>>Walz proposes modest $226M supplemental budget

(St. Paul, MN) — Governor Tim Walz is proposing the state spend 226 million dollars of the projected 3.7-billion-dollar budget surplus for 2024-25. The modest, one-page proposal comes in the context of the latest forecast showing that, although the surplus grew by 1.3 billion dollars for the current budget cycle, there’s still a long-term “structural imbalance” that could mean a potential deficit in 2025-26, depending on how much money is spent now and what happens with the economy between now and then. The governor wants 16 million dollars for struggling ambulance services in Greater Minnesota, making 22-hundred additional pre-K spots available in Minnesota schools, and funding for in-home water treatment, well replacement and other services for contaminated wells.

>>Appeals Court says Aitkin County pharmacist refused to fill emergency contraceptive prescription is sex discrimination

(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals says an Aitkin County pharmacist violated state law by refusing to fill a prescription for an emergency contraceptive because of his personal beliefs. A mother and foster parent sued, after having to drive 100 miles round trip in the snow to get the prescription elsewhere, and Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman says, “The court unequivocally ruled that a refusal to dispense emergency contraception is a form of sex discrimination in the state of Minnesota.” Aitkin Pharmacy attorney Ranelle Leier said during December’s oral arguments that the drug was not in stock, but the lead pharmacist offered to have another staff member fill the prescription. “It would have arrived at the pharmacy the next day, if Miss Anderson [the plaintiff] had left the prescription there…. The prescription would have been filled,” Leier said. Braverman responds there was no guarantee that the woman could have received the prescription the next day.

>>Moorhead Police Investigate Suspicious Child Death

(Moorhead, MN) — Moorhead police are investigating the suspicious death of a child. Officers went to a Moorhead residence shortly after 1 this morning (Mon) and say the child was taken to a Fargo hospital where he later died. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting with the investigation and an autopsy has been ordered. Police have not disclosed additional information, citing the ongoing investigation.

>Second Man Charged In 2005 Ruby Slippers Theft

(St. Paul, MN) — A second man is charged in the 2005 theft of the ruby-red slippers Judy Garland wore in the 1939 film “Wizard of Oz.” They were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids. Seventy-six-year-old Jerry Saliterman is accused of helping Terry Jon Martin steal the slippers, and also faces charges of witness tampering and threatening to release sex tapes of a woman to conceal the theft. Martin pleaded guilty in October to the theft, while Saliterman has not entered a plea.

>>MN AG Ellison Settles with Veterans Charity, Founder Over Misused Funds

(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has reached a 10-thousand-dollar settlement with a Sauk Centre veteran charity and its founder after accusing them of using nonprofit funds for personal purchases. Ellison claims Eagles Healing Nest (EHN) and its founder/former director, Melony Butler, failed to maintain proper books and records and allowed Butler unsupervised access to funds, which she misused to pay for hair and nail salons, clothing, gambling, food, and cigarettes. Butler must pay back 10-thousand dollars and is banned from being an officer or director of a Minnesota nonprofit, among other provisions.

>>Duluth Kitchen Fire Displaces Family of 6

(Duluth, MN) — A kitchen fire in a Duluth home over the weekend displaced a family of six. Crews quickly contained the fire and no one was injured. Damage is estimated between 20- and 25-thousand dollars. The American Red Cross is helping the displaced family.

>>State Rep. Urdahl, known for reaching across the aisle, retiring after 22 years in MN Legislature

(Grove City, MN) — Long-time state Representative Dean Urdahl says he will not run for reelection this fall, after 22 years in the legislature. The Grove City Republican points to record investments in infrastructure projects for Greater Minnesota and his central role in restoring the state Capitol as highlights of his career. Urdahl says, “I’ve done a lot. There’s more that I still want to do, but at some point you’ve just got to say that, no, it’s time to hang it up.” Urdahl — who’s also an historian, author and former social studies teacher — is known for his willingness to work across the aisle for bipartisan compromise — a trait he says is increasingly rare at the State Capitol with hyper-partisan, activist-driven politics becoming more common.


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