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Newscast 11.11.15: Sanford Health to merge with Fairview; Iowa nets large opioid settlement from Walmart

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Sanford Health announced Tuesday its plans to combine with Fairview Health Services, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit health system.
The two have signed a non-binding letter of intent to combine, creating a new health system set up to better serve the rural, urban and indigenous populations across the Midwest, according to a press release.

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Sanford Health

Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services will remain nonprofit entities with the name of the parent company being Sanford Health. The two systems will each have their own leadership and regional boards in the markets they serve. Sanford Health, which is based in Sioux Falls, is the largest rural health system in the United States, servicing more than one million patients worldwide.

Iowa’s Attorney General has announced a settlement against Walmart after claims the company contributed to the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Tom Miller says a coalition of attorneys general have reached a $3.1 billion settlement with Walmart after allegations the company failed to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores.

Iowa will receive nearly $20 million from the settlement that Miller says must be used to provide treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder. The settlement also includes court-ordered requirements for oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.

A teacher says a Nebraska public district that shuttered a student newspaper following an LGBTQ-focused edition has agreed to bring it back next year in digital form. Newspaper adviser Kirsten Gilliland told the Grand Island Independent last week that The Saga will return to Northwest High School’s class offerings in the spring semester but without her at the helm. A civil rights organization that has said it could take legal action over the newspaper's closing says that isn't good enough. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska says the district must instate policies that protect LGBTQ students and student journalists.

Sun Country Airlines, a low-cost airline, will begin offering twice-weekly flights between Omaha’s Eppley Airfield and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on a seasonal basis starting Memorial Day weekend. Sun Country will join Delta Air Lines in offering flights between the two airports.

Omaha Airport Authority Executive Director Dave Roth said in a statement that the airport authority is pleased that the airline will begin service here.

Sun Country, which is based in Minnesota, will use Boeing 737-800 aircraft capable of seating 186 passengers to take passengers between Omaha and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Flights will be scheduled on Mondays and Fridays through Labor Day. Flights begin Friday, May 26.

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