Invincibility is wasted on the young … The AP says: “Minnesota’s new health insurance exchange is making a final push to sign up so-called ‘young invincibles’ by a March 31 deadline for open enrollment. Exchange chief Scott Leitz on Thursday announced a series of events for the coming week aimed at young adults ages 26 to 34. They events at popular Twin Cities bars and at college campuses statewide.”
So we won’t be leaving this to private enterprise? Don Davis of the Forum News Service says: “Plans to train first responders such as firefighters to battle oil disasters are gaining traction in the Minnesota Legislature. ‘It takes just one of these trains at the wrong place at the wrong time for a catastrophe,’ Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker, told fellow members of the House public safety committee Wednesday before it approved funding a program to provide more training funds for first responders to oil incidents. … Even as a fiscal conservative who does not like to spend money, Newberger said, he supports the bill because preparation is needed.”
In the PiPress, Christopher Snowbeck writes: “A state employee has sued the Department of Human Services, arguing that he has suffered ‘brutal’ retaliation for being a whistleblower. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court, Paul Olson seeks more than $50,000 in compensation for career losses and psychological distress. … [The suit says] Retribution directed by three managers at the department ‘was clear and brutal — they granted the benefit to the hospital and stripped Olson of his position and professional dignity.’ Olson previously supervised a staff of 14 to 16 people but was moved to a position with no staff and no job description, according to the lawsuit.”
Social media bullying is getting the attention of Southeast Minnesota school districts. Brett Boese of the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports: “Since Hayfield created the template in November, four other Hiawatha Valley League schools have followed suit by increasing district oversight over what student-athletes do online. Kasson-Mantorville, Stewartville, Cannon Falls and Zumbrota-Mazeppa have all jumped on board. … ‘If anything, the parents have been really supportive,’ Cannon Falls Superintendent Beth Giese said. ‘If you or I would post something inappropriate, we could get fired for it. We’re really just trying to teach them a skill (so they don’t get) in trouble in the workplace. With everything going on, like the (Rogers) kid, it makes our kids more accountable,’ Giese said.”
Who knew being mayor of Stillwater would be so eventful? Mary Divine of the PiPress tells us: “The Internal Revenue Service searched Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki’s payroll business Thursday morning as part of a criminal investigation. IRS agents were at the business as part of an ‘enforcement action,’ along with representatives from the FBI and Health and Human Services, according to IRS spokeswoman Vicki Petricka. … The shades were drawn and a piece of cardboard had been placed in a window near the front door to block the view, but the door was unlocked about 10:30 a.m.” Will this be cleared up before the Log Jam festival?
The share price tells you something … Nick Woltman of the PiPress says: “The Dolan Co., which publishes Finance & Commerce and Politics in Minnesota, announced Thursday that it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It also announced the resignations of James Dolan, the company’s founder and CEO, and Scott Pollei, its chief operating officer. The Minneapolis-based company said in a news release that under its pre-packaged reorganization plan, it expects to emerge from bankruptcy in about two months. … Shares closed Wednesday at 15 cents.” So, not exactly Berkshire-Hathaway. MinnPost has coverage here, via Twin Cities Business.
Speaking of Politics in Minnesota, Mike Mullen covers the House’s $1 billion spending dream, saying: “The most expensive single proposal discussed during Tuesday’s press conference is a wide-ranging effort to expand broadband access for rural areas across the state. Companion bills carried by Rep. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, and Sen. Matt Schmit, DFL-Red Wing, would devote $100 million to that goal. … Dayton, for his part, left broadband out of his budget plan altogether, saying he had yet to see a coherent plan from stakeholders. Simonson said he plans to stick with the figure.”
Apparently Jeff DuBay, the oft-fired, oft-re-hired talk jock has melted down again. In the PiPress, Bob Sansevere writes: “He blew up his latest and perhaps last chance to have a broadcast career in the Twin Cities. Dubay’s most recent foray into media came to an ugly end Wednesday. After several weeks of doing a podcast as part of the Tom Barnard Network, Dubay claimed in a Twitter post that the network’s general manager, Sean Barnard, ‘acted in unprofessional manner pulling the plug on the Jeff Dubay podcast.’ … The podcast is done and so might be Dubay as a broadcast personality in the Twin Cities.” As long as Dubay is still “a name,” he’ll be hired again somewhere in the Twin Cities.
Ex-PiPress editor Rich Leiby files a profile of the new, all-serious Al Franken for the Washington Post: “Franken spent four decades building a comedic franchise across the popular culture — ‘Saturday Night Live’ writer and actor; best-selling political satirist; partisan radio blowhard. He has spent the past five years shedding his clown costume, realizing, practically from Day One, that it was a liability for a senator. Since taking his seat in the summer of 2009, he has tamped down his scorn for Republicans, dialed back the irony and hyperbole, and strived to fit in with his fellow gentlemen and ladies in the august chamber.” The irony, of course, is that Congress itself has become a running (bad) joke.