Lets hope it plays here.

October 10, 2014, 10:04 am

Franken opponent to air debate

Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) opponent is so confident he won their last debate, he’s shelling out cash to get it played on state TV.

Businessman Mike McFadden (R) squared off with Franken last week in Duluth in a debate that wasn’t aired statewide. He’s now bought an hour of time on a local TV station to re-air the debate. It will be shown starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

“Senator Franken has gone to great lengths to keep his head down, but that’s not going to stop us from ensuring that Minnesotans have a chance to see this debate,” said McFadden in a statement.

His campaign also released a video teasing clips of a few moments in the debate.

Franken has had a comfortable lead over McFadden in recent polls, with some showing a lead in the double digits.

I’m sure it will be a sweet deal for the garbage nazi…what about the taxpayers? Has anyone been contacted as a victim of her criminality?

Wappes, of Cloquet, was fired from her job on Oct. 3, 2013.

Plea deal likely in case of Carlton County worker charged with theft

By Tom Olsen on Oct 8, 2014 at 5:50 p.m.

CARLTON — A Cloquet woman accused of embezzling upwards of $1 million while working at the Carlton County transfer station is expected to plead guilty at a hearing next month.

Joanne Wappes, 63, is charged with theft by swindle and embezzlement of public funds. She appeared before Judge Robert Macaulay in State District Court in Carlton on Wednesday.

Attorneys met with the judge and informed him that there is a resolution in the matter, but asked for more time to finalize documents. Terms of the plea agreement were not disclosed.

“We’re making sure everything is in line,” Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Karl Sundquist , the case’s special prosecutor, explained after the hearing. “We want to get it all in writing.”

Macaulay scheduled a plea hearing for Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. Wappes remains free on pretrial supervised release.

The case has been plagued by delays and continuances since Wappes was charged in September 2013, as the parties have sorted through voluminous financial records and attempted to hammer out an agreement. Among the issues, a significant amount of restitution is expected to be ordered.

Wappes worked as a clerk at the transfer station for nearly three decades, collecting money from customers at the gate.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators discovered that Wappes allegedly would give some customers a false receipt for a transaction and later substitute a correct cash register tape. That resulted in a seemingly accurate tally for each day, even though the actual number of cash-paying customers who used the transfer facility was greatly in excess of the number of transactions recorded on the “legitimate” cash register tape.

Investigators reviewed various days of surveillance video and determined that “on any given day, at any given hour, the defendant could be observed manipulating the cash register using the method described to steal public funds from Carlton County,” the complaint stated. Authorities later said that the total amount of theft was believed to be in excess of $1 million.

 

 

Good question.

Wonderful, the JV team has discovered our nearly unprotected border.

Lawmaker Says ‘At Least 10′ Islamic State Fighters Have Been Captured at the Southern U.S. Border

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) said Tuesday night that U.S. border officials have caught “at least 10″ Islamic State fighters or people with ties to the group as they tried to enter the U.S. through Mexico, a claim that was immediately disputed by the Obama administration.

“I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas,” Hunter said on Fox News Tuesday night. “There’s nobody talking about it.”

When asked by host Greta Van Susteren how he knows this, Hunter said, “Because I’ve asked the Border Patrol, Greta.”

The Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman disputed Hunter’s claim on Wednesday morning.

“The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground,” said Marsha Catron. “DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.”

But Hunter’s office replied by saying Hunter was told directly by a senior official that people with ties to the Islamic State have in fact been apprehended.

“A high level source within the Border Patrol told the congressman otherwise,” said Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper. “The congressman was conveying what he knows — and what he was told. It makes sense that the left hand of DHS doesn’t know what the right hand is doing — it’s been that way for a long time and we don’t expect that to change.”

Hunter said Tuesday that the biggest risk that the Islamic State poses to Americans is by trying to enter the U.S. illegally and committing acts of terrorism.

