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Sen. Smith takes on MLB to save Caledonia, MN plant

By |2021-07-30T06:19:25-05:00July 30th, 2021|

U-S Senator Tina Smith says that all Americans should be outraged by Major League Baseball (MLB) and San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler’s involvement in the closure of a major employer in rural Caledonia, Minnesota. "To me this is just completely wrong MLB is not only America's favorite pastime, but it's the beneficiary of billions in taxpayer dollars to support new stadiums and in other ways that major league baseball is supported by Americans." The closure is expected to eliminate approximately 80 jobs in the community, with many of them moving offshore to China.

Wildfire smoke will clear out today, but back again tomorrow

By |2021-07-30T06:18:12-05:00July 30th, 2021|

Smoke from wildfires in Ontario and Manitoba that pushed air quality into the "unhealthy" range over much of Minnesota yesterday (Thurs) is expected to gradually clear out today.  But relief will be short-lived because a cold front will send another shot of smoke into Minnesota on Saturday lingering into Sunday.  Officials advise limiting outdoor activity, but Nick Witcraft with the state Pollution Control Agency says if you have to be outside... "The good thing with COVID -- if you could call it good -- is that a lot of people have N-95 masks, and N-95 masks would work for filtering the [...]

Drought-response main topic during Walz visit to Douglas County farm

By |2021-07-30T06:17:17-05:00July 30th, 2021|

Giving farmers more access to Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land for forage -- a possible move to help ease drought pressure that came up again as Governor Tim Walz visited a farm in Douglas County in west-central Minnesota: "When we talk about CRP, which I'm a *huge* fan of -- our RIM (Reinvest in Minnesota) programs and all of that -- I also am a realist at times when we need to move some of that and to be able to help." Walz contends groups like the Nature Conservancy and Pheasants Forever "get it too" because it's "neighbor helping neighbor at [...]

State Rep. Her celebrates family friend Suni Lee’s historic Gold Medal win

By |2021-07-30T06:13:43-05:00July 30th, 2021|

Suni Lee of St. Paul is a gold medal winner. Lee took the top spot in the women's gymnastics all-around at the Tokyo Olympics. State Representative Kaohly Vang Her has known Suni's family for years and she was at the Lee family and friends viewing party in Oakdale when Lee won the Gold... "But when she stuck that landing in bars, we knew, you could tell in that space, we knew that something great was going to happen and we still kind of held back a bit and when that floor routine came up was electric we could not contain ourselves." [...]

Sen. Smith praises agreement on major infrastructure bill

By |2021-07-30T06:12:33-05:00July 30th, 2021|

The Senate is moving forward with a bipartisan infrastructure plan. U-S Senator Tina Smith says "This going to be about improving our roads and bridges, it's about transit, and making a huge investment in cleaning up drinking water and improving wastewater infrastructure and also broadband." Senators voted 67-to-32 to advance the bill Wednesday, with 17 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats. The vote sends the measure to a formal debate.

Ethics hearing on State Rep Thompson set for today (1pm)

By |2021-07-30T06:11:11-05:00July 30th, 2021|

The State House Ethics Committee meets today (1pm) for a hearing stemming from Representative John Thompson calling Representative Eric Lucero a "racist" in a June floor debate. The meeting was delayed a week, but Lucero said last week... "John Thompson's slanderous and malicious comments served to impune my character and reputation. Such direct attempts by one member to intimidate another on the Minnesota House floor and level baseless attacks cannot be tolerated." Thompson last week asked for and received a continuance while he sought counsel to represent him in the hearing. Several high-profile Democrats, including Governor Tim Walz have called for [...]

Minnesota farm families looking forward to reconnecting at State Fair

By |2021-07-30T06:02:53-05:00July 30th, 2021|

The excitement is building for the Minnesota State Fair with less than a month to go. For Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation director Ruth Meirick says that excitement includes a chance to come together with farmers who know first hand how difficult the last year and a half has been. "For people to get together and be able to talk about something that’s completely different than what might be impacting them at a given moment on their farms is a great opportunity." Meirick says  Minnesota farm families are resilient and optimistic, well suited to tackle whatever challenges are thrown their way.

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 [...]

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