UnitedHealth reportedly seeking to buy Aetna

United HealthUnitedHealth looks to absorb a rival. The Star Tribune reports: “ UnitedHealth Group Inc., the Minnetonka health insurance giant, has approached rival Aetna Inc. about a takeover deal that would likely be valued at more than $40 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday night. … The report is yet another drumbeat for consolidation in the health insurance industry as observers speculate that the industry’s Big Five — UnitedHealth, Anthem, Humana, Cigna and Aetna — are about to become the Big Three.

Finally, someone does something to celebrate men. The Star Tribune’s Jackie Crosby has the scoop on a brand new holiday: “Three years ago, John Francis had a low-key party to christen his newly built garage — a few guys, some cigars and beer, a couple of bags of chips. … Since then, his men’s-only bash has mushroomed into an annual event that fills Francis’ three-car garage in St. Paul. More than 100 guy guests test their skills at back-yard games, major league grilling and, uh, talking. … The event, dubbed Father’s Eve because it’s held the night before Father’s Day, has become so important to Francis and his buddies that they’ve decided to take their party public.”

We’re not endorsing fleeing the police or driving motorized vehicles in the Boundary Waters, but this snowmobile chase sounds straight out of a James Bond flick. Per Tom Olsen in the Duluth News Tribune: “[Barney] Lakner and his friend, Edward Zupancich, were stopped by three Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officers on Jan. 11, 2014, on Basswood Lake. … The officers testified that Lakner completed a 180-degree turn, hitting one officer’s snowmobile in the process, and led Zupancich back through the narrows, where there were areas of open water. … The chase ended only when one officer lept off his moving sled to tackle Zupancich and another grabbed a hold of Lakner’s backpack, forcing him to a stop, according to testimony.”

A South Dakota tribe legalized marijuana. From the AP (via WCCO): “KELO-TV and KSFY-TV report the executive committee of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe voted Thursday to legalize marijuana. Tribal president Tony Reider says the tribe will grow marijuana at a secure facility, and tribal attorney Seth Pearman says customers would need a valid registration card to buy it. … South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says he respects the tribe’s authority to govern tribal members. He says use and possession of marijuana by ‘non-Indians’ is still against the law.”

In other news…

Your daily Walker: He’s making it official next month. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Rochester police sign a $90k contract with TASER International for body cameras. [Rochester Post Bulletin]

And then there were seven: University of North Dakota narrows down its list of potential nicknames. [Grand Forks Herald]

The only problem with St. Cloud’s new “tiny house for the homeless” is there’s no legal place to put it. [Star Tribune]

Just make everyone order a salad first. Mankato restaurant patios must “be covered by at least 25 percent with live plants.” [Star Tribune]

72-year-old Chatfield resident Hanna Elshoff is biking (well, triking) from Minnesota to Georgia, where she hopes to meet former President Jimmy Carter. [Duluth News Tribune]

Prince played the White House over the weekend, apparently. Journalists not amused. [MPR’s NewsCut]

Best House Appropriations committee meeting. Ever.

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