This time, no end date. Mark Zdechlik at MPR says, “The Minnesota Nurses Association on Tuesday called for nearly 5,000 Allina Health nurses to authorize an indefinite strike against five Allina hospitals. A vote is set for Aug. 18. The move comes a day after contract talks between the union and hospital system broke down again. The nurses’ health plan remains the main sticking point. … The nurses are insisting on keeping the insurance plan they have through the union. To cut expenses, the company wants them to switch to a corporate plan that 30,000 other employees use called Allina First. Nurses say they fear out-of-pocket expenses will skyrocket under Allina First.”
The Donald is catching flak from every direction. Barry Amundsen of the Forum News Service says, “Minnesota legislators and a Gold Star mother joined in the chorus of rebukes against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday for his feud with a Muslim-American couple who lost their son in the Iraq war. Former DFL state Sen. Becky Lourey, who became a Gold Star mother 11 years ago when she lost her son in combat in Iraq, said Trump should apologize to Khizr and Ghazala Khan for his comments after their brief speech at the Democratic convention last week.”
The trucker who plowed into a minivan and killed a Minnesota family of five is in serious trouble. Says John Enger for MPR, “A Nebraska prosecutor has filed five homicide counts against the driver of a semitrailer that struck and killed a Minnesota family in that state Sunday. Tony Weekly, a 53-year-old long-haul trucker from Florida, was charged with one count of motor vehicle homicide for each member of the family that died in the fiery crash. … According to a state trooper’s affidavit, Weekly was inattentive and distracted while driving at high speed in a construction zone on Interstate 80.”
Too fringe for The Fringe. Marianne Combs at MPR says, “An Arizona theater artist has sued the Minnesota Fringe Festival for barring him from this year’s lineup. Sean Neely has performed in the Minnesota Fringe in previous years. A complaint filed in Hennepin County says Neely won a spot by lottery in this year’s festival but was denied a chance to perform because of his play’s content. It centers on a convicted pedophile. Last year, his Fringe play about a stalker and rapist raised public safety concerns.” Pal, try something with lutefisk and dancing.
This will have to do until Congress decides it’s a problem even though Obama says it’s a problem. Stribber Jeremy Olson writes, “Minnesota has received a $200,000 federal grant to help track and report one of the leading concerns about the mosquito-borne Zika virus — a brain defect known as microcephaly that can occur in the newborns of infected mothers.”
A kind moment over I-94. Mary Lynn Smith of the Strib reports, “Angela Martin knew something was dangerously wrong Monday evening when she saw the stranger climb onto a concrete wall and scale a chain-link fence high above busy Interstate 94 in St. Paul. … she raced to the woman, who had climbed over the fence and was clinging to it above the whizzing traffic, pleading with her not to jump. … She wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Within minutes, Martin and a diverse group of people would pull together to save a stranger.”
Sorry, Phyllis. The Strib endorses Mohamud Noor in the House 60B primary. “A former state and county human services systems administrator, Noor, 38, has impressed us since then with his commitment to community service, policy expertise, and forceful but respectful leadership style. … Minnesotans owe [Phyllis] Kahn, 79, gratitude for a remarkable legislative career. But District 60B’s voters do not owe her a seat in the 2017-18 Legislature.”
This is probably because all the potential buyers have fled to South Dakota. Jim Buchta of the Strib says, “When Mary and Mitchell Roach decided this spring to sell the 4,000-square-foot house they built 15 years ago in Savage, they were emboldened by stories of home buyers lining up and sellers getting more than asking price. Four months and three price reductions after listing the house for $539,000, they’re still looking for a buyer and are baffled by the disconnection between the headlines and what’s happening on their quiet suburban street. ‘It’s a whole different ballgame in the $500,000 price range,’ Mary Roach said.”
I don’t see anything stopping this. Stribber Kelly Smith reports, “After 65 years, the Terrace Theatre is on its way to being demolished now that the Robbinsdale City Council has given preliminary approval to redevelopment plans for the site.”
Thank god! It’s been what, a month, since groundbreaking a new multi-million dollar sports facility? In the PiPress, Chris Thomasson reports, “Roger Goodell has seen plenty in his decade as NFL commissioner. Tuesday, though, marked the first time he ever was delivered a shovel by a skydiver. That was part of the elaborate festivities surrounding the Vikings’ breaking ground on their new training facility in Eagan that is scheduled to open in March 2018. There were cheerleaders on hand. … There was a dump truck that lifted its back to reveal a banner after the Vikings had announced a 20-year partnership with Twin Cities Orthopedics.” How much for the Personal Orthopedics Licenses?
There’s a reason why you haven’t been pulled over for your expired tabs. In the PiPress, Mara Gottfried reports, “St. Paul officer-generated calls — such as pulling over drivers or stopping to check out someone acting suspiciously — were down about 40 percent in July compared with the same month in 2015. The decline was especially pronounced in traffic stops in St. Paul since a St. Anthony officer fatally shot Philando Castile on July 6 after being pulled over in Falcon Heights. St. Paul officers stopped 1,091 drivers in the two weeks before Castile was killed and 239 in the two weeks after.”
Some classic Sally Jo Sorensen in her post on a supposedly off-the-record talk by GOP Rep. Josh Heintzeman. The full context takes some unspooling, but at the heart the guy essentially tells supporters he didn’t want to support a bill promoting Minnesota tourism because it appeared to be suggesting gay couples would be splashing in our lakes. Among other things, “Heintzeman’s description of the ad isn’t particularly accurate, since it doesn’t promote Minnesota ‘as a destination for couples that were of the same sex wanting to get married,'” Sorensen notes, “but rather features husbands Ben Meents and Chet Ritchie as they enjoy the splendors of the North Star state, as The Column’s Andy Birkey wrote in Minnesota’s tourism council ad features gay couple.” But close enough for The Base.