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Duluth schools face $3M shortfall

Plus: Feds want Medicare refund from U hospital; City Pages introduces you to some Minnesotans you may not know; a little snow brag; and more.

Wikipedia Commons/Scott Feldstein

Tough decisions ahead for Duluth public schools. The Duluth News Tribune’s Jana Hollingsworth writes, “After a couple of years of investments and no painful cuts, the Duluth school district once again faces familiar deficit territory. … About $3.3 million in costs must be eliminated from an $85 million unrestricted general fund budget for next year, a number not seen since planning for the 2014 budget.” (Side note: Get a load of that Old Central High School building pictured atop the story — they don’t make ’em like that anymore.)

Might want to triple-check those Medicare billings in the future. The Star Tribune’s Christopher Snowbeck reports: “Federal auditors said the University of Minnesota Medical Center should refund more than $3.2 million in estimated overpayments for services they said were incorrectly billed to the Medicare program, according to a report being released Wednesday. … Auditors reviewed 225 claims for payments in 2012 and 2013 and found the hospital did not fully comply with Medicare billing requirements in 130 cases, said the report from the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

Get to know some of your fellow Minnesotans. City Pages is out with this year’s People Issue: “Extraordinary hides in ordinary places. People who leave the most lasting impressions upon us rarely sell out concert halls or get four-star reviews. We bump into them in the crowd, at the grocery store, or know their work but not their face. And that’s fine by them. … Unfortunately, those most deserving of a spotlight rarely stand beneath one. So let’s change that, shall we?”

After a big storm, some snowy triumphalism. MPR’s Bob Collins is proud of his fellow Minnesotans: “We’re back, baby! … Like an old, punch-drunk fighter, Minnesota showed it still has got it when it comes to handling blizzards. We weren’t all that sure we still knew how to handle a good blow, what with never getting big snowstorms anymore, but this morning we’re resuming normal routines with a minimum of fuss.”

In other news…

I-90 between Albert Lea and South Dakota is open again. But maybe avoid driving on it for a while if you can? [Rochester Post Bulletin]

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“RAW Meal” a raw deal: “Multistate salmonella outbreak linked to Garden of Life RAW Meal Organic Shake” [CNN]

Something’s up in Madelia: “Multiple Structures on Fire in Madelia” [KEYC]

Supervalu is getting a new CEO: Mark Gross, formerly of C&S Wholesale Grocers of New Hampshire. [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

Well, this was inevitable: Rep. Tom Emmer gets a challenger from the right. [St. Cloud Times]

You had us at “mystery of the Lake Victoria bison bones”: “After fisherman pulls up bone, Minnesota lake becomes archaeological site” [Inforum]

Beargrease update: Congrats to winner Nathan Schroeder! [Minnesota Brown]