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Striking nurses to vote on latest Allina proposal

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Allina vote: MPR’s Lorna Benson reports: “After three long days of negotiations, the Minnesota Nurses Association said it will let its members decide whether to approve Allina Health’s latest contract proposal. Union negotiators said in a statement that they are ‘not making a recommendation’ on the offer. The rank and file will vote Monday on the three-year package, which would be retroactive to June 1.”

Talk about making 45,000 people’s day. Says Christopher Snowbeck for the Strib, “The state Department of Human Services has asked about 45,000 people to reapply by the end of September for public health insurance coverage so that officials can fix data mismatches between two computer systems. Letters sent in mid-August described a ‘system problem’ that prevented state officials from determining if the enrollees were eligible for benefits in either the MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance programs.”

The KMSP-TV story by Ashley Cole says, “A cornfield in Edgerton, Minn. has been carved in to the shape of Minnesota with all 87 counties outlined. Father-son duo, Randy and Seth Spronk created the masterpiece. This is their fourth year of participating to benefit the Rock River Pumpkin Festival. The maze took 10 hours to develop and a little over 3 hours to actually cut.”

Blue ribbon schools. Says Beatrice Dupuy in the Strib, “The U.S. Department of Education has awarded five Minnesota schools with the prestigious Blue Ribbon recognition. The national honor is given to the highest performing schools for their efforts in closing the achievement gap. … The five Minnesota schools who made the cut this year are: Parker Elementary School in the Elk River Area School District, Friendship Academy of Fine Arts, Birchview Elementary School in the Wayzata Public School District, DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science, and St. Anthony Village Senior High in the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District.” 

Look up. An MPR story says, “A geomagnetic storm may deliver a potentially awesome northern lights display the next couple of nights across Minnesota. If skies are clear, it could be something. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center says the ‘effects from a large coronal hole high speed stream’ are expected to last through Friday before the intensity decreases Saturday. That opens the window to much of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin to the wondrous spectacle … .”

A question that you have to ask. Emma Nelson of the Strib writes, “In a talk Wednesday evening in St. Paul, [Minnesota Zoo’s vice president for biological programs Kevin] Willis explained to a crowd of donors and members of the zoo’s young professionals group that the grizzly bear incident wasn’t as extreme as it appeared. The bears were digging in their enclosure, unearthed a boulder, and in the course of playing with it, broke one of the glass panes that divide them from visitors. Even so, stories like that can raise questions about the role of zoos, and whether animals should live in captivity.”

They’re running the table in the Grazzini-Rucki case. Says Karen Zamora of the Strib, “The woman who helped Sandra Grazzini-Rucki hide her two teenage daughters from their father for more than two years was convicted Thursday in connection with their disappearance in Dakota County District Court. After an hour of deliberation, the jury found Deirdre ‘Dede’ Evavold, 52, of St. Cloud, guilty of six counts of felony deprivation of custodial/parental rights. She is being held without bail pending her sentencing on Nov. 10 in the Hastings courthouse.”

What this country needs is more people who will stop the government from doing anything! Says Bill Salisbury for the PiPress, “Motorists heading out of Willmar to St. Cloud or the Twin Cities can expect a couple of traffic jams. … The highway is a major freight corridor for west-central Minnesota, and residents of the region have been clamoring for widening the road for years. That’s why the Legislature not passing a public works borrowing bill this year has become a hot campaign topic in the swing districts that represent the area. Democrats blame Republicans. Republicans blame Democrats. For voters, the breakdown over bonding reinforces a widely held view that it was another ‘do-nothing session’ at the Capitol.

Have you seen “the putt”? For the PiPress, Brian Murphy writes, “David Johnson of Mayville, N.D., empowered hecklers everywhere Thursday when he accepted Team Europe’s putting challenge during a Ryder Cup practice round and sank the 12-footer the pros missed. Moments earlier, Johnson barked at British Open champion and Olympic silver medalist Henrik Stenson, ‘Silver medal is what we call first loser’! As Johnson yelled, ‘You can’t make this putt’ to Stenson’s teammate, Justin Rose, Stenson gestured to Johnson at the rope line and waved him onto the green. Johnson, dressed in blue jeans, a red fleece, loafers and a Twins baseball cap, bounded onto the putting surface as the crowd erupted.” Yeah, there’s video.

Says Sarah Horner, also in the PiPress, “The home where a White Bear Lake man lived with two bodies for over a year has been deemed temporarily uninhabitable. The house on the 4700 block of Sandra Lane was placarded by the city’s inspection department Sept. 21, one day after police responded to a welfare check at the home and discovered the bodies inside, according to city staff. ‘It needs to be cleaned’, said Jeff Rose, the housing inspector for White Bear Lake. ‘There have been dead bodies decomposing inside (the house) for over a year. … There are bugs, flies, maggots … bodily fluids.’” And who exactly is going to live there now?

So you’re saying I’ve still got a chance. For the AP Steve Karnowski says, “A legal wrinkle in Prince’s estate case shows you might not have to be a blood relative to inherit some of the late rock superstar’s sizable fortune. No will has surfaced since Prince accidentally overdosed on painkillers in April, so his sister, Tyka Nelson, and five half-siblings are likely to be declared rightful heirs within the next few months. But the judge also has to decide whether a purported niece and grandniece — plus a purported nephew who came forward this week — should count as heirs even though they may not be blood relatives. That’s because in Minnesota, there are circumstances in which someone can be considered a parent based on having a familial relationship with a child, such as informally raising a nonbiological child as their own.”

And how did Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s day go? Glad you asked. Stacey Cowley of the New York Times reports, “One by one, Democrats and Republicans alike took turns ripping apart Mr. Stumpf and what took place at the bank he leads. They denounced the actions as ‘theft,’ ‘a criminal enterprise,’ identity fraud, an outrage and a devastating blow to the entire banking industry. But that was not all of Wells Fargo’s bad news for the day. Also on Thursday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency fined Wells Fargo $20 million for violating rules on lending to members of the military, including a rate cap on how much interest can be charged to service members on active duty.” Ripping off vets. Nice. I assume the bank thanked them for their service.

And a Wall Street Journal trio says, “Fighting to stay in his job as the bank encounters increasing attacks from Republican and Democrat politicians and some customers, Mr. Stumpf was grilled again during the more than four-hour hearing and at times didn’t have specific answers to defend the bank’s actions. ‘I’m amazed at what you do not know about your business,’ said Rep. Roger Williams (R.-Texas). ‘I’ve heard more ‘I don’t knows’ from a CEO than I think I’ve ever heard in my life.’ Though Mr. Stumpf came to the committee with a few more details to share, he was often cut off by the dozens of representatives eager to use their allotted time in their last hearing before the November election to criticize the bank and Mr. Stumpf’s leadership.” Of course, most of the House members will go home and plot ways to defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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