Armed man killed during standoff with St. Paul Police

An armed man was fatally shot by the St. Paul Police, the Pioneer Press’ Tad Vezner and Mara H. Gottfried reportWearing an armored vest, a St. Paul man hugged and kissed the woman he lived with before engaging in an hourlong police standoff that ended with him dying in a hail of gunfire Monday afternoon. The man, who witnesses said was screaming and waving an assault rifle before police arrived, was not immediately identified. Neighbors said he and the woman had moved in a little more than a week ago.

You carry $1 million, right? Abby Simons of the Strib writes, “Online rideshare companies like Uber may soon have to cover their drivers’ private vehicles with $1 million auto policies even before drivers accept a fare, in what would be the most stringent standard in the nation if adopted. Lawmakers supporting the measure say it would close dangerous lapses in coverage for the drivers, while an Uber representative said Monday that such a proposal could seriously jeopardize the fast-growing rideshare industry.”

So how about the dude in the Range Rover doing a u-turn in the middle of block and getting upset with me for not getting out of his way? Tim Harlow of the Strib says, “About 1 in 6 Minnesotans is classified as a high-risk driver, defined by the DPS as a person who consumed two or more drinks and drove at least once or who engaged in two or more risky behaviors in the past 30 days. Risky behaviors include texting while driving, not wearing a seat belt or driving more than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Nearly 40 percent of all drivers in the state admitted to at least one of these infractions in the past 30 days.”

A credit to the name, “sportsmen.”  WCCO-TV says, “Three Minnesota men fishing in Ontario were fined $1,250 each for possessing more fish than allowed. Gary Hegarty, of Monticello, Ricky Gruebele, of Cambridge, and John Bartholmy, of North Branch, pleaded guilty to possessing 32 yellow perch, seven black crappies and five walleye over the legal limit.”

Tis the season. According to the AP: “Public safety officials say a 53-year-old man who crashed his motorcycle in Sherburne County over the weekend is Minnesota’s first motorcycle fatality of 2015. The sheriff’s office says the man was riding on a county road in Santiago Township around 6:30 p.m. Sunday when he ran off the road and hit a mailbox. Authorities say he was not wearing a helmet.”

At least she apologized. Paula Quam of the Forum News Service says, “An Ogema woman who murdered her boyfriend by strapping him behind his own pickup and dragging him down the road was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison and 10 years supervised probation. Jessica Kilde, 33, pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder of Richard Baity, 41, of rural Ogema — the man she says she loved and had planned on marrying. ‘I don’t know why I did what I did,’ cried Kilde, as she stood before Judge Joe Evans at her sentencing. ‘He was a great man.’ Kilde apologized to Baity’s family and her own for all of the pain she caused them on Aug. 15.”

The Glean

As usual, along party lines. WCCO-TV and the AP report, “A House panel voted Monday to abandon MNsure and move to the federal exchange by 2017. That decision came after one man blamed the exchange for his wife’s death from cancer earlier this year. Gail Dunker died of cancer after her family discovered they did not have the insurance they thought they signed up for. Her husband, Chuck, says  — in effect–  MNsure killed her. … Rep. Matt Dean’s bill to abandon MNsure goes the farthest among several Republican proposals to change MNsure. ‘It is bad. It’s getting worse,’ said Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, the chair of the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Finance Committee. ‘As we see today, it is harming people in Minnesota.’ No Democrats on the committee voted for it.”

At MPR, Catharine Richert adds, “Pressured by their own party to return a $1.9 billion budget surplus to taxpayers, GOP leaders are looking for ways to do that while pursuing their agenda. State Rep. Matt Dean, who chairs the House Health Care Finance Committee, would move the 95,000 people currently participating in MinnesotaCare coverage to MNsure, where they would buy a private plan. Dean estimates the shift would save about $900 million over two years, cash that could be used for Republican priorities that include nursing home funding, and mental and dental health programs.” So, if I understand this, we’ll move the 95,000 to MNsure and then cancel it.

