To paraphrase Yogi Berra, nobody signs up for it anymore because there’s too many people. Dan Mangan for CNBC says, “Obamacare sign-ups on Minnesota’s insurance marketplace sharply spiked upward this year, providing more evidence for the claim that Trump administration actions caused lower enrollment on the federal health exchange. MNSure, the state-run health exchange for Minnesota, on Thursday reported that 114,810 people signed up for private individual insurance plans sold on that marketplace by the close of enrollment this week. That tally is more than 34 percent higher than the 85,690 enrollments seen on the exchange last year.”
Reacting to last night’s appellate court ruling on Trump’s travel ban, Pat Pheifer and Matt McKinney of the Strib report, “Thursday’s court ruling against President Donald Trump’s travel ban sparked jubilation in Minnesotans who had opposed it and dismay among the beleaguered executive order’s supporters. … Deepinder Singh Mayell of the Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota called the ruling ‘a sigh of relief for thousands of people affected by the travel ban and their families.’ Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, whose office had joined Washington state in suing over Trump’s order, said that ‘a more deliberate approach by the administration could have avoided this litigation.’” Deliberate? You mean as in, “know what you’re doing?”
They’re all about customer service. Paul Walsh of the Strib informs us, “Wells Fargo Bank is following an industry trend and pulling the plug on coin-sorting machines in its Minnesota branch lobbies. They all will be gone in the state within a few months, a company official said Wednesday.”
Aren’t we still arguing over Sunday liquor? In the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger reports, “Nine Minnesota lawmakers want to ask the public: Should Minnesota legalize personal use of marijuana? The nine — all Democrats in a Republican-controlled House — proposed a constitutional amendment to ask Minnesotans that question. But the chief backers know the question is unlikely to make it to voters’ 2018 ballots. ‘This is a conversation starter. We are all well aware that our colleagues who are chairs … are not interested in having this conversation right now,’ said Rep. Jason Metsa, DFL-Virginia. ‘But you have to have a starting point.’” First order of business: Find a squadron of lobbyists to whip up a few hundred pages of convoluted rules.
Reports Dave Orrick for the PiPress, “A 70-year-old Washington County school bus worker has been charged with molesting at least six preschool-aged girls on the bus, authorities said Thursday. Harvey Theodore Kneifl of Woodbury was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of inappropriately touching at least six girls, ages 3 to 5, on a South Washington County School District bus, according to Woodbury police. The Washington County attorney’s office charged him Thursday with six counts of second-degree criminal-sexual assault.”
If you ever thought the fix was in: Dave Mizutani of the PiPress writes, “… 13 months after former Vikings kicker Blair Walsh shattered hearts throughout Minnesota when he yanked a last-second 27-yard field goal that would have beaten Seattle in a wild-card playoff game, the Seahawks are repaying the favor by giving the maligned kicker a second chance. It seems like the least the Seahawks could do after that miss kept their season alive.”
Nice doggie. Jennifer Earl with CBSNews says, “Tyler Netter and his wife were taking a leisurely drive Sunday morning through Rice, Minnesota when they both spotted a furry creature pacing back and forth along the side of a road. They pulled over to take a closer look, and quickly realized it was a gray wolf. ‘I initially knew it wasn’t a coyote. Way too big. Not sure if it was a different type of dog, a husky or a shepherd of some sort,’ Netter told CBS Minnesota. ‘It was just shocking. Out in the middle of the day. One of the most elusive animals out there.’ While sitting safely in the car, the couple took a video of the frustrated wolf running in circles around a fenced-in yard.”
There’s never a shortage of knuckleheads. Says Haley Hansen in the Strib, “A University of Minnesota student’s Facebook post showing anti-Semitic graffiti in his dorm room drew outraged responses on Thursday. U freshman Avi Shaver said someone drew a swastika and a concentration camp on a white board located inside his room in Pioneer Hall, on the Minneapolis campus. The board also had ‘Nazis rule’ scrawled across it. Shaver said he was gone most of Wednesday and found the graffiti late that evening. He said the lock on his room didn’t seem to be tampered with and that none of his roommates remembers leaving the door unlocked.” For the record, whoever did managed to spell “Nazis” right.