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The Minnesota News Network is your source for information across the state.

Lawmaker says robo-call ban first step toward better protections against scams

By |2019-10-15T05:23:16-06:00October 15th, 2019|

A group of House Democrats wants to make robo-calls illegal in Minnesota, and require telecommunications companies to use best-available technology to block them at no charge to customers. But what about robo-texts and other phishing schemes? Coon Rapids Representative Zack Stephenson says: "We know that fraudsters will use any trick that they can get, to try and get to your personal information, and we should look at all of those avenues. Robocalls is maybe the first step in that process." House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler says it's time to protect Minnesotans from robo-calls, which he says are at best a [...]

Sen Smith says USDA loan will help with rural electric infrastructure in several counties

By |2019-10-15T05:17:24-06:00October 15th, 2019|

Meeker Cooperative Light & Power is getting a $22-million rural electric infrastructure loan from the U-S Department of Agriculture. "A lot of people don't realize that rural electrical coops are a significant source of energy for families that live in small towns and rural areas and it' important whether you're a business, or a school or an airport or a hospital or just your own home." U-S Senator Tina Smith says the loan will impact projects in Meeker, Wright, Stearns, McLeod, Kandiyohi and Renville counties and could help reduce power outages, integrate renewables and lower energy costs for consumers.

Cold Weather Rule goes into effect starting today

By |2019-10-15T05:12:43-06:00October 15th, 2019|

Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule goes into effect starting today (TUE). Ross Corson with Center Point Energy says it's meant to help customers who are having trouble paying their natural gas bills... "If you set up a payment plan with your utility and maintain that payment plan, you're heating service will not be disconnected during the cold weather months." Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule runs through April 15th, 2020. To make arrangements under the Cold Weather Rule contact your utility provider.

FAA grants will improve airports across the state

By |2019-10-14T11:23:56-06:00October 14th, 2019|

Fourteen greater Minnesota airports are receiving just over 26 million dollars in federal funding for improvements. Cassandra Isackson is MnDOT's Aeronautics Director: "Of the 133 public airports in the state about 70-percent of them receive federal funding. 100 percent of those 133 receive funding from the state. So all of these federal projects also had state participation. " This is the final round of FAA funding issued in 2019.   Minnesota projects and funding included in these FAA grant awards include: • Falls International Airport in International Falls (INL) – $15.85 million for environmental study, runway reconstruction and an apron expansion. [...]

MSP Airport MEA travel reminder

By |2019-10-14T05:57:28-06:00October 14th, 2019|

MSP International Airport is gearing up for one of the most popular travel times of the year--the long MEA weekend. Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan is encouraging travelers: "We recommend that they get here 2 hours in advance of a domestic flight or 3 hours in advance of an international flight, so it's kind of the same as always, but do come expecting there to be longer lines than there typically are Hogan says it will likely be the equivalent of a very busy summer travel day--so give yourself plenty of time.

Sen Smith touts innovations linking patients in rural areas to healthcare

By |2019-10-14T05:53:09-06:00October 14th, 2019|

As a member of the Senate's bipartisan Rural Health caucus, U-S Senator Tina Smith says she's always looking to hear about innovations to help improve health care access. And she says a lot of good ideas are developed locally... "Minnesota has been in the forefront around medical technology and it's no surprise that we continue to be in the forefront when we think about how to use different kinds of technologies to expand access to care." Smith says she's excited about home-care technology being developed now that aims to make it easier for elderly people dealing with chronic diseases to transfer [...]

Emergency landing at St. Cloud Regional Airport

By |2019-10-14T08:18:21-06:00October 14th, 2019|

A Skywest Airlines plane en route from Minneapolis to Minot, North Dakota made an emergency landing just after seven last night (SUN) in St. Cloud. St. Cloud Regional Airport Manager Bill Towle says the airline brought up another plane and the passengers were only delayed about an hour. He says no one was hurt and it appears to have been just a false alarm. Skywest is a regional carrier owned by Delta Airlines.

Centra Care program focuses on suicide awareness

By |2019-10-14T07:29:38-06:00October 14th, 2019|

A new program at CentraCare Health is helping to raise awareness about suicide in central Minnesota.   Lisa Bershok is the new Suicide Prevention Program Manager. She says she spends a lot of time giving presentations out in the community including at a number of workplaces: "Because we know 80-percent of individuals who die by suicide are of working age. So these are our co-workers. And if you think about where we spend as working adults a majority of the time -- it's at work." One in five Americans experiences mental illness. However, 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of [...]

MSHSL looking to reduce ongoing deficit

By |2019-10-14T05:30:55-06:00October 14th, 2019|

With a projected budget deficit of just over 400-thousand dollars, the Minnesota State High School League is looking at ways to improve their finances. Executive Director Erich Mertens says one issue to address is revenue from state tournaments. "We make money off of tournaments, we have membership fees from our member schools and we have some contracts and some sponsorships which fund the Minnesota state high school league. And so when those sponsorships dip, that has an impact on our bottom line." Mertens says they did take the step of raising ticket prices at some state tournaments, including some that hadn't [...]

Cold Weather Rule application reminder

By |2019-10-14T05:26:44-06:00October 14th, 2019|

Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule goes into effect tomorrow (Oct. 15). "We want Minnesotans to stay safe and warm in their homes in the winter months ahead and so with the Cold Weather Rule, we're encouraging our customers who may have trouble paying their natural gas bill to call us now to establish a payment plan so they can maintain their service throughout the heating season." Ross Corson with Center Point Energy. Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule runs through April 15th, 2020. To make arrangements under the Cold Weather Rule contact your utility provider.