>>Air quality alert for western MN

(Undated) — Air pollution from Canadian wildfire smoke is worse than forecast and has reached the “red” category — unhealthy for all — in a swath along Minnesota’s western border from East Grand Forks to south of Breckenridge. “Orange” — unhealthy for sensitive groups — extends from Roseau nearly as far east as Bemidji and down to Alexandria and Ortonville. An air quality alert for western Minnesota is in effect (6am Tues) through 6am tomorrow (Wed). Northerly winds have pushed heavy ground-level smoke from wildfires in the Northwest Territories and Alberta into northwest and parts of west-central Minnesota.

>>3-M to pay $6B to settle lawsuit over defective earplugs for U-S military

(Maplewood, MN) — Minnesota-based 3M will pay $6 billion after settling a seven-year-long suit over its sale of what plaintiffs say were defective combat earplugs to the US military. As part of the agreement, 3M says it will pay $5 billion of the settlement in cash and $1 billion in stock over the next six years. The lawsuits, filed initially in 2016 by active-duty military and veterans, alleged 3M-produced earplugs led to hearing damage and tinnitus (tin-EYE-tuss). The manufacturer denies liability, saying “the products at issue in this litigation are safe and effective when used properly. In 2018, 3M paid the US Justice Department $9.1 million to settle a whistle-blower suit alleging the company knowingly sold defective earplugs.

>>First 10 drugs announced that Medicare will price-negotiate with pharma manufacturers, result of Klobuchar legislation

(Falcon Heights, MN) — Senator Amy Klobuchar says the first ten drugs Medicare will price-negotiate with pharmaceutical companies — the result of her legislation — are “blockbuster” drugs used by millions of seniors. And Klobuchar says “we’re not done yet…. You do Medicare, 50 million seniors, biggest purchaser block for pharmaceuticals [and] you’re gonna see other reductions as well.” Nicole Longo with the PhRMA (FARM-uh) industry group warns government price-setting will discourage R&D (research and development). “We’re afraid there are gonna be far fewer medicines coming to the market, and that means less hope for all of those people out there still waiting for a new cure or a new treatment,” she says. Longo says insurance companies might also require pre-authorization for prescriptions, or require that a patient first try a medication on their list — and only if that fails, then cover the doctor-prescribed medicine.

>>Child accidentally shoots sibling in Brooklyn Park

(Brooklyn Park, MN) — A 9-year-old boy is seriously injured after being accidentally shot in the head by his 7-year-old sibling Monday night in Brooklyn Park. Officers were sent to a residence around 10:45 p.m., began life-saving measures and rushed the victim with serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries to a local hospital. Police say the 7-year-old found the loaded handgun in the home and was “handling it” when it went off.

>>More school districts in Moorhead area losing on-site officers due to dispute over new state law

(Moorhead, MN) — More districts in the Moorhead area are losing their on-site school resource officers because of law enforcement’s concern about a new state law governing use-of-force by officers on school grounds. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has now pulled its deputies from the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and the Ulen (YOO-len)-Hitterdal school districts. Sheriff Mark Empting says it was a mutual decision with the school districts to suspend the resource officer program until there’s more clarity on the law from legislators and state agencies. Empting says he hopes the suspension is temporary. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office announced it’s taking similar action in the Rockford Area School District in the far northwest metro.

>>Missing Person from Rural Walker, MN

(Walker, MN) — The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing woman from rural Walker in north-central Minnesota. 38-year-old Amanda Gould is 5-2, about 200 pounds, and has blonde hair with green highlights. She has a unicorn tattoo and a dragon tattoo on her arms. She was last seen leaving a residential setting on foot wearing a sleeveless white t-shirt and blue-jean shorts. Anyone with information should contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

>>MN Law Enforcement Degree Students Applicable for $2,000 Scholarship This Year

(New Ulm, MN) — The Minnesota Sheriff’s Association is offering students who are entering the law enforcement field a chance at a $2,000 scholarship this year. The scholarships are for students who have completed the peace officer skills course and are currently enrolled in either a two- or four-year law enforcement degree college. Those interested can get an application at their local sheriff’s office. Winners will be announced at the end of this year.


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