Dueling metaphors … . Says the PiPress’s Christopher Snowbeck, “With medical marijuana bills advancing at the Minnesota Capitol, both supporters and critics have been invoking the phrase ‘Wild West’ when debating the merits of legislation. Without more scientific evidence about risks and benefits, the prospect of legalized medical marijuana ‘would be kind of like the Wild West of medicine,’ argued Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester … . Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, used the metaphor in a different way — arguing that desperate patients currently face a Wild West situation of buying marijuana on the street, without knowing what they’re getting.”
Peter Passi, via the Forum News Service, says both Minnesota and Wisconsin will have tougher synthetic drug laws on the books after legislative sessions are over. “While both the Minnesota House and Senate have now passed matching bills in support of granting the state Board of Pharmacy authority to more swiftly ban the sale of certain mind-altering chemical compounds, only the House has so far signed off on a plan to provide $100,000 to educate young people on the dangers of using the products.”
This year’s “best” … . Jim Adams of the Strib reports, “A third-generation teacher inspired by a grandmother who maintained that teaching is ‘a calling that can save lives’ was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year Sunday. Thomas Rademacher, who teaches high school English at the Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resources (FAIR) School in downtown Minneapolis, won a $6,000 prize, and will be a teacher ambassador spreading his approach around the state during the next year.” And … he’s only 32.
Adams and Joy Powell add a bit more to the story of the 22 year-old whose body was found in a rented RV. “About 150 friends and family members mourned Kevin Casserly at a Sunday night vigil for the Anoka man whose body was found in the cargo compartment of an RV rented for a rolling bachelor party. Casserly, 22, disappeared last November after he was last seen near the Northstar commuter rail station in Anoka, where mourners gathered Sunday and where searchers had regularly met to look for him. The RV in which he was found had also been stored near the station. ‘We walked right by him,’ said his sister, Alexandra Casserly. ‘We searched this whole area.’”
You might even see actual (liquid) water … . Says Steve Karnowski of the AP, “The Department of Natural Resources’ online ice-out map for the state showed that many lakes across the southern two-thirds of the state were ice-free by Friday. The dividing line closely followed U.S. Highway 2 from Duluth to East Grand Forks. Even north of that line, many smaller lakes should be open and many larger lakes should at least have some open water come next weekend.”
And there will be competition for fish … . Martin Moylan of MPR says, “Bears are coming out of hibernation in northern Minnesota and on the prowl for scarce food. So the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding northern Minnesota residents to inspect their properties for food sources that could attract hungry bears.”
I doubt Mr. Emmer is too concerned … . Allison Sherry of the Strib says, “Sartell Mayor Joe Perske narrowly clenched the DFL endorsement Saturday to run against Republican Tom Emmer in the open 6th Congressional District seat. The nominating convention delegates voted four times before Perske came up with 62 percent — enough votes for the official endorsement. Rules require candidates to garner at least 60 percent to be nominated. He beat out Jim Read, a political science professor at St. Ben’s and St. John’s University, according to a news release.”
Brian Herman, VP of Research at the U of M strikes a note of caution … . In a Strib commentary he says, “In the rush to curtail so-called ‘patent trolls’ — those who acquire patents solely to extract undeserved settlements from the often small- and medium-sized businesses they target — some proposals in Congress exceed what is necessary to address legitimate concerns. Some proposals would weaken all patent rights and make it more difficult for all inventors, universities and research-based companies to enforce their patents.”
Maybe he got turned around and thought he was in Miami … . The Mesabi Daily News says, “An Eagan, Minn., man wanted on an arrest warrant for stalking managed to flee authorities after a traffic stop on Wednesday. But he wasn’t on the loose for long; and he had quite an uncomfortable night in the cold in the woods. … On Thursday at 6:57 a.m., deputies were dispatched to the city of Orr for a report that Burell had emerged from the woods. He appeared to be suffering from exposure and hypothermia and was detained by bystanders until a deputy arrived.”
In the world of sports, the Wild are down 2-0 in their playoff series with Chicago; Joe Mauer suffered a back injury in a Twins’ win, but hopes to be back for the Cleveland series starting today; and — keeps those Cheerios down, Vikings fans — Pro Football Talk muses on the end of Adrian Peterson’s days in Minnesota.