>>MN A-G’s report recommends ways to reduce social media harm on youth, as U-S Senate committee grills CEOs
(Various) — Aggressive privacy defaults to limit unwanted sharing… more consumer-friendly control… and usage limits within schools — steps that a report from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison urges state lawmakers to take, to reduce the harms of social media and A-I on young people. It comes the day after members of the U-S Senate Judiciary Committee, including Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar, grilled social media C-E-Os — among them, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg. Klobuchar told Zuckerberg, “I just believe, with all the resources you have, that you actually would be able to do more than you’re doing, or these parents wouldn’t be sitting behind you right now in this Senate hearing room.” Zuckerberg responded, “I don’t think that parents should have to upload an I-D or prove that they’re the parent of a child in very single app that their children use…. I think the right place to do this is within the app stores themselves.” Klobuchar fired back, “We’ve gotta make this simpler for parents so they can protect their kids. She said, “The answer is… opening up the halls of the courtroom, so that puts it on you guys to protect these parents and protect these kids.”
>>Deployment ceremony today for 550 MN National Guard members headed to Middle East
(Eden Prairie, MN) — About 550 Minnesota National Guard soldiers are headed to the Middle East in one of the state’s largest deployments in recent years. Governor Tim Walz was among those on hand in Eden Prairie for today’s (Thurs) official send-off as members of the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bulls” prepare to go to Kuwait. Tensions in that region have escalated since the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel and the resulting war in Gaza. The soldiers go to the armory in Arden Hills for a couple days before a month of training in Texas. They’re expected to land in Kuwait next month with the goal of being back home by Christmas. But leaders have no idea where the deployment will end up, given the chaos in the Middle East over the past few months.
>>Vehicle of interest seized, driver questioned in Mille Lacs County fatal hit-run
(Milaca, MN) — Mille Lacs County authorities say a vehicle of interest has been seized in connection with the November 13th hit-and-run death of Doctor Cathy Donovan near Onamia. Sheriff Kyle Burton says the dark grey Tesla matches the description the vehicle they were looking for, but there’s still a lot of investigative process going on. Burton says the Tesla is owned by an Edina man who admitted to driving on Highway 169 on the way to his cabin in Crosslake but denies hitting Donovan. The B-C-A is testing hair and other samples found on the vehicle.
>>Sen. Klobuchar Reintroduces Housing Supply and Affordability Act
(Washington, D.C.) — Senators Amy Klobuchar and Virginia’s Tim Kaine are reintroducing the Housing Supply and Affordability Act to establish a competitive grant program. Klobuchar emphasizes that access to quality housing is “crucial for expanding economic opportunities, but the current housing market is out of reach for far too many.” The proposed grants would provide technical assistance to support state, local, and regional coalitions in enhancing housing supply, improving affordability, and reducing barriers to new housing development — while avoiding displacement of current residents.
>>Minnesota Representatives Help Pass Bipartisan Tax Relief Bill
(Washington, DC) — The U-S House is sending a 78-billion-dollar tax relief package to the Senate after passing it Wednesday evening on a vote of 357-to-70. Republican Majority Whip Tom Emmer says the common-sense legislation will lower Americans’ tax bills, boost U-S competitiveness and support small businesses. Democratic Congresswoman Angie Craig says it’s estimated that the expanded child tax credit would benefit nearly 200 thousand children in Minnesota in its first year. Representative Ilhan Omar, also a Democrat, says she voted for the tax compromise to bring immediate financial relief to her constituents — but much more could have been done for working families.
>>Rochester store owner says outgoing MN state flag more popular than ever
(Rochester, MN) — The outgoing Minnesota flag is more popular than ever after a state commission approved a new flag design. Lee Herold owns a specialty flag store in Rochester and says sales of the old flag… “they’re going up not down. We’re getting more orders, larger numbers of orders rather than it declining. The attention has helped a lot.” Herold says most of his customers have a negative opinion of the new state flag but that could change over time. Herold says they will continue to sell the old Minnesota flag if there’s demand.
>>Willmar native debuts on Fox TV’s “Farmer Wants a Wife”
(Willmar, MN) — Willmar native, 33-year old Kandice Peterson debuts at 8 p-m tonight on Fox TV’s “Farmer Wants a Wife,” a reality show matching up eligible women with four eligible farmers. Peterson says this was the first time she’s ever tried to be on a reality show. She says a couple friends told her to go for “The Bachelor,” but she didn’t think that’s where she would find her person. Kandice said she liked Mitchell but is not allowed to say any more, or how far she made it into the show. Her family is throwing a watch party at The Horseshoe Bar in Lake Lillian.