The Biden administration today announced it will review sulfide-ore copper mining next to the Boundary Waters--which could result in a 20-year ban on such mining in the region. Save the Boundary Waters Chair Becky Rom says this is a win for the environment... "Pollution from sulfide-ore copper mining is nearly impossible to contain and can last for hundreds, if not thousands of years." But Republican State Representative Spencer Igo of Grand Rapids says today’s announcement shows that "Democrats have a clear and blatant disregard for communities on the Iron Range" who rely on mining to boost the region's economy... "When the [...]
State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the state will be ready with a robust network of vaccinators, when the federal government authorizes the COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, likely in early November. But will there be enough vaccine for the estimated one-third of parents who will want their children vaccinated right away? "That's exactly the intent and the goal, and I think that has sort of informed the feds' strategy around giving this sort of large amount up-front and then a regular weekly cadence thereafter." Malcolm says among the options for obtaining the vaccine: pharmacies, pediatricians and even [...]
Escalation of violent crime in Minnesota is the focus of a State Capitol hearing this morning (915am) called by Senate Republicans, with oral testimony only from professional law enforcement. It comes as G-O-P challengers accuse Governor Tim Walz of being soft on crime. Democratic Representative Dave Pinto says Senate Republicans for several years have blocked common-sense anti-gun-violence measures: "That inaction on their part is what is leading there to be an increased number of guns in the hands of really dangerous people." Republicans are calling for more officers on the streets, but say some Democrats want to de-fund the police.
After 12th meeting, working group still deadlocked over front-line worker COVID bonuses, one month past deadline
After a 12th meeting today (Wed), over a month past the target deadline, Democrats and Republicans still can't agree on *which* front-line workers in Minnesota will receive COVID bonuses. Republican Senator Karin Housley from Stillwater suggested the working group send *both* proposals forward and let the legislature decide, because front-line workers are waiting: "Those nurses and those long term caregivers, they knew they were walking into it and still went -- and they're still going." House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler responded there are options for the working group to reach agreement... "But I will tell you that, based on conversations [...]
Supply chain problems are resulting in some empty shelves around the country and in Minnesota. It's reminiscent of how things were at the beginning of the pandemic and Jamie Pfuhl with the Minnesota Grocer's Association says... "Everyone's a little fatigued and frustrated and when you go in the store and see those empty shelves it's a natural reflex to say "oh no not again" and to get a little anxious with people around." Pfuhl is urging customers not to take out their frustrations on employees. She says supply chain issues are not their fault and stores are doing everything they can [...]
Heading into the holiday shopping season online scams are on the rise, but those are not the only ways scammers are targeting people. Bao Vang with the Better Business Bureau says that is where their "Scam Tracker" tool comes into play, and they need the public's help to keep an eye out for scam attempts of any kind. "We want you to partner with the better business bureau and let us know, we track trends and patterns, we work with law enforcement to track down those responsible for scam activity." Vang says you can submit anything concerning easily online at B-B-B(dot)ORG(slash)scamtracker.
Members of a special working group try again this afternoon (3pm) to agree on COVID bonuses for Minnesota's front-line workers, over a month past the original target for a special session to distribute 250 million dollars. Stillwater Republican Senator Karin Housley says Democrats propose 670-thousand Minnesotans who couldn't work from home each get 375 dollars -- while Republicans' plan... "Those really, really front-line workers that faced COVID and a high-risk of contracting COVID every single day... giving each one of those one-thousand dollars." House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler says there's middle ground, but Republicans' issues are "just getting in the [...]
MSP International Airport is gearing up for one of the most popular travel times of the year--the long MEA weekend. After a slower year in 2020 due to COVID, airport spokesman Jeff Lea says... "We'll expect to see a doubling of passenger traffic compared to 2020 for this week on some days." Lea says Thursday will likely be the airport's busiest day. Between now and the end of the week, Lea is urging air travelers to arrive two hours in advance of a domestic flight or three hours in advance of an international flight.
More hours of darkness this time of year can contribute to an increased number of crashes between people driving and walking. Anne Meyer with MnDOT is urging travelers to use caution. "So when you're driving that means watch for people walking, stop for people crossing the road and slow down, speed can make a big difference and when you're walking just remember, be alert for turning vehicles, look in all lanes of traffic before you cross the road." Motor vehicle crashes have killed 45 pedestrians in 2021, which is nine more pedestrian deaths than this time last year.
Early next month an unorthodox traveling museum will make its way to Minnesota. Dr. Samuel West, the museum's curator, says his goal is to showcase how thinking big, even when it leads to failure, can lead to big innovations. One exhibit may hit home with Minnesota sports fans, a look back at the glowing hockey puck used on T-V in the 1990's. "They made all kinds of tacky graphics along with it. It was short lived, it didn't work out, and that’s okay, if they don't continually test new technology or new ways of doing things, there will be no progress." [...]