Drinks all around at local TV stations … . The AP says, “A national Republican group is promising ‘significant’ spending to support Minnesota Republicans’ effort to retake the state House. The Republican State Leadership Committee spent more than $600,000 in Minnesota two years ago, when the GOP lost control of both chambers.”
Speaking of elections … and consequences … . Tom Scheck at MPR writes, “If a Republican is elected the next governor of Minnesota, chances are good that the new administration will seek to overhaul MNsure, the state’s online health insurance exchange. Each of the four Republican candidates for governor wants to make major changes to MNsure, which their party has criticized since its inception. … [Jeff] Johnson said he’d push to exempt the state from the Affordable Care Act altogether. He’d also ask the federal government to grant Minnesota a waiver to allow the state to create a separate system.”
Entirely unrelated, I’m sure … . Here comes Big Foot. Martin Moylan at MPR reports, “[UnitedHealth ] CEO Stephen Hemsley said the company is planning to increase its participation in state health insurance exchanges it has avoided so far. ‘In the individual market, we plan to grow next year as we expand our offerings to as many as two dozen state exchanges,’ Hemsley said. ‘This approach is consistent with our long stated plan to take a prudent first year position, and then build and expand in 2015 and 2016, as these markets become more established.’”
Likely, a sad resolution. The AP says, “The remains of two people were found Thursday by hikers near Mount Evans, where a father and son from Minnesota have been missing since April. There was no immediate identification on the two bodies. The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said the remains were found Thursday morning and were being recovered by rescue teams.”
The E. coli outbreak isn’t over yet, Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress says, “Public health officials have identified two more E. coli cases in a Minnesota outbreak that has now sickened 15 people. The two new cases of E. coli O111 infection match the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria associated with the initial 13 cases, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.”
The mayor is well aware of the crummy streets. At MPR Curtis Gilbert writes, “Like many older cities around the state, St. Paul is having a hard time figuring out how to replace its crumbling streets. This spring, the streets were so chewed up that filling potholes wasn’t enough. Instead crews have been laying down asphalt by the truckload and spreading it curb to curb. It’s a temporary fix intended to extend the pavement’s life by three to seven years. To pay for it, [Mayor Chris] Coleman scraped together $2.5 million dollars from other areas of this year’s Public Works budget — including $1 million from the street sweeping fund.”
Retired attorney Mary McLeod wades into the intensely contentious Dan Markingson suicide case at the U of M. In a Strib commentary she says, “In ordinary legal proceedings, only ‘one bite at the apple’ is allowed, i.e., one trial. If you lose, that’s it. Why should this situation be so utterly different? Who shall define the end — our legislative auditor (the latest authority persuaded to step in)? The courts? Some other entity? We seem to be slogging along with no end in sight.”
Why we read Sally Jo Sorensen. Her Bluestem Prairie blog provides back stories to people who otherwise are just names. In one of her latest she writes about Bob Frey, a GOP candidate for House Seat 47A. “In a 2005 presentation at the Yampa Valley Baptist Church in Craig, Colorado, Minnesota House District 47A primary candidate Bob Frey argued against the theory of intelligent design as well as that of evolution. Frey also repeated a creationist notion that the sun is shrinking, then attributed bad behavior in kids these days to teaching evolution in school. … In the Colorado presentation, Frey also asserted that the sun was shrinking, a common claim from Young Earth creationists:
[In the Craig Daily Press] Frey said the sun is shrinking at a rate of five feet in diameter per hour. If scientific calculations are correct, the sun would have touched the earth 11 million years ago, he said. ‘That would have been pretty hard on the dinosaurs, don’t you think?’ he said.”
Well obviously not all that hard enough, because there’s quite a few still around.
Yeah, it’s all good … come on over for lunch. Sarah Horner of the PiPress reports, “Dozens of pythons and boas being kept inside a Coon Rapids man’s home have been removed. City staff inspected Scott Nellis’s home Wednesday to ensure compliance with city code and found no prohibited animals in his residence, according to information provided by city staff. Some 200 permitted snakes were still inside the dwelling. … An inspection of his house — located at 10320 Grouse Street — uncovered some 360 snakes, 60 lizards, more than 200 rats and tubs of cockroaches.” But some people can’t raise … chickens?