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Allina nurses reject latest contract offer

Plus: Minnesota House candidate arrested for domestic assault; no charges filed against four Gopher football players; another hotel planned for downtown Minneapolis; and more.

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

The answer is ‘no.’ Jeremy Olson of the Strib says: “Allina Health hospital nurses voted Monday night to reject a contract offer from their employer, increasing the likelihood that their walkout over health benefits, staffing and safety concerns will go down as the longest nursing strike in Minnesota history. While the Minnesota Nurses Association had not recommended a ‘no’ vote, many nurses said they felt it was too similar to the offer they rejected in August.”

Breitbart is down with U of M President Eric Kaler. Says Tom Ciccotta, “President Eric W. Kaler of the University of Minnesota took a stand for free speech after several community members demanded that student Trump supporters be prevented from expressing themselves on a new campus art installation. A university activity which involved students painting a panel on the Washington Avenue Bridge quickly caused controversy after several students proposed adding a pro-Trump slogan. The proposed panel was to include contributions from several different student groups. After backlash from the community, President Eric W. Kaler reaffirmed the school’s commitment to freedom of expression in an email in which he insisted that the University of Minnesota ‘supports a campus climate that welcomes all members of our community and our values of equity and diversity, but that also ensures the free flow of ideas, even those that are offensive to some.’”

A precedent has been set. In the Strib Jean Hopfensperger writes, “The woman who sued an Indian Catholic diocese last year for reinstating the priest who sexually abused her in Minnesota has reached a landmark settlement that she hopes will set a precedent for similar abuse cases nationally. … .”

Doh! Aaron Rupar for ThinkProgress says, “As people around the country learned about the possibility self-proclaimed 10 billion dollar man Donald Trump hasn’t paid income taxes in nearly two decades over the weekend, some in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota received this mailer from the state Republican party: Trump’s circumstances are different from what the Minnesota Republican Party alleges about Democratic state House challenger John Huot. Trump reportedly could have avoided paying income taxes for 20 years because of arcane tax rules and a $900 million loss he claimed in 1995. Minnesota Republicans allege in the mailer that Huot was delinquent. Still, the question posed on the front of the Republican mailer —  ‘Would you trust someone who didn’t pay his own taxes to protect our tax dollars?’ — is clearly applicable to the candidate at the top of the GOP ticket.” Apparently Mr. Huot is also a genius.

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For a bit more, Rachel Stassen-Berger in the PiPress says: “Huot said the liens stemmed from a failed small flower business his family owned two decades ago. ‘We ended up closing the business down and we had this tax debt,’ Huot told the Pioneer Press. He said they had thought his business taxes had been taken care of but discovered, when revenue officials came knocking, that they were not. He said he has since paid up what he owes. ‘This is my error. I take total accountability for this … As a business owner you have to own it, and I do’.” So obviously he isn’t smart enough to blow off taxes for 15 years.

Still in the realm of problematic politicians, Stassen-Berger also has this story. “Bradly Gerten, a candidate for state House, was booked in the Dakota County jail over the weekend on suspicion of domestic assault by strangulation, according to jail records. Gerten, a Republican candidate from Burnsville, was arrested just before midnight Saturday by Inver Grove Heights police. … The House Republican Campaign Committee immediately disavowed its party’s candidate, who is seeking to unseat DFL Rep. Sandra Masin of Eagan.” 

ShootingsMPR’s Brandt Williams reports: “Police say the two shootings that left six people injured in downtown Minneapolis early Monday morning were related. The victims are all expected to survive and one person is in custody, police say. Authorities said they believe the shootings were gang related. Officers recovered two guns involved in the incidents. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has until the end of Tuesday to file charges.”

Cussing and slashing. Says Mara Gottfried in the PiPress, “A 54-year-old man told young men to stop using profanity in downtown St. Paul and two attacked him, slashing his arm and hitting him on the head, police said Monday. The victim fought off the suspects, who ran off. … One male pulled a knife and used the weapon’s butt end to strike the victim on the head several times. He slashed at the man, cutting him in the right wrist and left forearm … .”

No charges. The AP says, “Authorities say that four Minnesota football players who have been suspended for the last three weeks will not face any charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault. The Hennepin County Attorney’s office released a statement on Monday saying there was insufficient evidence to prove an assault occurred.”

How many brands does Hilton operate these days? Nicole Norfleet of the Strib says, “Another lifestyle hotel brand is a step closer to planting its flag in downtown Minneapolis. Local developer Sherman Associates released renderings of how it plans to convert the historic Thresher Square complex, originally comprised of office buildings, into a 182-room Canopy by Hilton, the first of that Hilton line of hotels in the Midwest.”