Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Ten die in terrible weekend on Minnesota roads


It was a very nasty weekend on Minnesota roads. Ten people are dead. WCCO radio reports: “Authorities say seven people were killed in five separate crashes on Saturday. Two people are dead and and two others are injured after a crash at the intersection of County Road 40 and County Road 5, west of New London. … Two were killed after three vehicles collided in Goodhue County, where another man was injured. … Thirty-seven-year-old Jeremy Topper, of Cohasset, was killed when his pick-up truck went off the road on Highway 169, ejecting him from the vehicle. … Another crash occurred in Faribault when a southbound car went off Lyndale Avenue, near Division Street, and hit a metal power pole, killing the driver. …  Finally, one person was killed in an overnight crash on Highway 210 and County Road 33 in Otter Tail County, after two vehicles crashed.”

The Strib’s Joy Powell adds:At least two more died on Minnesota highways on Friday. Abigail Wendland, 16, of Waseca, was driving west on 22nd Avenue at 4 p.m. when she entered an intersection and was struck by a northbound semi-trailer truck. The 32-year-old truck driver was not hurt. Samuel Grossman, 55, of Cohasset, was killed when his truck, traveling east on Highway 169 at Calumet, drifted across the center line and struck a semi-trailer truck parked on the westbound shoulder.”

The OccupyMN protesters are trying to coalesce their message. Rupa Shenoy of MPR writes: “OccupyMN organizers say demonstrators agreed on a formal structure and voting process for making decisions on Saturday night. … ‘If all the Occupy movements put clear demands on Congress saying no cuts to working people, tax the rich, cut the Pentagon budget, expand the social safety net, which I think are majoritarian positions, that could have a major impact the way this movement is spreading,’ organizer Ty Moore said. ‘But that takes a lot of political cohesion and coordination to do. I don’t know if it will happen, but I think we should try.’ “

A Strib editorial demands faster forward movement on The Sunshine Act.: “Inexcusable federal foot-dragging is delaying the rollout of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act — a landmark law outing doctors’ often lucrative financial ties to industry. Less than three months before drug and medical device manufacturers are slated to start complying with the law, it’s become clear that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not made this important accountability measure an agency priority. CMS is charged with writing the rules and regulations that translate the law’s language into practical guidelines. The agency is woefully behind. … The law, which languished as a standalone bill for several years, was tucked into the 2010 federal health reform law, the Affordable Care Act. Some might be tempted to applaud the delay of any new industry regulations. That’s shortsighted. The Sunshine Act will require public disclosure of the large sums sometimes paid to medical professionals by industry. That collaboration is important for medical innovation, but there are also concerns about whether money influences doctors when it comes time to choose between new products and older drugs or devices.” I smell lobbying money.
Today in Bachmannia: To the surprise of no one, Our Favorite Congresswoman sees only good news in low poll numbers. On CNN she said: “ ‘I think we are doing a good job getting our message out on job growth and on turning the economy around,’ Bachmann said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘That’s what we’re working on. We’re not focusing on the day-to-day. Because as you have seen with many of the other candidates, candidates go up, candidates go down and what we’re very concerned about is making sure that the message gets out there, because it is not about any one of us, it is about turning the economy around and creating jobs.’ When presented with poll numbers that show her sliding among the GOP candidates, Bachmann said she wasn’t disheartened. ‘We’re just starting a kick-off today of four days here in New Hampshire and we’ve got a wonderful experience in Iowa and we’ve been in South Carolina, Florida, we’ve worked very hard and we have very strong numbers in those states.”

Over at Jezebel, Cassie Murdoch watches the CNN interview and comes away saying: “[O]ur old pal Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann stopped by CNN’s State of the Union to talk with Candy Crowley. When asked whether Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon, can be called a Christian, Bachmann did not feel like going into it. ‘This is so inconsequential as far as this campaign is concerned. We have religious tolerance in this country, and we understand that people have different views on their faith.’ Ohhhh, we do?? Tell us more, Michelle, because it sort of seems like you and many of your fellow candidates haven’t been that into the religious freedoms of certain groups of people, like, say, Muslims. To be fair, she also likes to dodge questions about whether she thinks Barack Obama is a Christian, so at least she’s consistent! When Candy Crowley pressed her, saying that the issue is not inconsequential given that conservative Christians have lots of sway in the Republican primaries, Bachmann went even further. ‘Candidates can have the faith that they want, but the beauty about America is that we do have tolerance for each one’s faith and that’s where it’s at.’ ” I dare her to say that to the Values Voters crowd.

