Minnesota House passes two abortion-related bills; Dayton threatens veto

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota House floor entrance

They might as well take another run at Voter ID and marriage while they’re at it. Says Tim Pugmire at MPR, “The Republican-controlled Minnesota House passed a pair of abortion-related measures Monday that DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has threatened to veto. One bill would prohibit the funding of abortions under state-sponsored health care programs. The other would set new licensing and inspection requirements for abortion clinics. Lawmakers voted 77-54 on the prohibition bill, which would apply to the Medical Assistance program.”

Measles count: 20. Says MPR, “Minnesota health officials are asking parents and health care providers to be vigilant for symptoms of measles now that 20 cases have been confirmed among children in Minnesota’s Somali community. Minnesota Health Department officials confirmed the 20 Hennepin County cases in a statement Monday urging citizens to make sure as many Minnesota children as possible are protected through vaccination.”

Very few books made as deep an impression. The New York Times’ Paul Vitello writes, “Robert M. Pirsig, whose “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” a dense and discursive novel of ideas, became an unlikely publishing phenomenon in the mid-1970s and a touchstone in the waning days of the counterculture, died on Monday at his home in South Berwick, Me. He was 88. … Mr. Pirsig’s plunge into the grand philosophical questions of Western culture remained near the top of the best-seller lists for a decade and helped define the post-hippie 1970s landscape as resoundingly, some critics have said, as Carlos Castaneda’s ‘The Teachings of Don Juan’ helped define the 1960s. Where ‘Don Juan’ pursued enlightenment in hallucinogenic experience, ‘Zen’ argued for its equal availability in the brain-racking rigors of Reason with a capital R.” Maybe our Orange Leader will commemorate Pirsig today.

How about a heftier dose of brine in your creek? Micah Emmel-Duke of the Strib says, “Those familiar thick carpets of blue salt crystals could soon be a thing of winters past on Minnesota roads. Instead, expect to see more brine. Liquid anti-icing agents, like salt brine, are the current stars of the winter maintenance world, while granular anti-icing agents — like sand and rock salt — get used more sparingly and for specific purposes … . This past winter in the metro area, MnDOT used 325,000 gallons of brine, four times as much as it did the year before and about double its average annual use over the last five years.”

These guys are taking themselves waaaaay too seriously. Christena O’Brien of the Eau Claire Telegram reports, “The owner of an Eau Claire television station didn’t find an early morning prank last November too funny. Instead of laughing, the people behind Atlanta-based Gray Television, which owns WEAU-TV, filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month in New York against The Found Footage Festival, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, all of New York. Using fake names and materials, the ‘defendants fraudulently induced Gray Television station WEAU … to book their appearance for a live interview on its flagship morning program ‘Hello Wisconsin’, according to the complaint. Pickett and Prueher, who attended UW-Eau Claire, appeared on ‘Hello Wisconsin’ on Nov. 29 as the ‘fake strongman duo Chop & Steele and performed ridiculous bits and provided false information to WEAU viewers,’ the suit contends.” Sadly, there’s no video.

Forget about old what’s his name. In the PiPress Bob Shaw tells us, “Orville Bielenberg never got a dime for having his name on a building. But now Woodbury could be getting about $1.8 million for removing his name from the city’s sports center. Medical giant HealthEast is proposing to pay for the naming rights, erasing the name of Woodbury’s first mayor from what has been called the Bielenberg Sports Center. If the city council approves, the $22 million center will be known as the HealthEast Sports Center.”

Snow!? Paul Huttner at MPR says, “Depending on where you live, you may enjoy light rain, heavy rain, thunder, snow, sleet and ice. This week’s weather reminds us, it’s still April in Minnesota.”

The Forum News Service has this: “John and Anne Alexander were always together after 64 years of marriage, rarely doing anything without their spouse at their side. ‘They were just so close,’ said their daughter, Nancy Alexander. That’s why it wasn’t exactly a shock to the family that they died together at Ecumen Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes, Anne at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, and John at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, April 20. ‘I think he wanted her to have her own day and then he had his own day, too,’ said Kate Anderson, one of the couple’s six surviving children.”

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