A Democratic state representative reelected last month to his St. Peter-area seat is resigning for a new job. Terry Morrow announced his resignation Wednesday. He says he'll serve out the rest of his current term, which ends on January 8.
It took eight years, but Jon Smithers' obsession with photographing a banded eagle finally paid off. Smithers, a wildlife photographer in St. Peter, managed to pick out all nine digits on the eagle's band through a series of photographs over the years.
A state agency has forced out the head of Minnesota's largest hospital for the mentally ill and dangerous. The Minnesota Department of Human Services said Tuesday that David Proffitt has resigned from the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter at the agency's request.
State officials say they're phasing out the use of metal handcuffs and seclusion at a secure hospital for the mentally ill in the wake of maximum fines for client maltreatment. The Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter was fined $2,200 in December for patient maltreatment and failure to report the maltreatment. The facility's license was put on conditional probation for two years.
Most of the experienced psychiatric staff have either quit or been fired at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, the Star Tribune reported today. They include six psychiatrists who were treating more than 375 patients. They resigned in protest of what they consider the combative style of the new administrator, the newspaper reported.
A yearlong investigation by the Human Services Department, which oversees the Minnesota Security Hospital, found staff repeatedly violated rules about patient care and in one case forced a patient to sleep on a concrete slab for 25 nights.
Locking up sex offenders beyond their prison sentences seemed like a good idea to many states back when they had the money to get tough on predators.
But as lawmakers across the country struggle to balance state budgets, a Minnesota inmate’s request to go free has reopened the debate about the costs and legal wisdom of civil commitment programs for sex offenders.
Roger Lloyd Zimmerman was in a treatment program that eventually tries to get "mentally ill and dangerous" patients to the point that they can return to their home community. The only alternative to that effort is lifetime confinement for the mentally ill, St. Peter (Minn.) Police Chief Matt Peters said. "For society, the bigger question is, do we want to warehouse people for the rest of their live?" he said. "If these people are ill - in this case, mentally ill - the premise is that they're treatable. That's not going to be possible in every case."
The forensic nursing home operated by the Minnesota Security Hospital is designed to house about 50 people ranging from convicts on medical leave from Minnesota prisons to sexual psychopaths committed by the court system.
However, numerous building code violations were discovered prior to its scheduled opening earlier this year and after ribbon-cutting ceremonies and public tours were held.
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