The first response team from the Minnesota Salvation Army is in Louisiana providing aid to those impacted by Hurricane Ida. Spokesman Dan Furry: "We've got about 40 mobile feeding units on the ground so there are teams in and working to help provide help, food, and hydration, emotional and spiritual care." Furry says the team is situated midway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Gonzales.
Governor Tim Walz is defending a new app his administration launched that gives people access to their vaccine records on their mobile device. Republican Senator and candidate for governor Michelle Benson says it's essentially a government-approved vaccine passport, despite the governor saying in April he had "no intention" of implementing one: "Once again, this administration deciding to go it alone is raising concerns and it's not building trust." The governor responds if people don't want to use the app, they don't have to -- and calls Benson's objection... "This nonsense of scaring people. What I need the senator to do is [...]
Minnesota's drought conditions may mute some of the brilliant colors as the leaves change this fall. The DNR's Jennifer Teegarden says there is some conflicting research that on one hand suggests a drought can actually enhance the colors, but other research suggests severe drought like we're experiencing will make those colors duller. Teegarden says recent rainfall and any additional precipitation may be too late to save the colors, but she says it will help the trees as they prepare themselves for winter.
Officials have lifted campfire restrictions in all of Superior National Forest and the B-W-C-A Wilderness, prompted by a stretch of cool and wet weather. But spokeswoman Joanna Gilkeson notes that northern Minnesota can typically have wildfires through the end of September, and urges people to still use extra caution: "Make sure that your fire is a manageable size, stay somewhat small, use designated fire rings or fire grates, and just make sure that it's completely out to the touch... before you leave your campfire."
The death of a 40-year-old motorcyclist in Wabasha County is highlighting the high number of fatalities among bikers this year. "They're just like everybody else, they want to get to their destination safely." MN-DOT's Mike Dougherty says motorcyclists tend to be on more than just the main roads. "If you're on a motorcycle sometimes you might want to just take the less traveled path, so be alert on some of the side roads as well." So far this year there have been more than 50 motorcyclist deaths…more than all of 2019 and outpacing this same time last year.
The first day of fall is Wednesday, with that comes the changing color of the leaves. Alyssa Hayes with Explore Minnesota encourages you to take a break and enjoy the fall landscape: "Explore Minnesota and Minnesota State Parks and Trails, we're teaming up to offer trip planning tips and fall color resources to travelers to get out and enjoy those changing leaves this season." Hayes says you can find the fall color finder on the DNR's website and trip planning tips at explore-Minnesota-dot-com.
The industry association Minnesota Realtors reports the heated summer sales season appears to be cooling as usual -- but despite shrinking inventory, buyers still scrambled to purchase homes. Association President Chris Galler says this year demand for lake properties throughout Minnesota has been much higher than usual: "People that have cabins or homes that are built on lakes have just done phenomenally well, and there's lots of demand for those properties." Galler adds the "crescent" from Rochester through the Twin Cities to Saint Cloud is "always a really strong market."
Pro-choice advocates are gearing up for a big fight against the Texas abortion law that the U-S Supreme Court let stand, and which they fear could come to Minnesota. Senator Tina Smith praised comments by Tippy Amundson, who says a medical condition would not only have taken the life of her unborn child, but also would have prevented her from having any other children: "Abortion is referred to as a choice, but I did not choose it. It was the only choice I had." Amundson says to those who support the Texas abortion law and similar measures: "I encourage others to [...]
Officials say Minnesota traffic deaths caused by people not wearing seatbelts could surpass last year's numbers, which were the highest since 2014. Mike Hanson, director of the state Office of Traffic Safety, says the last seatbelt survey found 93.4 percent of Minnesotans buckle up -- however... "When you look at that, that remaining six-plus percent of Minnesota drivers and occupants who don't put that seatbelt on, but yet they result in one-third of our fatalities." A "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign begins Sunday across Minnesota and runs through the end of September.
An influential Republican in the state Senate is calling for data security review of an app the Walz administration launched, which gives Minnesotans access to their vaccination records on their mobile device. Ham Lake Senator Michelle Benson says the administration could have brought the proposal to the legislature for proper vetting: "It was an opportunity to build trust, and the administration decided to go around the legislature." Benson says the "Docket" app is essentially a government-approved vaccine passport, despite Governor Tim Walz saying in April he had "no intention" of implementing one. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says while she thinks many [...]