>>East Bethel Man Dies in Tree Trimming Accident

(East Bethel, MN) — Anoka County authorities say a man is dead after a tree trimming accident in East Bethel. Deputies say 70-year-old Paul Malaske fell out of a tree Tuesday afternoon and was treated by paramedics but died at the scene. Malaske was on a ladder trimming branches when he fell to the ground. Investigators are still looking into the incident.


>>MN Queer Legislators Caucus Announce 2024 Legislative Priorities

(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Queer Legislators Caucus announced today that their top priorities for this year’s legislative session include protecting and empowering the LGBTQ+ community, ensuring equitable access to life-saving healthcare, and promoting laws that reflect the diverse realities of MN families. In a statement the Caucus says they’ll build on 2023’s successes, focusing on “implementation and partnerships to ensure accountability, accessibility, and tangible improvements for a more inclusive and equitable Minnesota, where every family thrives regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or background.”


>>MN Pork Producers See Low Employment Numbers

(Undated) – – Minnesota pork producers are struggling to find labor as unemployment numbers remain low. Minnesota Pork Board president Darryl Timmerman says people are the number one resource for pig farmers, “When you zero in on the rural communities where the majority of our pig farms are located, the unemployment is even lower than across the state numbers.” Timmerman says guest worker programs are helping, and that recruiting young people to the pork industry is a priority.


>>Fair State Brewing Cooperative Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

(Minneapolis, MN) — Minneapolis-based Air State Brewing Cooperative is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. Fair State co-founder Evan Sallee says it’s to restructure the cooperative’s debt following COVID-19-related setbacks. Sallee says Fair State’s taproom in northeast Minneapolis will remain open and he’s encouraging Minnesotans to purchase their products at bars and liquor stores. Fair State is Minnesota’s first cooperatively-owned microbrewery.


>>U of M study Finds Bias-Based Bullying Creates higher Levels of Emotional Distress in Youth

(Minneapolis, MN) – A new study from the University of Minnesota Medical School shows youth who experience bias-based bullying, defined as racist, homophobic, or transphobic bullying, have much greater levels of emotional distress. Professor Marla Eisenberg says they used data from nearly 80,000 high school students across the state, looking at who suffered from the most emotional distress through five indicators, including depression and anxiety symptoms, self-harming behavior, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Eisenberg says they found the level of emotional distress was as much as 60% lower in adolescents with the same social positions but no bias-based bullying experience.


>>Pine County Sherrif Thanks K9s for Assisting in Drug Busts

(Pine County, MN) — The Pine County Sheriff’s Office is praising its police dogs for their efforts in recent drug busts. Deputies say the K-9s assisted in three investigations in one day and five drug seizures in the last three days. Authorities recovered methamphetamine, cocaine, and M-30 fentanyl pills. Pine County officials are thanking their K-9s Hazard, Luda, and Chaos along with K-9 Layka from the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department.


>>Sen. Kunesh Speaks at MMIR Day of Remembrance, Specialty License Plates Now Available

(Undated) – Minnesotans were wearing red Wednesday, some for Valentine’s Day, others for this year’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) Day of Remembrance. Senator Mary Kunesh joined activists and organizers to remind people that Indigenous people across the state face daily struggles. Kunesh says “There are so many broken hearts for so many reasons. Boarding schools, Missing and Murdered, lack of housing, lack of education, lack of healthcare.” M-M-I-R specialty license plates, featuring a red handprint and ribbon skirt symbolizing “the historical silencing of violence that Indigenous people have faced for generations,” are now available on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website (drive.mn.gov) for $15.50, with all fees funding tips and rewards for MMIR cases.


>>MDH Reminds Minnesotans to Vaccinate Kids for Measles

(Undated) – The state Health Department is using two recent cases of measles to remind Minnesota parents to vaccinate their kids. Epidemiologist Emily Banerjee says the number of kindergartners fully vaccinated fell from 92 percent in 2019 to 87 percent this school year: “And so even a five-percent drop in immunizations means that there are thousands more young people who could be vulnerable to disease because they’re not vaccinated. So this is something to keep in mind.” Banerjee says the M-M-R vaccine is the best tool we have to protect our kids. A child from Dakota County who traveled internationally tested positive for measles last week and their unvaccinated sibling became infected this week.


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