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Emmer sponsors farmer mental-health bill

Plus: PiPress minority owner sues controlling owner; U study on aquatic invasive species; pilot suing Alaska Airlines over alleged rape in Minneapolis; and more.

Rep. Tom Emmer
MinnPost file photo by Jana Freiband

Tough being a farmer these days, what with the high cost of health insurance and the potential trade war. The St. Cloud Times’ Nora G. Hertel reports: “Farming is stressful. Folks who grow food in the U.S. don’t have control over the weather or the markets, and they may be isolated, said U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer. … The District 6 Republican is drawing attention to farmers’ mental health and a 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found people in agriculture have the highest suicide rates compared to other professional groups. … Emmer has sponsored a bill to support local mental health services to farmers and ranchers in the U.S. He hopes and expects it to be included in the newest version of the Farm Bill, which is being drafted and debated.”

An explanation of what the PiPress’ owner is up to. The Star Tribune’s Lee Schafer writes: “The controlling owner of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and dozens of other news publications, the fund manager Alden Global Capital, just was sued by its partner in the investment for withholding so much information that the minority partner suspects Alden of unfair insider dealings and other mismanagement. … That’s because we already knew, as I wrote in a column roughly two years ago, that Alden is treating one of the biggest media companies in the country like a big ATM. And it doesn’t seem to care that the ATM will someday run out of money.”

Can’t foil that milfoil. MPR’s Kirsti Marohn reports: “A new study from the University of Minnesota challenges a common belief that lakes with diverse plant life are more resilient to aquatic invaders. … The study by the U’s Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center looked at 13 years of vegetation survey data collected from about 1,100 lakes by the Department of Natural Resources. … The surprising results: Researchers found no evidence that having a diverse plant community somehow keeps invaders such as curly-leaf pondweed or Eurasian milfoil from taking hold.”

A disturbing story.The Seattle Times News Lewis Kamb reports: “It seemed like any other work stopover along Alaska Airlines’ service route: After arriving in Minneapolis, the captain and his co-pilot, Betty Pina, vanpooled to the flight crew’s designated hotel and met up later in the concierge room set up with snacks and drinks for airline employees. … But things turned fuzzy for Pina before she made it back to her hotel room that evening, she said. … Now, Pina, 39, a Seattle-area resident and decorated Army chopper pilot who has been flying commercial flights for Alaska since 2016, is suing the airline. Her suit claims Alaska Airlines is liable for its captain’s alleged drugging and raping of her that night, and for its subsequent failure to hold him accountable after she reported what happened to airline officials.”

In other news…

Northeast Nazi update:Doctors to examine US man sought by Poland in Nazi case” [Star Tribune]

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Not Nazis, in fact:Charges: After blaming neo-Nazis, man admits killing mom in their central Minnesota home” [Star Tribune]

We’re a little biased, but:Minnesota is responsible for a bunch of the best-looking beer cans in America” [City Pages]

Pretty amazing:Winning Minn. native ultrarunner believes ‘we have not found our limits’” [MPR]

Oprah has it:What happened to Prince’s guitar after ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’?” [The Current]