>>Republicans Oppose MinnesotaCare for All Proposal
(St. Paul, MN) — Republicans warn that Democrats’ renewed push to make state-subsidized MinnesotaCare health insurance available to all Minnesotans could hurt access to health care. But House Majority Leader Jamie Long says the “MinnesotaCare public option” is to help those who are still without health insurance or buying extremely expensive policies on the open market. Republican Senator Paul Utke from Park Rapids says the state’s reimbursement rates don’t cover health care providers’ costs — and it’s only other insurers that are paying the bills. Utke notes about two-thirds of hospitals — metro and Greater Minnesota alike — were running in the red last year.
>>Public Hearing on Labor & Delivery Unit Closure at Essentia Health-Fosston
(Fosston, MN) — A lot of people are upset that Essentia-Health Fosston will no longer deliver babies and diverted those services to St. Mary’s Hospital in Detroit Lakes. During a public hearing Tuesday night, City Administrator Cassie Heide (HI’-dee) said a May 15th, 2023 memo indicated labor and delivery services would resume in Fosston and she asked officials what changed and when. Essentia administrator Callen Weispfennig (WICE’- fen-ig) said, ” we’re gonna move on and just decline to comment on the memo.” Pregnant women in the Fosston area now must travel 75 miles to Detroit Lakes to have a baby. Mayor Jim Offerdahl says this hearing was supposed to be 120 days prior to Essentia discontinuing services, but it has been 607 days since babies were last delivered in Fosston.
>>Mille Lacs County Billboards Ask for Tips in Fatal Pedestrian Hit and Run
(Onamia, MN) — Authorities in Mille Lacs County hope new billboards will lead to tips about the November hit-and-run death of Doctor Cathy Donovan. Fifty-six-year-old Donovan was struck by a vehicle while walking across Highway 169 with her dog. Her employer, Mille Lacs Health System, turned its billboards in the Onamia area into “reward offered” signs asking for information. A ten-thousand-dollar reward is offering for information in the case. Sheriff Kyle Burton says they believe Donovan was talking to someone in a pulled over car before she was hit. Anyone with information should call the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office or State Patrol.
>>Savage Man Sent to Federal Prison for Possessing Machine Gun, Buying Grenades
(Minneapolis, MN) — A man from Savage will spend more than six-and-a-half years in federal prison for possessing a machine gun and trying to buy hand grenades. Prosecutors say 21-year-old River Smith stated he is “pro mass shooting” and was preparing to fight the police and dedicated to dying in that fight. The complaint says Smith admitted to having a machine gun in the fall of 2022 and trying to obtain hand grenades, and had access to fully-automatic rifles, handguns, suppressors and body armor. He was arrested in December 2022 while buying auto sears and a grenade from an F-B-I informant.
>>Ex-NFL Player Acquitted of Sexual Assault in St. Louis County
(Duluth, MN) — Former Arizona Cardinals player Tom Burke is not guilty of sexual assault charges in northeastern Minnesota. Police say 47-year-old Burke of Rice Lake, Wisconsin was arrested in 2021 for allegedly inappropriately touching a seven-year-old girl multiple times in her St. Louis County home. After five hours of deliberation, the jury found Burke not guilty. He had pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
>>Minneapolis Officials Clear Out Homeless Encampment
(Minneapolis, MN) — City crews dismantled a homeless encampment Tuesday in south Minneapolis. This site emerged after the closure of the original encampment near the former K-Mart store on Lake Street due to “health and safety reasons.” City officials cite a viral stomach bug outbreak that hospitalized one camp member as the reason for the closure. A shooting also occurred outside the homeless camp Monday resulting in non-life-threatening injuries to one person.
>>Reservations for BWCA Entry Permits Open Wednesday
(Duluth, MN) — The reservation-booking window opens at 9 am today (Wed) for entry permits to the B-W-C-A Wilderness during this year’s quota season, May 1st through September 30th. Joy VanDrie with the Superior National Forest suggests having a few back-up options for your first choice of entry point and date. She says people should pretty much be able to get what they want if they have three point-of-entry options plus a couple different dates. Google “Superior National Forest Boundary Waters” for complete information.