>>Minnesota to Receive $4.45 Million in Opioid Settlement with Publicis
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota is part of a 350-million-dollar national settlement with Publicis Health into the communication firm’s role in the prescription opioid crisis. Attorney General Keith Ellison says our state will receive around four-and-a-half-million dollars. The settlement says Publicis recognized the harm its conduct caused, and the agreement gives communities hit hardest by the opioid crisis more financial support for treatment and recovery to save lives. Ellison says in a statement, ” While today’s settlement cannot undo that damage, it is important to hold them accountable. ”
>>Tou Ger Xiong’s Older Brother Remembers St. Paul Comedian, Activist
(St. Paul, MN) – St. Paul comedian and activist Tou Ger Xiong, a 50-year-old man who was kidnapped, robbed, and murdered while on vacation in Colombia in December, was publicly laid to rest a hero Saturday. Tou’s older brother, Eh Xiong said Tou, almost always at his own expense, would travel far and wide to help bring social justice. Xiong says Tou would travel from “Minnesota to Wisconsin to Michigan to California to North Carolina, really to just help; he would go out of his way to help them to rally people to make sure they understand the judicial process.” Xiong says his family hopes to start a scholarship for young Hmong children to carry on Tou’s legacy and strife for education. Colombia prosecutors report three people have been arrested and charged with Tou’s death as of now.
>>Congressman Finstad Hopeful Farm Bill Emerges in February
(St. Paul, MN) – February could be a pivotal month for the farm bill. U-S House Agriculture Committee member Brad Finstad of New Ulm says he’s hopeful the bill can emerge from budget negotiations in Congress. Finstad says “When we see positive movement from the appropriations process and conversation and certain deadlines are met, that will hopefully be the sign that the gate is going to get opened.” Finstad notes farm bill negotiators are prepared to move quickly, so “February is going to be very crucial regarding just the functionality of government and Congress.”
>>Sen. Smith Takes Shots at Congressman Phillips’s Presidential Campaign
(Undated) – One prominent Minnesota Democrat used the Washington Press Club Foundation’s annual congressional dinner Wednesday night to take potshots at Congressman Dean Phillips, who’s challenging President Biden for the Democratic Party nomination. Senator Tina Smith, at home with the flu, sent a short video saying she’d feel terrible if she showed up and got everybody sick, noting “The only way it would have worked would have been if everybody agreed to leave the room when I got up and started talking — you know, kind of like a Dean Phillips rally.” The Phillips campaign hasn’t been reachable for comment.
>>MDC EV Rebate Program Applications Open Wednesday, Feb. 7th
(Undated) – The Minnesota Department of Commerce Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program opens for applications next Wednesday, February 7th. Spokesperson Pete Wyckoff says purchasers of new or used electric vehicles, either fully electric or plug-in hybrid, can be eligible for up to a $2,500 rebate on new purchases and up to a $600 rebate on used purchases. Wyckoff says qualifier vehicles must have been purchased or leased on or after May 25th, 2023, must be titled in Minnesota, and have been purchased for $55,0000 or less for new vehicles and $25,000 or less for used vehicles, not including taxes or fees. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis until fully distributed or the deadline of June 30th, 2027, whichever comes first.
>>U of M School of Dentistry Hosts Annual ‘Give a Kid a Smile Day’ Saturday
(Minneapolis, MN) –The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry hosts its annual ‘Give a Kid a Smile Day’ this Saturday, where kids can receive free dental care. Dr. Theresa Fong says they’re seeing everyone from birth to age 15, and the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry donates the facilities and materials, and “all the students, most of the staff, and faculty come in and volunteer to provide the care.” Among the services provided – free exams, cleanings and fillings. To schedule an appointment, call 612-625-3586.