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Tuberculosis outbreak in Ramsey County grows to 17 cases

The GleanThe Star Tribune’s Glenn Howatt writes: “A Ramsey County outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis has grown to 17 cases, making it the largest in the country and prompting state health officials to monitor several hundred more people who may have been exposed. … And patients affected by the outbreak have to endure long hospitalizations, close monitoring and a costly medication regimen that has more side effects than the two first-line antibiotics that are ineffective against this strain.”

Even bikes are being disrupted, the Star Tribune’s Janet Moore writes: “… a big change is in the works for bike-sharing here, and it may make its debut as soon as next spring. Instead of pedaling a Nice Ride bike from station to station, cyclists will use smartphone apps to locate and rent ‘dockless bikes’ anywhere and leave them locked wherever they please. At least that’s the theory.”

Well, this didn’t take long. FOX 9 reports, “A man was accidentally shot while hunting over the weekend in Redwood County, Minnesota. The shooting was reported at 11:50 a.m. near Aspen Avenue and 190th Street in Redwood County, about halfway between Milroy and Tracy, Minn. Officials determined one of the hunters shot at a deer located between the shooter and another hunter, but missed and wounded the other man in the leg. The man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”

But dear, it’s an investment. In the Strib Paul Walsh says, “A guitar that Prince used in the late 1980s and into the 1990s sold at auction for $700,000, an auction house announced. The amount is the highest ever paid for a Prince guitar, according to Julien's Live auction house, and went for many times more than the anticipated $60,000 to $80,000. … The teal blue Cloud guitar was donated by Prince to an auction in 1994 to benefit Los Angeles earthquake relief, the auction house said in its listing.”

The Forum News Service reports: “Multiple signs saying ‘It’s OK to be white’ were scattered across the campus of Concordia College this week. Some were on light poles, and one was at the business center at the private liberal arts college in Moorhead. … Social media this week detailed multiple signs on college campuses across the country, including Tulane and Purdue universities. The sign is linked to a forum on ‘4chan,’ an anonymous online message board.”

Sign of the times. Tim Harlow of the Strib reports, “Some savvy Black Friday shoppers planning to head to the Mall of America have already scored their first deal of the day. They’ve lined up premium parking just steps from the front door. They used MyPark, an app-based parking system that allows shoppers and visitors to the nation’s largest shopping and entertainment complex to reserve parking spots right by the main entrances in both the East and West parking garages. Think of it as parking on layaway.”

Fleet Farm is expandingJohn Ewoldt of the Strib says, “With new owners and a new chief executive, Derick Prelle, Mills Fleet Farm aims to double the number of its suburban farm-supply stores in the next five years. The current count stands at 37 in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota with seven of the stores added in the last decade. Minnesota has 16 stores, including a new location in Monticello that opened in August.”

The latest on Wells Fargo. An editorial in the Raleigh News & Observer says, “It seems the company’s board of directors have been paying a lobbying firm to work on the board’s behalf, presumably to repair the bank’s image and thus protect business. The problem, as The Charlotte Observer reported, is that while companies hire lobbyists all the time, it’s rare for a board of directors to hire them to work just for the board. … And of course, there’s another irony here. The board has spent $600,000 on a high-powered lobbying firm in Washington at the same time directors have said they want to cut $4 billion in annual expenses by the end of 2019.”

Finally, PiPress book critic Mary Ann Grossman offers quick reviews of several books with a Minnesota focus. “For example, ‘Amazing MN’ by Lee Lynch (Beaver’s Pond Press, $35): This beautiful, fact-filled picture book would be a welcome holiday gift. Lynch, co-founder of Carmichael Lynch Advertising, retired in 2008 and turned his attention to other businesses and nonprofit activities. ‘Amazing MN’ couldn’t have been an easy project. The layout is vibrant, offering a mix of stunning photography, colorful boxes and facts, facts, facts about Minnesota.” (Full disclosure: one of Lynch's 'nonprofit activities' is MinnPost. He is a longtime board member.)

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