>>Flu-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Increasing in Minnesota

(St. Paul, MN) — Five of the 11 flu-related deaths in Minnesota this season happened in the last week.  The latest weekly report shows influenza activity is increasing in the state.   Health officials say 159 people were hospitalized with influenza the week ending December 16th and 14 Minnesota schools reported flu outbreaks.  There were two outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

>>Wastewater Data Shows COVID-19 In MN Increasing

(Minneapolis, MN) —  A statewide monitoring platform shows COVID-19 cases in Minnesota have climbed steadily this month. The University of Minnesota’s wastewater tracking dashboard monitors 38 treatment facilities in the state. Many have seen increases in virus detection between 10 and 120 percent in the last two weeks.  Health officials say that usually an indicator that more people will seek treatment for COVID-19 in the next few weeks.  Those officials say holiday travel, a lack of updated vaccinations, and waning immunity will also lead to more cases of the virus.

>>General Manager at Northern MN Golf Course Accused of Theft

(Tower, MN) — The general manager of a northern Minnesota golf course has been placed on leave after being accused of theft by the Bois Forte Tribal Council.  Wisocki was hired to manage The Wilderness at Fortune Bay golf course earlier this year.  But a criminal complaint filed on December 14th accuses him of theft by swindling connected to his previous job at a golf club in Willmar.  Investigators say Wisocki allegedly took 28 thousand dollars for expenses unrelated to his job.  His first appearance is scheduled for next month.

>>Red Kettle Donations Down

(St. Paul, MN) — The Salvation Army at last report was about 30 percent short of their red kettle fundraising goal (of 1.9 million dollars) in the Twin Cities area with only a few days remaining.  Spokesman Dan Furry reminds people you don’t need to have cash at the kettle — there are digital options to scan a QR code with your smartphone.  He says there’s much need in Greater Minnesota also. To donate online, visit salvationarmynorth.org.

>>Grandma’s Marathon 2024 Prices Set to Increase with the New Year

(Duluth, MN) — With registration for the 48th annual Grandma’s Marathon maintaining a near-record pace, entry fees will increase in the new year. Starting January 1st, 2024, entry for Grandma’s Marathon will rise from $130 to $140 until March 1st, after which it will further increase to $150 starting April 1st. The entry fees for the Full Great Grandma’s Challenge will follow a similar timeline, escalating from $200 to $215 and then to $225. Registrations for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, William A. Irvin 5K, and the Half Great Grandma’s Challenge are already sold out. Those interested can register or find more information at grandmasmarathon.com.

>>Some Minnesota Golf Courses Remain Open for Christmas

(Undated) — Several golf courses in Minnesota are open as we head into the Christmas holiday weekend.  The forecast calls for high temperatures in the mid-40s and low 50s in parts of central and southern this weekend.    Some of the golf courses open are Albion Ridges in Annandale, Creeks Bend in New Prague, Hidden Greens in Hastings, Montgomery National Golf Club, Oak Summit Golf Club in Rochester, Riverwood National in Otsego, and Shadowbrooke in Lester Prairie.  Minnesota’s golf season usually runs through October.



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