- The Waldorf College Theatre Company's performance of The Tempest at Lund Pond on the Waldorf campus has been postponed to Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. due to pending weather conditions. In case of rain on Tuesday, the performance will take place in the Atrium.:
HEALTH EXCHANGE-MINNESOTA Minn. lawmakers prep federal healthcare changes ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers has unveiled preliminary plans for the state health insurance exchange that will be a key piece of carrying out the federal health-care overhaul. At a Capitol news conference on Wednesday, lawmakers said they expect about 1.2 million Minnesotans – or one out of five – to obtain health care through the exchange. In broad terms, the exchange is an online marketplace that will offer the uninsured an opportunity to compare and shop for private coverage. State Senator Tony Lourey says of that total figure who will use the exchange, about 300,000 are currently uninsured. Lawmakers say they also hope it will significantly reduce health insurance expenses for small businesses. Lawmakers plan to start hearings on Minnesota’s proposal next week. Enrollment in the exchange is targeted to start on October 1st of this year.
MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE-DEMOCRATIC PLANS Minn. Dems: Budget deal must have cuts, tax hikes ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota House and Senate Democrats are laying down a few markers on the upcoming budget debate: Any deal must include spending cuts, a redesigned tax system that draws more from the state’s wealthiest and an on-time, no government shutdown guarantee. The broad outlines discussed Wednesday by the leaders of the Legislature’s Democratic majorities gibe with promises made in last year’s campaign. They provided few specific details. But Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says corporations that do business abroad should expect fewer exemptions on Minnesota taxes for their overseas earnings. Changes to the state’s sales, income and property taxes are also in play. The Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton face a $1.1 billion projected deficit. But past IOUs to schools and accounting shifts from prior budget repairs deepen the fiscal problem.
LEGISLATURE-BUSINESS Minn. business leaders prepare for DFL in charge ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Governor Mark Dayton’s chief of staff is telling Minnesota’s business leaders that tax increases must be part of solving the state’s chronic budget problems. Tina Smith filled in Wednesday for the ailing governor at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner marking the start of the legislative session. Many business groups and executives are viewing the 2013 session with a wary eye as Democrats take total control of state government for the first time since 1990. At the Capitol, Democratic lawmakers have already begun to introduce tax measures. The first batch of bills filed on Wednesday included proposals to add the sales tax to clothing purchases above $200 and to online purchases. Another would automatically link increases in the state’s minimum wage to inflation.
COLEMAN-SENATE Coleman rules out ’14 Senate rematch with Franken ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman says he won’t seek a rematch with Sen. Al Franken in 2014. Coleman confirmed his decision to pass up a re-run Wednesday after it was first reported in the National Journal. Coleman told The Associated Press that he wasn’t ruling a bid for Minnesota governor “in or out,” but signaled that a decision was a ways off. He lost to Democrat Franken by a few hundred votes in 2008, in a race that prompted a statewide recount and an ensuing court challenge that delayed Franken’s seating until months after the election. Coleman says he thinks a strong Republican candidate will emerge against Franken. He suggested U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen or John Kline. Coleman previously ran for governor in 1998 but lost to Jesse Ventura.
FLU-MINNESOTA More than 900 Minnesotans hospitalized with flu MANKATO, Minn. (AP) – Health officials say more than 900 people have been hospitalized as the national flu outbreak hits hard in Minnesota. State Epidemiologist Brad Krier told reporters in Mankato on Wednesday that health officials are struggling to keep up with totals that increase daily. The state has five confirmed flu-related deaths so far. South-central Minnesota has been particularly hit hard by the flu, with higher numbers than at the height of the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. More than a dozen Minnesota hospitals have imposed restrictions on visitors to protect patients and staff from the flu. Mayo Clinic Health System spokesman Kevin Burns says businesses could ease the burden on the clinics and hospitals by relaxing their absentee policies so that employees don’t need notes from their providers explaining flu absences.
SCHOOL CRASH-FATAL Police ID man who died in St. Cloud school crash (Information in the following story is from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com) ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) – St. Cloud police have identified the man who died after driving an SUV into a school last week. He was 65-year-old George Edward Banks of St. Cloud. The St. Cloud Times reports it took days for police to locate his next of kin. The crash happened last Friday afternoon when Banks drove into St. Katharine Drexel School. Students and staff were evacuated from the building because of concerns about structural damage to the school wall. No one in the school was hurt. The school was open for classes Monday. Investigators believe that Banks had a medical episode that caused him to veer off the road and hit the building. He was pronounced dead at St. Cloud Hospital.
TOTEM POLE DEATH Minn. man pleads guilty in totem pole killing INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. (AP) – A northern Minnesota man accused of killing his wife with a totem pole has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Fifty-one-year-old Carl Chester Muggli entered his plea Wednesday. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the November 2010 death of his wife at their home in Ray. The Mugglis were well-known totem pole carvers, with clients including Six Flags Theme Parks and Warner Brothers Television. Prosecutors say 61-year-old Linda Muggli died after a 700-pound totem pole fell onto her. Carl Muggli told investigators it was an accident, but authorities said they could not reconstruct the incident the way he said it happened. The complaint alleged they were fighting about a divorce, and that he was having a romantic relationship with a woman from Alabama. Sentencing is set for February 4th.
MAYO CLINIC-MONTANA Mayo Clinic to partner with Billings clinic in Mont. BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Doctors working at Billings Clinic in Montana now have access to advice and expertise from Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic to better treat patients with complex health issues. Billings Clinic announced Wednesday that it is joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Billings Clinic physicians will be able to connect directly with Mayo Clinic specialists on questions of patient care using an electronic consulting system. Doctors also will have access to the Mayo Clinic’s AskMayoExpert database. The goal of the network is to give more hospitals the benefit of its expertise so patients don’t have to travel as much for medical care.