On the MPR News Update today: A profile of Michele Bachmann's re-election bid, two more meningitis cases, big money and more controversy in the amendment battles, Paul Wellstone remembered, and pierogis.
VISIBLE: Michele Bachmann may have dropped out of the presidential race after a near last-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses, but her failure there has only raised her political profile and national visibility as she campaigns for re-election to Congress against challenger Jim Graves.
SUNK: After losing a bunch of close games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rolled into the Metrodome last night, where the home-field advantage should have worked in the resurgent Vikings favor, right? Wrong. The Buccaneers sank the stunned Vikings 36-17. The story's here. And a photo gallery that includes a glowering Jared Allen with blood on his nose can be found here.
WELLSTONE REMEMBERED: Although the weather was frigid and the occasion sad, the mood was celebratory at a remembrance Thursday for Minnesota's late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone. Nearly 200 people braved freezing temperatures on the Iron Range to pay tribute to DFL firebrand, who was killed in a plane crash 10 years ago, along with his wife and daughter, three aides, and two pilots. Photo gallery here.
AMENDMENT TURMOIL: A Minnesota official is coming under fire for speaking out against two proposed amendments to the state constitution, and this time it's not Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. State Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey is drawing criticism from supporters of the marriage and voter ID amendments because he's calling both measures discriminatory, and insisting that it's his job to oppose them.
MARRIAGE CURRICULUM? A new television ad from supporters of the proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage are claiming that if the measure fails, children could be taught about same-sex marriage in public school. It's an ad strategy that's been effective in other states in passing amendments like the one. Amendment opponents call it inaccurate, and an attempt to scare people.
MORE MARRIAGE: President Barack Obama has thrown his support behind ballot measures in Maine, Maryland and Washington that would legalize same-sex marriage.
MEDTRONIC EDITS: Minnesota-based medical device maker Medtronic Inc. helped write and edit medical journal articles attributed to outside physicians, which downplayed the risks of the company's best-selling bone graft, according to a report by Senate investigators. Eugene Carragee, editor-in-chief of The Spine Journal, said the clinical research on InFuse, a total of 13 articles published in medical journals, was perplexing in its lack of warning about adverse effects.
KLOBUCHAR vs. BILLS: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Kurt Bills ran his first television advertisement of the campaign during the Vikings game last night. In it, he accuses DFL SEn. Amy Klobuchar of going soft on convicted swindler Tom Petters. Klobuchar's campaign said the allegations are false and are being pushed by a desperate candidate who is behind in the polls.
CRAVAACK vs. NOLAN: Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack has nearly twice the cash on hand as his Democratic challenger Rick Nolan heading into the homestretch of a heated campaign in northeastern Minnesota. Cravaack reported $904,000 in the bank compared with Nolan's $477,000. Outside groups have spent millions of dollars in the 8th district race as the two parties fight for control of the House.
MENINGITIS SPREADS:The eighth case is a Twin Cities man in his 60s who was diagnosed two weeks ago, but delayed treatment. The ninth case is a man in his 50s who was treated with the tainted drugs in Minneapolis but subsequently moved to Tennessee.
ALL THAT JAZZ: A frequent criticism of modern jazz is that it has lost its way, distanced from popular audiences who want to move to the music. But Latin jazz still lures dancers to the floor with Afro-Cuban and other rhythms. Exhibit A: Bandleader Poncho Sanchez, who brings that soulful blend to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts tonight.
COMFORT FOOD: Dumplings are a part of many ethnic food traditions. Gnocci, anyone? But in Minnesota Sounds and Voices this week, we're interested in potato-dumpling comfort food that can be traced back generations to the pierogi of Poland and the pyrohy in Ukrainian. Story here. Photos here.