Advisory group on front line worker COVID bonuses begins work at State Capitol

By |2021-07-29T06:21:41-05:00July 29th, 2021|

A special working group that will recommend which Minnesota front-line workers receive COVID bonuses began work Wednesday, hearing from those who have worked in high-risk settings during the pandemic.  Minnesota Nurses Association President Mary Turner said one night in I-C-U... "I was in that room for 45 minutes, holding this tube together as the COVID germs are flying all over the room, and I'm wearing the same mask as I have now worn for my eighth shift." The group must recommend to lawmakers who should receive bonuses and how much money they'll get.  House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler says with [...]

DFL staffer harassment claims prompt calls for independent investigation

By |2021-07-29T06:18:43-05:00July 29th, 2021|

Democratic State Senator Melisa Franzen of Edina has resigned her post as assistant minority leader as she and other DFL senators call for an outside investigation of sexual harassment claims alleged by a former DFL staffer. "And in this case bringing outside counsel and outside investigation can actually really show what we could've done better and hopefully bring closure and improve upon that same policy that we point to as essentially our floor right? That we have a policy that's our floor, but it shouldn't be limiting to do more to support workers." The staffer alleges repeated harassment by a man [...]

32 lawmakers ask MPCA to halt Enbridge drilling along Line 3 route

By |2021-07-29T06:17:24-05:00July 29th, 2021|

Thirty-two state lawmakers are asking the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to temporarily halt Enbridge's drilling along the Line 3 pipeline route until the state is no longer in drought -- citing reported release of drilling fluid at nine locations under low-water conditions.  Democratic Senator Mary Kunesh from New Brighton says Enbridge will claim the material is not harmful or a pollutant... "But, you know, in a fragile environment, ecosystem, we just don't know what those effects are going to be, and so I guess I would say it's better to be safe than sorry." The group of lawmakers is asking the [...]

State officials recommend masks, distancing, vaccinations for school this fall

By |2021-07-29T06:16:16-05:00July 29th, 2021|

With start-of-school about a month away and the COVID delta variant surging in some areas, state officials recommend school districts follow C-D-C guidance this fall -- that all students, teachers, staff and visitors wear masks indoors, even if vaccinated.  State Education Commissioner Heather Mueller says individual school districts could mandate that masks be worn... "But that would not be something that came from the Department of Health or the Department of Education." C-D-C guidelines also recommend schools maintain three feet minimum between students in classrooms whenever possible -- and everyone age 12 and older, before returning in-person to school should be [...]

Another air quality alert from Canadian wildfire smoke, not as bad as a week ago

By |2021-07-29T06:13:46-05:00July 29th, 2021|

An air quality alert for nearly all of Minnesota except the North Shore is in effect through 3 p-m tomorrow (Fri) due to smoke from Ontario wildfires.  It's expected the air will be "unhealthy for sensitive groups" -- although less polluted than a week ago when it was "very unhealthy for all" in north-central Minnesota.  Pollution Control Agency's David Brown says this batch of smoke will stay around until tomorrow (Fri) afternoon when a brief wind-shift... ..."will carry some of that smoke out of the state, but then again Saturday morning we're expecting the winds (to) shift back from the north [...]

Low-interest loans available to MN farmers impacted by drought

By |2021-07-29T06:12:37-05:00July 29th, 2021|

Agricultural operations statewide continue to be impacted by the ongoing, severe drought. Several counties have been included in disaster designations and... "Those designations trigger eligibility for low-interest emergency these loans may help producers recover from production loss." Michelle Page with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages any producers in need of help to contact their local FSA office to get additional details on what benefits they may be eligible for.

Prep for State Fair 2021 well under way

By |2021-07-29T06:04:06-05:00July 29th, 2021|

Things are kicking into high gear as organizers get ready for the Minnesota State Fair after taking last year off due to COVID-19. On Wednesday, fair officials announced several new attractions, exhibits and vendors for 2021 and spokesperson Danielle Dullinger says... "We're absolutely thrilled first off to even be having the great Minnesota get back together--to us that's the biggest new attraction there is." The fair is set to run this year from August 26th through September 6th.

Gov. Walz Confident Minnesota State Fair Will Go On As Planned

By |2021-07-29T06:01:31-05:00July 29th, 2021|

(St. Paul, MN)  --  Governor Tim Walz believes the Minnesota State Fair will go on at full-scale next month.  Speaking with reporters yesterday, Governor Walz said he has not considered any new statewide emergency that would implement new COVID-19 restrictions, including a mask mandate.  This all comes after the CDC revised its guidelines and said vaccinated individuals should continue to wear masking indoors in parts of the country where COVID-19 cases have surged because of the highly-transmissible Delta variant.

Man Driving Car In Deadly Orono Crash Turns Himself In

By |2021-07-29T05:59:48-05:00July 29th, 2021|

(Orono, MN)  --  The man who was driving the car that was involved in a deadly crash in Orono that killed two people including the son of University of Minnesota men's hockey coach Bob Motzko turns himself in.  Police say James Blue turned himself in Wednesday and was charged with suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide.  Police say Blue was driving a car with Mack Motzko and Sam Schuneman last weekend when he crashed into a group of trees.  Motzko and Schuneman died in the crash, and Blue suffered serious injuries.

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