>>15K Minnesota Nurses Begin Voting on Tentative Contracts
(St. Paul, MN) — As many as 15 thousand nurses are voting today (Friday), Monday and Tuesday on new contracts with 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth-Superior. Nurses at Allina, Children’s, M Health Fairview, North Memorial, and Methodist in the Twin Cities would receive 18 percent raises over three years; Essentia and Saint Luke’s in Duluth, 17 percent plus other bonuses. Union leaders are recommending a “yes” vote. They say the tentative contracts also include “unprecedented language… to address chronic understaffing in our hospitals for the first time in history.” Vote results will be announced next Wednesday afternoon. Negotiators at Saint Luke’s Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors have not yet reached a tentative agreement, but Thursday withdrew their December 11th strike notice “in the hopes that management will start collaborating with nurses and take these negotiations seriously.”
>>US House Sends Respect for Marriage Act to President’s Desk
(Washington, DC) — The Respect for Marriage Act is on President Biden’s desk following bi-partisan passage Thursday in the U-S House. Republican Congressman Tom Emmer and Minnesota’s four Democratic House members voted “yes.” G-O-P Representatives Pete Stauber, Michelle Fischbach and Brad Finstad all voted “no.” Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says,” I proudly voted to ensure the federal government never stands in the way of marrying the person you love.” The law will require all states recognize same-sex and interracial marriages.
>>DEED Announces $100 Investment to Expand Broadband Access
(St. Paul, MN) — A nearly 100-million-dollar investment will bring better broadband access to 33-thousand Minnesotans in 48 counties. Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove says between 240- and 291-thousand households in the state lack access to high-speed internet. He says, “for every percentage, we get closer to full coverage, it gets a little bit harder because it is tough to get broadband internet access to some of the more rural parts of our state.” Grove says this is the single largest investment in Minnesota’s history for broadband internet.
>>Minnesota Weekly Flu Update
(St. Paul, MN) — The latest report from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows 501 people were hospitalized with the flu for the week ending December 3rd. That’s a decline of 58 hospitalizations from a week earlier. A total of one-thousand-857 patients have been hospitalized with the flu so far this season. There were nine deaths last week, bringing the total to 28. Respiratory illnesses, including both influenza and R-S-V, continue to be a concern in Minnesota schools with 76 new outbreaks over the last reporting period.
>>Animal Humane Society Rescues 22 Dogs From Rural Breeder
(Golden Valley, MN) — The Animal Humane Society is caring for 22 dogs surrendered by a rural breeder in a county north of the Twin Cities. A-H-S officials say the breeder had too many dogs on the property and their license was revoked by the state. All the dogs were quarantined and tested negative for the bacterial disease brucellosis. Their ages range from newborn to eight years old and breed from Corgi to Great Dane. They will be going up for adoption soon on the A-H-S website.
>>Rochester Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Meth Trafficking
(Minneapolis, MN) — A Rochester man will do 12-and-a-half years in federal prison for his role in a drug trafficking organization in southeastern Minnesota. Court records say 49-year-old Fernando Garcia-Davila, Junior directed and arranged for the shipment, storage, and sale of methamphetamine from November 2020 to March 2021. Garcia-Davila admitted to coordinating the distribution of more than ten pounds of meth. One of his co-defendants received a nine-year prison sentence.
>>Woman Shot and Killed in North Minneapolis
(Minneapolis, MN) — Minneapolis police say a woman is a victim in the city’s 76th homicide of the year. Officers found a female in her 20s suffering from a gunshot wound Thursday afternoon and she died at the scene. Investigators say they don’t believe there is a further threat to the north Minneapolis community. No arrests have been made. M-P-D and CrimeStoppers are asking the public for tips about the shooting.