I assume they inventory the knives every 10 minutes or so? The AP says, “Need some steaks for the grill? Get a fresh cut from a Minnesota correctional facility. Inmates at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center in Saginaw are already processing and selling meat. A state senator wants to turn the institution’s work into a pilot program that gives inmates a butcher’s license. … The measure could help address a shortage of butchers while giving inmates a path to reintegrate into society. The proposal comes as demand for locally produced beef is surging, but the ranks of butchers are dwindling.”

Mug shot of the day … in a Paul Walsh Strib story about two starving kids pulled out of a filthy home. “Two children, ages 2 and 3, were hospitalized after being found alone in a crib — starving, their rib cages clearly defined — while in the care of their father in a filthy home near Princeton that was smelling of dog feces and littered with bags of marijuana, authorities said Monday.”

The MLS is not the NFL. So, as Tom Scheck of MPR writes, “Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is telling backers of a Major League Soccer franchise not to ask the Legislature for public money for a new stadium. Several news outlets, led by American Soccer Now, say Major League Soccer is close to awarding a franchise to an ownership group headed by former UnitedHealth Group CEO Bill McGuire. McGuire is reportedly seeking a stadium in downtown Minneapolis that will rely on some public financing.”

At City Pages, Hannah Sayle says, “McGuire has proposed a new, soccer-only stadium in downtown Minneapolis. He has also reportedly secured an option to buy a property on Royalston Avenue, next to the Minneapolis Farmers Market and just a few blocks from Target Field. … But if Major League Soccer backs McGuire, Gov. Mark Dayton has expressly opposed any more public subsidies for stadiums. Nor has Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges been high on the prospect in the past: ‘The city does not need another stadium to host soccer. With the new [Vikings] stadium, Target Center, and Target Field, Minneapolis already has all the venues it needs.’”  Then there’s the issue that as the former CEO of UnitedHealth McGuire alone may have as much cash as the entire NFL.

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Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/17/2015 - 08:10 am.

    I Can’t Help But Wonder What THEIR Agenda Is

    NONE of the predictions that were made by Republicans concerning the effects of the Affordable Care Act, whether in Minnesota or nationwide, have come true.

    Zero. Zip. Nada. NONE.

    In fact the opposite has generally been the case.

    One only has to look at the difficulty of such retail giants as Target and Best Buy in successfully moving their businesses into having a strong presence in the online world,…

    to understand how the difficulties involved in setting up MNSure were not an aberration but simply the way things ALWAYS go in such a massive undertaking.

    Furthermore, it’s VERY likely that a bit more research would reveal that the story told by the “victim” of the ACA isn’t quite true, and the circumstances described bore little resemblance to those presented in the hearing,…

    which has been the case with every one of the circumstances where our Republican friends trotted out ACA “victims” in the past.

    So what is Rep. Dean’s actual agenda? How can he possibly think there is any advantage to his constituents to be accomplished by making it impossible, once again, for many of them to gain access to affordable health care?

    I can’t help but suspect it has something to do with a certain, knee-jerk, deep seated revulsion to those whom he was raised to believe are unworthy of a decent life (the worthless, lazy poor), having access to even a small amount of care and comfort…

    and a revulsion to allowing ANY successful legacy to a president whose physical appearance he was raised to believe made him unworthy of anything but a life of inferiority and even bondage.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 10:29 am.

      Greg, the victim you refer to was someone’s wife; she has died. Some sympathy is called for, no scare quotes are necessary.

      • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/17/2015 - 11:17 am.

        OF course Sympathy, Empathy and Support

        responses SOME of us seem to be notably lacking in many OTHER circumstances,…

        are called for when someone dies,…

        things which can only be adequately supplied by the friends and family members of those who have suffered that loss.

        In reality, the process of grief often creates strong anger in those who have suffered such a terrible loss,…

        but the direction in which that anger gets aimed very often has NO connection to the actual causes of the loss.

        People can and have been angry at an amazing number of unrelated things after suffering losses, up to and including the death of loved ones (which as a Christian minister for 20 years – now retired – I observed up close many, many times).

        But I remain convinced that, as was the case with all the other victims of the ACA trotted out by Republicans, the anger and blaming for that loss is quite misdirected.