The Wall Street Journal runs an AP story on the visit of Norway’s royal couple to Minnesota: “Norway pride is bursting ahead of an extended U.S. visit beginning this week by King Harald V and Queen Sonja. … In the Midwest, receptions featuring the royal couple quickly filled up and organizers said turnout should reach into the thousands at other appearances. The anticipation is understandable given that the region has the deepest Norwegian heritage, where former immigrants or their descendants are treating the royal visit as a can’t-miss event. … The royal itinerary is built around college campuses, landmarks and art galleries with cultural or personal significance to the king. The royal couple will be on hand for the rededication of the Enger Tower in Duluth, Minn., a five-story monument to an immigrant who became a prominent businessman; King Harald’s father first dedicated the tower in 1939. The king will spend time with the head of Minnesota’s National Guard to thank him for a 39-year troop exchange facilitating training for the Norwegian Home Guard. And they’ll help punctuate the 150-year anniversary of Luther College, a school in Decorah, Iowa, founded by Norwegian immigrants.” But … will the tabloids swoon over their fashions? Will they provide even a whiff of scandal?

The BBC notes the passing of a “giant” in medicine. “A Belfast-born physician involved in many breakthroughs in medical research spanning several decades has died. Dr. John Shepherd’s discoveries have led to new ways to treat high blood pressure and have helped astronauts withstand the rigours of space travel. The 92-year-old who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease died on Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester … He worked there since emigrating from Northern Ireland in 1957. … Colleague Dr Michael Joyner said Dr. Shepherd was one of the top cardiovascular researchers of the past half-century. ‘John Shepherd was a giant in cardiovascular physiology who built the academic medical centre at Mayo Clinic,’ he said. Dr Joyner said his work revealed how the nervous system, and not just the kidneys, was vital to blood pressure regulation. ‘He made fundamental observations about how the nerves control blood pressure, and that has led to all kinds of ideas and therapies for hypertension’, Mr. Joyner said.”

Order your pies now. A new (state) record holder is in the books. Mary Divine of the PiPress reports: “Pumpkin grower extraordinaire Chad Revier, of New London, Minn., broke the state record in pumpkin growing Saturday at Stillwater’s Harvest Fest. Revier’s pumpkin weighed 1,630 pounds — 51 pounds heavier than the state record holder he grew in 2009. But the winner of the grand prize in pumpkin weigh-off on Saturday went to Kevin Marsh, a mailman from Parker, S.D. Marsh’s pumpkin weighed 1,657 pounds and earned him a $5,000 prize. Revier’s pumpkin earned him second place and $3,500. World record holder Chris Stevens, of New Richmond, Wis., came in third this year with a 1,575-pound pumpkin. He won $2,000. Stevens set a world record at last year’s Stillwater Harvest Fest with a 1,810 1/2 pound pumpkin.”

I only wonder if he regards these as billable hours? The PiPress says: “A La Crosse attorney damaged several cars with a knife and was later spotted naked outside a hotel room, prosecutors say. On surveillance video from the Adriatic Motel, Theodore Blackey, 66, can be seen scratching seven vehicles with a knife early Sept. 10, according to a complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court. He also tried to cut a mailbox and the hotel’s doors and windows, police say. Blackey retreated to his hotel room and later emerged nude, the complaint states. Officers found a large knife stuck in his room’s bathroom wall. Blackey admitted damaging the cars but did not remember being naked.”

Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by Timothy Staggs on 10/10/2011 - 06:55 am.

    I dont feel like i should be forced to have health insurance, I think everyone would like to have health insurance if they could afford it. If you need affordable health insurance search online “Penny Health” or you dont want to be with out insurance any time.

  2. Submitted by Timothy Staggs on 10/10/2011 - 07:02 am.

    I was told by a friend that something called “Penny Health” is offering health insurance plans starting just $1 a day. That is some thing we all can agree.

  3. Submitted by terry neal on 10/10/2011 - 07:46 am.

    Why does any human think they have the power to decide another human has too much?

    At what point does it stop maybe at some point Obama will have people forced into community service because they have too much free time.

  4. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/10/2011 - 08:21 am.

    Last week, I opined that the Wall Street protest had been usurped by trade labor unions. Today, I stand corrected…the Socialists have beaten them to it.

    Organizer Ty Moore:

    You can stick a fork in it, now…

  5. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/10/2011 - 09:23 am.

    At the Republican conference this weekend they were calling the protesters anarchists. Now Mr Swift calls them socialists. I know a chemical engineer from my company who went there to support them Friday. I support them as well. I’m liberal but only to someone on the John Birch end of the political spectrum could call me a Socialist. I know others that feel the same way and don’t buy the solution that we should continue to give more of our economy to the “job creators”.

    I hope the people on the right keep up with their name calling and ignoring the worth of what these people are saying. After all someone has to protect the millionaires from the unemployed and other lower class rabble. If the opinions of these people mattered they’d be millionaire themselves so it must be safe to ignore them.

  6. Submitted by Tony George on 10/10/2011 - 09:31 am.

    Every politician who accepts money from the Koch brothers should be considered just as corrupt as the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers stole one and a half billion dollars of oil from an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. Every Minnesota politician needs to renounce the Koch brothers NOW.

