- Associated Press - Monday, January 13, 2014
Vikings stadium authority hits back at lawsuit

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The public authority overseeing Vikings stadium construction on Monday asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to make plaintiffs who sued to stop the project post a $50 million bond to show they could cover damages if they lose.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit brought by former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Doug Mann and two others. His lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the state’s stadium funding plan and has already delayed a $468 million bond sale.

State officials warn the delay could stall the project’s timeline and add costs. A spokesman for the state budget agency says government legal costs will have to come from stadium funds.

The authority’s chairwoman said the lawsuit also threatens a major downtown Minneapolis development near the stadium.

The authority asked the state Supreme Court to hear its motion Thursday.


Minn. lawmakers give taste of 2014 session bills

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Lawmakers itching to get proposals in the pipeline introduced them Monday well ahead of the 2014 session, giving each other and the public a taste of the debates in store.

A whopping 278 bills landed more than six weeks before the Legislature formally convenes. Committees can start discussing the bills without taking action.

Many measures deal with repealing or modifying taxes, several advocate for hometown public works projects, and some would address nagging problems with Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace. Others seek to regulate consumer interactions, from massage parlors to liquor stores to Internet-based lottery tickets to e-cigarettes.

The introduction deadline applied to the House only. The Senate won’t start accepting early bills until mid-February. The session must conclude by mid-May.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the proposals:


Police investigate possible homicide in NE Minn.

BABBITT, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is helping authorities investigate a possible homicide in northeastern Minnesota.

Babbitt ambulance and police were called late Monday morning about an injured male found lying in the road.

The St. Louis County sheriff’s office says the victim was taken to a hospital in Ely (EE’-lee), where he was pronounced dead.

The sheriff’s office says the death is being investigated as a possible homicide, but no other details were released.


Settlement in case over newborn blood samples

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Health has started destroying more than 1 million blood samples collected as part of its newborn screening program, following the settlement of a yearslong case over the state’s practice of storing and using the samples without parental consent.

Per the settlement announced Monday, the state is also paying $975,000 in attorneys’ fees for 21 families who claimed the Health Department acted illegally.

The Health Department said the newborn screening program will continue under new laws that limit the length of time blood samples and test results can be stored unless parents give written, informed consent.

“To me that’s just logic,” said Scott Kelly, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “Logic says if you want to do this stuff, all you have to do is ask.”

As part of the program, a few drops of blood are taken from newborns in Minnesota hospitals and then analyzed for more than 50 disorders.

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