>>Shooting Threat Prompts U Safe Emergency Alert on U of M Campus

(Minneapolis, MN) — Police are trying to find a man accused of threatening to shoot people today on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The U of M Police Department sent out a Safe U Emergency alert this morning after saying it received a specific threat from 41-year-old Joseph Rongstad of Watson. Rongstad is described as six feet tall, weighs around 195 pounds, and has brown hair and hazel eyes. All buildings of the U of M campus are on U-Card access only and employees are encouraged to work from home. Students are still on winter break. In addition, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office says a soft lockdown is in place at Montevideo public schools out of caution, stressing there is no threat to school. Authorities add all doors are locked with staff at the doors in those schools, and law enforcement is also staged at the school.


>>Rep. Omar Passes Bill Strengthening Human Trafficking Victims Protection

(St. Paul, MN) — A bill passed by the U-S House Wednesday includes an amendment from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that strengthens protections for victims of human trafficking. The Minnesota Democrat says it’s an important first step toward addressing the root causes of human trafficking and protecting the human rights of the most vulnerable. Omar states, “We should be guaranteeing protection from deportation for victims of trafficking, allowing them the freedom of speaking to investigators or law enforcement without fear. ” Omar says the amendment ensures collaboration between federal, state, and local officials, as well as developing human trafficking training programs at the Department of Labor.


>>TSA Stopped 53 Guns Last Year at MSP Airport Checkpoints

(Minneapolis, MN) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reporting a slight decrease in the number of guns stopped last year at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. T-S-A officials say the 53 firearms detected at M-S-P security checkpoints in 2023 are five fewer than the 58 in 2022. More than 6,700 guns were stopped at airports nationwide last year – the highest one-year total in T-S-A history. Passengers are allowed to fly with a gun in checked baggage if they are unloaded in a locked case and they notify the airline check-in counter.


>>Tips to Use De-Icing Salt Properly from the MPCA

(Undated) — The State Control Pollution Agency (MPCA) is asking Minnesotans to think about fish and wildlife this winter as we salt our roads and driveways. Chloride Expert Brooke Asleson says because Minnesota has no labeling requirement laws, companies don’t have to put all the included ingredients on the bag and can make false claims. Asleson says, “You’ll probably see a lot of bags of de-icer that make claims that they’re environmentally friendly or safe for pets, and there’s really no testing standard to confirm that, and in many cases, it’s actually not true.” Asleson says to be environmentally conscious, even while using de-icer, follow these tips: scrape and shovel first, only use 12 ounces of salt (around a mug full), wear proper footwear, and sweep up visible salt on dry surfaces.


>>Sen. Klobuchar Raises Alarms on AI’s Effect on Local Journalism

(Undated) – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is voicing concerns about artificial intelligence’s effect on local journalism. During Wednesday’s hearing, Klobuchar warned about the use of ‘deepfakes’ – technology that makes it appear a person said something they, in reality, didn’t; she says, “It’s not just movie stars; it’s not just Taylor Swift and Tom Hanks, as cool as they are. It’s also going to be the local news anchor, that maybe people haven’t heard of nationally, that is trusted in Rochester, Minnesota.” In November, Sports Illustrated’s publisher, The Arena Group, came under fire for publishing A-I-generated stories written by “fake” authors, leading to the ouster of its C-E-O.


>>MNCM Report Recognizes MN Medical Groups for High-Quality Performance

(Minneapolis, MN) — A recent report by MN Community Measurement (MNCM), an independent non-profit that assesses healthcare quality, is acknowledging seven state medical groups for their high-quality performance in 2022. The recognized groups for overall quality performance include Central Pediatrics, Essentia Health, HealthPartners Clinics, Mankato Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Park Nicollet Health Services, and South Lake Pediatrics. MNCM evaluates groups based on healthcare quality, cost, and equity, with four of the recognized groups also achieving lower-than-average total cost of care for privately insured patients: Central Pediatrics, HealthPartners Clinics, Park Nicollet Health Services, and South Lake Pediatrics.


>>New Book Chronicles Minnesota North Stars’ 1991 Stanley Cup Run

(St. Cloud, MN) – Author Kevin Allenspach of St. Cloud says his new book is sort of a diary of the Minnesota North Stars 1990-91 season. He thinks the State of Hockey would be different today if Minnesota had defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals. Allenspach says, “Had the North Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1991 there’s no way the franchise would have moved as they very likely would still be here. The Minnesota Wild would not exist.” Owner Norm Green moved the team to Dallas two years later. Allenspach says he talked with players, coaches, and management about their memories of that unlikely North Stars run to the Stanley Cup more than 30 years ago.


>>Minnesota Vikings to Play 2024 Regular Season Game in London

(Eagan, MN) — The Minnesota Vikings will play a regular season game next season in London, England. The N-F-L has not released the date of the 2024 game or Minnesota’s opponent. Vikings co-owner and president Mark Wilf in a statement says, “Our focus will be on winning for the fourth consecutive time in London, along with replicating the incredible game-day environment we enjoy in Minnesota and creating a memorable experience for our partners and fans.” The Vikings beat the Saints 28-25 in 2022 in the United Kingdom. The Chicago Bears will also play a game in London next year.


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