>>MDHR Announces Another Pregnancy Discrimination Case Settlement
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) announced today that Pet Ranch, operator of Four Paws and a Tail in Blaine, will have to an employee around $22,000 after the employer violated the victim’s state civil rights law by firing her immediately after learning she was pregnant. MDHR says in September 2022, Pet Ranch’s owner interviewed the victim, Hannah Grell, for a sales associate position and offered her a job, which she accepted. Before leaving the store, while being assigned shifts and getting a uniform from the general manager, Grell mentioned she was pregnant. An hour later, Pet Ranch terminated Grell’s employment saying the company “decided to go another route.” MDHR will monitor Pet Ranch for three years on the action taken to prevent future unlawful discrimination.
>>Second Brother of Three in Sunburg UTV Crash Dies of Injuries
(Sunburg, MN) –The second of three brothers injured in a pickup-UTV crash near Sunburg in Kandiyohi County did not survive. According to the family’s CaringBridge site, 11-year-old Harrison Dahl passed away Tuesday at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis from injuries suffered in a January 7th crash in which the Polaris Ranger he was riding in and a pickup collided at an intersection on Highway 9 east of Sunburg. The driver of the Ranger, 15-year-old Will Dahl, died two days after the crash. A third brother, 10-year-old Drew Dahl was also injured but has since been released from the hospital. The brothers are the children of Mike and Lara Dahl of New London.
>>One Dead in Head-On Collision in Douglas County
(Douglas County, MN) — A woman is dead after a head-on collision Tuesday in Douglas County. Deputies reported a Chrysler 2000, driven by 54-year-old Charlene Berglin of Alexandria, was traveling north at around 9:28 a.m. when it crossed the center line, resulting in a collision with a south-bound Chevrolet Silverado truck. Berglin was pronounced dead at the scene. The Silverado’s driver, 55-year-old Kelly Jull of Alexandria, sustained minor injuries and was transported to Almore Hospital for medical attention.
>>Celebration of Life for Hotel Clerk Killed in Cloquet Double Murder-Suicide
(Cloquet, MN) — One of the victims in the double murder-suicide at the Super 8 Hotel in Cloquet is being remembered today. Twenty-two-year-old hotel clerk Shellby Trettel of Cloquet and 35-year-old Patrick Roers of Deer River died in the shooting last Monday night. There’s a celebration of life for Trettel from 4 to 7 p.m. today at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet. A GoFundMe page for Trettel has raised more than 25 thousand dollars and the goal was 10 thousand.
>>MDH New Guidance on Drinking Water, Contaminants with PFAs Research
(St. Paul, MN) – The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) issued new guidance on drinking water and contaminants amid “new scientific research.” MDH Environmental Health Manager Sarah Fossen Johnson says it’s lowering its health-based values (HBVs) – the acceptable level of contamination in water with no health risk – for two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. Fossen Johnson says “exposure to PFO and PFAS over these values doesn’t mean people are going to immediately get sick. A health-based value is not a bright line which means that on one side of the value, it means it isn’t health and the other is disease or illness.” Fossen Johnson says people can be exposed to PFAS in a variety of ways, including drinking water and some consumer products.
>>MN Fire Marshal on Winter Fire Safety
(Undated) – The risk of fire danger doesn’t decrease when the weather turns cold. State Fire Marshal Dan Krier says winter is the time of year his department sees an increase in fires and related fatalities “especially during really cold spells, as many people look for additional ways to heat our homes above and beyond.” Krier says when using space heaters, gas stoves, and wood fireplaces, safety needs to be top of mind. Krier encourages all Minnesotans to look at the State Fire Marshal’s website for more tips on preventing fires and what to do if you find yourself in danger of one.
>>Benson School District Hesitant to Change Sports Team Name, Imagery Under New Law
(Benson, MN) – The Minnesota Legislature passed a law last year forcing any school district with a potentially offensive sports team name or mascot to change them, and while the Benson Braves were among the couple dozen districts targeted, they say they’re taking a “wait-and-see” attitude regarding the law. Superintendent Dennis Laumeyer says they were legally able to ask for an exemption from the state’s 11 Native American Tribes and The Tribal Nation’s Education Committee (TNEC), but have only heard back from 4 of those tribes and the TNEC, and the results varied. Laumeyer says, “We had one that supported the continued use of our name and logo and we had another response that said they were neutral… we had one that was specifically opposed with their name and logo…so, this is kind of mixed responses that were received to our exemption request.” Laumeyer says they needed unanimous support from all the tribes to get the exemption, so they must change. Due to the estimated cost of a million dollars, Laumeyer says Benson will seek help from the legislature to fund the change.