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Grieving Widow Jennifer Carnahan Honors Husband via Sketchily Funded Surprise Charity

Plus nurses battle for bill, KARE 11 wins big award, and TikTok's IPA hater is from here in today's Flyover.

Facebook: Rep. Jim Hagedorn|

Jennifer Carnahan, seen here between her late husband Jim Hagedorn, left, and since-convicted sex trafficker/GOP donor Anton “Tony” Lazzaro, right.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Jen Carnahan Is at it Again!

The James L. Hagedorn Cancer Charities doesn’t have a working website yet, but it does have a staff and a 2024 projected income of $429,300. Those three employees? Hagedorn’s widow, former MN GOP leader Jennifer Carnahan, is president; her former colleague Jennifer Larson is VP; and her mom, Cindra Carnahan, is secretary. The charity, theoretically, makes sense, considering U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn died of kidney cancer last year. But its funding—$125K of which came from the his campaign fund—is raising eyebrows. Also, the Hagedorn family are just finding out about their namesake charity now.

"I can state with confidence that Jim's family was not informed of the creation of the James L. Hagedorn Cancer Charities organization and has no involvement in it," Heidi Hagedorn Katz tells the Star Tribune in this excellent piece breaking down the charity's numbers. Carnahan’s relationship with the Hagedorn family has been publicly messy since her husband’s death; there were reports that she was involved in a fist fight at the late representative’s funeral, and Carnahan is currently appealing a court judgment ordering her to reimburse the family $20k in medical expenses. (That audio of her joking about her husband dying probably didn’t help, either.)

Nurses Union Turns Up Heat on Lawmakers

About 70 Minnesota bedside nurses helped draft the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, which seeks to address staffing, retention and, thus, patient care issues. “This piece of legislation merely sets up committees at every hospital, so they can talk about it in a hospital-by-hospital way how to handle these issues,” co-author Rep. Jim “Accidentally Legalized Weed” Abler (R-Anoka) said via press release earlier this year; “The Bedside Act is going to make sure that every single patient in Minnesota, no matter where you are, is going to have access to the same level of adequate staffing,” added Rep. Sandra Feist (DFL-New Brighton). 

After passing the House and Senate this April as part of the health omnibus bills, the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is facing considerable challenges from the Mayo Clinic, whose blackmail tactics resulted in weak-kneed legislators crafting a possible exemption, and the Minnesota Hospital Association, who ramped up their corporate lobbying blitz. "Mayo is different," House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) told WCCO-TV. "Kings and princes [are] flying in to stay to get treatment." (If you ever wondered who your elected officials are looking out for, there’s a pretty big tell.) In any case! The bill is simmering in a conference committee at the moment, and the Minnesota Nurses Association is turning up the heat on lawmakers to hold firm in their support—in quite public fashion. “Now, we’re staked out at the Governor’s Office to keep pressure on him and legislators to keep the bill intact, without exemptions,” MNA spokesman Sam Fettig tells Racket. We’ll see what condition the final bill is in—and whether the influence of big biz kneecapped it—when it emerges for final votes.

KARE 11 Wins Peabody Award

Majors congrats to KARE 11 reporters Brandon Stahl, A.J. Lagoe, and Steve Eckert, whose investigative series, "The Gap: Failure to Treat, Failure to Protect," just won a Peabody Award. KARE is the only Minnesota news outlet to win the prestigious trophy in 2023. Here a summation from the Peabody organization, which has honored excellence in impactful storytelling across media for 83 years: "This six-part series from KARE 11 in Minneapolis exemplifies the best of enterprising local journalism, diagnosing and documenting a major failing in the Minnesota legal system: Suspects in crimes are routinely deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial but are never treated for their mental illness." Click here to read the entire award-winning series; click here to see the entire class of '22 Peabody winners.

TikTok IPA Hater Is One of Us

Racket beer columnist Jerard Fagerberg, whose very last Doin' Beers just hit the site today, isn't just a writer for Racket—he writes about beer all over the place! That includes the website All About Beer, for which he explores today how breweries are breaking out of their bubble on TikTok and finding social media success that escaped them on Instagram, Twitter, and other similar sites. And there's a fun local angle nestled in there: Turns out the satirical account I Hate IPAs is based in Bloomington. The account just started this February and already has 16,000 followers, who laugh along as the unenthusiastic Emma ruthlessly reviews IPAs, many of which are made right here in Minnesota. Fun stuff!

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