Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in the City of Mankato

By |2022-12-09T08:38:05-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Mankato-Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive species, has been confirmed in the City of Mankato for the first time. Infested trees were discovered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) as part of a routine tree survey. View a Minnesota EAB status map. Residents are encouraged to watch for signs when checking for EAB: Identify ash trees. EAB only feed on ash trees. Ash have branches that come off the trunk directly across from each other, known as opposite branching. On older trees, the bark is in a tight, diamond-shaped pattern. Younger trees have relatively smooth bark. Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers eat EAB larvae [...]

Minnesota Facing Massive Worker Shortage

By |2022-12-09T08:14:33-06:00December 9th, 2022|

(St. Paul, MN)  --  Minnesota is continuing to face a massive worker shortage.  The state is among the top in the nation for tight labor markets.  Many employers are worried how the shortage could affect Minnesota's economy in the future.  State demographer Susan Brewer said at a recent Minnesota Chamber of Commerce women in business event that the state lost about 90-thousand workers during the pandemic.  Minnesota currently has around 215-thousand job openings statewide.

Minnesota Hospitals Facing Continued Pressure From Spike In Respiratory Viruses

By |2022-12-09T08:12:34-06:00December 9th, 2022|

(St. Paul, MN)  --  Minnesota hospitals are facing continued pressure from a spike in respiratory viruses.  A weekly update from the state showed over 83-hundred Minnesota hospital beds are occupied, above the threshold that suggests scarcity.  Flu-related hospitalizations has dipped slightly, but still remain high for this time of year.  Hospital officials remain unsure when or if a second wave of respiratory illnesses will hit the state.

Klobuchar Highlights New Law Aimed at Preventing CO Poisoning Deaths

By |2022-12-09T05:00:29-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Senator Amy Klobuchar is using a cold Minnesota day to highlight a new law named after two boys from Kimball who died of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Cheryl Burt lost her sons Nicholas and Zachary in January of 1996 after making a fire in their new home: "What actually ended up happening I believe is that there was a down draft. We had a faulty furnace which then exacerbated everything and we did not have a carbon monoxide alarm.  All I knew is we were getting sicker and sicker and sicker throughout the night." Burt believes that a carbon monoxide alarm may [...]

St. Paul police release bodycam video of officer fatally shooting suspect on East Side

By |2022-12-09T04:54:18-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Saint Paul police have released body-cam video of an officer fatally shooting 24-year-old Howard Johnson Monday night on the city's East Side. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says stills show Johnson pointing a gun and a muzzle flash.  Here is the audio. It is graphic: The officer radios that Johnson has "the gun in his right hand, he's pointing it at a car, he's trying to carjack right now."  The officer accelerated the squad and the B-C-A says at that point he struck Johnson with the vehicle.  The video shows the officer flinging open the door and yelling "Don't do it!" [...]

Advocates want $2B of surplus to address housing shortage in MN

By |2022-12-09T04:47:31-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Advocates are eyeing two billion dollars of the state's budget surplus for what they call long-term investments in housing.  Anne Mavity with the Minnesota Housing Partnership says the state is short 100-thousand units for the hardest-working front-line employees: "Two years ago, the governor proposed one billion dollars' worth of investments in housing.  We think he can do better.  We think he has more resources available to dedicate to housing, and we're confident that he will do so." Mavity contends one-time money -- which much of the budget surplus is  -- will produce long-term benefits when invested in housing.

Major Broadband Investment Secured

By |2022-12-09T04:42:10-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Rural broadband projects across Minnesota are set to receive nearly $100 million as the state pushes to bring high-speed internet to the remaining communities that don’t have access.  DEED Commissioner Steve Grove" "We estimate will help 33,000 homes or businesses get online who are not online today." Grove says this is the single largest investment in the state's history for broadband internet.

Nurses begin voting on new contracts at 15 hospitals in Twin Cities, Duluth-Superior

By |2022-12-09T04:36:13-06:00December 9th, 2022|

As many as 15-thousand nurses are voting today (Fri),  Monday and Tuesday on new contracts with 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth-Superior: Nurses at Allina, Children's, M Health Fairview, North Memorial and Methodist in the Twin Cities would receive 18 percent raises over three years; Essentia and Saint Luke's in Duluth, 17 percent plus other bonuses.  Union leaders are recommending a "yes" vote. They say the tentative contracts also include "unprecedented language... to address chronic understaffing in our hospitals for the first time in history."  Vote results will announced next Wednesday, early afternoon. Nurses union negotiators at Saint Luke's [...]

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