- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014
4 Minnesota hospitals tabbed to treat Ebola cases

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Four hospitals in Minnesota have been designated as treatment centers for any confirmed Ebola cases in the state, the Minnesota Hospital Association said Friday.

They are the University of Minnesota Medical Center’s West Bank campus in Minneapolis, Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Allina Health’s Unity Hospital in Fridley and the St. Paul campus of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Minnesota Hospital Association president and CEO Lawrence Massa said hospitals in the state have been preparing for the possibility of an Ebola patient for the past three weeks. But he said what happened at a Dallas hospital, where two nurses contracted Ebola after caring for a man who died of the virus, showed Minnesota needed to rethink its plan.

Massa said the original thinking was that universal precautions for health care workers treating Ebola patients would be enough. “But it obviously didn’t work in the first (Ebola) case in this country,” he said.

Minnesota’s health commissioner, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, said the four Minnesota hospitals stepped forward because they are in a position to treat Ebola patients. Ehlinger said he’s confident those hospitals “will do it at the top level that we have at this point in time.”

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Hard fight for control of Minnesota House

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton rolled into this city’s old-brick main drag this week on a mission to save Rep. Shannon Savick, eagerly shaking hands and running down reasons voters should send her back to St. Paul for a second term. On Friday, Dayton was off to St. Cloud to help Rep. Zachary Dorholt, another freshman in a tough race.

That Dayton took time in the waning days of his own re-election bid to help the pair - and other vulnerable incumbents in the days to come - speaks to the urgency with which Democrats are seeking to protect their Minnesota House majority. If that slips away, the free rein Democrats have enjoyed in state government the past two years is over.

“With a stalemated government once again, just look at Washington and you can see what happens when there is that kind of gridlock and deadlock,” Dayton told several dozen people in an Albert Lea coffeehouse as Savick and House Speaker Paul Thissen stood at his side.

Thissen said a renewed Democratic majority would, for starters, focus on freezing college tuition and beefing up sick and parental leave laws.

Republicans are also fixating on one-party rule, but for a different reason: They argue it’s led to runaway spending, misguided regulations and lax oversight on things like the state’s 1-year-old health care insurance exchange. Republican leaders say they’d prioritize road and bridge investments, tackle an achievement gap between white and minority students and further streamline environmental permitting,

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Moorhead man pleads not guilty in tattoo case

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) - A Moorhead man has pleaded not guilty to charges he ran an unlicensed tattoo shop.

Prosecutors say 35-year-old Ralph Curiel set up the business in his Moorhead apartment. Most of his customers were teenage girls.

KFGO-AM (http://bit.ly/1D86Unwhttp://bit.ly/1D86Unw ) reports Curiel’s attorney, Steven Beitelsbacher (BEET’-ihlz-BAHK’-ur), tried to persuade a Clay County judge to reduce Curiel’s $2,000 bail. Judge Michelle Lawson denied the request, citing public safety concerns.

Curiel is charged with several counts, including failure to obtain licenses for tattooing and body piercing. He remained in jail Friday.

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Fatal hit-run case in St. Paul still runs cold

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - St. Paul police are hoping a tip from the public can crack a fatal hit-and-run case that happened nearly a year ago.

The driver of the vehicle that struck and killed 53-year-old Therese Klotz the day after Halloween remains unknown. Klotz had just dropped off a passenger and had gotten out of her car to talk with her when she was struck.

Her friends, Nancy Rech and Jeff Lyman, say they’ve tried to help find out who struck Klotz, but have hit a brick wall. They tell KMSP-TV (http://bit.ly/10rCyRghttp://bit.ly/10rCyRg ) it’s been a difficult year. The two have decorated a tree near where Klotz died for nearly every holiday.

Investigators found parts of the suspect SUV’s passenger mirror in the street. They believe it may have come from a silver Lexus SUV.

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