        Even if that’s not the case and this is the ONE exception to that well-established rule, there are actually hundreds if not thousands of lives that have been saved because the ACA meant affordable medical care was available to folks who did not previously have it.

        Those same folks, including many of his constituents, would lose access to affordable medical care if Rep. Dean were to get his way,…

        which is an inconvenient fact, that you completely ignored in your response to my post.

        I repeat my question: what is his agenda and what is his reason for seeking to wipe out access to affordable medical care,…

        and is what he proposes – which would cause many, many other families to suffer the fate of NOT having available health care that they can afford anything like an appropriate response to this ONE tragedy, whatever its cause?

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/17/2015 - 12:47 pm.

        Victim

        Of what? People are supposed to be respectful…unless it’s politically convenient? Here’s the deal, if this was a Republican thing (it is, they just don’t want to own it as long as that guy in the White House does), they’d be crying “PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY” over this. That is, they’d be claiming that knowing what an insurance policy covers should be something that individuals are responsible for. Instead, it’s politically convenient to call them “victims” rather than “slackers.” Pre-Obama, they would have been called lazy because before they were against it, Republicans recognized it as Romneycare.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 01:50 pm.

          I’ve seen nothing to indicate these people were takers receiving free or subsidized insurance. As I understand it, they purchased a commercial plan through MNSure, and MNSure botched it completely. They are not unique, of course.

          If they were takers, it wouldn’t change the fact that they were failed by a program hundreds of thousands of Minnesotan’s lost their previous, private coverage to make way for. That is to say their culpability, if there be any, doesn’t excuse the larger failure by the government.

  2. Submitted by Bill Willy on 03/17/2015 - 08:52 am.

    Matt Dean: Our very own Scott Walker MinniMe?

    Drop MNSure and get on the federal exchange?

    Stroke of genius!

    The legislature should fast-track and pass it RIGHT AWAY, and the governor should sign it into law ASAP.

    The only change I’d recommend is moving up the date it would take effect to “IMMEDIATELY!” instead or waiting until 2017.

    That way, everyone getting their insurance through the federal exchange would be assured of losing their insurance premium subsidies when the Supreme Court decides, in June, that giving those subsidies to anyone NOT purchasing their insurance through a STATE exchange is unconstitutional.

    As to those 95,000 MinnesotaCare people Brian mentioned – and his tricky-to-answer pretzel logic question aside – Matt MAY want to take a quick read of the “Bloomberg Politics” article entitled, “Why Scott Walker Should Hope the Supreme Court Leaves Obamacare In Place.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-04/why-scott-walker-should-hope-the-supreme-court-leaves-obamacare-in-place

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 10:24 am.

    Without a drop of sarcasm, I ask, can anyone name a government program in Minnesota that has failed as badly as MNSure? Although the Glean failed to mention it, even Dayton is ready to throw in the towel.

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/17/2015 - 11:34 am.

      On What Basis Do You Make That Judgment?

      Yes, the computer programs which formed the front end of MNsure did not work well, at first, even though they were created through contracts with well-experienced, well-respected companies which had previously done similar work.

      Why those original, PRIVATE SECTOR companies failed so miserably would make an interesting issue to explore,…

      but much of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the Republican dominated legislature in Gov. Dayton’s first two years which made it impossible to set up MNsure contracts early enough to allow for adequate development and testing of the software needed to run the online program.

      The underlying MNsure program was and remains sound (despite the fact that PreferredOne created such low ball first year premiums that, after serious losses, they chose to withdraw from offering policies on MNsure,…

      which was the fault of actuaries and financial folks at Preferred One (private sector) and NOT the fault of the MNsure program, itself).

      Especially with the possibility that the Supreme Court could turn out to have 5 Luddite saboteurs, who will be willing to throw their figurative wooden shoes into the works of the ACA, the likelihood that the State of Minnesota will pull the plug on MNsure is exactly 0%.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 12:30 pm.

        Greg, with all due respect. The MNSure has failed at every level. Leaving the website debacle aside, high deductibles have rendered the subsidized policies unusable. It hasn’t signed up even the radically reduced numbers of paying customers it had promised to attract, and of the coveted “Millennials”, even less.

