It’s deadline time for MNsure. At the PiPress Christopher Snowbeck reminds procrastinators: “Q: If I don’t sign up for coverage Monday, can I do so Tuesday or later? A: After March 31, many won’t have another chance to purchase coverage until the next open enrollment period opens Nov. 15. Policies bought at that point would take effect Jan. 1. There will be some exceptions. After Monday, people still will be able to enroll in the state’s Medicaid and MinnesotaCare health insurance programs. There’s also a chance to buy coverage after March 31 in the case of ‘life events,’ such as the loss of job-based coverage, marriage or the birth of a child.” Blowing your knee out playing pick-up basketball is NOT a “life event.”
Government employees: What are they good for? Pam Louwagie of the Strib writes: “Jim Brandt’s steel-toed boots treaded nimbly across the railroad ties as he scanned the track around him for loose bolts, unfastened clips, gaping switches — anything that could prove dangerous for massive trains. Everything looked good, he confirmed with a quick nod; time to move on. The rest of the state’s 4,500 miles of rail awaited. About 150 trains a day rattle throughout Minnesota, the eighth-largest rail network in the country. The mild-mannered Brandt is the only state inspector overseeing those tracks for safety.” And he probably gets a pension!
Speaking of…Go ahead, hold your breath. The AP story says: “Minneapolis teachers have ratified a contract with the school district that takes steps toward smaller class sizes…The union says it includes a class-size target of 18 students for grade K-3 in high-priority schools and a commitment to bring all class sizes down over time.”
As you would expect… Doug Belden of the PiPress says: “When state lawmakers rushed to approve $20 million in emergency heating aid in February, there was lots of talk about coming back to address the deeper structural issues that contributed to the severe propane shortage and consequent price spike. With two committee deadlines now come and gone, the bill that’s had the most hearings would protect consumers but would do little to avoid the shortages. Of the two other bills making headway at the Capitol, one simply calls for a study and the other’s fate is doubtful.” Let’s wait until it’s 25 below again.
Here’s the conservative Daily Caller reporting the push to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (and her $150,000 fee) from speaking at the U of M. Says Eric Owens, the site’s education editor: “A small group of angry white liberals is trying to force the administration at the University of Minnesota to revoke a speaking invitation extended to Condoleezza Rice because she played a role in the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.…The two white people attempting to block Rice’s appearance at the University of Minnesota are math professor William Messing and undergraduate student Nick Theis.” You did catch the race cards, right?
When life without parole…isn’t. Callie Sacarelos of the Strib writes: “Roman Nose, convicted of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced to life in prison without hope of parole — or so the Stuedemann family thought. Now, because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Jim and Jeanne Stuedemann and their surviving daughter, Jessica, find themselves living the nightmare all over again. In a swift change of legal fate, Roman Nose could leave prison after he serves 30 years, in 2031. The thought terrifies the Stuedemanns of Woodbury], who believe he will kill again….”
Filed under “Developing.” Blois Olson says: “According to multiple people ‘in the know,’ Taylor Corporation and MN Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is very close to reaching an agreement to buy the Star Tribune.Taylor has expressed an interest previously, and has intensified negotiations recently. One person with knowledge of the transaction suggested that think that there is ‘an agreement in principle.’”
Champps in Maplewood has closed. Says Nick Ferraro of the PiPress: “Champps Americana bar and restaurant at Larpenteur Avenue and Interstate 35E in Maplewood closed this week after more than two decades in business. Owner Wayne Belisle shuttered the business Tuesday, general manager Wes Isaacs said Friday. ‘It’s a long story,’ Isaacs said, when asked why it closed.” Does “Business wasn’t so good” cover it?
Did you like the weather Sunday? Don’t get used to it. Jon Erdman and Nick Willgen of The Weather Channel say: “The Weather Channel has named Winter Storm Xenia, the 24th named storm of the 2013-14 season and the first since the spring equinox. Blizzard warnings have been issued for parts of Northern Plains in advance of this next storm.…Monday: Snow, likely heavy, will continue in parts of the Dakotas and spread into parts of northern Minnesota, with blizzard conditions possible. Rain may change to snow Monday night farther south in the Upper Mississippi Valley, including the Twin Cities.”