Kind of like a black box for your head … James Walsh of the Strib has a story saying: “A new deep brain stimulation system by Medtronic can sense and record brain activity at the same time it delivers therapy to treat Parkson’s symptoms, essential tremors and epilepsy. The data collected by the Activa PC+S deep brain stimulation system will be available to researchers working to better understand how to treat neurological and psychological diseases, Medtronic said. The hope is that the new device, and what doctors learn from it, will eventually lead to development of a ‘closed loop’ system that can automatically adjust its program to meet the changing needs of the patient. Currently, medical staff have to adjust device settings manually.” I saw “The Matrix.”
KSTP-TV’s Marciella Miranda posts on Shutterfly’s interest in Shakopee: “Shutterfly wants to build its newest office in Shakopee. The Internet-based photo and publishing company is meeting Wednesday night with the Shakopee City Council to discuss plans to build a 217,000-square-foot office by 2014. Shutterfly, which is based in Redwood City, Calif., says the expansion would generate an estimated 329 jobs over the next two to five years — with 201 employees hired by next year, according to the city. The average annual wage for workers would be $18.78 per hour. Seasonal employees would add 204 more full-time equivalent positions.”
I guess if “going viral” is all that matters … The AP says: “A minor league baseball team acknowledged Wednesday that it staged a rejected marriage proposal during a recent game as a publicity stunt. The Double-A New Britain Rock Cats, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, issued a statement saying the club had two employees pretend to be a couple taking part in a between-innings trivia contest Friday. The third question in the contest was a surprise marriage proposal to which the woman on the field replies, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m sorry’ and then flees. The man then also runs off the field and into the Rock Cats dugout. A video of the stunt has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube and was the subject of several news stories, some of which questioned its authenticity. The club confirmed the hoax in a news release.”
Accountability for poor performance? Shocking. Elizabeth Stawicki at MPR reports: “Medicare will penalize about half of Minnesota’s hospitals for readmitting patients too soon after discharge, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis. The Obama administration considers readmissions within 30 days a sign that a hospital could better coordinate a patient’s care before, during and after discharge. The national average is 66 percent of all medical centers. At least 29 Minnesota hospitals will have to forfeit a small fraction of their Medicare reimbursement funding as part of a federal health care law program to clamp down on Medicare costs. It’s the second year of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.”
They better not bother me for going 79 in a 70. Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “A recent statewide crackdown on speeders in Minnesota nabbed lead-foots by the thousands, with the fastest being a middle-age man ‘airing out’ his Mustang at nearly 150 miles per hour on a remote stretch of road west of the Twin Cities. Of the 17,415 motorists ticketed from July 6-21 for driving at illegal or unsafe speeds, Richard Bernhagen led the 12 statewide who exceeded triple digits, when he was clocked on July 17 roaring along Tagus Avenue just north of Hutchinson at 148 mph in his 2001 Ford Mustang GT, according to the State Patrol.” And those things “only” had 260 horsepower.
Good piece by Kevin Giles of the Strib on the shortage of “volunteer” firemen: “Critical staffing shortages are hitting fire departments across Minnesota, leaving the ranks of many dangerously thin because far fewer people want to commit to years of demanding training exercises and unpredictable emergency calls. … Minnesota has more than 20,000 firefighters, most of them on-call volunteers who are paid only when they’re needed. They receive the same training as chiefs and their assistants, requiring long hours at firehouses, but many of them leave the job after cities invest tens of thousands of dollars in teaching them how to fight fires, save lives and operate sophisticated equipment. … Cities’ emphasis on cutting spending and taxes also has distracted residents from the life-or-death importance of firefighting.” Do any of them even offer a health insurance incentive?
Full equality means the right to divorce, too. Aristea Brady at WCCO-TV writes: “Before Aug. 1, same-sex couples were only protected under limited cohabitation laws. ‘Let’s say a couple lives together for 25 years, and one of them sacrifices their career to stay at home and raise a child, and all of a sudden after that relationship ends, the party who stayed home is left without a remedy,’ [attorney Jason] Brown said. [Dawn] Tuckner said she’s grateful the new law provides what she sees as a more fair solution. ‘Everybody makes mistakes, and we shouldn’t be punished for the mistakes we’ve made in the past based on the law,’ Tuckner said. ‘We should be able to move forward, just like everybody else can.’ Before Aug. 1, Minnesota same-sex couples petitioning for divorce had to move to another state and live there for at least six months.” But probably not Oklahoma, I’m guessing.
Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson wants an outside party to look at Minnesota’s Security Hospital. MPR reports: “The Minnesota Department of Human Services is calling for an external review of the Minnesota Security Hospital after a violent sex offender was released from the hospital in St. Peter and left on a Minneapolis street corner because of a bureaucratic error. ‘It is inexcusable and never appropriate to discharge a patient from any hospital, including the Security Hospital, and discharge them to a homeless shelter,’ Jesson said on The Daily Circuit. ‘He was discharged and that’s where he ended up — in a homeless shelter. Mistakes were made and those are inexcusable.’ Jesson called the mistakes ‘system-wide’ and said that the department’s licensing division is looking into it and she is organizing an external review, which she expects to begin soon.”
Speaking of investigations … Matt McKinney of the Strib says: “Calling for fresh investigations of the Minneapolis police department and the Terrence Franklin shooting, several black community leaders on Wednesday held a press conference on the front steps of Minneapolis City Hall to demand action after a series of troubling racial allegations against Minneapolis police officers. … The group’s demands include: An independent investigation by the state Public Safety Commission of all Twin Cities police departments and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office; the firing of officers who use racist language or excessive force; the police union’s cooperation that suspended officers be suspended without pay; and that an impartial investigation be conducted into the shooting death of Terrence Franklin, who was shot May 10.” Good luck with that.
It’s not a Denny Hecker story … but close. John Welbes of the PiPress says: “When convicted Ponzi schemer Tom Petters testifies at a hearing in October in his quest for a reduced prison sentence, there’s one more attorney who wants a chance to ask questions. Chris Madel, who’s representing Jon Hopeman — Petters’ former defense attorney — filed papers Tuesday seeking to question witnesses and present evidence. In court filings, Petters has accused Hopeman of not telling him about a plea deal offered by the government shortly after Petters’ $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme imploded in 2008. … Petters’ allegations so far are limited to the supposed plea deal. But ‘once the person takes the stand, they typically expand on the amount of wrongdoing,’ Madel said in an interview Tuesday, and he wants the ability to counter any additional claims from Petters.”
And this is the … profit. Mike Hughlett of the Strib reports,:“Cargill posted a solid fourth quarter to complete a comeback year in which its annual profit nearly doubled to over $2 billion. The Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant on Wednesday reported net earnings of $483 million for its fiscal fourth quarter ending May 31, up from only $73 million a year ago, a period that was its worst quarterly showing since 2001. Revenues in the latest quarter was $35.4 billion, up 4 percent from a year ago. Cargill, one of the world’s largest privately-held companies, is active in everything from commodity trading to meat processing to chocolate production.”