        That means people will be forced to pay unaffordable premiums for their high deductible policies. As we’ve seen here on the Minnpost, some people saw 17% increases this year alone; more is coming.

        It is not viable, which is just as was predicted. If the Governor had listened to the GOP legislature, and to the people, the taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for untold millions today. Add to this list the 144,000 Minnesotans who lost the policies they had voluntarily purchased before Obamacare invalidated them and we’re left with a very bleak picture, indeed. I’m sorry, but those are the facts.

        • Submitted by Bill Willy on 03/17/2015 - 01:23 pm.

          Not viable

          What isn’t viable is not MNSure, or the federal exchange, or anything else government is trying to do in regards to helping everyone gain access to health care.

          What’s not viable is having insurance companies involved, or in-between, people and that health care.

          As you’ve probably noticed over the past few years (or decades), the primary concern has NOT been people’s access to health care providers, but their access to health care insurance: The keepers standing at the (toll) gate of 1/6th of the USA’s GDP.

          What’s not viable is hospital voodoo/”charge master pricing,” insurance company/share holder profits (for what “value added health care-related services” exactly?), and the unbelievably high markups being charged by manufacturers of “medical devices,” products and services (including drug companies and THEIR share holders): Margins in the 100s, if not 1,000s of percent above actual cost.

          Not to drag out the tired old saw, but what’s not viable is the long-proven fact that Americans spend twice as much on health care as the people in any other developed nation and, for that, get half as much in terms of health care outcomes.

          And THAT has nothing to do with MNSure, Obamacare, or anything other than the Private Market’s qualmless pursuit of profits via “whatever the market will bear” when the people the market consists of are sick and subject to the duress that tends to ensue when human beings are in fear of permanently losing their health or life.

          What’s not viable is the broad acceptance of the, “Your money or your life,” approach to healing the contemporary American Masters of the Private Market Universe have somehow managed to engineer and blow out coast-to-coast like some hypnotic fog that has lulled people into believing we actually do have the “greatest health care system in the world,” and that is well worth whatever it may cost.

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 03/17/2015 - 12:09 pm.

      How about this one, for starters?

      January 2002

      “From 1997 through 2001, thanks to strong economic growth, Minnesota’s state leaders had the opportunity to allocate budget surpluses of over $13 billion. Decisions about how the surpluses were used reflect those leader’s priorities and set the stage for how prepared we are to deal with the current economic downturn. The state now faces a nearly $2 billion deficit.

      “How the $13 billion in surpluses were used:

      “The majority, 53 percent or $7 billion, was allocated toward tax cuts, which were divided nearly evenly between rebates and ongoing tax cuts.

      “An additional 15 percent of the surplus, or $2 billion, was set aside either in endowments or budget reserves.

      “Only 27 percent of the surplus total, or $3.5 billion, was spent on improving or expanding services, with the remainder going to bonding and debt service.”

      http://www.mnbudgetproject.org/research-analysis/minnesota-budget/trends/1997-2001-used-our-surpluses

      Fast forwarding to 2010 we find the result of that government program in Minnesota transformed the near-$2 billion deficit of 2001 into a…

      “Projected budget deficit in Minn. rises to $6.2 billion in 2012-2013”

      http://www.mprnews.org/story/2010/12/02/state-budget-forecast

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/17/2015 - 12:28 pm.

      Yeah, here’s one:

      JOBZ- Job Opportunity Building Zone

  4. Submitted by Tom White on 03/17/2015 - 12:19 pm.

    Failed Government Program?

    Without acknowledging in any way that MnSure is a failure, I will remind Mr. Swift of Pawlenty’s JOBZ program. $66k per job “created.”

    http://www.startribune.com/investigators/118656869.html

    Now that’s a failed government program!

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 12:34 pm.

      Sounds pretty bad, Tom. But without a total spent we can’t measure it against the hundreds of millions MNSure has wasted, so far. And unless 2 jobs were lost to create each new one, it’s not really comparable anyway.

      That being said, we’ll put it on our list of possibles. Thanks.

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