Clearly, a bunch of RINOs. Says Allison Sherry in the Strib, “Minnesota’s congressional Republicans are not joining others in their party willing to risk a federal government shutdown as a way to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. … Minnesota’s Republican legislators say this new abortion fight is not worth a shutdown, particularly after the GOP bore most of the blame after the government closure in 2013. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who has held 11 town-hall style forums since getting elected, said that he hears disgust from his district about Planned Parenthood and President Obama, but that there is an expectation that members govern, too.” Uh huh. And how has that been going?
He’s got the dough, so why not? Tom Scheck at MPR says, “Republican Stewart Mills says he’s preparing to challenge DFL U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan again in 2016. Nolan defeated Mills by less than 1.5 percentage points in 2014 in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. It was the closest congressional contest in the state last year. Mills said he thinks Nolan is vulnerable because of his support for the Affordable Care Act, which Mills contends has increased health care costs. He also said Nolan’s support for the nuclear deal with Iran is a problem.” Don’t forget Benghazi.
File under, “Is this news to anyone?” The AP reports, “Almost three times as much money as state grant funding available is being sought by Minnesota communities seeking to expand broadband Internet infrastructure. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said Wednesday it had received more than $29 million in applications for grants, which will total roughly $10.6 million when awarded. Forty-four entities have applied for money.” Plenty of demand, constricted supply.
Not related, I assume. Another AP story says, “A state panel next week kicks off six days of hearings on how to spend $46 million in state lottery money and related funds on environmental, conservation and other projects. It’s the main annual task for the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. … That money comes from Minnesota Lottery proceeds and the fund’s investment income. The commission has deemed 97 proposals totaling $70 million, out of 186 originally submitted, worthy of further consideration.”
Here’s a pretty “disconnected” idea. The AP also says, “Two Minnesota adventurers are preparing to head into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for a full year. Dave and Amy Freeman plan to paddle out of Ely via the Kawishiwi (kah-WISH’-uh-wee) River, accompanied by a flotilla of supporters on Wednesday afternoon. They don’t plan to return from the wilderness until Sept. 22, 2016. They plan to camp at about 120 sites and travel over 3,000 miles by canoe, foot, ski, snowshoe and dog sled. Supporters will resupply them.” Think of all the Donald Trump video clips they’ll miss.
Is this just because Xi Jinping is in the country? Stribber Jeremy Olson says, “If there’s anyone in Minnesota who could use a little tai chi in their day, it’s the state commissioners of human services and health — two high-profile and sometimes embattled state leaders. But Lucinda Jesson and Dr. Ed Ehlinger weren’t swaying rhythmically at the armory building in St. Paul for stress relief Wednesday. Instead they were promoting the converted martial art’s benefits in reducing falls among elderly adults. Minnesota has the nation’s fourth-highest rate of fall-related deaths.” I assume winter has something to do with that.
Keep the gummint outta my squad cars! The Forum News Service says, “Twenty-three law enforcement jobs in Minnesota will be added or saved through funding from the federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). Sharing in grants of $2.8 million this year will be the Aitkin Police Department, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department, the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department, St. Cloud Police Department, and St. Paul Police Department, according to U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andy Luger.”
Those regular “bonus” revenues Minnesota’s economy has been adding to the treasury? Not so in North Dakota. says Mike Nowatzki of the Grand Forks Herald, “North Dakota’s tax revenues fell more than $40 million short of projections in July and August as the oil industry continued to idle drilling rigs amid low crude prices, prompting state lawmakers Wednesday to warn of the budget effects and suggest an updated revenue forecast may be needed.”
Someone flunked the Hippocratic Oath. Says Kate Raddatz at WCCO-TV, “A Bloomington doctor is accused of giving patients unnecessary painkillers so she could make money. Elena Polukhin, 58, is charged with health care fraud, soliciting and receiving kickbacks, and identity theft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says between February 2011 and December 2014, Polukhin prescribed most of her Bloomington clinic patients a topical pain relief cream. They could only get it from the Best Aid pharmacy in St Louis Park. According to court documents, the manager and a pharmacist at Best Aid made a cheap version of the cream, then filed false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. They allegedly paid Polukhin $40,000 dollars for her referrals and made the payments to a trust fund Polukhin created.”
It was probably easier than the Louvre. Vineeta Sawkar of the Strib writes, “The symbol of the city of love has made its way to Minnesota because of a man’s deep love for his wife. Arnie Lillo created a 43½-foot steel sculpture replica of the Eiffel Tower for his wife, Janice. She was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in February 2014. ‘I wanted to do something really nice and exceptional for my wife,’ Lillo said. As Janice battles cancer, she can gaze out the window at the smaller version of the Paris landmark that expresses her husband’s love and honors her French ancestry.”
Reservations up north? Paul Huttner of MPR says, “The lack of September cold and frost appears to have slowed the fall color progression across Minnesota this year. The last weekend in September is typically the peak for fall color up north. Colors have barely started to budge in the Twin Cities. It still looks and feels like late summer out there.”