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Justice Lillehaug reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis, won’t run in 2020

Plus: 3M suspends operations in Venezuela; Wardlow campaign fined for exceeding the state’s spending limit; Gabriele Grunewald dies; and more.

Justice David Lillehaug
David Lillehaug was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2013.
Courtesy of the Governor's Office

Difficult news. The Associated Press is reporting on Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Lillehaug’s statement about being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease: “Lillehaug, 65, said in a statement released by the court that he expects to resign effective July 31, 2020. Under the state constitution, Democratic Gov. Tim Walz would appoint Lillehaug’s successor, who wouldn’t have to stand for election until 2022. ‘I have loved my six years of work on the Court and had planned to serve for a few more years. But my plan has changed because I have Parkinson’s disease. It’s at an early stage, it’s well-managed, and I feel great,’ Lillehaug said.”

Operations scotched. The Pioneer Press has a short on 3M’s Venezuelan operations: “3M Co. said Tuesday that it is suspending its operations in Venezuela, ‘in light of continuing challenging circumstances … including its unstable environment and heightened unrest.’ … the Maplewood-based company also noted that circumstances in that country ‘have led to a sustained lack of demand, and our expectation that these circumstances will continue for the foreseeable future.'”

So much for fiscal conservatism. Jessie Van Berkel at the Star Tribune has a piece on excessive spending in last year’s Minnesota attorney general race: “Former GOP attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow faces a fine of more than $46,000 after exceeding the state’s spending limit in the heated race against Attorney General Keith Ellison. Wardlow’s expenses in the race were supposed to top out at $864,072. However, the Republican candidate’s campaign committee ended up spending $910,490 over two years, according to a Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board document.”

Talk about Iron Range Resources. Also in the Strib, Torey Van Oot is reporting on another employment controversy Minnesota Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board: “After a 30-plus year career with the state, Hiti was offered an early separation package that included post-retirement health benefits, more than $66,000 in unused vacation and sick days and a $99,347 one-time cash payout. All told, Hiti was paid $166,016 to leave his post. The retirement didn’t last long. A month later, Hiti was back on the IRRRB payroll as a part-time contract worker making $41-an-hour …”

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Example No. 2,847,405 of the nation’s broken health care system. Hannah Jones at City Pages has the tale of a St. Paul couple navigating a pregnancy and health care exchanges at the same time: “Then, in September, five or six months into Caitlin’s pregnancy, they got a letter from HealthPartners. It said they’d missed one payment in August. And the company was dropping them. This was news to them. They distinctly remembered making that August payment. So they did what adults do. They picked up the phone and called HealthPartners to straighten this out. The healthcare provider told them MNsure was the one who dropped them, and they’d have to talk to the folks over there. They did. But MNsure promptly told them the problem wasn’t on their end, and that the couple would have to talk to HealthPartners … which they did.”

In other news …

Today’s history lesson: “Black Music Month: Clubs that shaped the ‘Minneapolis Sound’” [Insight News]

One less surface lot: “United Properties closes on $10.4M land sale for Gateway project in Minneapolis” [Star Tribune]

Sure, why not: “Lowry Hill Tunnel Closing Overnight Twice This Week” [WCCO]

Strong liver: “9 Things I Learned on a Yearlong, 120-Brewery Odyssey Across Minnesota” [The Growler]

Only $10/credit for these guys: “Growing number of Baby Boomers going back to school” [NBC News]

RIP: “Gabriele Grunewald, Champion Runner And Former Gopher, Dies After Decade-Long Battle With Cancer” [WCCO]

Happy ending: “Minneapolis Family Rescued After Getting Stranded While Canoeing On Lake Superior” [WCCO]

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No paddling zone: “High water on Minnehaha Creek” [Southwest Journal]

That 4 precent: “96 percent of Minneapolis residents shoveled their sidewalks this winter” [KMSP]

Paws to reflect: “3rd Annual Wedge Cat Tour, June 27” [Wedge Times-Picayune]