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Minnesota Senate Republicans unveil free insulin proposal

Plus: Minnesota approaching peak fall color; former Wisconsin fugitive who hid in a makeshift bunker reaches plea deal; freeway closures to disrupt weekend traffic in the Twin Cities; and more.

The site might offer tips for Minnesota patients who might want to drive into Canada to purchase drugs and insulin.
REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel says, “Diabetics could get free insulin through their doctors under a proposal Senate Republicans offered Thursday, but Democrats said the plan doesn’t do enough for people in emergency situations. While lawmakers in both parties say they want to help diabetics who are overwhelmed by high insulin prices, the skeptical DFL response to the Republican plan underscored how the two sides remain far apart on how to structure and pay for a new state insulin program after an 11th-hour deal was derailed in the Legislature last spring.”

In the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges says, “The University of Minnesota reached a $200,000 settlement this year with an African-American instructor who alleged she was denied a tenured position because the education college had just promoted another woman of color. A tenured professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Yolanda Majors joined the U’s College of Education and Human Development in 2011. Majors said Dean Jean Quam wanted to hire her as a tenured professor but decided to wait a year on the tenure decision because another woman of color, Nina Asher, had just been made chair of curriculum and instruction.”

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At MPR Muhktar Ibrahim reports, “Several East African-owned stores on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis were vandalized early Wednesday night, rattling Muslim business owners. A surveillance video from one of the vandalized stores shows a man wearing a black tank top throwing rocks at the glass windows of $5 Pizza at Franklin Avenue and 2nd Avenue South. Minneapolis police had a man in custody by Thursday afternoon.”

Says WCCO: “Fiery reds, vivid yellows and blazing orange leaves are beginning to reach peak color. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is updating its fall color finder report. The map shows great looks all across the state. Near peak colors are on show in parts of central Minnesota right now, and it’s just starting to heat up around the metro area.”

This from the AP: “Attorneys have reached a plea deal for a former Wisconsin fugitive who hid out in a makeshift bunker for more than three years. Forty-four-year-old Jeremiah Button was discovered in August living in a bunker powered by solar panels and a pedal generator. Button disappeared in February 2016 just weeks before he was scheduled to stand trial on child sexual assault and child pornography charges.

Says the Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow, “It’s the end for the old Rice Street overpass this weekend as crews will take down the bridge on the border of Shore­view and Vadnais Heights. To do the work, both directions of Interstate 694 in that area will be shut down from Friday night to Monday morning. In the southeast metro, westbound Interstate 494 shuts down between Interstate 35E and Hwy. 5. Both freeway closures may disrupt travel, but the weekend’s most gnarly traffic crunch might occur Sunday in downtown Minneapolis where the Vikings and Twins both have afternoon home games.”

A Politico story by Christopher Cadelego about Kamala Harris included this nugget: “An Iowa poll out Wednesday, conducted by her own pollster for another client, showed Harris well out of range of the frontrunners, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, and behind Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

At Fox News, Paulina Dedaj reports, “A Minnesota student’s Facebook post has gone viral after she shared an alarming image of a meal one school attempted to pass off as a suitable lunch – prompting officials to issue what many called a ‘condescending’ apology. Maryn Holler, a student at Apollo High School in St. Cloud, was left feeling both thankful and ‘sad’ last week after she received what her school deemed an appropriate meal for lunch. Sitting on a relatively empty tray were a handful of baby carrots, a packet of marinara sauce and — worst of all — an opened hot dog bun with melted cheese.”