- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Minnesota health exchange awards outreach grants

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - With the next open enrollment period just over two months away, the Minnesota’s online health exchange is gearing up by asking a diverse group of organizations to help Minnesotans find insurance.

MNsure officials on Tuesday announced $4.6 million in outreach grants to 28 organizations statewide.

About a third of the money will go to organizations serving racial and ethnic communities who face language or other barriers to finding insurance, Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1qxxD9i) reported.

People are more likely to enroll if they have free help, MNsure CEO Scott Leitz said. Open enrollment for next year begins Nov. 15.

“We’ve enrolled over 300,000 Minnesotans in coverage and we know that the (uninsured) rate has been reduced by over 40 percent so we know progress has been made,” Leitz said. “What we also know from work that the state health department has done and others is there still remain large disparities in terms of access to health insurance coverage.”


Search in Blaine fails to find homicide suspect

BLAINE, Minn. (AP) - Law officers returned to the Anoka County-Blaine Airport Tuesday, but an intensive daylong search failed to find a man accused of killing his ex-boyfriend last month.

The renewed search was prompted by an officer’s early morning spotting of a man near the airport who may have resembled Lyle “Ty” Hoffman, Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson said.

The tip came after a bank robbery in Blaine on Sunday committed by a man who looked like Hoffman, the Star Tribune https://strib.mn/1w3mFKFhttps://strib.mn/1w3mFKF ) reported.

At an early evening news conference, Olson said that officers “had checked all areas that we thought we had to check” after the morning sighting. An officer who spotted the man before daylight alerted other officers who quickly set up a perimeter, but a day of searching within it turned up nothing, Olson said

The search involved multiple agencies and local SWAT officers. A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter hovered overhead, with an officer poised at the open door and scanning below while clutching a rifle.


Minnesota resort owner withdraws liquor bid

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - A northern Minnesota resort owner has withdrawn his bid for a liquor license, citing pressure from a nearby American Indian reservation.

Chris Freudenberg, who owns Roger’s Resort, recently asked the Beltrami County Board for a liquor store license. But leaders of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe opposed his application on the grounds that the store would be too close to their boundaries, where liquor is not sold.

Red Lake leaders argued that a liquor store so close to the reservation would complicate the tribe’s longtime struggle against alcoholism. They also asked for commissioners to approve a buffer zone around the reservation where any new liquor sales would be banned.

Freudenberg withdrew his application shortly before the county board was to vote Tuesday night on his request, Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1sXW9jFhttps://bit.ly/1sXW9jF ) reported. As a result, county commissioners also will not consider the tribe’s buffer zone request.

“My first response was to dig into a trench and fight,” Freudenberg said. “But when you sit back and think, the tribe has a point.”


Johnson: Beheading video calls for intervention

PLYMOUTH, Minn. (AP) - Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson says the Islamic State extremists reported to have beheaded a second American journalist are evil barbarians who must be defeated.

The Islamic State group released a video Tuesday that appears to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff. If confirmed, it would be the second such video in two weeks after the killing of journalist James Foley.

Johnson says Tuesday’s video highlights the need for the U.S. to intervene in the Middle East to stamp out the terrorist group. Johnson spoke from Plymouth, Minnesota, where he is helping fellow Republican and Senate candidate Mike McFadden campaign against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.

McFadden says the U.S. should continue targeted bombings in Iraq and possibly Syria, but wouldn’t support a boots-on-the-ground invasion. Johnson didn’t specify the intervention he supports.

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