Registered Nurses in the Essentia Health system may be on the chopping block today over a flu shot policy. The Minnesota Nurse’s association says RNs at Essentia are required to participate in the flu shot program or face termination. Spokesman Rick Fuentes says they will file grievances over every firing and adds that their issue is not with the flu shot itself but with the mandate. “We’re firm believers that volunteer programs work much better. In fact the department of health is also of that opinion, that voluntary programs work much better than a mandatory policy. Especially given how intrusive a mandatory policy could be.” Fuentes says they expect to find out the initial number of firings today, but more could come throughout the week.
A three year-old girl was accidentally shot by her five year-old brother at a home in Deer Creek in Otter Tail County over the weekend. The sheriff’s office says the girl was shot in the abdomen with a 22-caliber rifle. County human services has joined the investigation. The girl was first taken to a hospital in Wadena and then flown to children’s hospital in Minneapolis for emergency surgery. The girl is stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
A woman is in custody in Carver County accused of stabbing her husband in the chest with a steak knife. Officials were called to a Waconia home Saturday evening and found the victim, 44-year-old Michael Gilster, lying on the floor. Deputies found the supsect, 44-year-old Brandi Gilster, hiding near a shed on an adjacent property and arrested her without incident. Michael Gilster remains in stable condition.
A man convicted of sexually abusing two teenagers while he was leader of a religious sect in Pine County will be given a lesser sentence. The state court of appeals ruled that the judge didn’t give a reason for going higher than the presumptive sentence when Victor Barnard was sentenced to 30 years in prison–15 years for each of his victims. The presumptive sentence is 12 years for each count. Barnard still faces 24 years in prison.
A seven-year-old boy’s foot was severed in an incident involving a train Sunday night. Police say the victim and his brother were spending the night in St. Paul with family when they wandered away with their cousin and approached a slow-moving train. At one point, police say the victim grabbed onto a train car and began to drag along with it. His foot then became stuck and was severed. The boy was taken to Regions Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
A suspect is jailed in Becker County, facing an arson charge in connection with a fire that destroyed a mobile home. The fire was reported Saturday morning on Highway 10, five miles east of Detroit Lakes. Sheriff Todd Glander says 26-year old Michael Strehlow knows those who were living in the home and was there when the fire started. People in the home made it out safely. Strehlow was arrested in the area. The Minnestoa State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation.
Jaime Tincher, Chief of Staff to Governor Mark Dayton, will be the next Deputy Mayor of St. Paul. Mayor Elect Melvin Carter made the announcement Monday, calling Tincher a proven leader and invaluable partner for the city. Tincher, who became Chief of Staff in 2014, will also be tasked with leading Carter’s transition team as he lays the groundwork to take office next year.
The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe are suing the Mille Lacs County Sheriff in federal court. The band claims policing of the reservation has been lax since the county ended it’s law enforcement agreement with the band. The move left tribal authorites without the ability to investigate crime. The band wants a judge to empower officers to investigate crime on the reservation and prohibit the county from interfering.
A man and woman were discovered dead inside a Scandia home Sunday night. The victims have been identified as 65-year-old Melissa Seefert and 66-year-old Clarence Seefert. A weapon was located at the scene. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is not looking for suspects and says there is no threat to the public.
A Powerball ticket worth a million bucks was sold at Robbinsdale Food Market for Saturday’s drawing. The ticket matched the first five winning numbers to win the $1-million prize. The winner has one year to claim the prize at state lottery headquarters in Roseville.
A Blue Earth County corn and soybean farmer has been re-elected to another two-year term as President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau. Kevin Paap owns and operates a fourth-generation family farm and said he is “humbled and honored” to continue to do something that he is passionate about.
Super Bowl festivities are kicking off in St. Paul in the New Year with a party at Xcel Energy Center. The so-called “Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade” event will allow fans to watch the media interview Super Bowl players and coaches. The event will also be televised live on the NFL network and ESPN2. Tickets go on sale Wednesday. The “Opening Night” event is set for January 29th. The big game is at U-S Bank Stadium on February 4th.