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Sen. Smith urges Minnesotans to get vaccinated amid surge in cases

By |2021-11-22T05:39:32-06:00November 22nd, 2021|

COVID continues to surge in Minnesota as Thanksgiving approaches. U-S Senator Tina Smith is encouraging Minnesotans to get vaccinated. "It's heartbreaking to see this surge of COVID, because people are getting really sick from COVID, hospitalizations are up, there is a huge strain on our ICU beds for the people who are really, really sick in hospitals." Smith says most of the people who are getting the sickest are people who have not been vaccinated. Johns Hopkins University reported over the weekend that there have been more than 770,000 deaths in the U-S over the full course of the pandemic. And [...]

Fischbach hopes Republicans can trim Biden “Build Back Better” package in Senate

By |2021-11-22T05:37:15-06:00November 22nd, 2021|

Now that President Biden's "Build Back Better" package has cleared the U-S House, the next hurdle is the Senate -- where analysts say it also faces a tough road after the Thanksgiving recess, even though Democrats control that chamber also.  Seventh District Minnesota Congresswoman, Republican Michelle Fischbach says the 1.85-trillion-dollar bill is "just too big": "Hopefully the Senate -- the Senate Republicans -- will be able to hold some of it off -- ...and then it... has to come back to the House again too, if they make any changes." Analysts say the Senate could well make changes to the bill, [...]

Top analyst predicts no agreement between MN Democrats, Republicans on redistricting

By |2021-11-22T05:28:52-06:00November 22nd, 2021|

State lawmakers have started to wrangle with "redistricting" -- redrawing legislative and congressional district boundaries to reflect population shifts in the 2020 census -- but a top political analyst predicts Democrats and Republicans won't be able to agree.  Hamline University's David Schultz points out in every decade since the 1960s except one, the courts have had to step in: "And they have to do it because of, why?   Redistricting is all about power and politics, and the two parties don't agree on the same principles of how (district) lines should be drawn, because they want to draw the lines to their [...]

Drug overdose deaths up in record numbers over the span of a year

By |2021-11-18T05:41:10-06:00November 18th, 2021|

For the first time ever, an estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in one year. "It's terrifying, it's very sad and very unnecessary, but it's not surprising, and the reason it's not surprising, is the presence of fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid." Director of Clinical Services for Hazelden Betty Ford in St. Paul Lydia Burr. Overdose deaths have been rising for more than two decades and according to new CDC data out today jumped nearly 30-percent from May 2020 through April 2021.

“More than a band-aid” required, says nurses union about Walz move to relieve COVID pressure on hospital staff

By |2021-11-18T05:40:07-06:00November 18th, 2021|

"Requires more than a band-aid," says Minnesota Nurses Association President Mary Turner -- reacting to Governor Tim Walz's announcement that two U-S Defense Department medical teams are headed to Minnesota to relieve pressure on hospital staff in Saint Cloud and Minneapolis.  The governor said yesterday (Wed): "We've made some bold moves around mitigating some of the issues that come with this, and as we started from the beginning of March of 2020, protecting hospital space." Nurses union President Turner says hospitals have been understaffing nurses for years, and if they improve working conditions will "find no shortage of nurses eager to [...]

U-S House Democrats to make another attempt to pass Biden “Build Back Better” package

By |2021-11-18T05:39:06-06:00November 18th, 2021|

U-S House Democratic leaders are preparing to try again to pass President Biden's 1.85-trillion-dollar "Build Back Better" initiative, which backers had to shelve earlier this month because they didn't have enough votes.  Fifth District Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, representing Minneapolis and near suburbs, told colleagues on the House floor late Wednesday: "I rise because the people of my district have faced the worst housing shortage in the entire country, and Build Back Better would create (a) housing acquisition fund to address it." Republicans -- 8th District Minnesota Congressman Pete Stauber among them -- label Build Back Better a "socialist spending scam."

On trade mission, Walz blames MN Republicans for holdup on COVID worker bonuses, drought relief

By |2021-11-18T05:38:04-06:00November 18th, 2021|

On his trade mission to the U-K and Finland, Governor Tim Walz says back home, COVID bonuses for front-line workers remain undone, as do other COVID emergency measures plus drought relief.  Walz says it's because Senate Republicans continue threatening to oust the state's top health official, Commissioner Jan Malcolm, even as COVID spikes: "We got work to do.  I know I'm getting no help from the Senate and, because of that, I'm continuing to focus on the tools that will make the biggest difference -- and that's where I'm gonna stay." In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller [...]

Winter Hazard Awareness Week Day 4: Indoor Safety

By |2021-11-18T05:36:31-06:00November 18th, 2021|

Winter Hazard Awareness Week continues. The focus today: indoor winter safety. Kevin Reed with the Department of Public Safety is urging homeowners. "There also is a time, this is a good time to have your heating and air conditioning checked out to make sure that they don't have an issue." Reed is also reminding homeowners to keep snow and ice away from their outside gas meters. He says failure to do so could prevent the meter from working properly.

As COVID cases surge, MMA urges vaccinations

By |2021-11-18T05:28:28-06:00November 18th, 2021|

The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) is urging Minnesotans once again to get vaccinated and to take precautionary measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. "We have the tools now at our availability to end this cycle of the virus and get things tamped back down, it probably won't completely go away, but it certainly will be much safer for everybody if we can get more people vaccinated." MMA President Dr. Randy Rice. Over the past week, Minnesota has risen to the top of the nation’s infection rate.

Salvation Army food shelves keeping up with demand, despite concerns over food shortages

By |2021-11-18T05:27:29-06:00November 18th, 2021|

As supply chain issues impact consumers nationwide, food shelf operators like the Salvation Army are also keeping a close eye on potential food shortages that could hamper their ability to provide meals to those in need. Dan Furry with the Salvation Army of the North says so far there operations remain stable. "The reason why we're doing well is we have great support from a donor base that is very, very active. And we're able to meet the requests of people who come to the Salvation Army. We are starting to see food shortages out there, but not to the extent [...]

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