>>Special task force: Funding for emergency medical services insufficient, particularly in St. Louis and Otter Tail counties

(St. Paul, MN) — Insufficient funding across Minnesota for emergency medical services such as ambulances and paramedics — an issue that came up repeatedly as a special task force reported on its findings today (Fri) at the State Capitol, after earlier listening sessions in Mountain Iron, Elbow Lake, Mankato and Winona. Hermantown Senator Grant Hauschild says, “I do think that this is a distinctly rural challenge. Not that there aren’t challenges in the metro and I certainly understand that but, from a financial perspective, it feels like the weight is on our rural communities.” Representative John Huot from Rosemount wants 25 million dollars for areas of Minnesota with E-M-S response time problems — specifically, northern Saint Louis County, Otter Tail County and parts of northwest Minnesota.

>>Fatal multiple-vehicle crash closes section of I-694 in northeast metro

(Arden Hills, MN) — All westbound lanes of I-694 near Snelling Avenue in Arden Hills in the northeast metro have reopened after a fatal multiple-vehicle crash this morning (Fri) which closed that stretch for several hours. It appears a semi was involved. The State Patrol confirmed a fatality but has not released other details.

>>Mankato Shooting Victim Dead, Police Search for Suspects

(Mankato, MN) — A man who was shot Thursday in Mankato has died at the hospital. Police responded to a report of gunfire around 5 p.m. and found the victim. They’re looking for three people in what is now a homicide investigation.

>>”Sanctuary state” bill being debated at MN Capitol

(St. Paul, MN) — Debate is under way this first week of the 2024 legislative session on a bill that would make Minnesota the 12th “sanctuary state” in the U-S, prohibiting state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on deportations. Supporter Erika Zurawski says one of the ways Minnesota government can take care of everyone is to “protect all of its residents by making sure that our state and local resources aren’t used for federal immigration enforcement.” But Republican Senator Torrey Westrom warns that making it illegal for state law enforcement to work with federal border enforcement is “encouraging more illegal immigration, exacerbating the border crisis at the south that we see now with thousands of people invading and coming across our border illegally.”

>>Name Of Alexandria Fire Victim Released

(Alexandria, MN) — Authorities have released the name of the man who died in an Alexandria house fire Wednesday morning. 20-year-old Chance GiGuere was living with the family and was found upstairs. Three other adults are being treated at the hospital for burns and smoke inhalation. Two school-age children were treated at the hospital and released on the day of the fire. The fire chief says they’re waiting for preliminary investigation results, but know the fire started on the main floor.

>>Rep. Craig Pushes to Address Allied Health Care Worker Shortage

(Washington, D.C.) — Representative Angie Craig has co-sponsored the bipartisan Health Care Workforce Act, aimed at addressing essential worker shortages in the United States. It proposes grants to establish or expand partnerships between Community Health Centers, high schools, vocational-technical schools, community colleges, and Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). It’s endorsed by organizations like the National Association of Community Health Centers, the National Rural Health Association, and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations.

>Rep. Hornstein Will Not Run for Re-Election in 2024 for MN House

(St. Paul, MN) — Long-time Democratic Representative Frank Hornstein (HORN-steen) says he will not run for re-election to the Minnesota House in 2024. Hornstein has been in the legislature since 2002 and says he’s come to the realization that it’s time to reorder his life’s priorities and pass the torch to new leadership. Hornstein is known for his advocacy on environmental, social justice and human rights issues. Most recently he’s chaired the House Transportation Committee.


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