Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Federal audit cites state for failing to provide adequate oversight of adult day centers

Plus: seat belt citations in Minnesota are down; legendary defense attorney Ron Meshbesher has died; rat infestation closes Duluth school; and more.

The GleanThe Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “The state agency responsible for protecting vulnerable adults failed to provide adequate oversight over 20 adult day centers, which contributed to numerous health and safety violations. The problems were disclosed in a federal audit released this week by the Office of Inspector General for the federal Department of Health and Human Services. … Overall, the agency found 200 violations of health, safety and administrative requirements at the adult day centers, which primarily serve seniors and adults with disabilities, according to the inspector general’s audit report.”

So you’re saying we’ve all buckled up? Says Lucas Johnson of the PiPress, “Citations for not wearing seat belts during a two-week extra-enforcement period declined for a fourth straight year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. More than 300 law enforcement agencies participated in the ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign from May 21 to June 3. Officials reported 6,684 seat belt citations, down 87 from the previous year, and 147 child seat violations, down 37 from a year ago. This trend, says the DPS, follows a broader pattern of increased safety. From 1987 to 2016, serious injuries to motor vehicle occupants in Minnesota have decreased 68 percent.”

The Pioneer Press’ Nick Woltman reports: “Minneapolis attorney Ron Meshbesher, who began his decades-long legal career as a Hennepin County prosecutor and retired as one of Minnesota’s best-known defense lawyers, died Wednesday at age 85. Meshbesher suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in the last years of his life and had moved into an assisted-living facility in Deephaven a few months ago, his brother said. Meshbesher became a household name in the late 1970s when he won an acquittal for Marjorie Caldwell, who was accused of orchestrating the murder of her mother, Elizabeth Congdon, and a nurse at the Glensheen mansion in Duluth.”

Today in raccoon news. For who didn’t follow the story on a minute-by-minute basis, the PiPress’ Tad Vezner reports: “Amid thousands of inaudible Internet sighs, the raccoon who reached amazing heights in downtown St. Paul got a well-earned rest Wednesday morning. Snacking on smelly, wet cat food, the raccoon that offered a nation a split-second of respite sat in a cage atop UBS Plaza, whose final, 23rd story it had scaled about 3 a.m. UBS’s management contracted with Brooklyn Park-based Wildlife Management Services to trap the animal, who was in good health, according to the firm and city officials. Wildlife Management Services posted video Wednesday showing the raccoon being released onto private land in the southwest metro.”

Article continues after advertisement

Karin Brulliard of The Washington Post writes, “Suzanne MacDonald, a York University psychologist who studies urban raccoons, was similarly gripped, but she wasn’t worried. Why? Because raccoons — as their black masks might suggest — have ‘quite a few superpowers,’ she explained not long after the drama ended Wednesday morning. The most obvious of those talents: a crack climbing ability. The furry carnivores, which are native to North America and have thrived in its cities, possess limbs with great strength and five-toed paws with long claws and immense dexterity. Those allow the animals to break open clams and trash bins, and to scale construction cranes, chimneys and soaring trees. Their hind feet can rotate 180 degrees for easy descent. Vertigo almost certainly doesn’t afflict them.”

A loser. The Star Tribune’s Dan Browning reports: “James Kelso, an arch-conservative who advocates racial purity and hosts a radio program called The Trump Phenomenon, failed Tuesday to win a seat on the Grand Forks, N.D., school board. Kelso, who finished eighth among nine candidates seeking one of the five at-large seats, did not respond Wednesday to a message seeking comment. He said in a recent interview, however, that a loss would not stop him from running for public office, perhaps for the school board again or for the Grand Forks City Council.”

Speaking of pests: WDIO-TV via KSTP-TV reports:  “Duluth’s Congdon Park Elementary has been closed for the summer due to an infestation of rats in the building’s footing and foundation drainage system. The Duluth School District announced the closure Wednesday, TV station WDIO reports, saying staff and a local pest control firm are working to clear the infestation. The district said pest control workers are currently trapping about five rats per day.”

Big golf news. A KSTP-TV story says, “5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned a news conference is scheduled at the TPC Twin Cities golf course in Blaine on Monday. A possible future PGA Tour stop could be announced during the scheduled 12:30 p.m. press conference by the organizers of the 3M Championships, according to sources. Earlier in June, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reported that golf officials from the Twin Cities were down in Florida at the PGA headquarters trying to secure a spot on next year’s golf tour.” Easy on the CAPSLOCK, kids.

Need a shot of jungle heat? Says MPR’s Paul Huttner, “Our pleasantly dry air mass was enjoyable but brief. Southerly winds advect an increasingly tropical air mass over the next 48 hours. Dew points rise from the comfy 40s to the sticky 60s Thursday into Friday. The core of our inbound Guam-like air mass arrives Friday into Saturday as dew points hit 70 degrees in parts of the Upper Midwest. … All that heat and humidity is fuel for thunderstorms that have the potential to dump some heavy rainfall totals. There is still huge model spread regarding timing and coverage on storms the next few days. But the potential for locally heavy rain is there.” P.S. Guam-like Air Mass is a great band name.