- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Starkey Hearing cites investigation amid report of firings

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The founder of Starkey Hearing Technologies declined to comment Wednesday on reports of a senior leadership shake-up, citing an ongoing investigation at the hearing aid giant.

Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1Mc9dj2https://bit.ly/1Mc9dj2 ) reported company President Jerry Ruzicka and three senior executives were fired, citing an internal email it obtained. Ruzicka, Chief Financial Officer Scott Nelson, Senior Vice President of Operations Keith Guggenberger and Senior Vice President of Human Resources Larry Miller were fired effective immediately, according to the email.

All four executives’ names were absent from the company’s website Wednesday afternoon.

Ruzicka referred a request for comment to his attorney, Marshall Tanick.

“We’re looking into the matter and hope it can be resolved fairly and amicably,” Tanick said, adding that he was aware of a document the company sent out saying that Ruzicka and three others were let go. He declined further comment.


Crowd rallies against Planned Parenthood outside Dayton home

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Hundreds of abortion opponents have rallied outside the home of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, calling for the state to investigate Planned Parenthood.

The rally Wednesday follows the release of secretly recorded videos of group officials discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood says there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

WCCO-TV reports protesters in Minnesota want the state to start an investigation and to remove any state funds that might go to Planned Parenthood’s health-care services.

But a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman told KSTP.com that Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota doesn’t have a fetal tissue donation program, so there is nothing to investigate.

But organizers of the protest question that assertion. Protesters say the state should defund Planned Parenthood and find other ways to deliver women’s healthcare.


Police: Probe finds no officer misconduct in activist arrest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An independent investigation has found Minneapolis police did not violate the law or department policy when they arrested a community activist for allegedly resisting officers last year, police said Wednesday.

The Minneapolis Police Department released the report conducted by a law firm on the July 2014 arrest of Al Flowers at his south Minneapolis home.

Flowers contends he was assaulted by police when they arrived at his home to arrest his 16-year-old daughter. He says a fight ensued when he asked to see the warrant.

The investigation concluded police use of force against Flowers was justified and not excessive. Flowers, who disputes that he was resisting the officers, was treated at Hennepin County Medical Center for facial and scalp lacerations.

Based on the report, the Police Conduct Review Panel unanimously recommended that the officers’ actions did not violate department policy, and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau has exonerated the officers, police said in a news release. The Police Department said it would not comment further.


Second group sues state over health care contracts

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A second Minnesota health insurance group is suing the state after losing out on a bid for a contract to cover low-income residents.

South Country Health Alliance stands to lose contracts next year in 10 of the 11 counties where it currently provides coverage to residents on MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance. The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1UHEKJ1) reports the group filed a lawsuit against the state earlier this week.

The organization of counties joins Minneapolis company UCare in lodging legal complaints to win back some of its business. UCare would lose roughly 370,000 customers if the state’s bidding moves forward. South Country currently covers about 32,000 residents on public health programs.

The state says its bidding process will save about $450 million. A mediation hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16.


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