Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Keillor says he wants to take ‘Prairie Home Companion’ back on tour

Plus: east metro residents weigh in on 3M settlement; state’s nonprofit health plans see big rebound; opting out of standardized tests in Minnesota will now count against students’ schools; and more.

Garrison Keillor

He’s not going away, quietly or otherwise. Says Laura Yuen at MPR, “Garrison Keillor says he’s ‘ready’ to resurrect the two radio shows he founded. But it’s unclear whether that’ll actually happen. On Monday evening, Keillor posted on his Facebook page: ‘I’m ready to start up The Writers [sic] Almanac again. I get the idea that public radio stations will never carry it again and so we’ll need to find a way to do it through social media. There are smart people who can manage this and make it easy. I also want to take A Prairie Home Companion out on tour again.’

On the upside, ‘Hudson Bay Low’ is a good name for a country song. Paul Huttner, MPR’s weather guy writes, “Like most of you, I’m grasping for rays of hope for milder days in the weather maps. The longer range models have been pretty consistent suggesting a pattern change late next week. The stubbornly frigid Hudson Bay low should lift toward the North Pole late next week. That gives way to a milder Pacific flow. Milder air nudges northward. The American, European, and Canadian models all suggest 50s, and possibly 60s, in about 10-14 days.” 

Weighing in on what to do with the 3M settlement. KSTP-TV reports: “Dozens of east metro residents gathered Tuesday in Cottage Grove for the first of three public hearings regarding how to use money from a lawsuit settlement made by 3M. … Kirk Koudelka, with the MPCA, explained that because the settlement is a natural resources settlement, projects that benefit from it have to be identified and then prioritized. After legal fees, $720 million is available to invest in alternative sources of drinking water, whether that means treating existing wells, or connecting homes with private wells to municipal systems.”

Cancel the bake sales. In the Strib, Christopher Snowbeck reports, “Minnesota’s nonprofit health plans saw their financial performance rebound in 2017, driven in part by a surprisingly large profit margin in the market where individuals buy coverage. Margins in the individual market were so high that one health insurer could be providing $30 million in consumer rebates, while an official with another health plan hinted that flat or discounted premiums could be on the horizon.”

Article continues after advertisement

WhoaMike Longaecker of the Forum News Service says, “A western Wisconsin teenager who carried an AR-15 rifle in his car raised concerns among co-workers after saying he was going ‘to shoot kids,’ according to charges filed this week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said investigators found an unloaded AR-15 rifle Friday in Nicholas H. Cherrier’s car and a prosecutor said the 18-year-old had about 3,500 rounds of ammunition in the bedroom of his Somerset home.”

The latest on that family in the SUV over the cliff and into the ocean story. Says Nancy Dillon in the New York Daily News, “California cops trying to piece together the last hours before a Washington family’s SUV plunged off a California cliff are hoping to enhance new surveillance video to confirm it shows mom Jennifer Hart. They say the footage, shot in a business not far from the crash site, could help solve the mystery of where the family was before the deadly tragedy and whether the three adopted teens who remain missing were in the vehicle when it plummeted 100 feet and slammed into a rocky shore.”

We’re so chill, says a Forum News Service story on the latest dubious report from the listicle factory known as WalletHub: “A study by a personal finance website reported Tuesday that Minnesota is the least stressed state in the nation, with North Dakota right behind it. … In Minnesota, it’s more relaxing because of finances, healthy people and less family-related stress.”