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Student food insecurity is extraordinarily high in Minnesota

Plus: Gov. Tim Walz will name new commissioners of health, public safety and education; nurses union raises concerns about potential Sanford-Fairview merger; Carlos Correa to Twins?; and more.

At MPR News Elizabeth Shockman reports, “The worst part of Angie Richey’s job is having to call families and ask them to pay their school lunch debt. She is the nutrition services supervisor for the Roseville and St Anthony school districts and, just three months into the school year, she says lunch debt is in the tens of thousands of dollars — higher than she’s ever seen in the 12 years she’s worked in school nutrition. … The federal funding that paid for universal free school meals during the pandemic ended months ago. That combined with inflation, supply chain issues and rising labor costs are having an effect. California and Maine passed bills last year to ensure all students had free school meals, and earlier this month Colorado voters approved a ballot measure to do the same.”

Says Stribber Ryan Faircloth, “Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz must replace his top health, education and public safety leaders after announcing the largest shakeup of his cabinet. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, Education Commissioner Heather Mueller and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Commissioner Mark Phillips have ‘chosen not to seek reappointment,’ Walz announced Wednesday. Malcolm and Harrington had served with the DFL governor since he took office, helping lead the state through the turbulent COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by police, respectively.”

For KELO-TV in Sioux Falls Eric Mayer says, “A nurses union in Minnesota is raising concerns after South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Minnesota-based Fairview Health announced the two health care systems signed nonbinding letters of intent to merge and publicly acknowledged negotiations on Tuesday.  In a news release, the Minnesota Nurses Association announced opposition to the proposed merger and called for ‘a seat at the table’ in merger talks. The group pointed out Sanford’s $49 million payout to former CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft, who parted ways with the health system following an email he sent to Sanford staff in Nov. 2020.  The MNA called Sanford ‘the health chain that recently paid out a $49.5 million golden parachute to their disgraced former CEO after he spread medical disinformation.’

This from Sven Sundgaard at MPR News, “A blast of unusually cold air for mid-November will dive south out of Canada over the next couple of days bringing temperatures that will be 20 to 30 degrees below normal.”

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This from the Strib’s Paul Walsh, “A federal indictment is accusing a former Minneapolis CEO in the health care industry of orchestrating financial schemes that netted her millions of dollars that she sheltered in overseas bank accounts and shell companies under her control. Khemwhattie Singh, 52, was indicted by a grand jury last week on seven counts of wire fraud in connection with her operation of Global Medical Services, which is now out of business.”

For BringMeTheNews Christine Schuster says, “A long-planned riverfront redevelopment at the site of a former shipping terminal in North Minneapolis is set to take another step forward this week.  The Minneapolis Planning Commission on Thursday is scheduled to weigh-in on several development plans for the Upper Harbor Terminal project, including a proposal to construct an 8,000-seat amphitheater along the Mississippi River.  The city’s work to prepare the 53-acre site for redevelopment is expected to wrap up in early 2023, with the property’s structures already torn down in early September.  … According to project documents, the $300 million development is proposed to bring 520 housing units, some 300 jobs, and up to $1 million in annual revenue from amphitheater ticket sales.”

For The Racket Jay Boller writes, “Gun-nut lifestyle complex 88 Tactical has become increasingly defensive on its corporate blog. ‘Supporters Respond to Vicious Defamatory Attacks’ reads one recent entry from the Omaha, Nebraska-based company …  A post titled ‘The Truth Behind Our Name’ seeks to address the loudest dog whistle associated with 88 Tactical, which recently announced expansion plans for locations to 16 cities, including one in the Twin Cities. … 88 Tactical has associated itself with controversial figures like John Guandolo, an ex-FBI agent who heads the anti-Muslim group Understanding the Threat. Guandolo once claimed mosques were fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, and that mosques in general, ‘do not have a First Amendment right to do anything,’ according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Other friends of 88 Tactical include the oaf sons of two fascist-curious former world leaders: Donald Trump Jr. and Eduardo Bolsonaro, plus the Omaha Police Department.”  

For Sports Illustrated Joe Nelson writes, “Carlos Correa is among a handful of extremely talented shortstops on the free-agent market and according to one report the Minnesota Twins want him back. Longtime Twin Cities sports reporter Darren Wolfson says the Twins are planning to make Correa the richest offer in team history.  ‘They are going to make him a very nice offer. In fact, I was told this week that they are pushing for closure sooner rather than later,’ Wolfson said on Mackey & Judd on Tuesday. ‘They are going to make the richest offer in team history.'”