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Minnesota Attorney General Swanson expands lawsuit over price-fixing of generic drugs

Attorney General Lori Swanson
Attorney General Lori Swanson

Stribber Jeremy Olson reports, “Twelve pharmaceutical companies were added Tuesday to a price-fixing lawsuit which alleges that a Minnesota salesperson arranged meetings where company reps could agree to inflate prices or avoid competition in certain regions of the country. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced the expansion of the suit, which she originally filed in 2016 along with her counterparts in 45 other states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The lawsuit alleges collusion that resulted in dramatic price increases for generic drugs, such as an arthritis medication that jumped from $32 in 2012 to $108 in 2016.”

So, kind of like Costco? Frank Jossi at Midwest Energy News says, “Two nonprofit organizations offering to save consumers money on solar panels by buying them in bulk have begun campaigns in Minnesota. Solar United Neighbors announced an expansion into Minnesota, which joins Ohio as the second Midwest state with a local office. Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), meanwhile, started ‘Solar Power Hour’ events over the summer in Minnesota, culminating with an energy fair in September in St. Paul. Both organizations see Minnesota a ripe for more rooftop investment.”

TPS reports, we presume. Says Chao Xiong of the Strib, “The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office lost nearly $200,000 in state funds after being fined for missing a deadline for paperwork. Sheriff Jack Serier assured county and city leaders the fine would have no impact, but a potential political rival who once held Serier's seat was skeptical. The issue came to light when Vadnais Heights Mayor Bob Fletcher, a former sheriff, asked the Minnesota Department of Revenue about the matter and later raised it with the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners on Monday, compelling Serier to divulge that his office knew of the fine in August.”

More evidence of Russian meddling? KSTP-TV reports: “Roundabouts are reducing injuries and saving lives, according to a new Minnesota Department of Transportation study. The study found more than an 80 percent reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes at roundabouts throughout the state. That doesn't mean fewer crashes are occurring. Rather, it's the type of crashes that makes the difference, according to MnDOT Assistant State Traffic Engineer Derek Leuer, who conducted the study. …  Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean Minnesotans like the roundabouts.”

Most restaurants are lucky to last 40 monthsJess Fleming of the PiPress reports, “Muffuletta, the eclectic St. Paul restaurant that was the beginning of the Parasole chain, is closing Nov. 11 after 40 years in business. The restaurant, launched by Phil Roberts and Pete Mihajlov in 1977, was meant to be a European-style bistro in an era when dining in Minnesota was less than interesting, for the most part. … Roberts said the partners ‘probably operated it about five years too long because it hasn’t made money in about five years, but we’ve held onto it for emotional reasons.’”

Crying wolf-dog hybrid. Erin Adler of the Strib has this: “Two animal rights groups have asked a federal judge in Minneapolis for a temporary restraining order barring the owner of a controversial fur farm and petting zoo in Lake­ville from killing gray wolves, which are protected by federal law. … Teresa Petter, Fur-Ever Wild owner, adamantly denied claims by the two groups. In court filings, she said her wolves are actually wolf-dog hybrids, exempting them from protection under federal law. She said she only pelts and sells the fur from wolves that die naturally or are euthanized for aggressiveness.”

A dog’s dog. Mary Lynn Smith of the Strib, “As dusk fell in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a clap of thunder sent Lindsey, a 40-pound Minneapolis mutt, on the run. John Lundquist, the dog's owner, returned to the Twin Cities, heartbroken that his 5-year-old rescue dog likely was gone forever. … With the help of the Retrievers, a group of volunteers who help find lost dogs, the search for Lindsey was on — again. … Four weeks after Lindsey went missing, she was spotted running across a highway with a wolf in pursuit. ‘I figured that was the end of the story’, Lundquist said.” It wasn’t.

And speaking of dogs AND ducks:

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