Avian flu threatens State Fair poultry exhibition

REUTERS/Chris Keane

Why don’t we just cancel the Fair then? MPR’s Lorna Benson reports on what is potentially the latest casualty of the growing avian flu epidemic in Minnesota: the poultry exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair. Why cancel the best part of the fair? “State Fair officials will decide by early to mid-summer whether to cancel the exhibition amid fears that bringing exhibition birds together in one location could further spread the virus. The State Fair opens Aug. 27, following county fairs that get underway in mid-June. ‘It’d be disappointing for the kids, especially those that have poultry as their project passion,’ [State 4-H program director Bradley] Rugg said. ‘But you know life is full of disappointments and in a sense it’s a good learning experience for those young people who are going through this as well.’ ”

An FBI informant was behind the arrest of at least one man charged with attempting to fly to Turkey in order to join ISIS. Mila Koumpilova, Libor Jany and Erin Golden in the Star Tribune report, “[An FBI agent] testified that a confidential informant who cooperated in the investigation of the six young Somali-Americans charged with trying join ISIS has been working with authorities since the start of 2015 and has been paid $12,725.54 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” 

MPR’s Bob Collins notes a key difference in tone between the Star Tribune’s and Politico’s reporting on the Sen. Amy Klobuchar-brokered deal to end the impasse over the sex-trafficking bill in the Senate. While the Star Tribune “… framed [the deal] as a breakthrough for bipartisanship,” Politico paints a much less flattering picture of Minnesota’s senior senator: “Of course, someone’s always looking at the past in politics and in this story, it’s Politico, which this week provided a behind-the-scenes look at the snafu, for which Klobuchar said she took full responsibility while blaming the mistake on a staffer. … That, Politico said, is a move ‘that’s generally frowned upon in the Senate.’ It’s not the first time the senator has blamed a staff member for a problem, however.”

Not that you’d expect anything else from a CEO, but Mayo chief Dr. John Noseworthy is bullish about the hospital’s future. The Rochester Post Bulletin’s Mike Klien reported on Noseworthy’s annual community breakfast: “ Noseworthy echoed Winston Churchill’s words during World War II, saying we are at the ‘end of the beginning’ of changes brought by the Affordable Care Act, the national health-care reform signed into law in 2010 and implemented gradually since then. ‘I’m very excited about our future,’ Noseworthy said at Mayo’s Phillips Hall. ‘I just think the next 30 years are going to be absolutely stunning, with your help.’

Brian Lambert noted the passage of yet another edition of the Minnesota congressional delegation’s annual Hot Dish contest in this morning’s Glean, but we’ll mention it again because 1.) we can’t get enough hot dish and 2.) in a revolving door arrangement so typical of Washington, former MinnPost D.C. correspondent Devin Henry served as a judge this year for the contest he enthusiastically reported on several times in these pages. The proof is in Sen. Al Franken’s photostream (which we noticed in Rachel Stassen-Berger’s report on the contest for the Pioneer Press):

Sen. Al Franken’s Office
Henry, far right, helps deliver the judges’ verdict.

Congratulations, Devin — we knew you’d go far.

In other news…

Scott Walker’s visit to Minnesota this morning has him feeling a little defensive. “In Minnesota visit, Walker discounts idea Wisconsin’s economy is performing at inferior rate” [Star Tribune]

Minneapolis police are launching a new gang unit to try to stem a tide of shootings in the city. [Star Tribune]

The (relatively) most-used word in Minnesota online dating profiles?Cabin.” [Mashable]

You can’t refuse to rent housing to someone because of poor English language skills. At least that’s HUD’s position in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. [Star Tribune]

That house in Stillwater that was half-demolished before the Rehab Addict stepped in? It will be saved. [Stillwater Current]

Coleman unbound. (Is there any other kind of Chris Coleman?) “St. Paul mayor to Wild: ‘WTF was that?’” [Pioneer Press]

The DNR is suspending its adult moose capture program after 5 of the 32 meese captured so far died of “capture myopathy.” [The Timberjay]

See The Onion’s founding editor Scott Dikkers speak at Gustavus on Thursday night [Mankato Free Press]

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by DJ Leary on 04/23/2015 - 10:23 pm.

    State Fair reference

    In today’s MinnPost story on the possibility of canceling this year’s Minnesota State Fair due to the Avian Flu, here is the excerpt that appeared in my copy:
    Why don’t we just cancel the Fair then? MPR’s Lorna Benson reports on what is potentially the latest casualty of the growing avian flu epidemic in Minnesota: the poultry exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair. Why cancel the best part of the fair? “State Fair officials will decide by early to mid-summer whether to cancel the exhibition amid fears that bringing exhibitioankn birds together in one location could further spread the virus. The State Fair opens Aug. 27, following county fairs that get underway in mid-June. ‘It’d be disappointing for the kids, especially those that have poultry as their project passion,’ Rugg said. ‘But you know life is full of disappointments and in a sense it’s a good learning experience for those young people who are going through this as well.’ ”

    A person named in the story as “Rugg” is not identified. As a Vice President of the State Fair Board, I would like very much to know who this authoritative source with only one reference is. Please advise at: djleary@spinfirm.com.
    Thank you. D J

    • Submitted by Tom Nehil on 04/24/2015 - 08:21 am.

      4-H Program Director

      Rugg is Minnesota state 4-H program director Bradley Rugg — I’ve updated the quoted part of the MPR story to clarify that. For full context, I recommend reading Benson’s entire report over at MPR.

      Note that the article only discusses canceling the poultry exhibition due to avian flu, not the entire fair.

  2. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 04/24/2015 - 11:23 am.

    Klobuchar

    Heaven forbid anyone actually report the facts past or present. I don’t think you can evaluate anyones performance only looking at the present.

  3. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 04/24/2015 - 03:59 pm.

    Eventually

    Minnesotans may come to realize that being the funniest person on the dais at a banquet or fundraiser isn’t the best qualification for a U.S. Senator.

    I have no doubt Klobuchar sincerely wants to be an effective U.S. Senator. Sadly, she is cautious to the point of being afraid to show leadership or accept responsibility.

    The DFL could have easily have done better, and should have done better.

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