Minnesota news in brief at 7:58 p.m. CST

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Family: US hospital wants Pakistani patient out

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The family of an exchange student from Pakistan who has been comatose since a November crash is trying to prevent a Minnesota hospital from sending him back to his home country.

Muhammad Shahzaib Bajwa, 20, was spending a semester in an exchange program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. On Nov. 13, he and his friends were driving back there from Minneapolis when their car struck a deer, his brother, Shahraiz Bajwa, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Shahzaib Bajwa suffered severe facial fractures but was talking when he arrived at a hospital in Cloquet. He choked on blood there and went into cardiac arrest, but was resuscitated and transferred to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, his brother said.

The anthropology and sociology major suffered brain damage from the heart attack and remains comatose. Though he can open his eyes, squeeze his mother’s hand, shrug his shoulders and has some movement in his legs, doctors have told the family it’ll take a couple more years to find out how much more the 20-year-old will recover, Shahraiz Bajwa said.

A hospital spokeswoman said Shahzaib Bajwa won’t be able to stay in the country legally after his student visa expires Feb. 28. Essentia has pressured the Bajwa family to sign consent forms to return the man to Pakistan, a flight that would take 24 hours, Shahraiz Bajwa said.

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DNR: Minn. mining laws will protect public

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State mining regulators says Minnesota laws are strong enough to protect future generations from bankruptcies and cleanup costs from copper mines proposed for the Iron Range.

A Minnesota House committee held the first legislative hearing Tuesday on a proposal by PolyMet Mining to build the state’s first copper-nickel mine.

Officials say they are reviewing some 200 mines around the country that have agreements to ensure that environmental calamities, defaults and prolonged water treatment will be paid for by mine owners and operators, not taxpayers.

Jess Richards, director of lands and minerals for the Department of Natural Resources, says the rules “are robust and adequate to protect Minnesotans.”

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1iN2xX0http://strib.mn/1iN2xX0 ) reports nearly two-dozen others were to testify, including representatives from American Indian tribes, environmental groups and the mining industry.

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Target pays $27K fine for air quality violations

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