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Legislative Auditor finds ‘troubling dysfunction’ at DHS

Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs
Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles
Sounds bad. The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres reports: “The state’s top government watchdog has concluded that ‘troubling dysfunction’ at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) resulted in the agency making $29 million in improper payments to two Indian bands for opioid treatment, according to a scathing report released Tuesday morning. … Legislative Auditor James Nobles said the DHS did not have legal authority to make the payments, and it did not document why, when, and who decided it was appropriate to make them. In addition, he found that no one at the agency has taken responsibility for the decision or provided a rationale for the overpayments, which continued over several years and did not stop until an outside agency brought them to light.”

Bank for sale. The Star Tribune’s Neal St. Anthony says: “The trust that controls St. Paul-based Bremer Financial Corp., the fourth-largest bank in Minnesota, said Monday it may sell the company. … The announcement from the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) indicated a split with the board of Bremer Financial Corp. (BFC), which is responsible for day-to-day operation of Bremer Bank and related entities.”

Big vote for Worthington next week. WCCO’s Liz Collin reports: “Next week, voters in a southwest Minnesota city go the polls to decide whether to build a new school to alleviate crowded classrooms. It’s the sixth time in as many years that residents in Worthington will face the decision.

PSA. From the Bemidji Pioneer:MNsure’s seven-week open enrollment period begins at 7 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 23, officials said this week. Minnesotans can enroll, renew or change private health insurance through MNsure. Everyone enrolled during the open enrollment period will have an effective date of Jan. 1.”

Also FYI. KSTP reports: “Hot off the heels of the Interstate 94 closure last weekend, there will be another interstate closure in the Twin Cities Thursday into Friday and again this weekend. … According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Interstate 35W will close in both directions between I-94 and Highway 62 in Minneapolis.”

In other news…

Gas bills expanding?CenterPoint eyes natural gas rate hike” [West Central Tribune]

Follow-up:Execution-style murder in Iron Range woods draws life term for shooter” [Star Tribune]

Adaptation:Second year of wet harvest takes tiling plans off back burner” [Brainerd Dispatch]

Another excerpt from that forthcoming Lindeke/Sturdevant bar book:How Two Frontier Bars Helped Invent the Twin Cities” [Minneapolis.St.Paul] (See the chapter on Moby Dick’s excerpted on MinnPost.)

Possibly of use to some of our readers:Drinking in the Suburbs: The Growler’s Guide to Drinking (Well!) in the Greater Metro” [The Growler]

Continuing a long tradition of terrible Minnesota team names:Vikings owners unveil e-sports team, the Minnesota Røkkr” [Star Tribune]

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