  7. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/10/2011 - 09:33 am.

    #3, we all have the power to decide. I think the bigger question is when do some people finally decide that they have enough? Are the Kochs and Murdochs of the world only about accumulation of econonic resources? Why don’t people like that ever decide that enough is enough. How much of their wealth are they just holding onto or using to further establish their power and position and how much actually gets used to drive general economic activity and benefit society. There’s only so much money to go around and the more that is hoarded the less there is for the 99%. At some point the rest of us start to lose or rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because a few greedy souls are hoarding the resources. It’s called oligarchy, not anarchy, not democracy. At that point a just government should step in.

  8. Submitted by scott gibson on 10/10/2011 - 09:42 am.

    Re:Swift – Your video reference is, apparently, years old. How is this any different than if I were to find a video from a right-wing extremist showing support for some Republican candidate or Pres. Bush? It serves no purpose to find the most extreme examples and then claim that THIS is the true face of the Wall Street protests or of Obama. Part of Obama’s low approval ratings is from displeasure from the left. So which is it? Too far left? Not enough left? Folks in the middle, and I consider myself in that group, are growing tired of the intense polarization that is constantly being fostered in this country. It used to be that people from both parties could talk together without being accused of colluding or being traitorous.

  9. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/10/2011 - 10:01 am.

    Scott, Ty Moore is still a honcho in Socialist Alternative:

    And Bill, I didn’t identify him as your spokesman, Rupa Shenoy of MPR did.

  10. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/10/2011 - 10:04 am.

    I think it’s funny that some people think the worst accusation they can hurl is that of socialism. Socialism works all over the world and is currently providing a higher standard of living in countries like Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Finland. They have better health, higher incomes, and far less poverty. A little socialism could go a long way here in the U.S. what Right wingers really to need to worry about is that some day people will realize good a little socialism would be for this country. And it’s perfectly constitutional!

  11. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/10/2011 - 10:17 am.

    Mr. Swift: If one member of the Tea Party is a racist, are they all? If one person claiming to speak for the Tea Party is a racist, are they all?

    Your almost Pavlovian response to any thought to the left of your own is remarkable.

  12. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/10/2011 - 11:13 am.

    Thanks to Paul (#10) and James (#11). I can’t improve on those this morning.

  13. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/10/2011 - 11:21 am.

    James, not only have we concluded that, at least in this instance, a proud and vocal Socialist is speaking for you, we have an endorsement of the choice from Paul.

    I’d ask you to provide a similar example vis-a-vis “racism” within the Tea Party, but given the fact that among leftists, “racism” is one of those concepts that are arbitrarily re-defined to meet any criteria under discussion we’ll just skip to the chase and declare all Tea Party members are racist…each and every one, just ’cause you say so.

  14. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/10/2011 - 12:12 pm.

    I would add to Mr. Udstrands remarks on socialism the fact that, in America, we have chosen to socialize certain aspects of the common good that are less expensive and better for our society than they would be if privatized.

    What kind of national defense might we have, for instance, if Blackwater/Xe and other private mercenaries took it over? Would the government be forced to go with the lowest bidder? Or would cronies of those in power get the contract?

    If the interstate highly system disappeared, would we mind that each state had different standards and styles for road-building?

    Would we mind if there were no more national or state parks?

    After WW II General Marshall helped Europe, including a defeated Germany, to build societies that worked for the benefit of their people – not corporate or monied interests. Only now, as right-wing zealots like David Cameron attack all the programs that used to make life somewhat better for the poor, are we seeing the damage privatization of what should be publicly provided public goods can do.

  15. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/10/2011 - 02:18 pm.

    The largely-successful war being conducted by those at the top of the economic scale in order restructure our national economy and government tax and contracting policies to enable them to steal the income, the assets, the property and any hope they ever had of a comfortable retirement from the middle class,…

    and to destroy the social safety net for those below the middle class,…

    and to ensure the benefits of technology would not lead to shorter work weeks and longer vacations for the middle class, as we came to need less and less work hours to accomplish all the work that needed to be done, but would go ONLY to those a the very top,…

    has been zooming right along since the days of Ronnie Raygun.

    As has already been said, “They ONLY call it class warfare when we [who have been gradually losing more and more] fight back [against those who rearranged everything to allow them to steal it from us].”

    To all you wealthy and wannabe wealthy “conservative” class warriors out there who thought you were going to get away with taking everything away from everyone else, OWS means one, simple thing: THE JIG IS UP.

  16. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/11/2011 - 07:41 am.

    Yeah, the idea that the middle and lower classes are going to “start” a class war is absurd. The wealthy have been throwing economic hand grenades into out houses since Reagan was elected. Sooner or later people are bound to respond, and unlike the Tea Party, the middle and lower classes really are 80% of the population. The thing that has always amazed me is the middle and lower class champions of the wealthy and their failure to recognize their own best interests.

Leave a Reply