Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota health officials confirmed two more deaths Wednesday from 2009 H1N1 flu, or swine flu as it is also known, as more schools report flu outbreaks and the number of people hospitalized continues to rise. While the Health Department will not provide specific identifications, the family of Oliver Franklin Finley, 11, of Hastings reported he died of swine flu. He had other health problems. Also, Mike Milbrath, 54, a south central Minnesota hospital administrator who had no other health conditions, died in Mankato.
ST. PAUL -- It was a rough summer for Alyssa Courneya. The young Alexandria woman did not know where she would go to school this fall. Then, near the end of summer, she received the news she wanted to hear: A federal Pell college grant was headed her way, meaning she could continue her studies at the College of St.
ST. PAUL -- Flu-stricken Minnesotans are finding a shorter wait for medical advice when they call a state hotline. "The wait times have improved," Buddy Ferguson of the Minnesota Health Department said Friday afternoon. "Right now, it is looking like two to four hours for a nurse to get back to you." On Thursday, there were reports that Minnesota FluLine operators told callers they may not receive return calls for up to 13 hours. And many who called the line heard busy signals.
ST. PAUL - Callers to Minnesota's new flu hotline reported no answers, busy signals and long waits today as the Health Department said three more people died from H1N1 flu. The deaths were in Martin, Steele and Freeborn counties, all in southern Minnesota. Two were children younger than 7, while the Martin County death was a woman in her early 60s. The three died within the past two weeks, but the department waited for medical confirmation that H1N1, also known as swine flu, was the cause. With today's report, 10 Minnesotans have died of the pandemic flu, with 611 others hospitalized.
ST. PAUL -- Operators are standing by to answer calls from feverish, coughing and achy Minnesotans. What Minnesota health officials call the country's first statewide flu help line that can prescribe medicine launched Wednesday at (866) 259-4655. Minnesota FluLine, open 24 hours every day indefinitely, was established to give Minnesotans who think they have the flu a place to call for advice. Operators working 50 telephone lines will transfer sick Minnesotans to their own insurance companies or doctors' clinic nurse lines or provide a state-funded nurse.
ST. PAUL -- Republican Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A trio of Minnesota legislators returned from Washington impressed with the enthusiasm of the state's congressional delegation about passing a healthcare reform bill. At least Democrats were enthused. The Democratic legislators did not talk to congressional Republicans. Rep. Tom Huntley of Duluth said lots of work remains on the measure, which has two versions in the Senate and three in the House. "It is very much a work in progress." Huntley, Sen. Linda Berglin of Minneapolis and Rep. Erin Murphy of St.
ST. PAUL -- Type "Google Voice rural" in a Google search box and a computer user quickly will discover that one of the oldest high-tech companies is taking on one of the new ones, with the rural Upper Midwest as battleground. The country's oldest telephone company, AT&T, claims Internet search giant Google's new telephone service violates federal law by blocking some calls to rural Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa. Google counters that all it is trying to do is avoid some specific overly expensive rural telephone numbers. Federal officials will be left to settle the dispute.