Man demands kidney back from cheating ex-wife

Hey baby, come back...with my kidney

A New York man who donated one of his kidneys to his wife is now asking for her to return it in their divorce settlement.

If she, you know, wants to stay alive, she can just give him the value of his kidney: $1.5 million.

The woman had the kidney transplant at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in 2001 after two other failed transplants.

Dr. Richard Batista said he did gave her his kidney to save her life (duh) and also to hopefully turn a rocky marriage around (wait, what?). Then his wife, Dawnell Batista, cheated and filed for divorce. In other words, a perfect excuse to ask for any body parts to be returned.

While it's a pretty impressive publicity stunt, the case won't be going anywhere. The Transplant Center at the U of M declined to comment on the case, but bioethics professor Steven Miles says this is a divorce settlement spun out of control.

"This is about a grieving husband who is emotionally having a great deal of difficulty coping," he said.

While the man's main purpose seems to be financial—demanding that hefty $1.5 million settlement for the kidney donation—his lawyer, Dominic Barbara, specifically mentions a physical return of the kidney as an alternative to paying up. Barbara says they had an expert determine the value of the kidney, which includes any benefits his wife received when she was healthy again.

Miles says the man's case "simply won't stand. I am amazed his attorney is letting him get away with it." —Emily Kaiser

Bike wars

Members of the biking community are battling each other for funding. Think of it as Thunderdome, only take out Master-Blaster and Tina Turner, and add in gladiators with death-bleating names such as Shaun "Chainwhip" Murphy and Judith "The Torque Wrench" Hollander.

There's $5 million in federal funds up for grabs. The leader of the pack is the city of Minneapolis. They want to use part of the funding to boost a Paris-inspired bike-sharing program. With luck, they're hoping downtown will morph into Rue de Velib. And we're all for that...especially if it attracts Carla Bruni to our fair tundra. (C'est la hope so.)

Next up in the battle is the University of Minnesota. Goldie and friends want a bike center built into the Oak Street parking ramp. But Goldie also wants cash for a futuristic bike tracking system, in which riders will have a chip (implanted?) on their bikes, so said rider can ride past a tracking station to qualify for a $20 bike bailout benefit.

You heard about that, right? If not, look at the fine print in the $700 billion bailout package. Or don't... it's a hella boring read.

Our subsequent warrior is Hennepin County. It's looking for funds to build a bike station downtown. The plan is to build it inside the Government Center.

And we can't forget the dark horse in the battle, Sibley Bike Depot. The nonprofit is looking to do something simple: hand out free bikes to people.

"All the funding comes from the 'Demonstration for Innovation Category,'" says Chainwhip, reached by CP deep inside his downtown parking-garage lair. "It offers us a chance to do things we wouldn't normally do. They're things to showcase to the rest of the country. It's fun." —Bradley Campbell

Former Viking to help decide Senate seat

As Minnesota prepares for the next stage of the race for our open U.S. Senate seat, former Minnesota Viking Alan Page will make some major decisions that will determine the winner.

Page, now a Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, will appoint the three-judge panel that will hear the case. Under state law, the panel should be chosen by the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, but Chief Justice Eric Magnuson served on the Canvassing Board that ran the recount. He chose to recuse himself, passing the decisions along to Page.

Can the former Purple People Eater pull this off? And how does Minnesota end up with so many celebrity-types running such important offices? (For its part, the Coleman campaign stated that it fully trusts Page to appoint a "fair and impartial" panel.) —Emily Kaiser

Somali shooting suspect charged

The 17-year-old suspect in the September 22 murder of Ahmednur Ali has been charged with the crime. Ramadan Abdi Shiekhosman is accused of felony second-degree murder in the shooting death of Ali, according to Minneapolis Police Department. Shiekhosman will be tried as an adult.

The shooting of Ali occurred outside the Brian Coyle Community Center in Cedar-Riverside, where the 20-year-old Augsberg College student had just finished his first day of volunteering. Shiekhosman, who was 16 at the time, had argued with Ali while the college student supervised the gym. When Ali emerged from the community center, Sheikhosman allegedly struck him over the head with a handgun and shot him. —Erin Carlyle

Snow daze

Sometimes we have too little snow and sometimes we have too much. Apparently internet pundit Matt Drudge thinks that is absolutely hilarious.

In the latest rip on Minnesota weather, the Drudge Report posted a link to a story with the following headline: Minnesota sled dog race canceled—because of too much snow.

This followed his report last week that Minnesota was requesting a grant to pay for snow (actually, it was a ski resort, but never mind the facts—they're less funny).

Yes, it is possible to have both too much and too little, in the same state, at the same time. Minnesota is kind of crazy like that. But it makes us better people, we swear. —Emily Kaiser

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