- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015
Winter storm dumps snow in southern Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Southern Minnesota is digging out from a winter storm that is pushing across the Plains and Midwest.

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen says Albert Lea reports the most snow, with 5 inches. A spotter in Goodhue County reports 4 inches.

The storm only grazed the Twin Cities, with Burnsville in the south metro reporting just an inch of snow. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reports only a half-inch of snow.

Metropolitan Airports Commission spokeswoman Amanda Greene Guentzel says the Twin Cities airport has 20 cancellations Sunday to Chicago, which is seeing blizzard conditions. Another 26 flights were delayed to other destinations.


Orchestra CEO accused of stealing from vulnerable adult

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) - The Rochester Symphony Orchestra has placed its CEO on paid leave after he was accused of stealing more than $15,000 from a vulnerable adult.

Forty-four-year-old Jeffrey Amundson was charged last week in Olmsted County with four counts of felony financial exploitation. Amundson is accused of stealing from the alleged victim while acting as the man’s power of attorney.

In a statement, the orchestra’s board said Amundson will no longer be actively involved in the organization. The orchestra says its own financial integrity has not been compromised.

Amundson denied stealing the money, claiming the man owed him $20,000 because he had “paid for the victim’s apartment and helped him get Social Security benefits and medical assistance,” according to the complaint.

The Post-Bulletin (https://bit.ly/1CnMtY4https://bit.ly/1CnMtY4 ) reports Amundson is due in court March 12.


St. Paul considers body cameras for police

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - St. Paul officials are considering whether to join the growing list of cities whose police officers wear body cameras.

The City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a resolution asking the police department to include a camera pilot project in its budget request for next year.

Council member Chris Tolbert contends the cameras increase police accountability while also clearing officers of unfounded complaints, Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1D2LM5Dhttps://bit.ly/1D2LM5D ) reports.

“It also helps prosecute crimes, and also lets the public … or the prosecutor or any investigator really see what happened to that police officer and what the police officer sees in real time,” Tolbert said.

Police departments around the country are turning to body cameras following last year’s riots in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old. Minneapolis has outfitted 36 officers with cameras as part of its own pilot project.


At Capitol, plans abound for addressing rural health care

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Bob Jeske grew up on a farm and always wanted to practice rural medicine. But it didn’t hurt that a state program covered some of his student loans to do just that.

State lawmakers in both parties want to expand the program that takes a big chunk out of Jeske’s $182,500 in medical school debt. Their plan is one of many approaches to solving a looming shortage of doctors and other health care professionals expected to hit hardest in rural Minnesota.

Estimates of how many doctors Minnesota will lack over the next decade range from 800 to a few thousand. That doesn’t include the dentists, nurses and others an aging population will likely require.

Some areas of the state are already hurting. Northwestern Minnesota has about one doctor for every 770 people, according to the state Department of Health, compared with one for every 342 people in the metro area.

“There’s a lot of demand,” said Rep. Debra Kiel of Northfield, and not just for physicians. “I’ve got directors of nursing not only serving in their job, but they’re also filling in for shifts at night, on the weekends.”

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