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Daily Glean: Battered women, bused out of town

As the ranks of the abused soar, a shelter shortage forces a Greyhound “solution.” Also: woodies that won’t die.

The Strib’s Joy Powell says metro emergency shelters are full, so Greyhound buses are carting battered woman to Bemidji, Red Wing and Albert Lea. It’s shocking but not surprising; economic hard times increase abuse and limit funding. And a quiet crisis in affordable rental housing only makes permanent relocation worse. The economics force some women to stay in abusive relationships longer. Calls to a statewide crisis line have nearly doubled since 2006.

You probably couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting some of the 121 cats in that St. Anthony mobile home, but now they’re all dead and “no-kill” shelter operators are outraged — even though they didn’t have room for them, the Strib’s Mary Elana Baca and Paul Walsh write, and neither did the Animal Humane Society, which did the deed. Demand, as much as disease, was the explanation here, but the plain fact is too many cats lack homes, especially in a recession.

More cats: KSTP notes that an Animal Humane Society official said just days ago it would take “weeks” to evaluate the felines’ medical conditions, but the PiPress’ Nick Ferraro says a Humane Society exam turned up diseases more “rampant” than originally thought.

Election contest minute: The Coleman camp wants the court to exclude 100 ballots the Coleman camp OK’d during the recount, everyone reports. They say the court excluded a bunch of similar ballots when excluding 12 of 19 absentee types last week. In the Strib, übercommentator David Schultz says this sets up a Supreme Court claim that ballots were treated unequally. (MinnPost coverage here.)

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More contest: Franken lawyer Mark Elias predicts 500 to 1,000 ballots could ultimately be added to the count. That means Coleman would have to win between 61 and 73 percent of the “new” ballots to pull off a victory.

Related, sort of: A state Senate committee approved a bill taking away vacancy appointments from the governor, the PiPress’ Bill Salisbury reports. A special election would be held 70 to 100 days after a seat opens up; political consultants and local TV stations cheer. It would not affect the current Franken-Coleman contest.

The PiPress’ Frederick Melo gets the email where Dakota County’s chief prosecutor threatened to fire the county’s medical examiner for testifying for the defense in a Washington County case. “If you wish to be a defense expert, you should not be a public official representing Dakota County as our coroner,” James Backstrom wrote. That could be witness tampering. Forensic pathologists say testifying honestly about where chips fall is simply the right thing to do.

Today’s talker: an Edina impotence clinic that allegedly sent “several” men to local hospitals with unending woodies. Competitors turned in the Parnell Clinic, the Strib’s Josephine Marcotty writes. “I think there is plenty of that business to go around,” explains one, but the clinic “is taking advantage of a vulnerable group of patients who are unlikely to complain if something goes wrong.” Not-quite-reassuringly, the clinic says problems have drooped since it hired a urologist … who was just disciplined for alcoholism.

Related because I can’t resist: Mexico City’s mayor is dispensing free boner juice as a re-election gimmick.

Talker II: Eagan principal who made a 6-year-old clean out a towel-stuffed toilet by hand may be fired, the Strib’s Sarah Lemagie reports. The principal’s attorney claims the toilet did not contain human waste, and job loss is an overdramatic response.

Oopie —a truck carrying Prairie Island nuclear-testing equipment emitted 163 times the level of radiation in a chest X-ray as it trundled down the road, the PiPress’ Leslie Brooks Suzukamo reports. (The emission standard is a mere 20 chest X-rays; don’t tailgate these vehicles.) A “radioactive particle” shifted up against the truck body, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is preparing a wrist-slap. AP says it happened in October and no one was hurt, but how do we know beyond the short-term?

Kids shouldn’t have lead-laden toys, but it’s unlikely they’ll nibble on motorcycle parts, right? An unintended consequence of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s anti-lead legislation has knocked minibikes off showroom floors, the Strib’s Herón Márquez Estrada reports. While there are probably good reasons to keep the vehicles away from the pre-teen set, Klobuchar is scrambling to undo the vote-sapping effect.

I wasn’t psyched about another Arne Carlson interview criticizing Gov. Pawlenty, but Politics in Minnesota’s Steve Perry won me over. On then-House Majority Leader Pawlenty’s reluctance to fix the budget’s structural imbalance during the Ventura era: “I remember that Rep. Pawlenty’s comment at the time was that well, we’ll grow out of it. The reality is, we grew into it.” Another fun one: “The fact that one political party can soberly say that Sarah Palin is acceptable — that stuns me.”

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The Minneapolis district admits its no-cellphone rule is impossible to enforce in schools, and thus a video of fighting middle school teens made it to YouTube, the Strib’s Patrice Relerford reports. Unsurprisingly, there’s no link to the video, which YouTube removed after Minneapolis officials contacted them.