Klobuchar introduces bill to aid veterans with ‘burn pit’-related health issues

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Burn pits. It just sounds bad. For the Pioneer Press, Julio Ojeda-Zapata and Kristi Belcamino report: “Melissa Gillett recalls the sickly sweet, nearly vomit-inducing smell during her runs around Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, where she served as a member of the Minnesota National Guard. … The revolting odor emanated from a big ‘burn pit,’ one of many the U.S. military has used over the years in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places to dispose of trash, chemicals and more. … And now the 29-year-old Fargo, N.D. woman is sick, very sick. … Gillett’s story, and that of many other veterans who have served near the burn pits, is now at the heart of an effort to better help those believed to be suffering health problems as a direct result. … Gillett appeared Sunday alongside U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar at the American Lung Association in St. Paul to promote a bill called the Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act.”

Some coverage of cover crops. The West Central Tribune reports: “While cover crops have garnered a lot of press in recent years, [farmer Ian] Cunningham and the generations of his family before him were early innovators. … Now, he’s an innovator, too, as part of the first wave of state farmers in the newly launched Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program that helps in the state’s effort to improve waters across the state and in return guarantees farmers that they won’t be bothered with any new state or federal regulations for 10 years. …So far, about 125 of the state’s 80,000 farms are in the program, but hundreds more have applied and the state hopes to boost the number certified significantly in coming years, according to Minnesota Ag Commissioner Dave Frederickson.”

License to fill… in your eyelashes. The Star Tribune’s Maya Rao and J. Patrick Coolican report: “…eyelash technicians must possess an artistic flair and obsessive attention to detail. Yet despite the perils of sharp objects dancing millimeters from the delicate skin of an eyelid, the profession does not require a license that establishes standards of training and experience for lengthening eyelashes. … Now Minnesota legislators are debating whether to require licenses for a range of occupations including massage and music therapists, clinical lactation specialists, and eyelash technicians. These proposals are unfolding amid a national debate about the increasing appearance of licensure requirements in jobs that once required none.”

We’ve heard a lot about Prince the talented musician and Prince the loyal Minnesotan. But what about Prince the Jehovah’s Witness? The L.A. Times’ Matt Pearce has that story: “This may have been the plainest room Prince spent time in as an adult. … Auditorium A in the Kingdom Hall of the St. Louis Park Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses doesn't have a dance club or a recording studio. The Jehovah's Witnesses who meet in this small complex outside Minneapolis don't even have any musical instruments except for a piano hidden in a closet that no one uses. The walls are various shades of beige. Nothing shines, and nothing is purple. Nothing about it says ‘Prince.’ … ‘He was accepted as our brother,’ said congregant Josephine Parker, 74, on Sunday  as the congregation gathered for its first meeting since Prince's death. ‘He wasn't treated as maybe the world would treat him.’”

In other news…

This one seems like an easy win for the Legislature: “Purple as the official state color? Prince would approve” [Pioneer Press]

Have to wait and see: “What will happen to Prince's unreleased recordings?” [MPR]

We could offer them some of that money that Essar is repaying the state… oh wait. “Lawmakers crafting subsidy package to lure mystery plant to Iron Range” [MPR]

Talk about synergy: “Watch MC Hammer Help This Brand Stop Hammer Time — Literally: 3M's Command strips get the perfect spokesman” [Ad Week]

Might want to get working on your moat: “World's largest Viking Ship departs Norway bound for Duluth” [Northland News Center]

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 04/25/2016 - 01:19 pm.

    Thanks for the mention

    It was a pleasure meeting Melissa on Sunday, and hearing her story.

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