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Little Falls may inform national model for reducing opioid dependence

Some hope for the opioid crisis? The Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson reports: “Before the rising toll of opioid overdoses was labeled an epidemic, and before the death of pop star Prince showed that anyone could be a victim of painkiller misuse, there was a group of doctors in Little Falls, Minn., looking at their drug prescriptions and wondering what the heck they were doing. … Stunned by the number of opioid prescriptions and drug-related arrests, doctors with CHI St. Gabriel’s Health in 2014 were among the first in the nation to launch a campaign to reduce opioid dependence. …The solution worked so well that DeVine and colleagues are in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to explain it to congressional leaders.”

Hmm. KSTP reports: “Minnesota teachers accused of engaging in sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior with students have not been reported to law enforcement, according to a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation. … A review of public records and interviews with law enforcement revealed the Minnesota Board of Teaching failed to report at least 17 teachers accused of those allegations dating to the 1980s.  … The board, which has the authority to suspend or revoke a teacher’s license, does not consider itself a mandated reporter of allegations of sexual or inappropriate behavior involving teachers and students. … The board stated it is “not aware of any legal obligation” to report disciplinary action related to such allegations to law enforcement.”

Learn a bit about our maybe-maybe-not-soon-to-be appeals court justice. MPR’s Brian Bakst reports: “Almost five months after President Trump tapped Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras, right, for a federal appeals court post, his nomination is hung up in procedural limbo. … Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras’ federal court nomination is tangled in Washington politics. But he probably saw it coming. … As a University of Minnesota law professor, Stras researched what he saw as an increasingly contentious process to approve federal judicial nominees. Republican voters in particular, he said, were energized by confirmation battles. … ‘For whatever reason judges seem to resonate better, at least on a money-raising standpoint, with the Republican base,’ Stras told MPR News in 2009 during a program analyzing Sonya Sotomayor’s U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings, ‘maybe because of abortion or guns or affirmative action, or whatever.’”

A nice story. City Pages’ Hannah Sayle reports: “It’s a balmy late-August afternoon, and Luis Patiño has taken a break from the kitchen at Café Racer to sit on the restaurant’s shady patio. … ‘Somehow, even if they might themselves need it, the idea of a soup kitchen there to help them is a disparaging thing,’ he says. “Society has created that image. And that’s understandable.” … Patiño, a 31-year-old Colombian immigrant who considers himself fully Midwestern, is relaxed and deliberate, even as he talks a mile a minute. (‘It’s a Latin thing,’ he says. ‘Colombians speak very quickly.’) … Today is Monday, and usually his little corner cafe in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis would be closed. But once a month, he opens for lunch on his off-day and serves a special meal to the community, one that’s absolutely free.”

In other news…

Nice: “MN gets $21 million grant to boost literacy of 30,000 students” [Pioneer Press]

Can’t be proud of every Minnesotan’s “accomplishments”: “Famous fake news writer found dead outside Phoenix” [AP]

Downtown empire: “Hennepin County approves $55M purchase of Thrivent building” [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

Remember what happened last time? “Justin Timberlake ‘Finalizing’ Super Bowl Halftime Show Deal” [Us]

The Kaine scrutiny: “Tim Kaine’s son, accused of crashing MN Capitol Trump rally, appears in court” [Pioneer Press]

Impressive to make it that far: “Maple Grove graduate falls short in ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ finale” [Star Tribune]

Apples, Voxsplained: “How to pick the best apples at the market” [Vox]

Nowhere blows like South Dakota: “Xcel Energy announces plans for new South Dakota wind farm” [MPR]

Should really help you act like you’ve read “A Brief History of Seven Killings”: “‘Insecure’ Director to Adapt Man Booker Prize-Winning Novel for Amazon Studios (Exclusive)” [Hollywood Reporter]

Ok: “We ate Taco John’s with Har Mar Superstar” [Milwaukee Record]

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