The Salvation Army is in need of bell ringers across the state as we head into the final stretch of the Red Kettle Campaign. Spokesman Dan Furry: "I think it's safe to say that when there isn't a bell ringer at a kettle it doesn't collect any donations so there is a direct correlation between the number of bell ringers and what we take in at the red kettle." The Salvation Army reports a spike in the need for their services as inflation sparked a rise in gas prices, rent prices, and the cost of food.
Minnesota Farm Bureau is among many ag organizations looking to support new and beginning farmers. President Dan Glessing says Minnesota provides tax credits to help the next generation. He says some credits encourage land owners to consider selling to beginning farmers: "Now, I fully recognize that those tax credits aren’t going to be substantial if you’re going to give up some of that cost of the per-acre land. But again, anything we can do (helps)." Glessing says it’s important to foster new and alternative avenues to farming that are often more affordable at the onset.
State health officials are hoping the price of medical marijuana products will decline in the new year. Office of Medical Cannabis director Chris Tholkes (THO'-kiss) says sales of raw flower and bud just started in the spring : "I think the manufacturers are still trying to gauge supply and demand, what strains and what products people are interested in seeing. So we are still quite hopeful that the price will come down overall." Tholkes says Minnesota's medical cannabis dispensaries saw a spike in visits when flower and buds became available. Patients were expecting a drop in prices with an expanding market [...]
A reminder from officials that help is available for Minnesotans struggling to pay for their insulin, through the state's safety net program which provides not only a short-term emergency supply but also long-term assistance. MNsure's Libby Caulum says in 2021 over 11-hundred Minnesotans received discounts on insulin through the program, totaling around seven million dollars... ..."but we know that there are so many more people in Minnesota who could use this help, who may be struggling to afford their insulin.... Many, many people with diabetes ration their insulin, because they have concerns over how much it costs." For complete information on [...]
The state Department of Human Services is awarding seven-million dollars in funding to help older Minnesotans continue living in their homes. D-H-S Aging and Adult Services director Kari Benson says 57 organizations are getting Living Well at Home grants: "The goal is to help a provider either serve additional people or for them to add one or more additional services to what they are able to offer. And of course, all of this is either for older adults directly or for their family caregiver." Some of the services include housekeeping, Meals on Wheels, rides to the doctors, home repairs to prevent [...]
Hospitals group “shocked and disappointed” nurses union gave strike notice immediately after authorization vote
A spokesman says the Twin Cities Hospitals Group is "shocked and disappointed" the nurses union gave a ten-day strike notice for December 11th immediately after nurses voted to authorize it. Paul Omodt says: "We're still at the table trying to work as hard as we can. They are jumping ahead, as they did with their earlier strike, to go into strike mode." "Analysts say nurses union leaders are trying to turn up pressure for an agreement. ) Both sides acknowledge they could be within striking distance on wages, but the nurses union says short-staffing is the big issue. Modest Okorie , [...]
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is asking everyone to do their part and help protect our freshwater sources from excessive salt: The MPCA says salt is commonly over-applied, sending too much chloride into our lakes and streams. Chloride is toxic to fish and other aquatic wildlife. Officials estimate we scatter 445-thousand tons of salt across Minnesota each year, and once it is in a water ecosystem it stays there forever. Some tips for using less salt include shoveling and scraping more, sweeping up salt on dry surfaces, and don't salt when it is 15 degrees or colder because most salts stop [...]
Farm groups in many states are preparing to engage with newly elected lawmakers. Minnesota Farm Bureau Vice President Carolyn Olson says there will be nearly 70 new faces when the state legislature convenes next month: "This is where our Farm Bureau members are important (because) if they have a new legislator in the House or the Senate, to meet them, build relationships, and share their stories on some of the issues that we’ve been fighting for in Farm Bureau.” Olson also encourages Farm Bureau members to look beyond party lines and work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges the public to use extra caution when approaching traffic signals following a heavy snowfall event. Motorists and pedestrians should be prepared to stop at intersections with traffic signals, as snow-covered traffic indications can be challenging to see. For reasons of energy efficiency and longer service life, the state’s traffic signals have switched from using incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs produce less than half the heat as incandescent bulbs, and do not emit enough heat to melt off snow and ice that may accumulate on them. “Following a snow event, our top [...]
Snowplow operators are out in full force across southern Minnesota cleaning and treating snow-packed roads. MnDOT's Anne Meyer says to be sure to give plow operators plenty of room to work: "When you're slowed down in traffic so are snowplows. So it takes longer for our crews to get to every lane of traffic and really clear away that snow."