“If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

“ISIS doesn’t have a navy, they don’t have an air force, they don’t have nuclear weapons,” he added. “The only way that ISIS is going to harm Americans is by coming in through the southern border, which they already have.”

The Obama administration has come under increased scrutiny about border enforcement in light of fears that Islamic State fighters could try to enter the U.S. through Mexico. Officials were already under fire for its effort to ease immigration rules, which many Republicans say has created even more incentive for people to try entering the country illegally.

— This story was updated at 10:37 a.m.

Sound familiar to you? Donnie Ness’ new voter block….dopers. Chicago keeps coming up, doesn’t it?

Police bust Duluth business for sale of heroin, other drugs

By Tom Olsen on Oct 6, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.

Duluth police said Monday that a 24-year-old man has been arrested for selling drugs out of a Central Hillside candy shop.
Jarrod Arteaz Hibbit was arrested Thursday at the “Chicago Style Candy and Food” shop, located at 1 W. Fourth St., following a search conducted by the Duluth Police Department and the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Police said 1.5 grams of heroin were seized, along with marijuana and hydrocodone pills.

Lt. Jeff Kazel, commander of the task force, said Monday that he was unsure if Hibbit was the shop’s proprietor or how he was involved in the business. But he said authorities received information about drug sales through an ongoing investigation.

“We know narcotics came out of that business,” Kazel told the News Tribune.

Kazel was asked if he would classify the candy shop as a front for a drug operation.

“I guess I’ll leave that up to you,” he said. “We served a drug search warrant, and we found drugs.”

Hibbit was brought to the St. Louis County Jail for fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. He was released and is expected to be formally charged by complaint, police spokesman Jim Hansen said.

The warrant was part of an ongoing investigation into heroin sales in the region. Police said additional arrests are expected to be announced at a later date.

Authorities throughout the state have made efforts in recent months to crack down on heroin sales. More than 40 people were charged with drug crimes during operation exile, a statewide heroin investigation that was revealed in May.

The store is not the first candy shop in the area to face drug-related charges. In 2007, the former owner of the “Hip Hop Candy Shop,” which was branded as a candy shop and recording studio, was charged with several charges related to drug dealing and sexual assaults. That store, which was at 105 W. Fourth St., has since been demolished.

 

Your tax dollars hard at work. What a fraud.

Taxpayers get stuck with $6.2 million tab for just 3 Obama vacations; $40m over 6 years

BY PAUL BEDARD | OCTOBER 7, 2014 | 9:55 AM

Three recent and lavish vacations by the first family cost taxpayers more than $6.2 million just for transportation and security, bringing the pleasure price for President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s trips to tens of millions of dollars since taking office, according to federal documents.

Taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets that new cost calculations for security showed that the first family’s 2012-2013 vacation to Honolulu and the first lady’s 2014 ski trip to Aspen, Colo., reached nearly $1 million.

The Feds also coughed up the cost for flying the first lady to Aspen this year: $34,962.

In total, said Judicial Watch, transportation and security for the Obama’s Christmas 2012-2013 trip to Hawaii, their 2013 summer vacation to Martha’s Vineyard and her trip down the slopes last winter came in at $6,223,074.24.

RELATED: Cha-ching: Cough up another $2.85m to fuel Obama’s 3-day fundraising trip

Judicial Watch, which has used the Freedom of Information Act and lawsuits to uncover Air Force travel and Secret Service security costs of presidents for years, said that since taking office, the Obamas and Vice President Joe Biden have charged taxpayers over $40 million for vacations.

“The Obamas continually abuse the public trust and raid the taxpayers’ coffers for unnecessarily luxurious and incessant vacations and travel,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“The very fact that we repeatedly must file Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits to obtain this information reveals that the ‘most transparent administration in history’ knows that its behavior is extravagant and, therefore, seeks to cover it up,” he added.

RELATED: Sweet spot: Obama nears 200 days golfing, could reach 199 during Vineyard vacation

The costs do not include the price of prepositioning security assets, helicopters and ships near the vacation and business trip sites, food, housing, or money spent for staff accommodations and travel.

