>>Ellison Warns About Healthcare-Related Scams After UnitedHealth Hack

(St. Paul, MN)  —  Attorney General Keith Ellison is warning all Minnesotans about possible healthcare scams.  Hackers attacked a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group last month, leading to severe problems for companies that were unable to receive payments.  Information from millions of customers may also have been stolen.  Ellison and the Minnesota Hospital Association say scammers may pose as healthcare employees and ask for credit card information.  Anyone receiving such a call should hang up immediately and contact their healthcare provider.


>>Haskins Confirmed as Next U-S Ambassador to Haiti

(Washington, DC)  —  A native of northern Minnesota is now the next U-S ambassador to Haiti.  Dennis Haskins was confirmed by the Senate on an 89-to-1 vote.  Haskins graduated from Bemidji High School in 1977 and joined the U-S Foreign Service in 1984.  He was appointed ambassador to Guinea in 2015 and ambassador to Mali in 2018.  Haskins says he plans to retire after this assignment, which he expects to last around three years.


>>First Towboat Marks Start of Navigation Season on Mississippi River

(Hastings, MN) —  The navigation season is now open on the Upper Mississippi River in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The U-S Army Corps of Engineers says the Motor Vessel Joseph Patrick Eckstein with 12 barges passed through Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings Sunday en route to St. Paul.  There was no ice for the towboats to break through at Lake Pepin this year. The first tow arrived on March 12th last year and the average start of the shipping season is March 22nd.    All the locks are now open to commercial and recreational boats on the Upper Mississippi.   Officials say four locks and dams were closed for maintenance this winter and that work was completed on Saturday.


>>State of Minnesota Investing $35 Million to Modernize Boat Launches

(St. Paul, MN) —  Minnesota is investing 35 million dollars to revamp more than 40 public boat accesses across the state.  The D-N-R’s Nancy Stewart says they’re picking some of the busy sites, the ones most in need, and are going to modernize and bring them up to more modern standards.  She says the upgrades include wider driving lanes, longer parking stalls, boat ramps that go farther in the water, accessibility requirements and some shoreline restoration.  The state plans to spend around 30 million dollars on larger-scale projects and five million on smaller projects.


>>Minnesota Exports Total $25 Billion in 2023, But Drop 8 Percent

(St. Paul, MN) —  State officials say Minnesota exports to nearly 200 countries totaled  25 billion  dollars in 2023,  but were down eight percent due to decreased demand for mineral oil and fuel to Canada.     The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Thu-Mai (TOO’-my) Ho-Kim says strong gains were in vehicles, optic and medical goods, aircraft, and spacecraft goods, and these are among our core competency areas in production.    She notes that U-S exports were also down by two percent from 2022 to 2023.


>>SMSC Announces 1st LaunchPad Golf Location in U-S

(Prior Lake, MN) — The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is partnering with a Candian golf company to open its first U-S location in Prior Lake. LaunchPad Golf will build a two-story, 25,000-square-foot facility next to Mystic Lake Casino to serve over 500 people who want to play golf with “next-level technology.” S-M-S-C Chairman Cole Miller says the year-round golf entertainment enterprise will complement the tribe’s premium golf course, the Meadows at Mystic Lake.  Construction is anticipated to begin this spring and the facility to open halfway through 2025.





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