>>Klobuchar sending condolences to loved ones of MN soldier killed in Mediterranean helicopter flight
(Washington, DC) — Senator Amy Klobuchar is sending condolences to the loved ones of a Minnesota soldier, one of those killed in a helicopter flight in the Mediterranean Sea, calling him “the very best of us.” Officials say there are no indications that the crash during a routine training flight Friday was caused by enemy/hostile actions. The Defense Department says 24-year-old Sergeant Cade Wolfe of Mankato was one of the five victims. Wolfe was a 2018 graduate of Mankato East High School and was serving as an MH-60M Black Hawk crew chief. The chopper was conducting aerial refueling training when it experienced an in-flight emergency and crashed.
>>Report says Minnesota hospitals’ red ink growing
**MEDIA REFERENCE – 2ND TO LAST LINE**
(Undated) — Two-thirds of more than 70 hospitals surveyed around the state lost money in the first half of 2023, and their combined losses were nearly double the amount in the same period last year — according to a just-released report from the Minnesota Hospital Association. President, Doctor Rahul Koranne says the biggest factor is the number of patients on government insurance programs — Medicare and Medicaid. Koranne says, “You can’t raise prices because those are already set by the government. And both of these programs pay significantly below the cost of providing care.”
The report warns as many as half-a-dozen Minnesota hospitals could face closure if urgent action is not taken. Koranne indicates the state’s share to address the problem is around one billion dollars . He says more staffed beds must also be available in nursing homes and other care facilities, so patients aren’t stuck in hospitals waiting for space to open up elsewhere. Mayo Clinic was not included in the report, but a Star Tribune analysis showed it had stronger operating income during the first of the year and South Dakota-based Sanford Health also saw improvement. But St. Cloud-based CentraCare and Duluth-based Essentia Health both reported less operating income.
>>MN House lawmakers get public input on early care and learning programs
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota House lawmakers heard from stakeholders today (Mon) on the impact of the 2023 state budget expenditures for early care and learning. Childcare Programs Solutions Officer Jessica Gilder of Little Falls says despite recent and direct funding towards Minnesota’s childcare industry, “These funds don’t help… all families with affordability. The middle-class working families still need better solutions.” And Gilder says quality and affordable childcare also is for early childhood educators and care providers, “who deserve to be paid accordingly for the essential services that they provide.”
>>Rochester Woman Scammed Out of Over $118K
(Rochester, MN) — A Rochester woman lost over $118,000 in an internet scam, something police say she likely won’t get back. Police say the 68-year-old woman told investigators the scam began last month with a pop-up on her computer alerting her it had been infected by a virus, and that she needed to call the phone number listed to resolve it. When the victim called, a scammer convinced her to give them access to her computer and bank account, saying she would be arrested if not, because her money was placed in Chinese gambling accounts. The first transfer from the victim to a scammer pretending to be a bank teller, was for $6,000, followed by a $27,000 payment, then a $55,000 payment through a cashier’s check she sent to a Colorado address, and finally $33,000 moved into Bitcoin and sent to the scammer.
>>Medina Man Owes Over $145K in Income Tax Crimes
(Medina, MN) — A Medina man is charged with five felony counts of filing false or fraudulent income tax returns. The criminal complaint says Eric Pfeffer underreported income made through his business, His Workmanship, from 2017 to 2021 an owes more than $145,000 in tax. Investigators say Pfeffer also underreported what he paid for a vehicle to avoid over $900 in motor vehicle sales tax. Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.
>>Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago Coming to the Twin Cities
(St. Paul, MN) — Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago announced today (MON) the return of their co-headlining tour — the Heart and Soul Tour of 2024 — across North America, with a stop in St. Paul. The two well-known bands share between them 200 million albums sold, 11 Grammy wins, and nearly 30 nominations. The concert is at the Xcel Energy Center next July 13th. Tickets go on presale tomorrow (TUES) beginning at 10 a.m., open until Thursday at 10 p.m.