Minnesota afflicted by ‘super lice’

Detail showing delousing from Jan Siberechts' painting Cour de ferme, 1662
Detail from Jan Siberechts’ painting Cour de ferme, 1662

And yet another idea for cheesy horror flick. Says Molly Guthrey in the Pioneer Press, “In Lake Wobegon, all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average — including the lice on our heads, apparently: A recent study reported that Minnesota is one of 25 states where lice show resistance to common treatments. The report on the so-called ‘super lice’ had us, um, scratching our heads. …  Wearing hats, braids or hair products treated with peppermint or tea-tree oil also help prevent and repel lice.” Perhaps a kryptonite pomade?

Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario is OK with the decision to skip a grand jury in the Jamar Clark case. “In recent weeks, he met with other community folks, consulted with fellow prosecutors here and across the country, and arrived at what I believe is a Solomonic decision for the times. At the news conference, he did ring a warning bell to those who think this will lead to automatic charges of some kind for ‘politically correct’ reasons. Whether it’s the grand jury or his office, he will charge or not charge based on the body of evidence, or lack thereof, and an assessment of probable cause in the case. Many prosecutors automatically punt such cases to grand juries for political cover. There is no guarantee Freeman will not be lit up in effigy if he declines to prosecute.

More on the idea of a primary here instead of caucuses. Says Don Davis for the Forum News Service, “On Wednesday, [Rep. Tim Sanders, R-Blaine], House Government and Elections Policy Committee heard that some Minnesotans, especially those new to the state, tried to cast ballots in election polling places, not realizing the state holds caucuses, not a primary. Cramming a day’s worth of voting into about an hour proved impossible in many areas as 300,000 Minnesotans turned out for the volunteer-run caucuses.”

Weird weather day up in Duluth. The News Tribune says, “The storm system that affected the Northland on Wednesday produced drastically different experiences depending on where you were in the region. Areas along the shore of Lake Superior saw heavy, in some cases flooding rain. Away from the warming influence of the lake, the Duluth airport saw more than a half-foot of snow and other locations saw even more. Joe Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth, said forecasters were puzzled by the layer of warm air near Lake Superior that kept lakefront areas in all rain most of the day. The rain finally changed over to snow in downtown Duluth in the late afternoon.” I always love “the warming influence” of … Superior.

In support of pheasants and other living things. Tom Cherveny of the Forum says, “A broad coalition of 50 conservation groups, from Audubon Minnesota and Ducks Unlimited to Pheasants Forever, have signed on to supporting Minnesota’s application for the latest Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. It could make it possible to protect 100,000 acres of marginal farmland in perpetual easements. It’s among two conservation initiatives whose fates could be determined as part of Gov. Mark Dayton’s bonding proposal now before the Legislature.”

Related: The Forum folks also say, “Changes in Minnesota’s year-old law requiring vegetative buffers received approval of a Senate committee Wednesday. Over objections of environmental groups, a Senate agriculture committee on a split voice vote moved Sen. Rod Skoe’s bill to extend until 2025 the time when all buffers must be in place. Current law sets that limit at 2018.”

You can help. Matt McKinney in the Strib says, “A wave of heroin overdose deaths and hospitalizations across northern Minnesota prompted an urgent plea from authorities Wednesday for the public’s help in identifying dealers and users in an effort to prevent further tragedies. Seven people have died and more than a dozen have been hospitalized in the past few weeks … .”

On Real ID, Brian Bakst at MPR reports, “Under pressure from business groups and ordinary travelers, legislators are trying to head off complications in domestic air travel that could result from not making the change, which will affect about 4 million state drivers licenses and ID cards. … The Senate bill requires the Department of Public Safety to report to the Legislature by March 31 on how it would roll out the new ID cards and how much it would cost the state and license holders to make the switch. Those plans would cover data security, training of driver’s license agents and the ability for people who don’t want the compliant ID cards to opt out.”

It’s usually bad when your lawyers bail on you. Says Randy Furst in the Strib, “Attorneys from a prominent Minneapolis law firm said on Wednesday that they would no longer represent one of the city’s biggest landlords in a lawsuit brought by some of his tenants after the landlord was accused of submitting phony leases to a Hennepin County housing court. Two lawyers with Fredrikson & Byron announced that they were withdrawing as counsel to landlord Stephen Frenz … .”

At foodpoisoningbulletin.com (bookmark it for easier reference) Carla Gillespie reports, “Minnesota was hard hit by a multistate E.coli outbreak linked to Pizza Ranch restaurants. Five of 13 people sickened are from Minnesota where health officials say those sickened developed E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating at Pizza Ranch between December 6, 2015 and January 16, 2016. Dough used to make desserts is the suspected source of the outbreak. Pizza Ranch has discontinued using the dough.”

I can’t say I’m surprised. But Lorna Benson of MPR says, “Low-income adults in Minnesota are much more likely to develop diabetes than people with higher incomes, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. New research shows that 13 percent of working-age Minnesotans who earn less than $35,000 annually have diabetes. That compares to a diabetes rate of just 5 percent for earners who make more than $35,000. Income was consistently associated with disease rates even when other risk factors, such as age and education levels, were factored out.”

Searching for Benita Mussolini: Strib columnist Gail Rosenblum expresses a bit of sympathy for a local woman with a problematic name.

Q: So, Donna Trump, you currently use the word “volatile” to describe your name. Are people really reacting to you differently than before this election season began?

A: No question people have a reaction. They’ll say, ‘I’ll bet you get a lot of jokes about your name.’ There used to be an occasional comment when I introduced myself. Now, and I’m a little bit ashamed to say it, I’ve gotten more wary. I don’t say, ‘This is Donna Trump.’ I say, ‘I’m a writer from Edina Magazine.’ I don’t want my name to be the first thing people hear.”

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