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Minnesota Board of Nursing considers axing executive director

Plus: Minneapolis Park Board considers canceling regional trail status for Midtown Greenway; Gov. Tim Walz signs bill to get rid of lead water pipes; Uber solicits customers’ help in changing legislation; and more.

For ProPublica, Emily Hopkins says, “The Minnesota Board of Nursing has called an emergency meeting to consider removing its beleaguered executive director over an unspecified ‘personnel issue.’ In an email to board staff Tuesday morning, President Laura Elseth said Executive Director Kimberly Miller was on leave ‘effective today.’ The move comes at a critical time for the nursing board. It’s been mired in a backlog of complaints against nurses, with some inside the agency blaming Miller for dysfunction in the work environment, according to a ProPublica investigation published in April. That story detailed how the board’s slow disciplinary process puts the public in harm’s way. The time to resolve complaints had risen to 11 months, on average, and hundreds of cases remained open as of March. As a result, nurses who are accused of serious misconduct are allowed to keep treating patients.”

A story for KDHL radio says, “Good news if you’re flying on the biggest airline in Minnesota: it’s once again ranked as the number-one airline in the country. That’s the word this week from Delta Air Lines, which just placed on top of the latest J.D. Power 2023 survey for North America Airline Satisfaction in the premium economy class. Delta, of course, has a major hub at the largest airport in Minnesota, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Bloomington.”

For The Minnesota Reformer, Max Nesterak says, “Uber is making a last-ditch effort to kill legislation on its way to becoming law in Minnesota, which the company says could cause it to shut down operations in the state completely. In emails to drivers and customers on Monday night, Uber said the legislation would threaten passengers’ safety, drivers’ earning potential and the ability of the company to continue operating in the state. Included in the emails were links to email state lawmakers and urge them to oppose the bill.”

For the AP, Matt Ott reports, “Wells Fargo has agreed to a pay $1 billion to settle a lawsuit filed by its shareholders who alleged the bank made misleading statements about its compliance with federal regulators after a fake account-opening scandal came to light in 2016. The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of hundreds of thousands of public employees of Rhode Island and Mississippi whose retirement funds had invested in Wells Fargo. A federal judge in New York on Tuesday granted preliminary approval of the settlement that was filed late Monday. Wells Fargo has been sanctioned repeatedly by U.S. regulators for violations of consumer protection laws going back to 2016, when employees were found to have opened millions of accounts illegally in order to meet unrealistic sales goals.”

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For MPR News, Michelle Wiley reports, “Minnesota lawmakers are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to get lead out of drinking water throughout Minnesota. Standing in front of the water treatment facility in St. Paul, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill that would allocate $240 million toward removing and replacing lead pipes in homes across the state.”

Says Stribber Susan Du, “The Minneapolis Park Board is considering canceling plans to obtain regional trail status for the popular Midtown Greenway, owing to concerns that it will wind up on the hook for lighting, safety and legal expenses. Making a regional trail out of the Greenway, a 6-mile bikeway that traverses south Minneapolis from Bde Maka Ska to the Mississippi River, would bring additional funding, higher safety standards and membership in the metro area’s network of park and trail connections. It also could help further cycling advocates’ goal of extending the Greenway across the river into St. Paul.”

For KSTP-TV Kilat Fitzgerald writes, “A man is facing multiple criminal charges after police say he brought loaded guns into Loring Elementary School where he worked in late April. A criminal complaint names Derrick Lee Lind, 20, as a man charged with possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, negligent storage of a firearm that is accessible to children and possessing a pistol in public without a permit to carry. Police say they responded to Loring Elementary School for reports of a person with a gun on April 23. Officers were then told that Lind brought two loaded handguns to the school inside a black bag that was left on a table. A student then found the bag and gave it to a teacher, who then noticed the guns, according to the criminal complaint. The complaint states also that Lind was not near the bag when the student found it.”

An AP story by Steve Karnowski says, “A Minnesota man who told an FBI informant that he was building an arsenal of automatic weapons to use against police and admired mass shooters pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally possessing a machine gun. River Smith, 21, of the Minneapolis suburb of Savage, entered his plea on the single count before U.S. District Judge David Doty. His sentencing will be scheduled later. The maximum sentence is 10 years.”

For Alia Shoaib reports, “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said he had spent over $40 million trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and asked for supporters to help by buying stock in his online channel. ‘What we’re doing with Frank Speech, within the next couple weeks, could be for two to four weeks, we’re offering stock to the public. This is going to be amazing. I want every person out there to have a little piece of the pie for our voice for this country,’ Lindell told conservative outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network. ‘The money that I used to save this country, that I’ve been out spending — I’ve spent over $40 million,’ Lindell said. ‘I need help.’”