MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Officer-involved fatal shooting in Minnetonka
MINNETONKA, Min.. -- A man is dead after a confrontation with police in Minnetonka. Minnetonka officers were called Wednesday night about a person with a gun and when they arrived at the address they found the man with a firearm in an underground garage. Shots were fired and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say it appears to be an isolated incident and people in Minnetonka should not be concerned for their safety.
Minnesota's governor has declared a state of emergency to support the state's farmers in their efforts to get the crops off the fields and properly stored before the snow flies. Governor Dayton declared a state of emergency because the corn crop was planted late, and was late to mature. The declaration means that drivers transporting propane and anhydrous ammonia to Minnesota farmers don't have to comply with the requirement that means they can only drive so many hours in a row. The order still states, though, that excessively fatigued drivers won't be given a pass. There has been a real problem in getting propane delivered to farms across the Midwest, which is used to dry down the corn after it is harvested.
U-S House passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act is being praised by a Minnesota lawmaker as common sense, bipartisan legislation. Democratic Representative Tim Walz says the bill will make key investments in America's ports & waterways, spur job creation and economic growth -- and take giant steps forward in the fight to eradicate invasive species, like Asian Carp, from Minnesota's waterways. Walz says when lawmakers, "work together with those who disagree with them to find reasonable solutions, there is nearly always a positive outcome." He adds that he is hopeful that sort of bipartisanship will carry over into work on the farm bill.
Early retirement offers have been issued to more than 100 faculty members at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Faculty union president Ted Gracyk (gray'-sik) says the university hopes that at least 35 offers are accepted in order to avoid lay-offs. MSUM spokesman Dave Walberg says the university is trying to head-off a projected $8 million deficit. Early retirement candidates have until November 8th to accept or decline their offers. If layoffs are necessary, MSUM is expected to announce its decision by December 5th.
A Minnesota Member of President Obama's own political party is blasting the rollout of the national health insurance exchange and is calling for heads to roll. Minnesota Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan told reporters that federal employees should lose their jobs over the problems with the national health insurance exchange. Following a lawmaker briefing with health officials, Nolan said the president should find out who was responsible and fire them. Democrats requested the update, saying that it's unacceptable that the debut of the website was so flawed, and have called on Obama to tell Congress when the problems will be fixed.
There's a federal court hearing this morning (9am start) in Saint Paul on the first case of its kind in our part of the country: a business owner is challenging the Affordable Care Act mandate that health care coverage include contraceptives. Attorney Erick Kaardal says Stuart Lind of Twin Cities-based Annex Medical, who's a devout Catholic, "consecrated this business to the sacred heart of Jesus." He says for Lind it would be "a scandal" to provide insurance to his employees that covered abortifacients, contraceptives, sterilization and related counseling. The same issue came up in negotiations during the federal government shutdown, when pro-choice groups accused Republicans of playing politics with women's health.
Boston Scientific says it's cutting 11- to 15-hundred jobs worldwide through layoffs and attrition, but isn't saying how many will be in Minnesota. Executives at the medical device giant say the reductions are part of a restructuring program to deal with financial pressures and strengthen operations. The Massachusetts-based company announces quarterly results Thursday morning.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Department pays tribute tonight (Thu) to a handful of ordinary citizens who went to extrordinary lengths to help others. Sheriff Rich Stanek will be presenting awards to civilians for lifesaving acts and exceptional community work. They include a Plymouth man who helped rescue a woman who spent hours trapped in her car in a frozen pond...a group of people who helped rescue a child who nearly drowned in Wirth Lake... and a 10-year-old boy from Plymouth who jumped into a swimming pool to help save his young brother who was unconscious underwater. A man who has volunteered in the Hennepin County Jail to help inmates will be recognized, as will a man who helped with the rescue of a child after the boy fell through the ice on Lake Minnetonka.