- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

$25M gift brings new name to U Children’s Hospital

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The University of Minnesota’s children’s hospital is getting a new name, thanks to a multi-million dollar gift.

University officials announced a $25 million gift for children’s health care Tuesday from Minnesota Masonic Charities.

It’s the second time since 2009 that the university will attach a donor’s name to its pediatric hospital in Minneapolis.

In 2009, Caroline Amplatz pledged $50 million to name the university’s pediatric hospital for her father, a retired professor and founder of a Twin Cities medical device company. University officials say the Amplatz name went away in March after the donor fulfilled her gift ahead of schedule. The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1r3wrYuhttps://strib.mn/1r3wrYu ) reports that permitted the university to seek another benefactor.

The new name - University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital - is effective immediately.

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Good weather speeds Minnesota soy, beet harvests

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Favorable weather helped Minnesota farmers make strong progress on their soybean and sugarbeet harvesting this past week.

In its weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that 6.1 days were suitable for fieldwork across Minnesota last week. It was only the fifth week this season when Minnesota farmers had more than six days suitable for fieldwork.

Nearly 40 percent of Minnesota’s soybean acres were harvested during the past week, bringing the total to 62 percent, or only four days behind average. Ninety-seven percent of the sugarbeet crop has been harvested.

Farmers continue to delay the corn harvest due to high moisture levels. Only 7 percent of the crop has been harvested. That’s 2½ weeks behind average and the slowest pace since 2009.

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Minneapolis nonprofit suspends longtime CEO

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minneapolis nonprofit has suspended its longtime chief executive after a state audit found the agency had spent lavishly on trips and personal expenses.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1qoQ8ue) reports the board of Community Action of Minneapolis approved CEO Bill Davis’ indefinite suspension on Monday.

The suspension comes two weeks after the organization was shut down by the state after an audit by the Department of Human Services found leaders of the organization spent more than $800,000 between 2011 and 2013 in taxpayer money on travel, a celebrity cruise, spa visits and a personal car loan to Davis.

A message left for Davis was not immediately returned Tuesday.

In an interview last month, Davis defended the financial management of the organization, which gets about half its funding from tax dollars.

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Severson says he’d boost military voting

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican Secretary of State hopeful Dan Severson says Minnesota should do more to help military members overseas to cast their ballots.

Dan Severson says delays in mailing ballots and lack of awareness has brought military voter participation as low as 5 percent. Severson proposes creating a secure online voting network for soldiers. A similar system has been used in Arizona.

Severson criticized his Democratic opponent, Rep. Steve Simon, on Tuesday for not doing more to address military voting as a state lawmaker.

Simon says military members benefit from the new, no-excuse absentee voting law he shepherded through the Legislature last session. He says Severson’s online voting proposal is worth exploring.

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