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Dayton: Minnesota Board of Nursing ‘asleep at the switch’

Berlin reporter talks about Nazi story; reforming sex-offender program a legislative task; new metro lakes “impaired”; sheriff’s office “hostility” alleged; SNAP-Ed cuts ahead; and more.

An apt description I’d say … Brandon Stahl and Baird Helgeson of the Strib report: “Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday that some members of the Minnesota Board of Nursing have told him they do not feel qualified to question the board’s staff when it recommends discipline for nurses accused of misconduct. Calling the Nursing Board ‘asleep at the switch,’ the governor said that dramatic steps may need to be taken to change its culture. He also said the Nursing Board staff’s statements at a legislative hearing last week that it needed more authority were ‘finger-pointing’ and ‘very difficult to believe.’ … In an analysis of thousands of Nursing Board records, the Star Tribune has reported how some nurses have kept their licenses despite neglecting patients, stealing drugs from them or practicing while impaired. A member of the Nursing Board presides over each disciplinary hearing, and participates in the decision on how to sanction the nurse.”

For KARE-TV, John Croman interviews the Berlin-based AP reporter driving the story of the local man accused of SS atrocities: “David Rising, an Associated Press reporter based in Berlin, said Monday he stands behind the war crimes investigation leading to an aging Minneapolis man. … In the latest development Rising uncovered a 1968 statement made by Private Ivan Sharko, a member of the same unit. Sharko, who died 20 years ago, told Ukrainian investigators that Karkoc ordered the attack on the village of Chlaniow. ‘Sharko specifically testified that Karkoc not only was at scene of the massacre in 1944 but also ordered his troops to attack the village,’ Rising told KARE. ‘He did not specify that they’d been ordered to kill men, women and children. But what we do know is that they did in the end kill more than 40 civilians in the massacre.’ “

The threat is that a judge will do what the Legislature can’t. Patrick Condon of the AP says: “The chairman of the Senate’s judiciary panel warned Monday that if Minnesota lawmakers don’t reform the state’s imperiled sex offender treatment program in their upcoming session, a judge may do it for them. Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Latz urged quick action to avoid an embarrassing legal finding that the state is unconstitutionally detaining some former sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences. Other lawmakers raised an even more primal fear: that such a ruling could result in the sudden release of sex offenders whom the state has kept in custody for years out of concern they still represent a threat.”

The quality of a few metro lakes is not all that good. Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR says: “Popular Twin Cities lakes that have long been considered “impaired” because of algae and contaminants are now facing another pollutant: road salt. Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, Como Lake in St. Paul and Medicine Lake in Plymouth were among a couple dozen lakes added to a draft of the state’s ‘impaired waters’ list on Monday for having too much chloride.”

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And yet another story that isn’t all that surprisng … . Brandt Williams of MPR reports: “The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has for decades had a work environment that is hostile to black women, say [Lt. June] Johnson and a former officer who complain of persistent sexual harassment and discrimination. In October,  Johnson … filed a race and gender discrimination complaint against the office with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Since then, Valerie Namen, a former sheriff’s deputy, has come forward to voice similar complaints. … White, male-dominated workplaces are often the setting for gender and race-based harassment claims, said Johnson’s attorney, Kathryn Engdahl. However, she said law enforcement agencies are generally no more likely than other male-dominated offices to spawn complaints. Often, police agencies work hard to change the culture.”

The GleanAlso at MPR, Dan Kraker asked around about why people hunt … “So are ‘hipsters who hunt’ a growing trend? Maybe. On the East Coast there are hunting classes for locavores. A new study shows increased interest in hunting for ‘green’ food and to save money. In Minnesota, the tradition of hunting is still robust.  License sales have increased slightly over the past five years, to more than 520,000 last year. The vast majority of those hunters likely were brought into the sport by family and friends. But for some, it’s also about the satisfaction of knowing that meat on your table is something they harvested from the woods, not something they picked up at the grocery store.”

Washington obstructionism … killing jobs in bunches. The Strib’s Maura Lerner writes: “The University of Minnesota is cutting about 40 percent of the staff in a federally funded program that teaches low-income Minnesotans about healthful eating and nutrition. The program, known as SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Education Program), will lose 67 of its 152 employees early next year as a result of federal budget cuts, the university announced Monday. Until now, the program has sent nutrition educators to virtually every county in Minnesota to work in schools, food shelves and senior citizen centers, said Bev Durgan, the University’s Extension dean, who oversees the program. After the cutbacks, 45 educators will be left to cover the state’s 87 counties.”

Points for charity … . Rachel Stassen-Berger at the Strib says: “Jeff Johnson, a Republican candidate for governor, and his wife earned $227,000 last year and paid $55,000 in federal, state and other taxes, according to information he released to the Star Tribune. … Republican candidate for governor Scott Honour is expected to release his tax information this week, according to his campaign. Kurt Zellers, a fourth Republican candidate and a current state House member, has yet to fully respond to the Star Tribune’s request for his tax records. Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner, and wife donated $14,205 last year, according to his federal tax form.”

Ours are Nos. 7 and 26! The Daily Meal’s list of the 50 best bakeries in the country, include two local shoppes. Vivian Mac writes: “To determine the best of the best, we took a look at more than 1,400 bakeries in our quest to find America’s 50 best bakeries. … As a metric by which to judge a bakery, pastry chef and food writer Ed Morita tries the croissant whenever he visits one for the first time. ‘If the croissant is flaky, then it is usually a good indicator that that attention to detail transfers into the other areas of the bakery,’ he said.
7) Salty Tart, Minneapolis
Located in the Twin Cities’ Midtown Global Market, Salty Tart has been serving sweets and savories for the past five years. Chef Michelle Gayer is known for her ‘crack-a-roons,’ or coconut macaroons, which Andrew Zimmern deemed better than his mom’s. …
26) Patisserie 46, Minneapolis
Minneapolis’ Patisserie 46 offers fancy pastries without the froufrou. John Kraus, the award-winning, nationally acclaimed chef and owner, opened the bakery in 2010, with the goal of creating a neighborhood spot where people could connect over good food.”
Not bad, especially when you see that Ferrara’s in NYC is … 27th.