MNsure’s website still needs … a lot of work. Christopher Snowbeck’s PiPress story says, “MNsure found out Wednesday how broken its health exchange website is, and now plans to address the problems before the next big wave of people seeking health insurance hits in November. A review of the website by consulting firm Deloitte found that only 26 components of the health exchange system, of 73 reviewed, were working as expected.”
The headline reads: “Hubbard County: Surgeon accused of jamming fist in child’s mouth.” That evokes a certain image, right? But the Forum News Service story goes on to say, “A Benedict, Minn., surgeon has been accused of attempted murder after allegedly putting his fist into a child’s mouth. Dennis James Sullivan, 52, was arrested Tuesday in Grand Forks, N.D., on an outstanding warrant. A criminal complaint from Hubbard County, in northwestern Minnesota, said Sullivan jammed his fist, clad in a plastic glove, down a 10-year-old foster child’s throat as punishment. His wife came upon the scene and stopped him.”
Like a bit character in a John LeCarre novel … . The AP says, “A federal jury has convicted a Minnesota man of smuggling arms to Nigeria and lying on firearms purchase records. Fifty-one-year-old Sheriff Olaleran Mohammed was convicted of one count of smuggling goods from the U.S. and 17 counts of providing false statements while purchasing a firearm. … The investigation began in 2012 when agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered seven handgun purchases made within days of each other at a Twin Cities gun shop. Investigators eventually discovered Mohammed had made 17 handgun purchases between 2009 and 2012.”
Again, what is going on in Stillwater? Jim Anderson of the Strib reports, “A St. Paul attorney has been found guilty of conspiring with his brother-in-law, a marijuana dealer based in southern Minnesota, to launder proceeds from drug sales through his law firm. Robert D. Boedigheimer, 51, of Stillwater, was indicted in December on three counts — conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and making a false statement to an IRS agent.” Hopefully, he has no connection to Log Jam Days.
Things that never made much sense … trying to beat a train at a rail crossing. Charlie Zelle writes in the Strib, “Already this year, there have been 25 highway-railroad grade collisions in Minnesota. In February, drivers in Elk River went around lowered gates at two different crossings, and their vehicles were hit by trains. … The statistics are alarming, and most of these crashes are preventable. Driver inattention and impatience most commonly contribute to car-train crashes.”
Every once in a while Jesse Ventura said something indisputably wise. Like when asked about drunks trying to skip their snowmobiles across open water. He shrugged and called it nature’s way of “thinning the herd.” This too … . Lindsey Seavert at KARE-TV reports, “A version of Spain’s Running of the Bulls takes place in Elk River this weekend. Concerns over animal welfare and safety of participants has some groups seeing red. More than 2,000 people are signed up for the chance to run with nearly 20 bulls Saturday at the Extreme Motor Park off of Highway 169. In the event, runners sprint a quarter of a mile with live bulls. They can jump over fences to escape along the course.”
Post fight … approval for same sex marriage is rising. Says Catharine Richert at MPR, “After a divisive fight over whether to legalize same-sex marriage, more Minnesotans now approve of it than ever before, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling. ‘About a year after gay marriage became legal in the state, support for it has hit an all time high in our polling with 52% of voters in favor of it to only 40% who are opposed,’ according to a press release from the firm. Approval is up from 49 percent right after same-sex marriage was legalized in 2013.” And the numbers of those in favor of much tougher gun laws are what, again?
St. Paul is getting Car2Go. Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the PiPress reports, “A new and novel car-sharing service is coming to St. Paul. The city council on Wednesday gave Car2Go a green light to scatter its diminutive, blue and white Smart Cars on curbs and at parking meters around town for any registered user to grab and go. The German company is already operating in Minneapolis. … Car2Go’s agreement calls for at least 185 Smart Cars to be placed on St. Paul streets. Minneapolis has 350.”
Are you ever surprised to hear that your credit score affects just about everything you try to do? Gitte Lasby of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says, “Wisconsin drivers who have no credit history pay an average of 80 percent more in car insurance premiums than people with an excellent credit score, according to a new study by WalletHub. That’s among the largest differences in the nation. The consumer group WalletHub’s ‘2014 Car Insurance by Credit Score Report’ ranks Wisconsin 12th in the nation among states with the biggest price difference. The average nationwide is 65 percent.”