>>Job Growth in Minnesota Continues

(St. Paul, MN) — Continued job growth in Minnesota.  In December Minnesota added 800 jobs. This is the sixth straight month of job growth in the state. Minnesota’s unemployment rate ticked down two-tenths of a percentage point to 2.9%, this compares to the national jobless rate of 3.7%.

>>Authorities ID Driver Killed in 3-Car Crash on Highway 169 in Champlin

(Champlin, MN) — A woman from Ramsey is the victim of a deadly chain-reaction crash late Thursday morning on Highway 169 in Champlin.  The State Patrol says a box truck was stopped in the left turn lane when a pickup swerved from the right lane and struck an S-U-V then flipped over and hit the box truck.  Troopers say the S-U-V driver -55-year-old Gena Zeppeda – died at the scene.   No one else was hurt.  Highway 169 was closed for several hours after the crash.

>>Rochester Woman Charged in Alleged Church Arson Fire

(Rochester, MN) — A Rochester woman is accused of setting fire to a local church in April of 2022.   Police say 22-year-old Sesen Tesfay was arrested last week in connection with the fire that did two and a half million dollars in damage to Peace United Church of Christ.  Prosecutors say Tesfay is facing first-degree arson, second-degree burglary, criminal damage to property, and theft charges.  Officials say the north half of Peace United Church of Christ was gutted in the fire.  No one was in the building at the time of the fire.

>>Driver Arrested for Leading Redwood County Deputies on High-Speed Chase

(Redwood Falls, MN) —  A man wanted on outstanding warrants is jailed in southwest Minnesota after leading authorities on a high-speed chase.   The Redwood County Sheriff’s Office says deputies tried to stop the suspect vehicle early this morning (Thurs) but he fled and led patrol cars on a 35-mile pursuit.  They used a PIT maneuver to stop the car and the driver was taken into custody.  The suspect hasn’t been identified.

>>Minnesota Department of Agriculture Confirms EAB in Kanabec County

(St. Paul, MN) — State agriculture officials are confirming emerald ash borer (EAB) in east central Minnesota’s Kanabec (kuh-NAY’-bick) County for the first time.  E-A-B infestations were found near the town of Quamba. Additional areas of emerald ash borer were also detected near Hackensack in Cass County and Cambridge in Isanti County.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture surveyed 156 communities this fall and winter for emerald ash borer.   The tree-killing pest is now present in 47 counties in the state.

>>BWCA Permit Reservations

(Duluth, MN) — The time is fast approaching to book permit reservations in the BWCA Wilderness for this year’s quota season, May 1st through September 30th.  You’ll be able to make reservations online or by phone beginning at 9 a.m. (CST) on January 31st. Joy VanDrie (van-DREE) with the Superior National Forest suggests having a few backup options for your first choice. VanDrie says there’s a comprehensive guide on their website.  Google “Superior National Forest Boundary Waters.”  A call center is also open year-round.

>>New Documentary Features the Willmar 8

(Willmar, MN) — Pioneer Public Television will air a documentary this Sunday (6:30 p.m.) featuring the historic Willmar 8 Bank Strike of 1977 and 78 when eight female employees walked off the job at Citizens National Bank due to unequal pay and treatment. This was the first bank strike in U.S. history. The group’s Attorney John Mack of New London says there were a lot of public misconceptions about the strike. Including people believing they were attacking the banking system, and some thought they were out for personal glory. In the end, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of the women but did not award them any damages or automatic reinstatement, which to this day puzzles Mack.

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