MPR News Update

A shutdown-ending deal? Big farm yields but smaller profits; CPR that brings back the clinically dead

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We're also reporting on another Republican move against Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. There's now a three-month delay in the final decision about the route for southwest Twin Cities light rail. And we talk to comedian Bill Crystal about his upcoming Minneapolis show and his early family life in New York City and its connection to the jazz scene there.

  • Live updates: Bipartisan budget deal announced
    Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are expected to announce a debt and spending deal on the Senate floor around noon Wednesday.
  • Minnesota's House DFLers watch as Republican debt ceiling bill is pulled
    During this fiscal crisis, two things are true about Minnesota's five Democrats in the U.S. House: 1) they're spectators with little input in the process and 2) it's increasingly likely that they'll be called upon to provide the bulk of votes needed to reopen the shuttered federal government and increase the debt ceiling.
  • Shutdown looms over energy assistance program
    If Congress fails to pass a budget bill after the first of the year, some who depend on the heating subsidies may have trouble finding the funds to pay utilities.
  • New device helps prolong CPR, giving doctors more time to save patients
    Tim Franko received CPR for almost three hours after a recent heart attack. Doctors believe it's the longest CPR in a case where a patient who had no heartbeat. And it's part of a trend.
  • Farmers see bountiful harvests, lower profits
    For livestock producers, the trends are a welcome relief after some tough years. They buy a lot of grain to feed their animals and the falling prices will reduce their costs and boost profits. But for grain farmers, slipping prices will shrink profit margins.
  • Secretary of State Mark RitchieGOP dogs Minn. Secretary of State on online voter registration even though he's a lame duck
    They've been pounding Mark Ritchie for developing an online voter registration system without first obtaining legislative approval.
  • Crucial Southwest light rail vote delayed by months
    The decision to put off the Metropolitan Council vote came following a Tuesday morning meeting between Gov. Mark Dayton and several local, regional and state officials.
  • For comedian Billy Crystal, all that (Dixieland) jazz is all in the family
    In his one-man show coming to the State Theatre, Billy Crystal tells funny stories about growing in New York City in the 1950s and '60s and the jazz scene in which his family played a big role.
  • Dessa on her recent burglary, branding, and playing big stages
    Dessa has spent much of this year on the road in support of her new album, Parts of Speech. And along the way, she's also picked up some dramatic stories, some of which sound more like the lyrics in her songs than things that typically happen to touring indie artists.
  • Red River of the North on the rise
    Heavy rain in the headwaters of the Red River, which flows north into Canada, has pushed the river to near flood stage already in Wahpeton, N.D. The Red is forecast to crest around 11 feet on Thursday, about a foot above minor flood stage, according to the National Weather Service flood warning.
  • Boise: Prosperous for decades but now shrinking
    The Boise paper mill in International Falls, built more than 100 years ago by buccaneering entrepreneur and University of Minnesota dropout Edward Wellington Backus, has nearly always been the center of the city's life and livelihood. But that dynamic is changing.
  • Stowaway, 9, is subject of protection hearing
    Hennepin County officials have filed a petition saying the boy is in need of protection or county services.
  • Airbnb fills niche. NYC fights back
    Thousands of city residents are using websites such as to list apartments or rooms for as little as $35 a night, a phenomenon officials say is illegal in many cases, undercuts the hotel industry, avoids taxes and threatens apartment building safety.
  • Scientists doubt N. Dakota oil spill estimates
    Scientists who helped calculate oil spilled from a broken BP well into the Gulf of Mexico are questioning the methodology used to estimate the amount of crude that recently leaked from a ruptured pipeline into a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota.
  • 18-foot oarfish livens up a 'leisurely snorkel' in California
    A snorkeler off the coast of California found more than she bargained for on the ocean floor Sunday, when she saw the large eyes of an 18-foot fish staring back at her. It turned out to be a dead oarfish, a mysterious creature known to live in waters thousands of feet deep.
  • Arson charges for former Babbitt fire chief
    Ryan Scharber has been charged with three felony counts of setting forest fires while he was fire chief in the Iron Range town south of Ely, Minn. He is also charged with attempting to set a fire at Mattila's Birch Lake Resort in Babbitt.
  • Music teacher charged with criminal sexual misconduct
    The father of a 15-year-old boy told Eden Prairie police that Robert James Ladwig inappropriately touched the boy during private flute lessons at the family's home. The alleged abuse was reported in June and happened over the previous three months, when the boy was 14.
  • Wisconsin authorizes more kills in second wolf hunting season
    Wisconsin's goal is to reduce the population of gray wolves from its current level of more than 800, down to 350. Hunt opponents say 350 wolves is too few to maintain a sustainable population.
  • Edina MRI company, chiropractors sued for insurance fraud
    The allegations, laid out in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, say Mobile Diagnostic Imaging has recently collected more than $500,000 in improper insurance claims from Farmers. It also says MDI has paid out nearly half that to chiropractors and clinics in return for the referrals -- a scheme the lawsuit calls illegal.
  • Medal of Honor recipient asks to return to duty
    William D. Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama for risking his life to recover bodies and save fellow troops during a lengthy battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border in 2009.
  • Westminster Forum: Valerie Plame Wilson on security, surveillance and privacy
    Nationally recognized expert on national security and counter-proliferation. A former covert operations officer in the CIA, Valerie Plame Wilson's identity as a CIA operative was revealed in a nationally syndicated column, resulting in her resignation from the CIA. She is the author of the memoir, "Fair Game" and the first in a series of spy novels, "Blowback." She speaks at the Westminster Town Hall Forum in Minneapolis on October 15, 2013.

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Simply, it is Minnesota news on your schedule. The MPR News Update brings you up to speed with the state's top news, the best of our blogs and smart talk radio in the format that fits you best.

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