Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Second nurse strike at Allina possible after latest contract talks

Plus: North Dakota judge blocks voter ID law; appeals court rules against former St. Paul teacher accused of using racial insults; Twins rookie Kepler hits three home runs in a single game; and more.

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

In the Star Tribune, Jeremy Olson writes, “A second strike by Twin Cities nurses at Allina Health hospitals is looming after contract talks ended Monday, leaving the union with an offer that falls short of its demands — particularly with respect to health insurance. Negotiators for Allina and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) ended as far apart, or farther, than after a similar session a week earlier, they said. The union nonetheless said it would present Allina’s latest offer to the 4,800 nurses for a vote on Aug. 18, with strikes possible at any of the five hospitals where nurses reject the offer by a two-thirds majority.”

Rampant voter fraud is going to get, uh, “rampanter.” James MacPherson of the AP says, “A federal judge on Monday blocked North Dakota’s voter identification law after a group of American Indians said it unfairly burdens them — the latest court ruling against voting laws that critics say disproportionately affect minorities. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland issued a temporary restraining order and criticized the state for its 2013 repeal of provisions that let people without valid IDs vote if someone vouched for them or if they signed an affidavit swearing they were a qualified voter.”

Speaking of fraud, Scott Bauer of the AP says, “Donald Trump is headed to Wisconsin, where some of the state’s Republican officials have been distancing themselves from politically charged comments he made about the parents of a soldier killed in action. The Republican presidential nominee plans to hold a rally in Green Bay on Friday, his first Wisconsin stop since the state’s April primary. It comes a week after Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, campaigned in Republican-heavy Waukesha. But the Wisconsin stop also comes as Republicans in the state who have supported Trump once again find themselves backing away from comments he made.” That’s a reference to his fight with the Khan family. But by Friday they’ll have a half dozen more to back away from.

In a word, “denied.” Solvejg Wastvedt of MPR says, “A U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Monday against a former St. Paul teacher who was seeking reinstatement after resigning over racial discrimination complaints. Timothy Olmsted resigned his teaching position at St. Paul’s Heights Community School after students accused him of racial insults and physical abuse against African American students during the 2011-2012 school year. His resignation came as the district was investigating the complaints.” So he’ll have free time to get to that Green Bay rally.

Article continues after advertisement

Cutting into the heirs’ profits. Another AP story says, “The legal bills for sorting out Prince’s estate are already running into the millions. The special administrator  overseeing Prince’s estate is seeking permission to pay several law firms for work on the estate, with the biggest share — $1.9 million — going to the Stinson Leonard Street firm. Smaller amounts push the tab near $2 million, through June 30.” Can you say, “Christmas bonuses”?

Maybe next year it’ll be available at a kiosk for LebowskiFest. The AP’s Kyle Potter says, “Judy Bjerke Severson wants to be normal — visit friends and family, go to the grocery store or even sleep in her own bed — but she says the crippling pain from fibromyalgia and back surgery complications, as well as a painkiller-induced fog, have made her a shell of her former self. Monday brought a sliver of hope to her and other Minnesota residents who have incurable pain: They can buy medical marijuana, after waiting years for Minnesota to legalize the drug’s medical use and another year for intractable pain to be added as a qualifying condition. Bjerke Severson was the first person Monday morning to be seen at a Bloomington clinic, one of eight statewide that sell the medicine.”

What a tragedy. Rochelle Olson of the Strib reports, “A Minneapolis couple and their three young children were killed in a collision in Nebraska on their way to a final round of training before moving to Japan to work as Christian missionaries. Jamison and Kathryne Pals, both 29, died along with their children when a semitrailer truck truck rear-ended their minivan just before noon Sunday on Interstate 80 in a construction zone near Brule.”

I think the last book I stayed up all night to read was Burt “Boy Wonder” Ward’s “My Life in Tights.” … .. But Tracy Mumford for MPR says, “It’s 2:49 a.m. and I just finished ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.’ The latest magical installment from J.K. Rowling went on sale around the world at 12:01 this morning, and I’m not alone in tearing through it before the sun has even thought about coming up. Of course, this ‘Harry Potter’ book is not a book — it’s a script, for a play that opened last night in London.” Methinks Ms. Rowling is milking the cow dry.

Chao Xiong of the Strib says, “Jurors convicted a St. Paul woman Monday in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend last year following an argument about White Castle. Melissa M. Fostvedt, 34, was convicted in Ramsey County District Court of second-degree murder without intent and acquitted of second-degree murder with intent in the Dec. 5 killing of Thomas Calvin Donald Jenkins. … Fostvedt stabbed Jenkins, 21, in the armpit after an argument about not getting enough food at White Castle. Jenkins’ family members told police that Fostvedt often hit him, yelled at him and spit on him.”

Shocker! No Strib endorsement for Jason Lewis. “… the Star Tribune Editorial Board is endorsing John Howe in the primary for the Second Congressional District. Howe’s time as mayor of Red Wing gave him valuable perspective on governing at the local level. … Former radio talk show host Jason Lewis, who once styled himself as ‘Minnesota’s Mr. Right,’ is knowledgeable on the issues, but also representative of the abrasive political culture that brought us Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.” But if he can get Breitbart to endorse … .

We’ve got your McMansion antidote right here. Bob Shaw of the PiPress says, “Betsy Gabler wants to sell you a teensy-weensy house. It would sell for the itsy-bitsy price of $100,000. It would have a micro-yard. Environmentally, it would have a footprint the size of a baby shoe. Its neighborhood would be, of course, tiny. All 36 units would be tucked into a cozy 1.5-acre corner in St. Paul. ‘They would not quite look like giant Legos, but maybe a little bit,’ said Gabler, as she gave a tour of the LightHouse, a prototype of the proposed micro-homes. Gabler is the business development director for Alchemy Architects, which has designed tiny houses called Weehouses around the country.” Is there garage space for the boat?

All they do is win. Rookie Max Kepler had quite a night in Cleveland. Phil Miller for the Strib says, “Kepler one-upped them all — three-upped, actually — by smashing three home runs, becoming the first rookie in Twins history to put on such a display of power. … Kepler is the fifth Twins player ever to collect three in a game, and the other four are (or will someday be) in the Twins Hall of Fame: Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva already are, and Justin Morneau, the last to do it back on July 6, 2007 in Chicago, figures to be elected a few years after he retires.”