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Doctors remain wary of Minnesota’s medical marijuana program

Plus: First graders console Blair Walsh; big year for corn and soybean production; good samaritan saves boy from burning pickup; and more.

I’m sure you’re as shocked as I am to read this story from Jennifer Brooks in the Strib, “Many doctors remain leery of Minnesota’s expanding medical marijuana program. When Dr. Charles Reznikoff, a member of the state’s Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research, sent out an informal survey on the program to hundreds of fellow physicians around the state, the responses were overwhelmingly negative. … The majority opposed the idea of expanding Minnesota’s program to pain patients; and most thought the program just meant more hassle and paperwork for them.” Heck, it’s a hassle just read the rules for the program.

Awwww.  Vineeta Sawkar of the Strib has a piece about little kids trying to make a sad Viking happier. “‘While Vikings fans around the state continued to curse [kicker Blair Walsh] and rip him apart on Twitter, first-grade teacher Judie Offerdahl thought Walsh’s difficult situation would be a great way to put empathy into practice for her students. … So students are writing heartfelt messages to an athlete they don’t know. ‘Dear Blair Walsh,’ wrote one. ‘I know that it can be hard to get through things that are sad. But you have to try and try again. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. One time I made a mistake when I was doing a cartwheel. I felt embarrassed. You can still help the Vikings win the Super Bowl next year. Your fan, Sophia Doffin.’”

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Yep, good growin’ year. Says Stribber Tom Meersman: “Minnesota’s two major crops, corn and soybeans, set production records last year, thanks to near ideal growing conditions in most parts of the state. The final yields will help farmers’ bottom lines, as they needed the extra weeks of growing to make up for low prices.”

But MPR’s Mark Steil does a bit of a Debbie Downer saying, “As president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, [Noah] Hultgren talks often with his fellow farmers. While they’re pleased with the big harvest in Minnesota and across the United States, they’re not happy with the low grain prices. With large amounts of corn and other grains in storage, commodity traders are offering less to buy them. Hultgren said corn prices are as much as $1 per bushel below what most farmers need to make break even.”  

KFGO radio, (“The Mighty 790 AM”), reports another non-surprise. “A first responder with Dalton Fire-Rescue has pleaded guilty to stealing money from the victim of a crash that killed two brothers from Moorhead last summer. Tara Lindquist, 42, admitted to taking money from a billfold that she found lying along I-94. … She will also pay $86 to Mark Schwandt, a passenger in the pickup.”

In the Grand Forks Herald, Tom Olsen reports, “Duluth police officer Todd Kuusisto, who was placed on administrative leave after being charged with a domestic violence incident in November, is now accused of drunken driving. … The incident isn’t likely to have an immediate impact on Kuusisto’s position, as he was already on leave stemming from the Nov. 22 domestic violence incident. In that incident, Kuusisto was arrested after allegedly striking a woman in a moving car … .”

As much pro as con in the “gender non-conforming” fight. Says Pat Pheifer in the Strib, “Opponents and advocates of a St. Paul public charter school’s plan to adopt a policy to support gender-nonconforming students came out in roughly equal numbers to a meeting about the issue Tuesday night — but their deep divisions were expressed only silently. The Minnesota Family Council, a Minneapolis-based Christian organization, rented space at Nova Classical Academy to discuss the school’s struggle to respond to the concerns of the parents of a 5-year-old student who is gender-nonconforming. The council has said it supports parents who oppose gender discussions with students.”

Hats off to this guy. WCCO-TV says, “Two people are dead after a crash in Anoka County Tuesday morning, according to Anoka County officials. … Authorities said they believe the driver of the pickup drifted over the center lane into the path of the oncoming SUV. Officers report a Good Samaritan discovered a small child belted into the rear of the pickup truck. Thomas Rush, of Grandy, went into the burning truck to pull the child to safety. ‘It was scary, very scary,’ Rush told WCCO by phone. ‘I heard her screaming, and you don’t really have much to think about. The kid’s alive, the vehicle’s on fire — what do you think about? Get her out.’” He opened the passenger door and unbuckled the child from the jump seat. As he pulled her to safety, the truck was engulfed in flames.”

Before I ran out to get a third mortgage on the ranch to buy Powerball tickets, I read this on KSTP-TV’s site. “WHY ARE ALL THE JACKPOT WINNERS FROM CERTAIN STATES? Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, a group of state lotteries that oversee Powerball, said this is one of the most frequent complaints. ‘It’s human nature to think the other guy is winning,’ said Sally Lunsford, public affairs director for the Kansas Lottery. It’s also wrong, though there are anomalies. For example, in the past two years, Missouri and Tennessee have each been home to three Powerball jackpot winners, while New York, the nation’s fourth most populous state, has only had one winner during that span. Lottery officials, backed by mathematicians, said probabilities equal out over time, but in shorter periods, oddities can occur, in the same way someone could flip a coin and get heads five times in a row.” Dang! And here I thought I had to get a job in a chicken rendering plant in South Skunk Holler to have a shot at winning numbers.

Finally, the L.A. threat is off the table. Not for us, of course. We bit hard and swallowed it whole. But the NFL’s 32 owners have voted to let the St. Louis Rams move back to Los Angeles, and maybe bunk with the San Diego Chargers in the same new stadium. Never mind that the Chargers owner has said he’s not interested in doing that. Says Neil deMause at Field of Schemes, “… I’m more and more leaning toward putting my money on what I suggested yesterday, an agreement that’s contingent on a deal being worked out — either ‘We approve the Rams and Chargers moving if they can work out a shared stadium deal’ or ‘We approve the Rams moving, and the Chargers can too if they agree to share the Rams stadium.’ That would kick the hard part — working out an agreement between [Rams owner Stan] Kroenke and [Chargers owner Dean] Spanos not just on where to play but on how to divvy up the costs and revenues of a shared stadium — back to those two guys, and at least leave the rest of the league feeling like they’ve accomplished something this week. Though it would still mean we wouldn’t be sure which teams if any were moving where for several more weeks or months, and could end up leading to some really sad lame-duck seasons in 2016.”