>>Sanford and Marshfield propose merger after both groups’ failed overtures to MN health systems

(Sioux Falls, SD) — Sanford Health — headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota — has announced plans to merge with Marshfield Health System of Wisconsin — after both groups’ plans to merge with Minnesota health systems fell through. Sanford has hospitals and clinics in a large swath of western Minnesota, plus in the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and other states. Marshfield operates dozens of clinics and hospitals in northern and western Wisconsin and on Michigan’s U-P. In 2023, Sanford and Minneapolis-based Fairview for the second time in a decade called off their planned merger under heavy political pressure from the University of Minnesota. And early this year, Marshfield and Duluth-based Essentia called off their planned merger, Essentia citing Marshfield’s financial challenges. Sanford says a partnership with Marshfield “will bring together two strong physician-driven organizations, each with a reputation for excellence in quality, safety and patient experience.”

A spokesman for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says that office is aware of the prospective merger and “will be reviewing the proposed transaction.” Ellison held a series of public hearings on the Sanford-Fairview before it was called off. His office also had a listening session in Duluth on the now-defunct Essentia-Marshfield merger.

>>U-of-M Regents vote to expand alcohol sales at Gophers venues over three-year period

(Minneapolis, MN) — With little discussion following last month’s debate, the U-of-M Board of Regents voted unanimously today (Wed) to allow Gophers fans to buy canned and batched cocktails at concession stands and in premium areas as soon as this fall at Huntington Bank Stadium, Williams Arena, Maturi Pavilion and 3-M Arena at Mariucci.  Special presidential advisor Jon Steadland told the Regents, “Proposed expansion of sales is phased over a three-year period… and includes both mixed drinks and direct sales in the seating bowl of the stadium.” There would be full-service bars in club rooms and limited bottle service in suites by 2025-26, plus in-seat “hawking” at Huntington Bank Stadium by 2026-27, except in student sections. Some worry how to prevent students under 21 from buying alcohol in the stands. Backers respond: “A very heavy approach to carding.”

>>Minnesota Twins drop first game of doubleheader at Chicago White Sox

(Chicago, IL) — The Minnesota Twins dropped the first game of a doubleheader to the White Sox 3-1 today (Wed) in Chicago. Starting pitcher Bailey Ober allowed three runs over six innings to take the loss. Matt Wallner hit a solo home run for Minnesota and Carlos Correa had three hits. Right-hander Pablo Lopez is on the mound for the Twins in game two this afternoon.

>>Vigil in Oregon Wednesday Night for Fallen Vikings Rookie Jackson

(Eugene, OR) — There’s a candlelight vigil tonight (Wed 8pm) in Eugene, Oregon for Minnesota Vikings rookie cornerback Khyree Jackson. Twenty-four-year-old Jackson was killed in a car crash Saturday in Maryland that also claimed the lives of two high school teammates. Jackson played his senior year for the Oregon Ducks and was drafted by the Vikings this spring.  Prosecutors are moving to make a charging decision against the driver of a vehicle that caused the crash and a report said alcohol could have been a contributing factor. The vigil for Jackson is at Autzen Stadium, the home of the Ducks.


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