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Allina nurses reject contract offer; authorize strike

PLUS: Gov. Mark Dayton declares it ‘Prince Day’; Minnesota’s medical cannabis is unaffordable; developer looks to build ‘micro’ apartments in St. Paul; and more. 

That would be a big fat “no.” Says Jeremy Olson’s Strib story: “Nurses for five Allina Health hospitals ‘overwhelmingly’ voted to reject a three-year contract offer from their company that would have eliminated union-backed health insurance and moved nurses to the plans covering other employees. The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) reported the voting results late Monday night, and noted that results at each voting site exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to authorize strike plans at all five hospitals. Nurses at the voting locations said they either wanted to keep their current health benefits or didn’t want to surrender them without concessions.” We all see the 800-pound irony there, right?

And no, I don’t know if purple thong underwear counts. At City Pages, Mike Mullen says, “Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday that … June 7, is officially Prince Day in Minnesota, thus bestowing an official, 24-hour state remembrance of our recently fallen rock god.  Dayton unwittingly stirred up controversy last month when, on the eve of a Beyoncé concert, he granted a day in honor of the R&B queen. Many complained about that announcement out of general disagreement. But a lot of other detractors wondered why the governor would give a day to Beyoncé, a Texan, and not Prince, who was born in this state, lived in it, and spoke often about how much he loved it. Those people got their answer today: Dayton was waiting for Prince’s birthday. Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minneapolis, would’ve turned 58 [today].”

This one probably wasn’t sanctioned by the Trump campaign. Emily Miller, at Religion News Services, writes, “The sign in front of the building reads ‘Blessed Ramadan.’ But the building isn’t a mosque or Islamic Center — it’s Pilgrim Congregational Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Duluth, Minn. And Pilgrim isn’t the only Christian congregation in Minnesota wishing its Muslim neighbors well during Islam’s holy month, when believers fast from sunup to sundown. The Blessed Ramadan campaign was organized by the Minnesota Council of Churches, which has 25 members representing a number of denominations and synods across the state, including the Church of God in Christ, the National Baptist Convention, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.”

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At first glance, you have to like the look of this. The WCCO-TV story says: “A Minnesota judge on Monday approved an aggressive timeline for testing claims of heirship to Prince’s estate. In a one-page order, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide approved a protocol proposed by the trust company overseeing his affairs. It gives existing claimants until Friday to file sworn statements detailing their claims to have a genetic relationship with Prince that would make them heirs, since no will has surfaced. New claimants will get a week from filing their initial notices to file the three-page questionnaires, which ask for details on parentage, along with supporting documents such as claimants’ birth and parents’ marriage certificates.”

Related. Says Sharyn Jackson in the Strib, “The owner of WaconiaVille Tours, [Randy] Luedtke usually shuttles guests between wineries in the countryside southwest of Minneapolis. But soon after Prince’s death, he had another idea for a tourism opportunity centered around the late hometown icon. Luedtke may be the first tour operator to unlock the potential of Prince’s draw, but his is not the first local business to reach for a slice of the purple pie in the few short weeks since the star’s death.”

Are you shocked? Do you have a compulsive desire for Cheetos? The KMSP-TV story says, “About 90 percent of Minnesota’s medical cannabis patients reported ‘mild to significant’ benefits during the first three months of the program, according to a Minnesota Department of Health survey. Only about 20 percent of patients reported side effects – the most serious being an increase in seizures in four patients. … For most patients, the biggest problem with their care has been the cost, with 73 percent reporting the cost to be unaffordable.”

When will these socialist hellhole giveaways end? In the PiPress, Josh Verges writes, “Some 1,400 of Minnesota’s newest high school graduates will get free college tuition this fall under a new state-funded program geared toward high-demand careers. The $5 million pilot project applies to about 1,200 programs, from accounting to welding, at 30 community and technical colleges. Students who earned a high school diploma or equivalent degree this school year can get full tuition waivers for one- and two-year training programs at two-year schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.”

This Lambert guy is in trouble. Nick Ferraro of the PiPress says, “The Mendota Heights City Council on Tuesday will consider firing the city’s most senior police officer — a move that follows an internal investigation sparked by a complaint from the city’s police chief. Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener and City Administrator Mark McNeil said Monday they could not discuss the complaint lodged against Sgt. Bobby Lambert because Lambert has filed a grievance over the recommended firing. … Lambert said he believes the complaint — as well as two unrelated internal affairs investigations about him that began in 2015 and are still open — are retaliation by Aschenbrener for Lambert’s role in pushing for a 2012 inquiry into accusations of wrongdoing by a fellow officer, claiming that the chief turned a blind eye.”

Did J. Edgar ever stop in? From the AP:  “The director of the FBI plans to meet with business and community leaders during a visit to Minnesota. Director James Comey also plans to tour the FBI’s Minneapolis division on Tuesday. It’s part of a two-day visit to the region. On Monday, Comey visited Williston, North Dakota, where he presided over the opening of a new FBI office.”

I think the trunk of one of my dad’s old Chryslers was bigger than this. Says Jim Buchta in the Strib, “Through an entity called Cookie Drawer Co., St. Paul developer Brad Johnson recently filed a request for a conditional-use permit with the St. Paul Planning and Economic Development Department to build the Raymond at Carleton Place, a 79-unit apartment building at 2326 Territorial Rd. in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood. As with most of the rental buildings in the area, rents will be market rate with no income restrictions, but 70 to 80 percent of the units will be ‘micro units’ with about 350 to 450 square feet and preliminary rents from about $800 to $1,000 … .”