10/14 Morning Must Reads

Tuesday's five most fascinating stories printed on wood pulp:

Doctor pay offs means better behavior?
Apparently the only way to get doctors to do the right thing is to pay them off. That's the conclusion of a new study from the University of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Blue Cross offered $100 per smoker they recommended to a stop-smoking hotline. Here's the best part of the story: No one knows how many of those smokers actually quit. Only about a fourth of those referred actually enrolled in stop-smoking programs, and the study didn't track their success rates. It is, he said, part of a growing trend in medicine called "pay for performance," which links payments to results. "It's basically tying the financial incentives to doing the right thing." Yikes. Shouldn't we trust our doctors to do the right thing no matter how much they get paid?

Hundreds gather to remember Matthew Shepard
Ten years after the beating death of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, a gay college student from Wyoming, his mother, Judy Shepard, spoke to a crowd of hundreds at a candlelight vigil in Minneapolis' Loring Park on Monday. His death drew international media attention and continues to inspire more understanding and acceptance of the GLBT community. The group that gathered in Loring Park was mostly silent, surrounded by a handful of people dressed as angels with towering wings.

Michelle Obama pulls heart strings in Minnesota
Sen. Barack Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, spoke to a crowd of about 4,500 at a Macalester College gymnasium in hopes of swinging undecided voters with her personal touch. The Star Tribune buried their coverage and the Pioneer Press displayed it on the top of their front page. Obama said her husband understands the problems of ordinary Americans because he grew up poor and worked his way up. "Barack Obama gets it," she said. "He gets it because he's lived it."

Rosemount's ballot a little crammed
Rosemount residents have 25 people to choose from for two spots on the City Council. How will anyone know who to vote for? There's a one-hour debate tonight, but good luck getting anyone to care enough to show up.

Don't kill the wild darting pedestrians
People took turns trying to cross the St. Paul's Snelling Avenue during rush hour Monday and we can't believe they survived this stunt. The city is doing a week of pedestrian awareness. Police will be giving tickets all week on Snelling. Failing to stop for a pedestrian is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $700 fine. How are we supposed to punish people who dart out into the street now?


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