Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Lourey resigns as human services commissioner

Tony Lourey
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey
More turnover at human services. The Pioneer Press’s Ryan Faircloth reports: “Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey has resigned, effective immediately. … Gov. Tim Walz announced Lourey’s resignation on Monday. Pam Wheelock, who was the commissioner of finance in the administration of Gov. Jesse Ventura, has been appointed acting commissioner. … Lourey’s resignation six months into the job marks the first major test for Gov. Walz, who took office in January. The agency is the state’s largest and has been hit by recent criticism and internal turmoil.

Here are some of the workers fighting for better conditions at Amazon. For MPR, MinnPost alum Ibrahim Hirsi writes: “For the three years Safiyo Mohamed has worked at the Amazon fulfillment center warehouse in Shakopee, Minn., she has felt the pressure to perform her duties as a robot would. … As a stower, her responsibilities included picking, scanning and storing 260 items an hour — items of all sizes and weights that a robot delivered to her for processing. … To maintain that rate, Mohamed had to do what her robot colleague did: She would not take bathroom breaks. Or drink water. Or stretch.

Meet the new Mayo boss. The Star Tribune’s Christopher Snowbeck reports: “– As a young physician, Gianrico Farrugia admired Mayo Clinic’s Plummer Building, a historic landmark with massive bronze doors and a soaring bell tower that projects the enduring prestige of the clinic. … His reverence, however, didn’t extend to its very peak. The top, he noticed in the late 1980s, “had this really ugly aluminum cylinder.” … Fifteen years later, as the Plummer Building underwent a major restoration, Farrugia became obsessed with the chance to make a change. … He uncovered proof that when the landmark first opened, it was topped with a lantern-shaped cupola — not the metallic cylinder. The photo startled old-timers and helped persuade clinic officials at the last minute to place a recreated cupola at the building’s apex. … Farrugia is now bringing the same approach to the top of the entire Mayo organization. After leading its Florida operation since 2015, the 30-year Mayo veteran in January became the latest chief executive at a Minnesota institution that is the state’s largest private employer, with about 43,000 workers, and a magnet for patients from around the world.”

So much winning. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik reports: “After walking nearly 3 miles in Saturday’s SummerFest parade in Ankeny, Iowa, Sen. Amy Klobuchar received a warm reception in steamy conditions under the town’s park pavilion. … The Minnesota Democrat was one of several 2020 presidential candidates given a few minutes to address the local party faithful. And Klobuchar quickly got to the point. … ‘I am someone that can win,’ she told the crowd. ‘I have won every place, every race — every time I’ve won.’

Trade war casualty. For the Forum News Service, Mikkel Pates writes: “One of North Dakota’s outstanding pulse crop marketers has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization, a victim of tariffs and weather. … JM Grain Inc., with offices at Garrison, N.D., and Great Falls, Mont., filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy June 25 in Fargo. The company says sales in the current year are about $3.5 million compared to the average of about $13 million, in part due to tariff and trade disruptions.

In other news…

Here’s what former Minnesota ed commissioner Brenda Cassellius has been up to:New Boston schools superintendent says her focus is on racial equity” [Boston Globe]

Moose are very large:Father: ‘It is a miracle’ teen driver survived collision in northern Minnesota with bull moose” [Star Tribune]

Accident in northern Minnesota:Woman plummets from Gooseberry Falls” [Duluth News Tribune]

Duk Duk Daze got out of hand:Teens cited for disorderly conduct during community festival in New Hope, future security being evaluated” [KSTP]

Plenty of room on the bandwagon:Twins’ TV Ratings Skyrocket” [Twin Cities Business]

Huh:Infamous Minneapolis bar Club Jäger is (still) back, half-packed, and… black?” [City Pages]

Very fishy:Why are so many fish dying in Minneapolis’ Cedar Lake?” [City Pages]

Got it for Peanuts … statues:Pavilion strengthens bonds between St. Paul, Chinese sister city” [MPR]

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Rory Kramer on 07/15/2019 - 02:23 pm.

    Klobuchar said that she has run every race that she has been in. She was elected twice as prosecutor in Hennepin County before being elected to the Senate in a state where over half of the population lives in the metro area. Not exactly races where there is any real competition.

    • Submitted by lisa miller on 07/15/2019 - 07:11 pm.

      She does have high approval ratings even in areas Trump won. She also has run more than one Senate campaign. Compare that to some men who have run for president.

  2. Submitted by Charlie Quimby on 07/15/2019 - 02:45 pm.

    Lourey left a safe state senate seat that turned red in the special election. That was a costly 6 months for Walz and the DFL.

  3. Submitted by Richard Hodges on 07/15/2019 - 04:48 pm.

    “As a stower, her responsibilities included picking, scanning and storing 260 items an hour” Am I correct, that would mean she would only have 23 seconds to handle each item?

Leave a Reply