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During pandemic, number of adverse events rose at hospitals

Plus: a petroleum leak at the University of Minnesota; houses made of hemp; legal action against foreign robocalls; and more.

COVID-19 patient
REUTERS/Nick Oxford

In the Star Tribune, Jeremy Olson says, “Fatal or disabling falls of hospitalized patients increased during the pandemic, and severe bedsores appeared in unexpected places as COVID patients were rotated from their backs to their bellies for days to support their failing lungs.” Olson also reports that “Nurses in stalled contract talks sought to increase public pressure on Twin Cities area hospitals Tuesday, warning that burned-out colleagues are poised to leave bedside care if they don’t get incentives to stay. Negotiations have produced little progress on wages and how to compensate nurses after two-plus years of the pandemic. Nurses, working under prior contracts that expired two months ago, accused the hospitals of exploiting their good will to work last-minute shifts and take extra patients to get through the pandemic’s peaks.”

KMSP-TV says, “A petroleum leak prompted the University of Minnesota to evacuate several buildings Tuesday, blocking several streets and spurring an investigation into what caused it in the process. Authorities lifted the evacuation order for areas near the campus around 4:30 p.m. after the area was locked down since the late morning hours. According to the Minneapolis Fire Department, at around 11:30 a.m. fire crews responded to a report of a hazardous material incident from Met Council contractors that were working in the Met Council Sewer System located at 5th Street and Oak Street. Contractors reported gas readings on their monitors and a strong petroleum gas smell in the sewer system.”

Stribber Susan Du says, “The Minneapolis Park Board has killed a pilot project to assess how to make parkway closures for special events look more attractive and cost less. The pilot also would have studied the feasibility of hosting ‘Open Parkways’ events in which park users could walk, roller-blade, bike and play in segments temporarily closed to cars. The notion elicited enough pushback from the state’s DFL Senior Caucus and others to make park commissioners suspend the project despite having sunk eight months of work and $66,000 on it.”

At FoxNews Ann Schmidt says, “Bob Barnes, the man who is cycling to all 50 U.S. state capitals, reached capital number 42 of St. Paul as he nears the close of his cross-country journey — which began almost one year ago. Barnes, 52, of Syracuse, N.Y., told Fox News Digital that while he faced some negative interactions with locals, the trip took a pleasant turn in the outskirts of the Minnesota city. ‘There are some areas of Minnesota where people are uptight’, said Barnes, who reached St. Paul on May 20. ‘There are some areas, St. Paul in particular, [where] they’re a little judgmental’, he said. Barnes said, ‘I don’t want to bash everybody else, because I was treated really well by a lot of other people. So that’s why I’m saying it’s inconsistent’. ‘The only thing consistent about Minnesota is the terrain’, he added. ‘It’s been really easy to travel out here’.”

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A Forum News Service story says, “Minnesota has joined a 50-state task force to investigate and take legal action against companies who bring foreign robocalls into the U.S. Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Tuesday, Aug. 2. Ellison has joined other attorneys general in an Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force investigating ‘gateway providers’ that sell access to U.S. telephone networks. The ultimate goal is to bring legal action against the companies and cut down on illegal robocalls. While much of the traffic originates from different countries, the task force aims to shut down domestic providers who route scam calls to the U.S.”

At MPR, Dan Gunderson reports, “The two small houses are going up on the back half of a lot just off a busy street, not far from downtown Fargo. ‘These homes are identical in blueprint, they’re 13 by 23, with 12 foot ceilings, there’s a loft in each of them’, explains Grassroots Development president Justin Berg, the man behind this one-of-a-kind construction and research project. One of the houses is built with a traditional wood frame, fiberglass insulation and covered with that shiny white house wrap material. A second house a few feet away also has a wood frame but the walls are filled with 12 inches of hempcrete, giving it a brown, textured look inside and out. The raw material is called hurd. It’s the inner woody core of the hemp plant, chipped into small pieces.”

At mlbtraderumors.com Steve Adams reports, “The Twins have nabbed their second notable arm of the day, acquiring right-hander Tyler Mahle in a trade with the Reds, the teams announced. … Minnesota has been focused on upgrading its pitching staff, both in the rotation and in the bullpen. Having already landed Orioles closer Jorge López in a trade with Baltimore … it seems their focus has shifted to Mahle, who’d reunite with Gray and give the Twins a starter they can control for the remainder of the current season and for the 2023 campaign.”