MNsure website better but not yet glitch-free

Better … but not yet glitch-free. Elizabeth Stawicki of MPR says of MNsure today: “Intermittent problems with account creation continue for users of the online health insurance marketplace, and weekend fixes to a key federal component of the system appeared to trigger a new set of problems. ‘This is having a little bit of an impact on us,’ [said] MNsure executive director April Todd-Malmlov. ‘We are working with the federal government right now to evaluate that. This issue appears to be minor so we do anticipate that we will be able to get this fixed with them quickly.’ …     There is time for the exchanges to gain a foothold, said Joel Ario, former director of the federal Office of Health Insurance Exchanges. Ario, who now works as a consultant, said the time to start worrying about problems impeding enrollment is in November. ‘Here in October, most people are just going to want to browse, see what their options are, think about it,’ he said.”

On second thought … never mind, for now. Jon Collins of MPR says: “The Islamic Center of St. Cloud withdrew its application for a mosque development after hours of City Council discussion at a heated meeting that drew 500 people. As council member comments made it clear there was not support for the zoning change that would allow the project, mosque supporters pulled the proposal before the final vote. Islamic Center of St. Cloud President Abdulrashid Salad said afterward that he realized during the hearing that revising the proposal could increase its chances of passage.”

Former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is taking heat for giving a speech here in Minnesota. Hayleigh Colombo of the Indianapolis Star writes: “Does Mitch Daniels’ speaking engagement at a fundraiser hosted by a conservative Minnesota think tank cross a political line the former Indiana governor drew last year when he became Purdue University’s president? Some in the Purdue community think so. Daniels delivered the keynote address Monday at the Center of the American Experiment’s fall briefing, focusing on his major moves as Indiana governor. The group bills itself as nonpartisan but says its ‘aim is nothing less than shifting Minnesota’s intellectual and political center of gravity to the right.’ ” There’s something partisan about “shifting to the right”?

Reactions by public officials in Duluth were not exactly “mixed” to news that Jim Carlson had been convicted of multiple synthetic drug charges.  For KBJR-TV, Jeremy Brickley writes: “ ‘This is really exciting news, both for Duluth as well as for the state of Minnesota,’ said Rep. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth). … Simonson who spearheads the Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs calls Monday’s federal verdict against Jim Carlson, unprecedented and hopes this will put an end to the selling of synthetic drugs. … Duluth Mayor Don Ness, along with Police Chief Gordon Ramsay and City Attorney Gunnar Johnson, shared their relief that the long two-year battle against synthetics is now behind them. ‘An overwhelming sense of relief that his has been a very long time coming and a lot of uncertainty, a lot of uncertainty for the community, for all of those who have given so much time and energy in combating this problem,’ said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.”

This kid is a story and a half … Stribbers Rochelle Olson and Kelly Smith continue reporting on the 9-year-old stowaway to Vegas: “Before a 9-year-old boy stowed away on a flight to Las Vegas last week, he had already stolen a car, sneaked into a Bloomington water park without paying and come under the scrutiny of child protection investigators, a Hennepin County official wrote Monday. In a one-page e-mail obtained by the Star Tribune, Janine Moore, area director of the county’s Human Services and Public Health Department, told administrators and County Board members that since December 2012, county staff have conducted four child-protection assessments on the boy’s family. … The boy is known to Hennepin County Human Services staff as a ‘challenging’ child, Moore wrote. She said that two weeks ago, he stole a car and was arrested on ‘Highway 35.’ The e-mail didn’t say whether the boy was driving or where he was arrested.”

The GleanIt was The Great Escape … in fur. Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “A southeastern Minnesota mink ranch had hundreds of its animals set loose in the dead of night as part of a multistate assault by animal rights activists on an industry that serves a well-to-do clientele. The four-generation Myhre ranch east of Grand Meadow was targeted late Sunday or early Monday, setting off a scramble by workers, friends and fellow farmers to retrieve as many of the suddenly free 450 or so mink, owner Einar Myhre said Tuesday morning. Myhre said he’s been able to reclaim all but about 75 of the mink that were set loose.”

As we’ve known for some time, one side negotiating the Vikings stadium contract knew exactly what it was getting intoBrian Bakst of the AP says: “Decode the legalese and the 222-page lease agreement binding the Minnesota Vikings to 30 years or more in their soon-to-be-built stadium shows in great detail who calls the shots, who gets to cash in and who can use the place when the football team isn’t. … The Vikings will have the exclusive right to sell and profit from a pair of naming-rights deals for the new stadium and adjacent fan plaza. The contract disallows any name connected to a tobacco company, firearms firm or political entity, and gives the authority some veto power. … The Vikings pledged to put 3,250 ‘affordable’ tickets out on the market for each game, out of 65,000. What’s affordable? That depends on how much other seats cost. In short, affordable tickets can be no more than 80 percent of the average cost in the lowest-priced section.”

From last night … David Phelps of the Strib reports on the hedge funder facing justice: “James Fry, one of the chief sources of funding for the Ponzi scheme engineered by Tom Petters, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday and faces a possible prison term of 30 years or more. However, the attorney for the Mound hedge fund manager contends that his client should receive a sentence of no more than six years based on the sentences given to others in the largest financial fraud in Minnesota history. … Prosecutors noted that Fry became a rich man through the Petters relationship, earning about $40 million in fees for placing investors’ funds in the Petters operation. According to prosecutors, Fry’s wealth allowed him to build a multimillion-dollar house on Lake Minnetonka as well as purchase vacation homes, boats, expensive cars and a jet airplane.” Lord, I love a good cliché …

Long-established downtowns don’t often get a new street, much less three … Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “Actually, they’re more like old streets redone with curbs and sidewalks and other fresh touches that have been lacking for decades. Chief among them is Prince Street, the little strip of road that runs between the Black Dog Cafe and the new Central Corridor operations and maintenance facility at Fourth and Broadway streets in Lowertown. The fresh Prince Street is getting a $3.3 million makeover, and work could start this week, depending upon the weather, said city engineer John Maczko. ‘It will be a much more walkable and secure-feeling walking down there than currently exists today,’ he said.” 

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2013 - 02:52 pm.

    It ain’t over

    ’til it’s over, Duluth. I expect the appeals to be forthcoming.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2013 - 02:56 pm.

    Prince St. is what

    a few hundred yards long? You could pave it with dollar bills and still have money left over.

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2013 - 02:59 pm.

    If you’re not familiar with Prince St.

    take a look.,+Saint+Paul,+MN&hl=en&ll=44.94972,-93.083242&spn=0.000015,0.013883&sll=44.939708,-93.106053&sspn=0.215317,0.44426&oq=prince+street,+saint+paul&hnear=E+Prince+St,+St+Paul,+Ramsey,+Minnesota+55101&t=m&z=17&layer=c&cbll=44.949638,-93.08342&panoid=VU9dWkF3sXQtGu6xh8uxiw&cbp=12,104.64,,0,14.87

  4. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/08/2013 - 03:05 pm.

    Fresh Prince Street

    might belong in West Philadelphia or Bel-Air.

  5. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/08/2013 - 07:14 pm.

    Our Nine-Year-Old Adventurer

    Sounds as if he’s seen the movie “Catch Me If You Can” one too many times.

    I hope someone can channel this kid’s sense of adventure and creativity into something that will be useful both to himself and to society,…

    because could either grow up to be the next “Will Hunting,” the next Edward Snowden, the next “Ender Wiggin,” or the the leader of a new al qaida (whether in the physical world or in on line terrorism), depending on what directions he can be helped and guided to take.

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