>>Fairview CEO to Meet With Task Force on U of M Partnership
(St. Paul, MN) — Fairview C-E-O James Hereford meets this afternoon ( Tues 1-3pm) with a special task force convened by Governor Tim Walz after the health system said Monday it does not want to renew its current partnership with the University of Minnesota. Hereford said in an e-mail to employees that he sees “tremendous value… in a continued partnership with the University ” but “this current agreement cannot be what carries us into the future.” Fairview’s relationship with the U-of-M has been strained, notably after the health system proposed a merger with South Dakota-based Sanford Health. Under scrutiny from state policymakers, in late July Fairview and Sanford dropped merger plans for the second time in about a decade. Continuing tension between Fairview and the U-of-M seems to center around costs associated with training new doctors at the U’s academic health center.
>>AG Ellison Secures Relief for MN Students Victimized by Prehired
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and 10 other state attorneys general announce the approved settlement of $31 million in relief to student borrowers victimized by predatory for-profit educational provider, Prehired. They say Prehired operated a 12-week online training program claiming to prepare students for an entry-level position as software sales development representatives with “six-figure salaries” and a “job guarantee.” The company offered students “income-share” loans to help pay for the program, tricking them into costly debt that many students had to pay with their income after they completed or discontinued the program. The order requires Prehired to pay nearly $27 million in void loans, and $4.2 million in refunded payments nationwide, with Minnesota consumers receiving over 79 thousand dollars K in restitution.
>>State Commission Picking 5 Finalists for State Flag and Seal
(St. Paul, MN) — A state commission is expected to pick five finalists for the new Minnesota flag and seal today (Tues 1-9pm) from a list of more than 26 hundred designs. The Minnesota Historical Society’s David Kelliher (KELL’-uh-her) says there’s been of ton of interest in this process. He says they received about three thousand comments on the website showing all the designs. Kelliher says Minnesota’s new flag has received extensive state and national media coverage including an inquiry from Newsweek magazine. The designs include loons, the North Star, pine trees, lakes, fish, blue sky, and the outline of Minnesota.
>>MnDOT Construction Season Included 227 Road and Bridge Projects
(St. Paul, MN) — Mn-DOT’s 2023 construction season is coming to an end. Spokesman J.P. Gillach (GIL’-latch) says crews worked on or completed about 227 road and bridge projects, and cities and counties worked on many more than that as well. He says,” this year’s work created smoother roads, safer roads, and bridges. Worked on intersections, of course, improved accessibility.” Some work zones around the state may remain active as work wraps up through November. Motorists should stay alert, watch for workers and equipment, and give workers room to safely complete their work.
>>Walz to Attend Ribbon Cutting on Highway 14 From New Ulm to Nicollet
(Various) — Governor Tim Walz this morning ( Tues 11:15am) cuts the ribbon on an upgraded twelve-and-a-half-mile stretch of U-S Highway 14 between New Ulm and Nicollet in south-central Minnesota. That major thoroughfare is now four lanes all the way between Rochester and New Ulm. The upgraded stretch is a divided highway and includes new interchanges at Brown County Road 37 near New Ulm, and at Nicollet County Road 12/24 near Courtland.
>> Mesabi Metallics Plant Project Struggles Forward
(Nashwauk, MN) – An Itasca County concentrator and pellet plant continues to be built, despite the potential it would run out of ore in less than a decade. Mesabi Metallics broke ground on the plant in Nashwauk 15 years ago, but it is only half-constructed. The project has been held up by its parent company’s bankruptcy in 2017, and state officials pulled minerals leases after several missed deadlines. Officials say the India-based Essar is committed to finishing the project, which will require another $800 million. They also admit that its own iron ore stocks would allow the company to operate for eight to ten years.
>>Omar to Present $1 Million Check to Native American Community Clinic
(Minneapolis, MN) — Congresswoman Ilhan (ILL’-hahn) Omar is presenting a one-million-dollar check to the Native American Community Clinic today (Tues 1:45pm) in south Minneapolis. Omar’s office says the federal funding is being used to expand their clinic and housing services and will double its capacity to serve nearly ten thousand patients a year. The N-A-C-C was founded in 2003 to address health disparities in the urban Native American community. The clinic offers a wide range of health care services including medical, behavioral, dental, and substance abuse programs.
>>5 People Sentenced in California-Minnesota Meth Distribution Ring
(Minneapolis, MN) — Five people are sentenced to federal prison for trafficking methamphetamine that was shipped through the mail from California to Minnesota. According to court documents, between the fall of 2021 and the summer of 2022, 44-year-old Michael Ortiz of San Jose, California, 22-year-old Esteban Ambriz, Jr. of Austin, 32-year-old Lori Luna of Austin, 26-year-old Angela Martin of Austin, and 34-year-old Kyria Roldan of Albert Lea, engaged in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine from California to Austin. Ortiz would send packages of high-purity methamphetamine to Ambriz, Luna, Martin, Roldan, and other members involved in the conspiracy to distribute throughout the Austin area. All five defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
>>Mailboxes Blown Up in Benton County
(Gillman, MN) — Authorities are asking for the public’s help finding suspects involved in another round of mailbox vandalism in central Minnesota. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says multiple mailboxes were vandalized in Alberta and Graham townships with what appear to be explosives on Sunday. Anyone with information regarding the tampering is asked to contact Benton County authorities.
>>US Postal Worker Robbed by Armed Man in Edina
(Edina, MN) — Police in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina are investigating the armed robbery of a U-S postal worker over the weekend. Officers say the letter carrier was approached by a man with a gun who came from the passenger side of a mid-sized, dark-colored S-U-V on Saturday afternoon. The postal worker wasn’t hurt. Investigators believe the employee was being targeted and followed by two suspects in the vehicle. The alleged gunman is described as Black, in their mid-20s, about five foot nine, and weighs between 170 and 200 pounds. Authorities are seeking outdoor camera footage of the incident or more information from witnesses.