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Walz calls for new gun laws in wake of weekend shootings

Plus: diabetic test strips gray market; millions of opioid pills distributed in Minnesota in six years; St. Andrews Church slated for destruction; a dairy bankruptcy; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Gov. Tim Walz
Stop us if you’ve heard this one. For the Forum News Service Dana Ferguson writes (via the Duluth News Tribune): “Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he’d call on lawmakers to take up gun control measures next week when they return to the capital to discuss turnover at the Department of Human Services. … The Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor on Monday, August 5, said he’d bring up the topic on a call with Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, later in the day. Gazelka has blocked a pair of gun control bills from getting a hearing in a Senate committee, saying they wouldn’t have the support needed to pass in that chamber.”

Those “cash for diabetic test strips” signs, explained. KMSP reports: “A homemade sign stapled to a telephone pole in St. Louis Park advertises cash for unused diabetic test strips, pointing the way to a growing resale market that raises concerns among patient advocates. … The sign, near the corner of 36th Street and Texas Avenue, is one of many around the Twin Cities. Multiple businesses advertise this way, offering to be middlemen between diabetics that have good insurance and those who are under-insured and must pay high prices for supplies.

Lotta pills. MPR’s Jon Collins reports: “At the height of the opioid epidemic, enough prescription painkillers were distributed to Minnesota pharmacies for every state resident to have 156 pills, according to new government data made available by the Washington Post. … The 842 million pills distributed between 2006 and 2012 came as hundreds of Minnesotans died of opioid overdoses.”

A worthwhile essay on how the media handles racism, with key examples from Minnesota. In the New Republic, Alex Pareene writes: “In August 2017, three men from rural Illinois—members of one of our country’s numerous heavily armed and rather poorly regulated “militias”—drove to Bloomington, Minnesota, just south of Minneapolis, to plant an IED in the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Following their arrest, two of the men admitted their guilt. They had set out from Illinois, they said, determined to scare Muslims into leaving the United States. ”

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That’s that. The Star Tribune’s James Walsh reports: “After more than a year of escalating acrimony and deepening neighborhood division, demolition of the former St. Andrew’s Catholic Church was expected to begin Monday. Twin Cities German Immersion, which has owned the building since 2013, plans to replace it with an 18,000-square-foot addition.”

The sad tale of one Minnesota dairy farmer’s bankruptcy. In the Washington Post, Annie Gowen writes: “The feed chopper was the only machine Bob Krocak ever bought new, back when he was starting out as an ambitious young dairy farmer. … He used it to chop acres of alfalfa and corn to feed his herd of Holstein dairy cattle, which repaid him with some of the creamiest milk in Le Sueur County. The chopper and its fearsome blades lasted through four decades of cold winters, muddy springs and grueling harvests. … Now, on a chilly Saturday morning, Krocak, 64, was standing next to the chopper in the parking lot of Fahey Sales Auctioneers and Appraisers, trying to sell what he had always prized. The 128 Holsteins were already gone, sold last year when his family quit the dairy business after three unprofitable years.”

In other news…

Tackling the wheel issues:It’s the law: Scooter riders must stay off sidewalks” [Star Tribune]

Every Day I Need Arsonist, information about:Edina offers reward after arsonist sets fire to 10 vehicles” [Star Tribune]

You tease:

On the origin of feces:Lake Minnetonka’s Big Island is a big problem. Can the popular summer hangout be fixed?” [Star Tribune]

A good idea:West St. Paul police required to speak to therapist” [KSTP]

Quite a mess:How a dispute over minority services killed Metro State University’s student senate” [Pioneer Press]

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Yikes:St. Cloud man accused of biting off part of co-worker’s cheek” [St. Cloud Times]

He’s no shucker:Gov. Walz loses corn shucking competition to kick-off National Farmers Market Week” [City Pages]

Interesting angle:Rare octagon house is one of only a handful left in Minnesota” [Star Tribune]

Aww:Putting rivalry aside, loon pair adopts duckling” [KARE]