The HIV baby (5×8 – 3/6/13)

Parents v. county in HIV baby dispute, the price of booze, is the end near for SXSW, where snow smells like money, and the people who do ‘throwback’ jobs.


Away from the glare of big-city media, an interesting drama with an HIV-positive baby is playing out in Austin, MN.

Mower County Human Services took , Rico Martinez Nagel, from Lindsey Nagel and John Martinez in January. The mother of the four-month-old boy was adopted from Romania 22 years ago, and she tested HIV positive in the U.S., the Austin Daily Herald reports in its story. She used the recommended antiretroviral therapy for two months, but side effects forced her to stop. That was 20 years ago and she says she’s healthy. But the baby has HIV.

Court documents show on Jan. 15 and 16 Lindsey canceled nutritional appointments with doctors from Mayo Clinic Rochester because she wanted an attorney present, she thought the appointments were optional and she wanted a second opinion. Lindsey and John then began driving to Seattle to meet with another doctor, only to turn around in Bismarck, N.D., because they were informed the doctor was not a pediatrician. Human services then took Rico on Jan. 18.

The family has insisted Rico’s health was much better when he was in its custody and has posted numerous messages and videos on social media. Steve said a feeding tube inserted into Rico caused an infection and further caused his stomach to bloat.

However, doctors maintain that the child must stay on ART, and that is listed in the request for emergency protective care.

“There is no acceptable alternative treatment,” it states. “There is no legitimate medical controversy in this regard.”

The key takeaway: The parents were providing the antiretroviral therapy at the time the child was taken.


The Minnesota House Taxes Committee meets today to consider raising taxes on beer and wine. Karen Clark’s plan would raise the price of a glass of beer about 3 cents a glass, with the money earmarked for treatment programs and drug courts.

It’ll probably die. Beer and other booze is pretty sacred stuff in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, which generally leads the nation in binge drinking.

And yet, almost every day, there’s a horrific tale of a crime or death involving alcohol.

Today’s comes from Moorhead, where Forum Communications reports a 47-year-old man has been charged with felony drunken driving. Thomas Iverson allegedly drove along at 100 mph while his twin 12-year-olds opened beer after beer for him, the paper says.

When the deputy explained to two girls in the car that their father was being arrested for drunken driving, they told him they’d been scared and that their father had been driving between 90 and 100 mph. The girls told the deputy their father was drinking while driving the car, and that he’d been having the children open his beers for him.

One of the girls told the deputy she’d pretended to throw up to try to get her father to slow down, according to the complaint.

Over at the University of Minnesota, they’re reacting to another bill in the Legislature to expand booze sales at sports venues on the campus. Some ticket holders and officials told the Daily that if they expand the availability of beer, attendees might drink less.

She said students might drink less before the games because they “wouldn’t have the mentality of not being able to drink” during the game.

TCF Bank Stadium had fewer incidents than in any of its previous three seasons because fans knew they could drink at the game and thus arrived in a better state, University police Lt. Erik Swanson previously told the Minnesota Daily.

He said the University administration had concerns about selling alcohol at TCF, but in the end there wasn’t a negative impact.

In addition to preventing students from drinking beforehand, Schoen said the latest bill would increase revenue.

“There are people that deliver the beer, people that make the beer and then there is people that serve the beer as their jobs,” Schoen said. “Those things are important.”

Related Legislature: This might slow the move toward legalized same-sex marriage in the current session. Today’s Star Tribune poll shows the majority of those surveyed are against the idea.


Twin Cities music journalist — and The Current local blogger — Andrea Swensson’s NPR column hits on a familiar theme: The attraction of small, not-everyone-knows-about-this moments and venues inevitably gives way to the everyone-knowing-about-it, followed by the commercialism.

She writes today about why she’s passing up the South By Southwest event in Austin this year:

It’s because, even in my relatively short time attending the 27-year-old festival, I can’t help but feel that it has strayed far away from its original premise as a grassroots gathering place for new, undiscovered talent and increasingly feels like a big ol’ Times Square billboard-sized commercial.

This is not a new observation. The commercialization of music is certainly not a novel concept, and neither is the commercialization of SXSW — hell, even the underground offshoots and anti-festivals that spring up in Austin each March have gotten their share of backlash. But the rampant expansion I’ve witnessed over the last handful of years feels too glaring and incongruous to ignore. As the music industry continues to place more and more power in the hands of independent artists, SXSW seems to be driving in the opposite direction; the festival feels like the industry’s last-gasp attempt to prove that cash can, in fact, still be king.


Thief River Falls got some national love from the Today Show (B-Squad version). If you can stand the general opening description of it being a remote outpost, it’s a timely reminder that not everyone is whining about the effect of snow on the commute or overnight parking.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“People live there.” Ugh.

Meanwhile, Mayor Rybak has the daily snow-emergency haiku:

The big snowstorm that had us all in a tizzy locally has now moved to the East Coast where they’re all in a tizzy. My sister, a New Englander held hostage in DC, reports:

Nothing – absolutely nothing – is happening here. Its warm and cloudy. but OMG people have got their knickers in a twist over the weather forecast. School is cancelled. The government is cancelled . The grocery stores are empty. This town can’t function under normal circumstances. Now it is completely off line.

Demand a refund!

“Yeah, same here,” I replied.


Stu Larkin is a dying breed: one of the last traveling salesmen left in America. He travels the country taking orders for bronzed baby shoes.

The Bronzer from peyton wilson on Vimeo.

I’ve been thinking of starting a new series of posts — The Throwbacks — on people whose passion — or at least livelihood — is doing things most would consider “from yesteryear.” Know anybody who’d make a good subject. Contact me.

Bonus I: I’m fairly certain I’ve never posted a Harlem Shake video. This will be the lone exception. Ever.

Bonus II: The Minnesota Twins have canceled the opening day flyover of military planes because of the sequester. Memo to Twins: Try these people who built their own airplanes:

and here’s how they did it. You don’t have to be capable of dropping bombs to have an impressive aviation flyover. There were several Wisconsin pilots in the formation. Perhaps that’s a deal-killer for Minnesota.

Bonus III: Doodleku.

Bonus IV: There’s nothing Cmdr. Rick Hadfield can’t do.


The Dow closed at an all time high on Tuesday. Minnesota’s employers added about 12,000 new jobs in January, which helped put the state’s job market 90 percent of the way back to pre-recession levels. Household income is still 8% lower than it was at its peak in 2007. Today’s Question: How does the economy look from your vantage point?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt discuss the state budget, taxes, and other issues at play in the current legislative session.

Second hour: Second-generation Americans.

Third hour: Jobs and the recovery.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Former President Jimmy Carter, speaking at the Commonwealth Club about the U.S. role in bringing peace to other people.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The Political Junkie.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Families that move to the U.S. from another county have a lot of obstacles to overcome: learning a new culture and sometimes learning a new language. The Mohantys of Woodbury have adapted to life in their adopted country, but they now want to preserve their Indian heritage. In this latest installment of MPR’s Young Reporters Series, Amrita Mohanty tells us how her parents are encouraging their two daughters to learn more about their culture. This story is now online.