- Associated Press - 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.


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 (https://strib.mn/1iN2xX0https://strib.mn/1iN2xX0 ) reports nearly two-dozen others were to testify, including representatives from American Indian tribes, environmental groups and the mining industry.


Target pays $27K fine for air quality violations

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - State pollution control officials say Target Corp. has paid a $27,500 fine for air quality violations at two facilities in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the Minneapolis-based retail giant also took corrective action after being alerted that diesel generators in Brooklyn Park and Elk River were producing excessive air emissions.

The agency determined that Target failed to obtain state air emissions permits for the generators, which were installed to help provide electricity at Target’s Brooklyn Park office campus and Elk River data center.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1nsDkRYhttps://strib.mn/1nsDkRY ) reports technical miscalculations caused the company to underestimate nitrogen oxide emissions. Nitrogen oxide can cause respiratory problems and contribute to acid rain.

Target brought the compliance problems to the agency’s attention. Under the agreement, the company did not acknowledge any wrongdoing.


Dayton wants money to help students pay for lunch

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton says the state should provide additional funding to ensure all Minnesota schoolchildren have access to lunch after a report found some districts deny it.

Dayton says Tuesday that no Minnesota student should be blocked from having a healthy lunch. A report released a day earlier by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid found 46 school districts have policies denying lunch to students who don’t have sufficient funds to pay for meals.

The report found in some districts, lunchroom workers threw meals in the trash if students couldn’t pay.

Dayton says he will propose spending $3.5 million to help districts cover lunch costs for students who can’t pay. In addition, his education commissioner has urged districts to take steps necessary in order to make sure all students receive a lunch.

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