>>Senator Tina Smith Joins Bois Forte Band For Address

(Duluth, MN) — Senator Tina Smith is marking progress made in support of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. The Minnesota Democrat joined this year’s State of the Band address last night. Bois Forte Band leaders say they’ve used increased funding for the Indian Health Service and to improve tribal housing. The band also hopes to improve its court system and provide better rural transportation using funding that Smith and Senator Amy Klobuchar are working to secure.

>>Trial Begins in Fatal Shooting of North High Student Hill in Minneapolis

(Minneapolis, MN) — Trial begins today (Friday) for the man accused in the shooting death of Minneapolis North High School student DeShaun Hill, Junior. Thirty-year-old Cody Fohrenkam is charged with the second-degree murder of 15-year-old Hill last February. Surveillance video shows Fohrenkam walking closely past Hill, stopping, and, shortly thereafter, three shots can be heard. Hill was the quarterback of the North High football team and was featured in a Showtime documentary. Twelve jurors and three alternates were seated Thursday.

>>Police Officer Recovering After Being Struck

(Coon Rapids, MN) — A Coon Rapids police officer is recovering at home after being struck by a pickup while outside her patrol vehicle Monday night. Police Chief John Stahnke says “the officer was removing mailboxes and debris from a property damage crash when a full-sized pickup truck lost control and struck the rear of her squad car bounced off the squad and then struck her. Very disturbing body-worn camera video to watch. Miraculously she did not sustain any serious injuries or breaks. She is very, very sore and has a lot of bumps and bruises today.” Stahnke says the officer was investigating a hit-and-run crash and the mailboxes were obstructing the roadway. He says it happened at a time when “the roadways were at their worst.”

>>Energy Assistance Still Available

(St. Paul, MN) — So far this heating season over 61,000 Minnesota households have received energy assistance through the LIHEAP program. (Low-Income Energy Assistance Program)
To date, nearly 39 million dollars in energy assistance has been granted this winter to over 61,000 Minnesota households. The average household grant is around 640 dollars and Schmitz says it’s not too late to apply. For more information contact your local utility provider.

>>Blue Cross Of Minnesota Is Hiring More Than 300 As They End Outsourcing

(Eagan, MN) — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota plan to hire more than 300 people. The Eagan-based company is putting a stop to resourcing jobs and will bring back in-house work on Medicaid and related state public health programs. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota previously contracted Amerigroup to handle their back-office work. Records obtained by the Star Tribune show the Minnesota Department of Human Services issued eight corrective action plans between 2018 and 2020 against the HMO division at Blue Cross. The company was fined a total of 13-point-15 million dollars.

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