- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015
More details released about fatal Vikings stadium roof fall

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A report says the death of a construction worker atop the new Minnesota Vikings stadium last week happened after he slid down a roof, broke through a guardrail and fell to an elevated platform.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1JwIqI3https://strib.mn/1JwIqI3 ) reports the description was posted Tuesday on the state Department of Labor and Industry’s fatality investigation page.

The report says both Jeramie Gruber, who died, and a second worker fell while installing a solid roof. The worker who survived struck a post that stopped him.

The update gives no indication when the investigation will be complete.

The two men were employees of Mortenson Construction’s subcontractor Berwald Roofing Company of North St. Paul.


7 accused of planning to join Islamic State still charged

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge said Tuesday that he won’t dismiss charges against seven Minnesota men accused of conspiring to travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group, saying the defense arguments have no merit.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis’ order comes a day before a hearing on dozens of motions in the case. Though many requests are standard, documents filed ahead of the hearing provide glimpses into the investigation, and show that the scope of the alleged conspiracy goes beyond the men being prosecuted. Some details:


Seven Minnesota men have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and other counts. Prosecutors allege the men, friends in Minnesota’s Somali community, began meeting in spring 2014 to talk about traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State group.


State IDs Minnesota schools making achievement gap progress

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) - Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota’s schools are making significant progress in closing achievement gaps in reading and math, the Minnesota Department of Education said Tuesday.

By 2017, the state wants to cut in half the learning gap minorities and students living in poverty currently face. The information shows how well schools are progressing toward that goal.

In reading, 43 percent of Minnesota schools met all of their 2015 targets, and an additional 22 percent met all but one target. In math, 41 percent of schools met 2015 targets, and an additional 21 percent of schools met all but one target, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1IEIsMv) reported.

“Every year we ask our schools to meet tougher and tougher targets, and every year I am inspired by the incredible dedication and passion of our educators to meet these targets and increase student achievement,” Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a statement.

The state’s Multiple Measurements Ratings are based on how well students perform on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, how much student proficiency improves on that test from year to year, the graduation rate - if the school has one - and its efforts to close the achievement gap.


Lawmakers press Dayton to hit pause on UCare decision

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State senators are pressing Gov. Mark Dayton to halt a contracting process in which a major health insurance company lost out.

UCare sued the state last month after losing out during a bid process for public programs. A judge is currently weighing the company’s request to pause a registration period slated to start Sept. 4.

Nearly a dozen senators sent a letter to Dayton Tuesday with a similar request. The lawmakers echo complaints from UCare that the state hasn’t been forthcoming about why the Minneapolis company didn’t make the cut.

Dayton deputy chief of staff Linden Zakula says the process will mean savings for taxpayers and better health care.

State officials say their competitive bidding will save roughly $450 million. But the senators argue that the costs of shifting 400,000 residents to new plans may shrink those savings.

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