The report on the high cost of the long trips comes as the Secret Service is under fire for security lapses in protecting the first family and Fitton suggested that the Obama travel schedule might have something to do with that.

“One can only imagine how this unnecessary travel saps the budget and morale of a Secret Service that cannot even secure the White House complex, and had trouble keeping the president secure even when he’s traveling on important government business,” he said.

The details from Judicial Watch:

— Secret Service security for the Obamas’ 2012-2013 Hawaii Christmas vacation cost taxpayers $566,093.09.

— Security for the Obamas’ 2013 vacation to Martha’s Vineyard cost taxpayers $371,394.85.

— Transportation for the first lady’s 2014 ski-trip in Aspen cost taxpayers $34,962.30.

— Air Force travel documents revealed that Obama incurred $5,250,624 in flight expenses alone for his 2013 vacations to Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard.

Prior cost totals from Judicial Watch

— The president’s golf outings this year to Key Largo, Florida, and Palm Springs, California, cost $2,952,278 in flight expenses.

— The most lavish expenditure on record was for the Obamas’ 2013 Africa trip and Honolulu vacation, which cost taxpayers $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses alone.

— The single largest expense for accommodations was for Michelle Obama’s side-trip to Dublin, Ireland, during the 2013 G-8 conference in Belfast, when she and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel, with the first lady staying in the 1500 square-foot Princess Grace suite at a cost of $3,500 a night. The total cost to taxpayers for the Obamas’ Ireland trip was $7,921,638.66.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted atpbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

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But…its for the kids, right?

Visitation School coach had sex with student, 15, charges say

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com

POSTED:   10/06/2014 12:01:00 AM CDT
UPDATED:   10/06/2014 10:41:14 PM CDT

 

Daniel Erik Hubbard-Wilson (Courtesy of Ramsey County sheriff)

Daniel Erik Hubbard-Wilson (Courtesy of Ramsey County sheriff)

 

A coach at Visitation School in Mendota Heights has been charged with criminal sexual conduct after having sex with one of his students, a 15-year-old girl, according to a criminal complaint.

The Ramsey County attorney’s office charged Daniel Erik Hubbard Wilson, 27, on Monday, alleging that he first became sexually involved with the girl in September 2013.

The girl gave police the names of three other young women with whom Wilson said he had been romantically involved. Details about the others were not provided in the complaint.

Wilson sent a text message to the girl’s father Friday, saying, “I fell in love with her so tremendously and I never should have at this time.”

He continued, writing, “But please, my whole life would be destroyed … I could never get a job or move on and go back to grad school.” He wanted a chance to “reinvent” himself and learn from the mistake, he said.

The father petitioned for a harassment restraining order against Wilson on behalf of his daughter Sept. 26, saying Wilson was “obsessed” with the girl.

The father included in the petition other text messages. Wilson referred to his actions as bad “timing,” referring to the girl’s age. He begged for a meeting to talk with her father, “whether you have a baseball bat or I get hit or slapped 100 times.”

The head of school at Visitation confirmed in a written statement Monday that Wilson had coached there since August 2010. He was placed on leave Sept. 23 after concerns were raised about an inappropriate relationship with a minor, Dawn Nichols said.

He resigned the next day, citing “family reasons,” Nichols said.

Wilson also coached the last three spring seasons at Highland Park Senior High in the St. Paul Public School District, and officials there received no complaints about him, spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said. Hiring has yet to take place for spring 2015, she said, but “(i)t seems very unlikely that he would be hired again to coach” in St. Paul schools.

In an online blog, which has since been removed, Wilson said that he also coaches at Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota and at Powderhorn Park with the Minneapolis parks department. He attended South High School in Minneapolis, he said. He is also a certified personal trainer.

According to the complaint:

The father of the victim confronted her last month about a relationship he suspected she was having with her coach. She confirmed the relationship was sexual.

