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Early Voting For Minnesota’s Presidential Primary Begins This Week

By |2020-01-14T09:50:17-06:00January 14th, 2020|

Minnesota voters will be among the first in the country to cast ballots in the upcoming March presidential primaries. "Voters will have the opportunity starting this Friday to go into a government office and vote in-person absentee or order an absentee ballot to come to them in advance of a March 3rd election day and they'll have an opportunity to weigh in on the major parties' presidential nominees," said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon says this is the first time 1956 that the state has done the balloting process exactly this way. Previously the [...]

Minnesota Department of Health Confirms 8th Flu Death

By |2020-01-03T11:48:19-06:00January 3rd, 2020|

The Minnesota Department of Health is confirming the eighth flu-related death of the season. The weekly update shows influenza activity is still widespread across the state. Karen Martin with the state Department of Health says if you're sick stay home to help avoid infecting others: "Even more important if you are sick stay home. Stay home from school or work. I know it's not easy to do that but that's really going to give you time to rest and protect those around you from getting sick." There were 117 hospitalizations in the week ending December 28th and zero school flu outbreaks, [...]

Lawsuit That Could Potentially Delay Early Primary Voting To Be Heard Next Week

By |2020-01-03T05:28:57-06:00January 3rd, 2020|

Early voting for the March presidential primary could be delayed in Minnesota, as the state Supreme Court next week (Jan 9) plans to take up a lawsuit challenging the balloting process. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon says as the law stands now... "The way they wrote it was they gave the chairs of the major political parties the choice of who gets to appear in Minnesota on the presidential primary ballot and these folks taking the state to court have said that that's wrong, it's unconstitutional" The lawsuit was initiated after the Republican Party of Minnesota decided to put only [...]

State Officials React To Federal Temporary Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes

By |2020-01-03T05:26:20-06:00January 3rd, 2020|

U-S health officials are planning to temporarily ban most flavored e-cigarettes that are popular with underage tobacco and e-cigarette users. The Trump administration announced this week that it will prohibit the sale of fruit, candy, mint, and dessert flavors from cartridge-based e-cigarettes--but menthol and flavored e-cigarette liquids will be allowed to remain on the market. Laura Smith with Minnesotans for a Smoke-free Generation says: "Well I guess it's encouraging to see some action toward protecting our youth, but unfortunately what the president and the FDA announced is a proposal that leaves massive loopholes for the tobacco industry to continue to target [...]

State Officials Encouraging Residents To Dispose of Their Christmas Trees Properly

By |2019-12-27T05:30:19-06:00December 27th, 2019|

Officials are urging Minnesotans to properly dispose of Christmas trees and other greens at the end of the holiday season, so insect and disease "hitchhikers" are not released later into Minnesota's environment. Mark Abrahamson with the state Agriculture Department says: "Really the thing you don't want to do is just have these trees or other things laying out in the yard or in your backwoods or whatever when we get into the warmer months. Want to have 'em taken care of before that point." Abrahamson suggests using a city or county organized pick-up or drop-off -- or burning the greens if [...]

Minnesota School Flu Outbreak Highest in Five Years

By |2019-12-27T05:27:06-06:00December 27th, 2019|

Last week there were flu outbreaks in 167 Minnesota schools -- the highest number in five years, according to the latest report from the state Health Department. Officials say the dominant flu strain so far, usually shows up later in the season. Epidemiologist Melissa McMahon: "It does seem like influenza B is a little bit more prevalent in our younger population, especially the school-age kids this year, and I think that might be contributing to why we're seeing so many school outbreaks right now." McMahon says hospitalizations from the flu are "kind of in the middle of the road" compared to [...]

DPS says Don’t Drink and Drive This Holiday Season

By |2019-12-26T10:49:34-06:00December 26th, 2019|

Don't drink and drive this holiday season. That's the message from law enforcement. "During the holiday season right now, we are making progress, but with that being said, we are still finding far too many people who are not making that good decision and getting behind the wheel when they shouldn't either because of alcohol of some other substance that they've taken" Mike Hanson with the Department of Public Safety says there are plenty of alternatives to driving under the influence--including Uber and Lyft. From now until the end of the year, there will be extra law enforcement on the state's [...]

Protect Yourself From The Flu This Holiday Season

By |2019-12-24T05:23:04-06:00December 24th, 2019|

Tis' the season for flu. Activity around the state is already widespread and as you know can ramp up even more over the holidays. When gathering with family and friends this Christmas: "Make sure you are washing your hands a lot, you're going to be around a lot of different people. And if you're coughing or sneezing do it into a tissue or your sleeve. And if you are feeling really ill sometimes it's a good idea to just weather it at home and not expose others." Karen Martin with the state Department of Health says there is still plenty of [...]

Hunger Solutions Minnesota Encourages Donations To Food Shelves This Year

By |2019-12-24T05:20:43-06:00December 24th, 2019|

It's a time of giving, and for those who can't put food on the table, it can be an especially stressful time. Colleen Moriarty with Hunger Solutions Minnesota says "This is certainly a time of year when it comes to mind to donate to food shelves and I encourage that because they really need to help families, and then Christmas vacations kids are off school, there's a lot of issues for beyond just those two days Moriarty expects around 3.4 million visits to food shelves this year--which she says is on par with other recent years. For information on where to [...]

Ups and Downs in 2019 Related To Tobacco Use

By |2019-12-23T05:59:16-06:00December 23rd, 2019|

There were ups and downs in 2019 when it comes to tobacco use in Minnesota. Looking back on the year, Laura Smith with Minnesotans for Smoke-Free Generation says on the plus side... "We had dozens of Minnesota communities joining the Tobacco 21 movement, we had communities restricting access to flavored products, we passed the smoke-free air update that protects folks from e-cigarette aerosol and we made sure that all Minnesotans can access free quit smoking help" Smith says there's still room for improvement, particularly when it comes to dealing with what she calls a "major teen ecigarette crisis" and adult smoking [...]

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