>>December could be warmest-ever in Minnesota
(Undated) — Minnesota is on pace to set a record for statewide average temperature this month. Pete Boulay with the State Climatology Office says it has been balmy. “We’re looking for December and we’re having a hard time finding it,” he says. “This is very unusual to have a such a snowless December across the state and not only that, the warm temperatures are going up against some of the biggest records we’ve set in the state.” Record-high temperatures and rain are in the forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
>>Friday expected to be busiest day of holiday season at MSP Airport
(Minneapolis, MN) — Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport officials expect Friday to be their busiest day of the holiday season and spokesperson Jeff Lea says travelers should plan ahead. He says the general recommendation is to arrive at the airport two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before international. Lea says it’s so you can put in enough buffer time in case there is congestion on the roadways, going into parking, in the lobbies, through the checkpoint and on your way to the gate. TSA Great Lakes says nearly 40,000 passengers are expected to be screened at M-S-P on Friday.
>>St. Cloud business can’t keep current state flag in stock
(St. Cloud, MN) — A St. Cloud business is having a hard time keeping the Minnesota state flag in stock. Coil’s Flags and Flagpoles owner Tim Coil says with the push for a new state flag, he’s had to order a huge inventory of the current one. Coil says most customers are buying multiple flags, some as many as six at a time for Christmas gifts to give to their children as keepsakes. Coil says comments he’s heard are that customers are not happy with the new flag design. He says next year he plans to carry both the new flag – once it’s official – as well as the current one.
>>Appeals court hears Aitkin pharmacy/emergency contraceptive case
(St. Paul, MN) — A mother and foster parent is suing an Aitkin County pharmacist for refusing on religious grounds to fill a prescription for an emergency contraceptive, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals is considering the case after this morning’s oral arguments. Ranelle Leier, attorney for Aitkin Pharmacy, says the drug was not in stock, but the lead pharmacist — who’s being sued — offered to have another staff member fill the prescription. She says, “It would have arrived at the pharmacy the next day, if [the plaintiff]… had left the prescription there…. The prescription would have been filled.” Gender Justice Attorney Jess Braverman responded “public accommodations” such as a pharmacy “are required to be full and equal services…, because the whole thing with public accommodations is that it’s the stigma of being turned away.” Braverman says time is critical with emergency contraceptives and her client had to drive 100 miles round trip in the snow to get the prescription.
>>> Loons announce 2024 schedule
(St. Paul, MN) – Minnesota United FC has released its 2024 M-L-S schedule. Of their 34 fixtures, the Loons will play 17 at Allianz Field, including their home-opener against reigning champions Columbus on March 2. Minnesota is coming off a 10-11-13 season that saw the firing of longtime manager Adrian Heath. MNUFC announced earlier this offseason interim manager Sean McAuley would “continue” in his role entering 2024. Minnesota opens is 8th M-L-S season at Austin on February 24.
>>> Vikings set to upgrade US Bank stadium turf
(Eagan, MN) – The Minnesota Vikings are the latest N-F-L team to upgrade their turf playing surface, as the Sports Facilities Authority today announced their approval of the $1.3 million bid for the project. The stadium currently uses a slit-film turf that, according to ESPN, is “associated with the highest rate of lower extremity noncontact injuries among the types of artificial turfs used in NFL stadiums.” The new monofilament turf, to be installed in February, has a better injury data rating, based on studies by the N-F-L and its Players’ Union.
>>Woman Arrested for Selling Fentanyl that Caused Overdose
(Duluth, MN) – A woman suspected of selling the fentanyl that led to the fatal overdose of an 18-year-old woman this summer is now in custody. Duluth Police report that the alleged drug dealer, 20-year-old Allyson Sheffield, was booked into the St. Louis County Jail Wednesday night on suspicion of third-degree murder and controlled substance crime. Officials say that the victim died at a Duluth residence June 18th due to an overdose. During the investigation, officers found crushed blue powder and a blue M30 pill, both testing positive for fentanyl. Sheffield is awaiting her first court appearance.