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Fischbach files response to lawsuit challenging her dual roles as senator and lieutenant governor

Plus: meet Minnesota’s new health commissioner; feds cracking down on fake Super Bowl merchandise; Supreme Court rules past abuse can be used as basis for restraining orders; and more.

Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach
Senate Media Services

Fischbach fights back. The AP reports (via WCCO): “Minnesota’s new lieutenant governor has formally responded to a lawsuit which argues that it’s unconstitutional for her to also hold her seat in the state Senate. … In a court filing Tuesday, Michelle Fischbach argues an 1898 Minnesota Supreme Court decision allows her to do both jobs. Her attorney, Kevin Magnuson, argues the Senate is the ‘sole judge’ of its members’ eligibility.”

A timely profile of Minnesota’s new health commissioner. The Pioneer Press’ Christopher Magan report: “Minnesota has a new health commissioner and her top priority is to make sure the state’s most vulnerable people are safe. … Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Jan Malcolm on Tuesday to lead the state Department of Health and address the state’s backlog of investigations into allegations of elder abuse. Malcolm replaces Dr. Ed Ehlinger, who resigned last month amid the fallout of the state’s failure to address maltreatment complaints. … This isn’t the first time Malcolm has led the health department. She was health commissioner under Gov. Jesse Ventura.

If you’re gonna give your money to a band of crooks, make sure it’s the NFL. MPR’s Mukhtar M. Ibrahim, Mukhtar Ibrahim and MPR News report: “Federal law enforcement officials are warning people about buying fake sports merchandise ahead of Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis. … The agency’s Operation Team Player, an annual sting to crack down on fake merchandise leading up to the Super Bowl, resulted in the seizure of hundreds of counterfeit NFL merchandise items in the Twin Cities in the past several days, said Matthew Bourke, a spokesperson for the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, a federal agency that’s part of the Department of Homeland Security. … He said most of the fake merchandise comes from China.”

A reasonable interpretation. MPR’s Bob Collins reports: “Overturning a Court of Appeals ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday added more muscle to the state’s Domestic Abuse Act by ruling that an order for protection can be issued on the basis of past allegations of domestic abuse. … The court ruled in the case of Tracy Thompson, who had sought an order for protection in September 2015 against her ex-husband, John Schrimsher, based largely on allegations of domestic abuse several years earlier, including being kicked, choked, knocked over, and slapped, some of which occurred while she was pregnant. Schrimsher denied the allegations. … While the district court issued the protective order, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the lower court, ruling that ‘a finding of past domestic abuse alone is insufficient to support the issuance of an OFP without a showing of a present intent to cause or inflict fear of imminent physical harm.’The state’s Supreme Court ruled that’s wrong.”

In other news…

Take ’em for all they’re worth:Super Bowl splurge: Eye-popping prices for high-rolling fans” [Star Tribune]

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Who are we to judge?Photos: Campers outside new Rochester Chick-fil-A restaurant” [Rochester Post-Bulletin]

Entertaining read:A Viking Mission to Ask the Eagles Why Their Fans Are Jerks” [Mpls St Paul]

Fishy move:DNR to stock fewer walleye fingerings: How it impacts local lakes” [Echo Press]

Looks great!Long haul for NorShor: Restoring historic theater required complex effort” [Duluth News Tribune]