It began when she made arrangements to visit his St. Paul home after homecoming in 2013. After cuddling on his bed and watching a movie, they began kissing, she told police. Over the next several weeks, the contact progressed to digital and oral sex on “multiple occasions” before her 16th birthday.

After she turned 16, they engaged in intercourse and talked about the fact that he could go to jail for what he was doing.

The girl told her “five best friends” about the relationship, “but she did not think that her friends would ever tell anyone about the information they had learned,” the complaint said.

When police tried Saturday to question Wilson, he asked for an attorney and the interview ended.

As a St. Paul police investigator was gathering his files, Wilson said, “I love her, and I know I can’t get into much else, but … I … I did, and …,” according to the complaint.

Wilson was charged with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He made a court appearance and was being held late Monday afternoon at the Ramsey County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Visitation School followed the law regarding reporting abuse of a minor, the head of school said.

Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522.

 

More local thuggery.

Cloquet man charged after attacking and biting man

By Wendy Johnson on Oct 3, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.
A Cloquet man who allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house while she was sleeping and beat up her male companion has been charged with felony first-degree burglary and fifth-degree misdemeanor assault.
Joshua Ray Houska, 28, was charged in Carlton County Court last Thursday. Judge Robert Macaulay granted Houska’s request for a public defender and set bail at $4,000 bond or $400 cash. He also ordered that Houska not have any contact with the victims. 

According to the criminal complaint filed in the incident, on Sept. 24 Cloquet police officers responded to the 1500 block of Cloquet Avenue. Officers first encountered the female resident who had summoned police. In an upstairs bedroom, they located a male friend of the woman and Houska. Officers reported that it was obvious the two men had been fighting.

Police learned that Houska was a former boyfriend of the woman, that they had previously broken up and that he no longer lived at the residence. They also learned that he did not have permission to enter the residence that evening.

The woman and her male friend told police that they had been sleeping in the upstairs bedroom when Houska entered the residence and came up to the bedroom. When the woman’s male companion awoke and saw Houska he reportedly asked, “What’s up?” Houska responded by saying, “What’s up?” and then proceeded to punch the other male while he was still in bed. The male then jumped out of bed and the two began to fight, with Houska allegedly biting the other male several times. The male managed to pin Houska down while the female ran out of the room to call police.

Officers photographed several bite marks on the male victim, as well as a cut above his left eye.

Houska was then placed under arrest and searched. During the search, officers discovered a “one-hitter” pipe as well as a four-month-old breakup letter from the female.

After Houska was taken to the law enforcement center and interviewed further, the complaint states he provided a different account of the evening’s events and stated he was invited to come over to the house via text message.

Houska is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Carlton County Court on Thursday, Oct. 2.

Your tax dollars hard at work. Was anyone fired? Doubtful.

BLM Employees Charged Taxpayers $799,000 for ‘Gift Cards’

October 3, 2014 – 3:09 PM
(CNSNews.com) —  Wildfire management employees at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) used government charge cards to by $799,000 worth of gift cards from vendors such as REI, American Express, FredMeyer and Visa, according to a report released Sept. 30 by the Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General.When investigators requested supporting documentation such as purchase orders, receipts, and authorizing signatures, BLM staff claimed that they were “missing,” according to the report.

The inspector general describes widespread misuse of government-issued charge cards at the agency, making the “purchase card program susceptible to fraud, waste, and abuse.”

In 2010, BLM conducted an agency-wide audit of the purchase card program. Auditors traced $70,000 of the undocumented purchases to the Idaho State Office, where one employee was found to have purchased personal items and gift cards totalling  $41,276.33.

In May 2011, the investigation resulted in the suspension of BLM employee Maria Gilbert’s government credit card.  On Sept. 13, 2013 Gilbert was charged with one count of theft of government funds between 2007 and 2011, to which she pleaded guilty.

Two months later, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon sentenced Gilbert to two years of probation and six months of home detention for embezzling funds from the BLM’s Salem District Office. She was also ordered to pay full restitution totaling $41,276.33.

