>>Nurses Picketing Outside Essentia St. Mary’s Grand Opening in Duluth

(Duluth, MN) — As Essentia has a community open house at its new hospital in downtown Duluth today (Fri 11am-7pm), nurses union members will be outside doing informational picketing. The Minnesota Nurses Association stresses it’s not a work stoppage, nurses will not be walking off the job and hospital operations won’t be affected. The union says more than six months after their new contract was ratified, Essentia executives have refused to accept even limited input from nurses on what the union calls “disastrous staffing levels that are driving nurses away from the bedside and putting patient care at risk.” They allege executives are proposing “dramatic cuts to the number of nurses scheduled for each shift.” Officials at Essentia aren’t immediately available to respond.

>> Craig Honored by National Corn Growers Association

(Washington, D-C) — The National Corn Growers Association is honoring Congresswoman Angie Craig with their 2023 President’s Award for her dedication to family farmers across the nation. President and Minnesotan Tom Haag presented the award Thursday saying, “Whether it’s ensuring consumers have access to higher levels of ethanol or working to advance corn grower priorities in the farm bill, Representative Craig has been a tireless advocate for growers and is one of our biggest congressional allies.” Craig touts her push to make year-round E-15 ethanol sales permanent and strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard.

>>Part of Minnesota in Extreme Drought, 70 % in Moderate Drought

(Lincoln, NE) — A small portion of Minnesota is in extreme drought for the first time this season. The latest U-S Drought Monitor map shows one-and-a-half percent of the state in extreme drought in the St. Cloud region, north metro, and Rochester area. More than 18 percent of Minnesota is in a severe drought, and 70 percent is in a moderate drought. The entire state remains abnormally dry. The data in this report does not include the rainfall that many areas received from Wednesday’s thunderstorms.

>>Corps of Engineers Reach River Sand Agreement with Wabasha

(Wabasha, MN) — The U-S Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Wabasha are signing what they call a “historic” river sand management document on Monday at the National Eagle Center. The Corps’ dredged materials manager, Paul Machajewski (ma-ha-YESS’-kee), says they are going to pay the city up to what it would cost them to manage the sand and they’ll manage the sand on their own. He says it gives locals control of where the materials go and the Corps continues to maintain the channel, and the barging industry and the tow boats can still move the commodities which helps the farmers. Crews remove nearly a quarter million cubic yards of sand a year from the Mississippi River in the Wabasha area.

>>1 Person Injured in Home Explosion in Jordan

(Jordan, MN) — One person is recovering from injuries suffered in a home explosion Thursday evening in Jordan. The Scott County Sheriff’s Office says three people were inside when it exploded and one resident was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Crews rescued two dogs from the debris. Authorities received the report of a house fire and first responders learned there was an explosion. The preliminary investigation suggests it was caused by natural gas.

>>Morrison County Deputy Released from the Hospital

(Little Falls, MN) — A Morrison County sheriff’s deputy who was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic at a music festival is now recovering at home. Deputy Brady Pundsack was discharged from St. Cloud Hospital on Wednesday afternoon following a successful neck surgery. Multiple agencies were involved in a police escort from the St. Cloud Hospital to his home. The incident happened on Saturday night outside of Pierz Freedom Fest. A GoFundMe page set up for the Albany area native had raised more than 14-thousand dollars as of Thursday evening.

>>Motorcyclist Killed in Crash With Semi in Otter Tail County

(Fergus Falls, MN) — A motorcyclist is dead after a crash involving a semi-truck on Highway 59 near Fergus Falls. The Minnesota State Patrol says a cycle driven by a 65-year-old Otter Tail County man was northbound on Highway 59 and the semi was southbound when they collided Wednesday night. The rider died at the scene. His name hasn’t been released.

>>Carlton County Authorities ID Man Killed in ATV Crash

(Barnum Township, MN) — The Carlton County Sheriff’s Department is identifying the man who died in an A-T-V accident Wednesday in Barnum Township. Deputies say the machine 51-year-old Paul Nelson of Barnum was operating left the roadway and struck a tree. Nelson was not wearing a helmet. It’s still unclear what led up to the crash.

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