For FOX-9, Allie Johnson reports, “The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed they have several sources of video related to the shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark in Minneapolis early Sunday morning, but say they will not release the footage due to the ongoing investigation. … none of the videos agents have received so far have captured the incident in its entirety. The BCA will not release the videos, despite pleas from protestors, because it does not want to compromise the integrity of their external investigation.”
A “major review” on PolyMet. For the Star Tribune, Josephine Marcotty says: “Gov. Mark Dayton may direct the state Health Department to conduct a major review of potential health risks from the proposed copper-nickel mine in northeast Minnesota, the first sign that long-standing concerns from top public health officials about drinking water contamination are now gaining traction. … if unavoidable adverse impacts to human health are found, ‘it certainly could’ have a bearing on final approval of the $650 million project, Dayton said.”
Talking about Charlie Sheen, and his claim he’s spent $10 million to keep his HIV status under wraps, Allen Costantini at KARE says: “‘As an organization,’ said [Minnesota AIDS Project] Executive Director Linda Ewing, ‘we were taken aback by someone of Charlie Sheen’s notoriety paying over $10 million, I think he said, in terms of being blackmailed about being HIV positive.’ Ewing decried the impression of promoting a stigma to being HIV positive. MAP Communications Manager Andy Birkey saw both sides of Sheen’s statements. ‘What Charlie Sheen’s story tells us is that if you have resources, you have access to treatment, that can help you lead a long and healthy life,’ said Birkey. ‘Unfortunately, many Minnesotans do not have those resources.’”
With all the talk of immigration, this one has particular resonance. Dan Browning of the Strib reports, “A Shakopee couple pleaded guilty to federal charges Monday in what authorities characterized as a wide-ranging, multi-million-dollar income tax refund scheme that preyed on immigrants in Minnesota and Florida. Mark Arlin Hammerschmidt pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and has agreed to cooperate with authorities investigating the scam. He faces up to nine years in prison. He also agreed to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution to victims. … Hammerschmidt’s agreement describes two conspiracies, one targeting Minnesota victims generally and the other targeting Guatemalans in Minnesota and elsewhere. He concealed the fraud by indicating that the victims had prepared their own returns; the Hammerschmidts did not sign the forms as preparers. The Hammerschmidts used their own bank accounts to receive the refunds and deducted their fees before paying their clients.”
Also in scams: Riham Feshir of MPR reports, “Federal prosecutors and the Minnesota Attorney General announced Tuesday they were suing a Minnesota mental health provider for defrauding the Medicaid program over nearly a decade. Complementary Support Services, based in Richfield, offers mental health diagnostic evaluations, psychotherapy, and skills training across the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. … The company submitted more than 85,000 claims for payment, each ranging from about $77 to about $260, according to the complaint. The complaint does not specify the total amount of fraud.”
Another southern bird way up north. Jim Williams in the Strib writes, “Three Great Kiskadees were seen this past weekend about 15 miles from the western border of Minnesota. One would be outstanding. Three is almost impossible. … Kiskadees are birds with a northern range just touching the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. They are seen throughout Mexico. There are scattered reports of sightings outside of Texas. There are no reports other than this weekend’s for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or Iowa. The previous verified sighting nearest Minnesota was in Kansas.”
Related? Possibly? Paul Huttner at MPR says, “Over the past year I’ve been fortunate to expand my education into how climate change is affecting northern viticulture with the help of some dedicated experts. These vine growers, researchers and breeders are creating new northern hardy vine varieties right here in Minnesota, and spreading them across northern regions throughout the world. … Many regions in Europe, the northern US and Canada are now producing quality vintages, even in previously too harsh northern climates.”
They’ll be lined up to write checks. Says Rachel Stassen Berger in the PiPress, “Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is planning a stop in Minnesota in early December, according to a fundraising invitation obtained by the Pioneer Press. The event at the Minneapolis Club is hosted by well-known names in Minnesota politics, including Bill Guidera, Tom McGill and Ben Whitney. It is slated for Dec. 2 and asks attendees to donate from $10,800 to $500 per guest spot.” Jeb! Money! Excitement!
Changes for the Fringe in 2016. Says Ed Huyck at City Pages, “Patrons at next year’s Minnesota Fringe Festival will see some changes. Changes organizers hopes will streamline the process of seeing shows and allow Fringers to be more adventurous in their choices. Starting in 2016, instead of buying individual tickets for each show, you will buy a single day pass that allows you access to any show scheduled.”
A tipster, Ray, read Power Line so I didn’t have to, and John Hinderaker has a nuanced view of the Jamar Clark shooting. “In a smaller number of cases — putting aside the handful, none in Minnesota that I am aware of, where criminal prosecution of an officer is actually warranted — the shooting may be defensible as a legal matter, but the incident reflects poor judgment or substandard police work on the part of the officer(s) involved. The Clark case might prove to be in that category. Granted that Clark needed to be restrained and arrested, did he have to be shot? The arresting officers had him outnumbered, I take it, and if needed, help was presumably just moments away, given the proximity of the precinct station. Perhaps he should have been clubbed over the head, but shot? This is, of course, speculation in advance of the facts. If video exists, it may answer most questions; but an ultimate question of judgment may remain.” The comments on the post are a whole other realm.
I often ask, “Who really understands this stuff?” So did Mark Zdechlik at MPR. “It’s health-plan enrollment season, and many people find the options complicated and difficult to understand. The jargon can be overwhelming, and it can lead people to make costly mistakes or avoid care altogether. Solicit opinions about health insurance and you’re almost guaranteed to find consensus: It’s mystifying and irritating. … Ronen Ben-Simon, 28, said some basic health insurance terms are lost on him — even though he’s a nurse. ‘I don’t even know what “co-insurance” is, to be honest,’ he said.” You’re not supposed to know, pal. Your job is to pay.