>>Shakopee High School Student Dies 5 Days After Car Crash

(Shakopee, MN) — Shakopee High School is mourning the loss of a student who died from injuries suffered in a vehicle crash. The Scott County Sheriff’s Office says a car driven by a 16-year-old boy went into the ditch last Wednesday night and crashed into a tree near Stonebrooke Golf Club. The driver suffered life-threatening injuries and died in the hospital on Monday. Shakopee Public Schools identified the victim as junior student Evan Martin. Deputies say Martin was wearing a seat belt and they don’t believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.


>>17-Year-Old Found Tied Up near East Grand Forks Reports Abduction

(East Grand Forks, MN) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in northwest Minnesota is investigating after a teenage girl reported she was abducted Monday afternoon. A local resident found the 17-year-old tied up along the side of a highway about ten miles south of East Grand Forks near the Red River. Deputies say she was checked and medically cleared by paramedics. Investigators are working to determine if this is an isolated incident. Anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area at the time is asked to contact authorities.


>>BCA Investigates Willmar Officer USing Taser on Resident

(Willmar, MN) – The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating an incident in Willmar in which officers used a Taser on a man. The B-C-A and the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department say deputies were in the process of evicting a man from his apartment Monday morning when the man brandished an undisclosed weapon and was tased by a deputy. The man was immediately given life-saving measures, and then taken to the hospital. The B-C-A will handle any future release of information.


>>Duluth Structure Fire Causes $75,000 in Damage, 2 Cats Missing, 1 Cat Dead

(Duluth, MN) — A structure fire in Duluth this morning resulted in nearly $75,000 in damage and the loss of one cat, with two others still missing. Duluth Fire crews responded to the scene around 2:48 a.m., finding heavy smoke and flames coming from a two-story residence. A 911 call reported two individuals trapped on the first-story porch, with one rescued by firefighters and the other escaping by jumping down to the deck below. While no other injuries were reported, three cats were initially missing, and one was found dead later on.


>>MN House Says MNCare Availability for all Minnesotans will Move Forward This Year

(St. Paul, MN) – D-F-L leaders in the Minnesota House say they’ll move forward this year to make health insurance through state-subsidized MinnesotaCare available to all Minnesotans, regardless of income. Majority Leader Jamie Long says many people across Minnesota “still don’t have health insurance, or if they do have health insurance, they can’t use it because it is too expensive. They have deductibles that are too high. They really are only covered for catastrophes, and that means that they aren’t getting the care they need on a day-to-day basis.” Opponents warn it’s the first step toward single-payer, state-run health insurance. Long says he personally supports that, but the purpose of this bill is to get health insurance coverage to those who don’t have it or are paying unaffordable premiums. Long adds that single-payer health care would be better handled at the federal level.


>>U of M Peer Counseling Groups Help WIC Participants Breastfeed Longer

(Undated) — A new study from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health is the first of its kind to assess the state’s peer breastfeeding support program and how it directly increases breastfeeding. Researcher Alyssa Fritz says the programs are rooted in historical ways of breastfeeding that haven’t been seen often within the last century. “Most mothers would have learned how to breastfeed from their own mothers or their relatives or their neighbors who supported them in learning how to breastfeed and taking care of other children; very community oriented.” Fritz says the program’s reforming of culture and peer support showed gains in breastfeeding rates even in counties without the program, suggesting spillover effects and increased awareness of breastfeeding.


>>MN Judicial Branch Performing Free Weddings on Valentine’s Day in Certain Counties

(Hennepin County, MN) –Minnesota couples can tie the knot for free on Valentine’s Day at several county courthouses. Kim Pleticha with the Minnesota Judicial Branch says judges will be performing weddings in Hennepin, Ramsey, and St. Louis counties, and that residents “Don’t need to live in the county in order to get married in it. For instance, if you live in Koochiching County you are more than welcome to go to St. Louis County and get married. The only thing you need to do is get that marriage license ahead of time.” She says Hennepin County has already filled 24 slots on Valentine’s Day and Ramsey County is going to have 32 weddings. Marriages in Duluth and Virginia require an appointment.


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