“Terminated” — effective immediately — at Starkey. The MPR story by Tom Scheck says, “Several of Starkey Hearing Technologies’ top officers, including the company’s president and chief financial officer, have been terminated. An email obtained by MPR News said Starkey Hearing Technologies’ President Jerry Ruzicka, Chief Financial Officer Scott Nelson, Senior Vice President of Operations Keith Guggenberger and Senior Vice President of Human Resources Larry Miller were fired, effective immediately. … Officials with the Eden Prairie Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office say their respective departments have no open investigations into Starkey or the former executives.”
For the Strib, Jim Spencer and Dee DePass say, “At least one of the executives was escorted from the building by two security workers Wednesday morning, said another company employee, who also requested anonymity. The names of the four executives were removed from Starkey’s corporate website Wednesday. … Fred Zimmerman, a retired manufacturing and engineering professor at the University of St. Thomas who follows Twin Cities companies, said the clearing of an entire layer of executives is a drastic step. He called the firings ‘extremely unusual.’”
For WCCO-TV, Bill Hudson says, “Company employees were reluctant to speak on camera but voiced frustration over what’s behind the mass firings. The FBI, Eden Prairie Police and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office all said they are not involved in any criminal investigation at the company. Everyone is asking what’s behind the firings. There are a lot of rumors circulating, including mismanagement or even financial wrongdoings. But at this point it seems to be an internal matter of a privately held company … .” Follow the money.
You take your life in your hands. MPR’s Riham Feshir reports, “A 51-year-old Sartell man was apparently doing everything right, wearing a helmet and riding his bicycle on the wide shoulder of a rural central Minnesota road. But authorities said despite the cyclist’s precautions, he was killed after a car struck him from behind. … ‘I think he was doing anything he possibly could. He was riding in a legal, safe manner, traveling where bicyclists should travel’ Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold said. ‘And I can’t imagine he could’ve done anything differently to prevent this for himself.’ A Pasadena, Calif., woman was headed to Michigan when she drifted off the road and hit [the victim], Bechtold said.”
Really classy, dude. KARE-TV reports, “A man is facing criminal charges after police say he stole a donation box for childhood cancer from a fast food restaurant Tuesday. Employees at Culver’s called Eagan Police shortly after 9:30 p.m. and reported that a man had grabbed a box filled with cash for pediatric brain tumor research and left the restaurant.” What are you going to hit next? Some kid’s lemonade stand?
As promised, there was a demonstration and it shut down Summit Avenue. The AP says, “Hundreds of abortion opponents have rallied outside the home of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, calling for the state to investigate Planned Parenthood. The rally Wednesday follows the release of secretly recorded videos of group officials discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood says there is no evidence of wrongdoing. … But a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman told KSTP.com that Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota doesn’t have a fetal tissue donation program, so there is nothing to investigate.” Well then … then … impeach it!
Oh come on! Even the seniors are sticking it to us? Says Eric Roper in the Strib, “The National Senior Games sprinted across the finish line in the Twin Cities this July, but the event left behind a $300,000 bill in Minneapolis. Local organizers of the massive 50-plus sporting festival have not paid the city about $303,000 for use of the Convention Center, a payment that was due Aug. 21, city officials said Wednesday. All that has been paid is a $5,000 down payment from before the gathering, which is very rare for a large event at the Convention Center.”
Meanwhile in pro sports, Roper also writes, “Tensions over the public cost for a park beside the new Vikings stadium erupted during a City Council discussion Wednesday. At stake is nearly $2 million the council committed toward the park’s design in January, with the expectation it would be paid back through fundraising. It’s now anticipated those costs won’t be repaid, partly because potential donors want City Hall to have more stake in the project. The city’s total investment is largely unchanged, however, since staffers obtained $1.5 million in grants from the state to offset expenses related to cleanup and demolition of the Star Tribune building — where the park will ultimately be built. Staff said Wednesday that they are dipping into existing department budgets to make up the roughly $500,000 remaining.”
Now it’s up to No. 3! Says Tim Nelson for MPR, “Chances are this last summer was one of the top two in your lifetime, weather-wise. That’s according to the State Climatology Office, a division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The agency developed a ‘Summer Glory Index’ to measure the relative comfort of Minnesota summers — at least in the Twin Cities, since that’s where records go back the furthest for historical calculations. The summer of 2015 ranked third in the climate record, behind 1922 and 2008, according to senior climatologist Kenny Blumenfeld, who is the originator of the index.” Oh, lordie are we going to pay for this.
Ever wonder what Minnesota’s best seller is? A USA Today story by a trio of writers lists each state’s single top-selling product:
> Largest export: Medical needles
> 2014 medical needles value: $0.88 billion
> Pct. change in medical needles export value (2013-2014): 13.2%
> Medical needles as share of total state exports: 4.1%
Minnesota has a very diverse profile of exports, with no product type accounting for more than 5% of the value of products leaving the state for foreign shores. Products such as aircraft, circuitry, and automobiles account for substantial shares of the state’s exports. However, the state’s biggest export in 2014 was medical syringes and needles, with an export value of roughly $875 million, or 4.1% of the state’s total exports. With such global medical device companies as St. Jude Medical, Medtronic, and Boston Scientific, the state is the national leader in the manufacturing of medical devices.
What about Wisconsin? If you said “Breathalyzers” you’re wrong.
Speaking of our fine but occasionally feral neighbors Marino Eccher of the PiPress interviews Steve Merchant, wildlife population and regulation program manager for the Minnesota DNR about wild pigs.
Q: What’s going on in Wisconsin?
A: They are actually trying to eradicate them from the wild. They’ve been doing some aggressive removal of their known feral population. I think they’re making inroads.
Q: How does that differ from Minnesota?
We are taking a different tack on that, because a lot of states that deal with these told us that when hunters are out in the field see them and shoot them, it actually makes the pig really wise and makes it really difficult for the professionals to come in and remove them. That’s why we had the law (which did not previous address feral hogs) changed. We would prefer people not shoot them. We prefer they contact us. Simply hunting them down doesn’t really remove them, and in effect it sort of provides a sport that some people tend to like, so they actually develop a constituency. We’re trying to avoid that.
Dem Cheeseheads love der pig-huntin’.