Minneapolis Star Tribune
WASHINGTON — Even as deaths by opioid overdose rise in Minnesota and around the county, treatment advocates and public officials in the state are looking to Washington with concern that federal spending reductions under President Trump and the Republican Congress could damage efforts to stem the crisis.
MINNEAPOLIS — The conference call had begun, and a voice in New York was slowly and deliberately taking roll call, making sure each major-league team was connected, could hear clearly, and was ready to start. The 2001 MLB draft was about to begin, and the Minnesota Twins still didn't have an answer. "Cleveland ... ready. Colorado ... ready. Detroit ... ready," the voice over the speakerphone squawked into a large, windowless conference room in the basement of the Metrodome, the volume cranked to be heard over the clatter of the stadium kitchen in the next room.
Under the Trump administration, Minnesotans could see a reinvigoration of federal drug prosecutions that were deemed low priority during the previous presidency.
Dr. John Moyer's knowledge of toxic chemicals, gleaned during World War II, helped him save lives. Moyer, who served in the Army Medical Corps during the war, learned how to treat soldiers with chemical warfare injuries. The experience prepared him for a career treating cancer patients, because mustard nitrogens were used as anti-cancer agents at the time. "In the '50s, '60s and '70s, he certainly was on the cutting edge of cancer research," said his son Thomas Moyer.
One time during his 14-year NHL career, Reed Larson got knocked out after a check from behind sent him headfirst into the boards. Another time, he took a slapshot to the face during a morning practice, requiring 50 stitches and plastic surgery. He still played in that evening's game. Larson believes he suffered numerous concussions — he's not sure how many. Players didn't necessarily count head knockings when he played. So when the 60-year-old Minnesotan hears tales of retired hockey players suffering from neurological woes, he worries.
Where were the women or people of color? That's the question state Rep. Jennifer Schultz and others have been asking since her fellow legislators elected four white men to fill all the openings on the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents last month. The Feb. 22 vote by a joint session of the Legislature has come under fire from those who say diversity should have been more of a priority in the selection process.
Optimism is the byproduct of anticipation, especially during springtime baseball, and Paul Molitor, like every manager preparing to open training camp, freely admits he has been infected. While most Minnesota Twins fans regard the 2016 season, worst in franchise history, as wreckage to be carted away or bulldozed over, the manager is able to discern a skeletal foundation for success, still intact under the debris.
After watching the dismal performances of American curlers at the past two Winter Olympics, Tabitha Peterson agreed that her sport needed to rethink the way it did things. Still, she said, it felt like a radical shift in 2014 when USA Curling instituted a new method of funding and training its elite athletes.
Minnesota's 201 state lawmakers have not had a salary increase in nearly two decades. But some members of the Legislature have managed to at least double their base salaries with hefty expense reimbursements. A newly formed state panel, approved by voters last fall, is now meeting to consider an increase to the yearly legislative salary of $31,140, the same since 1998. Legislative expense records analyzed by the Star Tribune show how some lawmakers substantially supplement their earnings.
Minnesota is still struggling to retain teachers, according to a new state Department of Education report that revealed an increase in teachers leaving their positions. The 2017 Teacher Supply and Demand report, released Wednesday, finds that the number of teachers leaving their jobs has increased 34 percent since 2008. After three years, more than a quarter of teachers have left their jobs, and about 15.1 percent leave after the first year, according to the report’s average percentage of teachers leaving.