That didn’t take long. The Pioneer Press’ Mara H. Gottfried writes: “A St. Paul police officer and his supporters breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when a jury acquitted him of assault against a handcuffed teenage girl. He said he’s looking forward to going back to work, but it’s unclear when that will happen. The police department said Thursday that Michael Soucheray remains on paid administrative leave and there is an ‘open and active’ internal affairs investigation involving him. … Soucheray was accused of punching the handcuffed 14-year-old girl in the face after she spat at him. A jury deliberated for less than 90 minutes Thursday before acquitting Soucheray, 39.”
The Strib’s Tim Harlow and Karen Zamora report: “A Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent ‘discharged his weapon’ while trying to apprehend a homicide suspect in Bloomington late Wednesday, authorities said Thursday night. The gunfire preceded a six-hour manhunt that ended early Thursday with the arrest of Eddie Markeith Frazier, suspected in the death of a woman he lived with in Crookston, Minn.”
A Strib editorial on the health care bill passed by the U.S. House Thursday says, “The nation’s doctors, nurses and hospitals oppose the AHCA. Members of the Senate, where the bill goes next, now need to be the adults in the room. Three members of the Minnesota House delegation — Reps. Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis — disregarded medical providers’ advice and voted for this morally bankrupt legislation. They owe Minnesotans an explanation.” Perhaps at their next invitation-only phoned-in town hall meeting?
Meanwhile back here in Minnesota, Tim Pugmire of MPR reports, “The Minnesota Senate voted Thursday to ban state-funded abortions and to establish new licensing and inspection requirements for abortion clinics. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to veto both bills when they reach his desk. The House passed the same bills last week. The prohibition bill, which passed by a 35-29 vote, applies to state-sponsored health care programs, specifically the Medical Assistance program. Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, said she doesn’t consider it benevolent for the state to pay for abortions.” All in all a great day for the base.
Wells Fargo? Whistle-blowers? Simpatico? Maybe not so much. Says a New York Times column by James B. Stewart, “Last month, Wells Fargo released a long-awaited independent investigation into the scandal, conducted with the assistance of the law firm Shearman & Sterling. The subject of whistle-blowers and how they were treated was relegated to a footnote in the 110-page report. ‘That’s a red flag in itself,’ said Howell E. Jackson, a professor at Harvard Law School and a visiting scholar at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ‘It’s buried on Page 87. My concern is whether whistle-blowers were handled properly and to what degree the board bears responsibility. You don’t find any answers in this mumbo-jumbo.’” Isn’t hat “mumbo jumbo” is what is known as “bank talk.”
Your latest measles count. In the PiPress, the story goes, “With the number of measles cases reported in Minnesota jumping to 41 Thursday, health officials are cautioning that the outbreak will likely get worse. More than 2,500 people may have been exposed to the disease, officials said, though they noted most Minnesotans are already immune. Those most at risk are the unvaccinated. In response to the growing outbreak, the state expanded its vaccination recommendations.”
He’s not coming back. Another PiPress story, this by Josh Verges, says, “A Central High School science teacher battling the school district over injuries he suffered breaking up a lunchroom fight in December 2015 said Thursday that his career is likely over. John Ekblad, who had hoped to return to his job, said he’s receiving full Social Security disability payments. ‘I don’t think I’m going back to teaching again,’ he said outside a federal courtroom in Minneapolis following a motions hearing on his case against former superintendent Valeria Silva and assistant superintendent Theresa Battle. Ekblad was on lunchroom duty Dec. 4, 2015, when a fight broke out. He intervened and a 16-year-old student choked and slammed him onto a table, police said. The student pleaded guilty to felony assault.”
Stribber Jean Hopfensperger writes, “President Donald Trump opened the doors to politics in the pulpit Thursday with an executive order that drew mixed reactions from Minnesota’s religious community. Trump’s order allows religious leaders to endorse and campaign for political candidates without risking their tax-exempt status. While it doesn’t overturn the law that bars such political activity, the order directs the Internal Revenue Service to use ‘maximum enforcement discretion.’ … But many Minnesota religious leaders say the order opens the door to much more.”