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Questions over who will control Prince’s estate

Plus: Paisley Park could become museum; Legislature battles over Real ID and education spending; fire at Waseca ballpark likely arson; and more.

REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh

Clearly, Prince is a story that will hang with us for a while. Lindsay Kimble for People writes, “Prince’s legacy will live on – but in whose hands? In the days following the iconic musician’s death, speculation has been rampant as to who will take control of Prince’s massive estate – which is estimated to be at least $250 million – a figure that could grow by another $100 million over the next five years as demand for his music grows. Prince, whose birth name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was preceded in death by both of his parents and only has one full biological sibling, sister Tyka Nelson. The singer also has three living half-brothers and two living half-sisters.” That large dark swarm circling above? Attorneys.

Meanwhile the Strib smells an Elvis move. “As tributes to Prince’s life and career are contemplated, here is one that is almost obvious: Turn Paisley Park into Minnesota’s equivalent of Graceland — a memorial to the decadeslong career of Prince Rogers Nelson, who proved to the music world that you didn’t have to leave home to make it big. Musician and longtime Prince collaborator Sheila E. recently told ‘Entertainment Tonight’ that such a development may be in the works and that Prince already had been planning it.” Would it cost taxpayers less than another stadium?

In the International Business Times, Abigail Abrams says, “While it is unclear whether he arranged a will, Prince has few living family members, leaving many to speculate that he may have left some of his estate to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The singer was worth at least $300 million, according to the online site Celebrity Net Worth, and his estate will continue getting money from royalties after his death. There are only about 8.2 million active Jehovah’s Witnesses, in a little more than 118,000 congregations around the world, and the church spent $236 million in 2015, according to the 2016 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which annually chronicles the organization’s activities. The church has no paid clergy, and its website touts a modest lifestyle — most of the money was spent on caring for leaders, missionaries and traveling overseers around the world.”

How about we settle this without the usual posturing and fussing? For the AP Kyle Potter tells us, “House Republicans advanced a bill Monday that wouldn’t allow Minnesota residents to keep their older IDs as the state makes upgrades to satisfy the federal government — the latest in the list of issues the Legislature will need to address as lawmakers weigh how to comply with Real ID. With less than a month to go until the legislative session winds down, there are no shortage of conflicting views between the House and Democrat-controlled Senate over the federal ID standards. A top Senate lawmaker said they’ll push to maintain the option of using an older ID and roll out the newer cards on a slower timeline than Republicans have envisioned.”

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Then there’s this. Also from the AP, “The Republican-controlled Minnesota House passed a spending package Monday for public schools and universities that includes some small increases without dipping into the state’s $900 million budget surplus. With an extra $55 million to boost recruiting efforts to improve teacher diversity and increase funding for some early learning programs, the House GOP’s education spending plan shows the wide divide between Republicans and Gov. Mark Dayton and his fellow Democrats in control of the Senate.”

Says Don Davis for the Forum News Service, “Like in other areas of the budget, Republican House leaders opted not to raise the amount of money spent on education from a two-year budget passed last year. However, House Education Chairwoman Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, found some existing money for new uses. We tackle a few things that our districts are telling us are becoming critical needs,’ Loon said, including methods to fill rural teacher shortages and those in certain types of teachers such as special education and science.  The House bill would set aside $16.8 million for teacher shortages.”

Not a lot of major league breaking balls in the minors. Another AP story says, “The Minnesota Twins have sent center fielder Byron Buxton back to the minors after the organization’s top prospect had another rough start at the plate. … Buxton and outfielder Max Kepler were optioned Monday to Triple-A Rochester before the Twins hosted Cleveland. To aid an ailing roster, utility man Danny Santana was reinstated from the disabled list and right-hander Alex Meyer was recalled from Rochester. The 22-year-old Buxton is batting .156 with 24 strikeouts in 45 at-bats. He also struggled to hit in his 46-game debut last season.”

Dive deep. MPR’s Lorna Benson says, “A treasure trove of information on health conditions, medical services and costs in Minnesota is now available to researchers, providers and insurers. The Minnesota Department of Health is publishing the first batch of data from its Minnesota All Payer Claims Database this week, and lawmakers hope researchers will mine the information to learn more about variations in health care services and patient outcomes. The repository contains provider billing information collected by insurance companies, plan administrators and public payers. The data summarize health conditions, medical services and costs, but patient identities have been removed.” Hackers will never figure it out.

Another guilty plea. Says Matt Sepic at MPR, “Another young Twin Cities man accused of trying to join ISIS has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. Prosecutors say 21-year-old Hamza Ahmed and several other men tried to travel to Syria in 2014 to fight with the terror group. He and four other men were indicted by a federal grand jury in October. He was charged with five crimes including conspiracy to murder outside the United States, conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, lying to the FBI and financial aid fraud.”

Kind of a refresher course, I guess. An MPR item says, “Psychologist Phillip Atiba Goff told the Minnesota chiefs of police that bigotry is alive and well, but that isn’t the whole story. He says racism in police work is about actions and behavior, not motives or character. He offered an examination of what’s called ‘implicit bias.’ Goff is a psychology professor, visiting scholar at Harvard, and founder of the Center for Policing Equity.”

Great. Also via MPR: “Police in Waseca said Monday the fire that destroyed part of a historic ball field earlier this month was intentionally set. … The police department adds that a man seen near the ballfield is not a suspect, but investigators are interviewing others who might have seen what happened.” A baseball park? Why? The kid who was picked last for right field?