>>Lutsen Lodge operators say they’ll rebuild after early morning fire destroys landmark North Shore resort
(Lutsen, MN) — The operators of Lutsen Lodge vow to rebuild after an early morning (Tues) fire destroyed the historic resort on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Lollie Cooper, a town supervisor in Lutsen, says most people in the community are “really devastated” and “there’s a lot of sadness” and “still a lot of shock. She says, “That place was seen by people, I think, worldwide came to visit our little community via Lutsen Resort.” Cooper says it’s important to keep in mind that no one was killed or injured, either in this fire or the one last June that destroyed the popular Papa Charlie’s at the nearby ski hill.
Former state Senator Tom Bakk says Lutsen was the “most iconic” resort on the North Shore and like many Minnesotans, he stayed there many, many times. Bakk says, “I think most Minnesotans that have ever been on the North Shore probably [have] been at Lutsen Resort, stopped in. They have great blueberry pancakes. Every time we went there for breakfast, my wife would have blueberry pancakes.”
>>St. Paul Senator Erin Murphy is new majority leader of MN Senate
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota Senate Democrats have selected Saint Paul Senator Erin Murphy as their new majority leader. It comes after Minneapolis Democrat Kari Dziedzic announced she would be stepping down due to a recurring cancer diagnosis. Hamline University analyst David Schultz says Dziedzic, with a one-vote margin in the Senate “was very good at holding the Democrats together” but the question is, “Will the next majority leader be as effective, or will it be much more difficult in terms of the Democrats speaking with a united voice?” The 2024 legislative session begins next Monday.
>>Advocates want more time for students to eat their now-free school breakfasts and lunches
(St. Paul, MN) — Now that breakfast and lunch are free in Minnesota schools, they need more time to eat them, says the Minnesota School Nutrition Association. The amount of time for lunch is up to individual school districts, but the Nutrition Association wants the state legislature to require at least 15 minutes of seat time within the lunch period for students to eat their meals and reduce food waste. Darcy Stueber says, “If you’re that last student in the line and we’re serving 10 [or] 15 percent more students in our school, that last student might only get five [or] ten minutes to sit down and eat, which is not enough time, especially for our elementary kids who are a little bit slower eaters.” Stueber says the School Nutrition Association also wants the state to reimburse schools 50 cents for each carton of milk provided to students who bring a cold lunch. They also want a one-time infusion of state funds to pay off old meal debts.
>>A few more days of spring-like weather
(Chanhassen, MN) — It is going to feel more like April than February for part of the week across Minnesota. National Weather Service Meteorologist Tyler Hasenstine says temps will be way above normal for the next several days, with near record-high temperatures in the low- to mid-50s, basically from St. Cloud south. He says further north toward Duluth, highs will be in the low- to mid-40s , but even the coldest areas in northwest Minnesota will still have highs above freezing. Hasenstine says some areas in far southwest Minnesota could see upper 50s to 60-degree highs — but a significant cool-off across Minnesota from Thursday evening into the weekend.
>>Public Hearing on Ending Labor and Delivery Services at New Prague Hospital
(New Prague, MN) — There’s a public hearing tonight (Tues 6pm) on the closure of the labor and delivery unit at the Mayo Clinic Health System New Prague. The hospital plans to stop delivering babies in New Prague this Friday (2/9). Mayo Clinic officials blame the closure on,” the challenges associated with low birth volumes and physician staffing shortages.” They say pregnant women can have their baby 20 miles away in Shakopee or drive 45 miles to Mankato. New Prague area residents can join the hearing via a Microsoft Teams meeting or by phone.