However, the remaining $757,723.67 of undocumented gift card purchases was not accounted for in the IG report.

In addition, the Carson City District in Nevada was unable to provide the investigators with timesheets, crew time reports, or firefighter time reports for a series of fires in 2010. The report described these inadequacies as making it “impossible to verify the accuracy of most payroll charges.”

It was also discovered that at least one employee in the BLM’s Southern Nevada District charged time to a fire nearly nine months after the blaze had been put out. In another incident, $3,200 of janitorial services was charged by Carson City District employees to “fire suppression” of several different fires that occurred in another state.

The BLM demonstrated “grossly inadequate” payroll controls, “weak internal controls over purchase cards, and poor compliance with Federal policy,” the inspector general concluded.

Inspectors also found problems with BLM’s fire codes. Every BLM employee charges expenses to a unique fire code associated with a specific wildfire.

But the IG report found that “internal controls related to how BLM associates costs with specific fires were inadequate to ensure that money was spent according to its allocated purpose.”

This lack of internal controls resulted in 26 individuals charging their time to one tree fire in the Carson City District. The overstatement of fire-fighting costs approached 95 percent, the IG report noted.

In response to the IG’s findings, BLM released a “desk reference” entitled Standards for Fire Business Management, referred to as the “Orange Book,” which directs employees on standards and ethics for fire-related business.  BLM says it will also “review progress on charge card controls in accordance to the Integrated Charge Card Manual (BLM 1512).”

BLM Director Neil Kornze acknowledges that the “Orange Book” will not solve all of the problems plaguing the BLM, but says it does represent “measurable progress.” The agency is currently considering more plans to tighten up its accounting procedures, which it plans to implement by January 2016.

 

Pretty refreshing to read this opinion piece from a political candidate.

Candidate’s view: Government should serve, not mandate

By Tim Hafvenstein on Oct 2, 2014 at 12:05 a.m.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a conservative. But I am not what you would call a “politician.” I have been married to my wife, Cindy, for 32 years and have three children: Stephen, Kara and Aaron. We have been residents of Cloquet since 1996. I taught in the Esko school district as an industrial technology education teacher for 10 years and then was released when the “shop program” was dropped.

I am presently an unemployed schoolteacher making ends meet by working as a substitute teacher during the school year and as a maintenance director at Covenant Park Bible Camp during the summer.

Minnesota is a great state with great potential where, given freedom, motivation and the right opportunity, people can and will do greater things than they did in the past. But those motivations, opportunities and freedoms are being eroded by legislators presently in office who are passing laws that take away more of our hard-earned money, take away more of our God-given freedoms and give government greater control over our lives.

Government is supposed to be our servant, not our master. It is supposed to guarantee our freedoms, not take them away. It is my firm belief that elected officials are to serve and represent their people, not rule over them.

It’s time for us to return our state government to its rightful role as a servant and not a master. And that is why I am running for the Minnesota House. It is my desire to work to return our great state to the traditional, conservative values upon which it was founded and upon which a majority of its citizens base their lives — values such as honesty, integrity, fairness, faithfulness, hard work and personal responsibility.

So where do I stand on the issues? I am pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage and pro-2nd Amendment. Government is too big and too powerful, taxes too much and spends too much. Corporate and small business tax rates should be reduced in order to spur the economy. Property taxes should be eliminated. MNsure, Minnesota’s version of Obamacare, is a total failure and should be scrapped. Common Core is a disaster and should be repealed.

If you agree with me on these issues, even if you are a Democrat, then vote for me, Tim Hafvenstein, on Nov. 4.

May God bless you.

Tim Hafvenstein of Cloquet is the Republican candidate on Nov. 4 to represent Minnesota House District 11A.

What about Rep. Sundin? The News Tribune also invited Hafvenstein’s opponent on Nov. 4 — Minnesota House District 11A incumbent Mike Sundin, a DFLer — to submit a commentary about his candidacy. Sundin didn’t respond.