy? At WCCO-TV, Esme Murphy says, “Three weeks into the rollout of Minnesota’s medical marijuana program, the number of patients enrolling continues to be lower than many expected. So far, only 183 patients have been approved in the registry to pick up their prescriptions. Supporters of medical cannabis blame the slow start on the fact that many Minnesota doctors say they are not willing to sign up their patients.”

Three years. Another quarter of a billion dollars. Pretty soon you’re talking real money. At the sports site SBnation, Christopher Gates breaks down the annual Forbes list of sports franchise valuations. “According to this year’s list, the Vikings are worth $1.15 billion, tying them with the Atlanta Braves and the Dallas Mavericks for #49 on the list. That’s a far cry from just three years ago, when the team was valued at ‘only’ $796 million.The NFL dominated the list of the most valuable sports franchises, as 20 of the 32 NFL teams are in the top 51 on the list. They were followed by Major League Baseball (10), the NBA (8), and soccer (7).”

The writers behind “Arrested Development” ought to consider a series based on the Lake Elmo City Council. In the PiPress, Bob Shaw says, “Lake Elmo City Council member Anne Smith has been hit with a political smear —a faked photo on Facebook showing her with a Confederate flag. Smith said Wednesday that she was appalled when she saw the photo a day earlier. … Smith said that linking her to the flag is an attempt to politically wound her. ‘The purpose is to defame and embarrass me into resigning,’ Smith said. ‘I have done nothing wrong, and I am not going to resign.’ In September, Jill Lundgren, an ally of Smith, also fell victim to an online hoax as she ran for Lake Elmo City Council: A website — — had been set up to post lies and half-truths about her.”

Until it is blotted with bird carcasses, Dave Campbell of the AP brings fans up to speed on the new roof over the Vikings. “Ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene. It’s not one of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s audible calls, nor is it a term for a three-wide receiver set in the Vikings offense. Look higher for the clues to this tongue-twister, all the way up to the roof of Minnesota’s new stadium. Sixty percent of the colossal venue, some 248,000 square feet of it, will be covered solely by this transparent material called ETFE. The space-age product, scientifically categorized as a copolymer plastic, lets in light like glass would. It’s just lighter, cheaper and cleaner.”

Who said e-pulltabs? MPR’s Martin Moylan writes, “The Minnesota State Lottery is on track to deliver record proceeds to the state this year. Preliminary data indicate that sales for the lottery last year were the second-highest ever, at $547 million. The state’s proceeds hit a record $135.3 million. Lottery director Ed Van Petten said sales of scratch-off lottery games were strong, with a game based on the television show ‘The Walking Dead’ emerging as a player favorite.” I’m biting my lip instead of blurting out a dumb zombie joke.

And for the moment the griz is still on the other side of the glass. The Strib’s Paul Walsh says, “A dozen days after a Minnesota Zoo grizzly bear repeatedly bashed and obliterated a glass pane with a rock, the suspected perpetrator and his two pals are back before their adoring fans. Zoo staff in Apple Valley have temporarily mended the glass from the damage wrought on July 6. A permanent fix will be made in the fall, zoo officials said Saturday, after the peak season subsidies.”

Another reason we’re not Florida. The AP says, “More than a dozen states are weighing the budgetary pressures of health care program enrollment that has swelled well beyond projections. That effect has been muted in Minnesota, where many low-income residents were already covered by another subsidized program called MinnesotaCare … . Minnesota estimates growing enrollment of childless adults will result in a $15 million higher bill in the 2017 fiscal year.”

Stribber Paul Walsh says, “A Shoreview man convicted of sexual assault and kidnapping as part of his plan to force a 15-year-old girl to marry him has been sentenced and could be free in about three years. Kong M. Xiong, 22, was sentenced last week in Ramsey County District Court to a five-year term. With credit for time served, Xiong could be let out of prison in July 2018 and serve the remainder of his time on supervised release. According to the charges: On March 28 in St. Paul, Xiong dragged the girl into his car and drove off in an attempt to force her into marrying him in accordance with traditional Hmong marriage customs.”

Why I prefer to drive if I have half a choice. At NBC, Phil LeBeau says: “Despite grumblings from passengers about additional charges, revenue from checked bags, changed reservations and a host of other additional fees jumped nearly 21 percent to an all-time high of $38.1 billion, according the annual study by IdeaWorksCompany and CarTrawler. … Among the largest airlines in the world, United collected the most in ancillary fees, topping $5.8 billion, according to IdeaWorks. It was followed by American/US Airways at $4.65 billion, and Delta with more than $3.2 billion.” What word am I thinking of? “A person who is easy to trick: a stupid or foolish person.”  

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/20/2015 - 06:49 am.


    Phrasing it as gently as I can, ‘twould appear that – at numerous levels – the former archbishop has not been paying attention. For quite a few years.

  2. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 07/20/2015 - 08:40 am.

    The Viking’s….

    increase in value is due to the new stadium at the expense of the taxpayers of this state. Crony capitalism at its finest.

    For a mediocre performing franchise they sure are successful in other areas.

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/20/2015 - 09:00 am.

    Until it is blotted with bird carcasses

    The topmost of the three layers of this material is fritted.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/20/2015 - 09:02 am.

    Who said e-pulltabs?

    My thanks to those engaging in the voluntary payment of this tax.

    “The Minnesota State Lottery is on track to deliver record proceeds to the state this year. Preliminary data indicate that sales for the lottery last year were the second-highest ever, at $547 million. The state’s proceeds hit a record $135.3 million.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 07/20/2015 - 09:46 am.

    The Old Bish

    Even if the personal allegations against Nienstedt prove to be true, that takes a back seat to the damage he has done to the local church, not mention the children that were harmed by his appointment of Curtis Wehmeyer as pastor of Blessed Sacrament.

    The psychology of this man must be fascinating, the way he still just does not get it. Perhaps he gave great thought to yesterday’s Old Testament reading regarding shepherds who have scattered their flocks. A timely reading indeed.

  6. Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 07/20/2015 - 12:23 pm.

    You’re welcome, Zygi

    Glad to double the value of your investment.

    Minnesota Taxpayers

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