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Legislature moves to adopt health-insurance aid package in first days

Plus: Regents want to examine Kaler, Coyle roles in Claeys firing; Sears and Kmart to close some stores in Minnesota; north Minneapolis river park plans advance; and more.

Minnesota State Capitol
Copyright Minnesota House of Representatives

Getting right on it. The Star Tribune’s Erin Golden reports: “Republican lawmakers have unveiled their plan for helping Minnesotans facing rising premiums on the individual health care market — and pledged Thursday to pass it in the Legislature next week. … The proposal offered up on the third day of the legislative session would spend $300 million to offer a three-month-long, 25 percent premium reduction to everyone on the individual market who don’t qualify for other subsidies. After those three months are up, the assistance would be limited to people who meet specific income guidelines: individuals who make less than $95,040 per year or a family of four making $194,400 or less.”

Claeys’ might not be the only head to roll when all is said and done. The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges writes: “After suspending 10 players and firing the head coach, the University of Minnesota’s top administrators are coming under fire for the way they’ve managed the football program before and after an alleged sexual assault last fall. … Tuesday’s firing of coach Tracy Claeys surprised Michael Hsu and Darrin Rosha, the two Board of Regents members whom players viewed as sympathetic to their concerns over the university’s disciplinary process. Both say they intend to scrutinize President Eric Kaler’s and athletics director Mark Coyle’s actions, how the program reached this point and where it’s headed.”

More closings. WCCO reports: “Fresh on the heels of the announcement that Macy’s would be closing its flagship store in downtown Minneapolis, now comes word of more store closures. … Sears announced it would be closing two of its locations in Minnesota — one in Coon Rapids and another in Mankato. The announcement said the Sears Auto Centers at these locations would be closing.”

Sounds pretty cool. The Star Tribune’s Faiza Mahamud reports: “A former port on the Mississippi River in north Minneapolis is closer to being reinvented as a mixed-use development, featuring parkland and a riverside amphitheater. … City Council and Park Board committees this week advanced plans to work with United Properties to redevelop the 48-acre site known as the Upper Harbor Terminal. More planning will begin once the parties negotiate and formally approve an exclusive rights agreement. The team estimates the conceptual design process will take at least one year and additional time will be required for detailed design and construction plans.”

In other news…

Who needs ’em? “Xcel Energy files plan to excise North Dakota from multi-state decisions” [Electric Light & Power]

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End of an era: “One of the oldest Dairy Queens, opened in 1949, closes at 50th and France” [Star Tribune]

Minneapolis is #23, but mostly because of Paisley Park: “52 Places to Go in 2017” [New York Times]

Pretty bad: “St. Paul police swamped with calls about bread in yards, possible dog poison” [Pioneer Press]

Today, we are all icemen: “The Strange Case of the Minnesota Iceman” [Scientific American]

Wisconsin! “Dodgeball turns violent, WI student charged with battery” [Pioneer Press]