>>State Commission Meets Again to Pick New Minnesota Flag Design

(St. Paul, MN) — The State Emblems Redesign Commission meets again today (Fri 1-5pm) with a goal of selecting the final design for the new Minnesota flag. Vice chair Anita Gaul says they will discuss possible modifications to the final three flags. She says, “we really will try but you know again… we gotta get it right.” Gaul says they want to pick a design that is simple and represents Minnesota the best. She says the finalist will feature a version of the North Star and have blue on it.


>>Opponents of Minnesota’s Felon Voting Law Plan to Appeal Challenge

(Anoka, MN) — The plaintiffs plan to immediately appeal after an Anoka County judge (Thursday) threw out their challenge to a new Minnesota law allowing convicted felons to again vote after they’re released from prison. They contend the Minnesota Constitution doesn’t allow felons to vote until all their civil rights — such as being able to hold office or serve on a jury — have been restored. James Dickey of the Upper Midwest Law Center says, “the legislature cannot just pick out one civil right out of the bundle of rights and say, ok, now you have this one back.” Attorney General Keith Ellison responds that argument was invalidated in a February decision by the state Supreme Court, which acknowledged the legislature has the authority to restore voting rights to felons now back in the community under supervision.


>>Deadline For MNsure Enrollment Friday Night

(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesotans who want medical and dental coverage through MNsure in 2024 need to sign up today (Fri). The MNsure Contact Center will be open until 10 pm tonight to help those trying to enroll. Enrollment through MNsure will remain open through January 15th, but coverage obtained after today will not start until February 1st.


>>MDH Wins 5-Year Grant for Sickle Cell Disease Research

(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is the winner of the five-year grant of $1.625 million from the C-D-C to better understand the impact of sickle cell disease. State Health Commissioner Brooke Cunningham says “the program will help us better understand where people with sickle cell live and where health care providers and resources are located so people receive the best services.” On average, every year in Minnesota, 22 babies are born with sickle cell disease, and another 540 are born with sickle cell trait.


>>Minneapolis Awarded $20 Million for Street Improvements

(Washington, DC) — The U-S Department of Transportation is awarding Minneapolis a 20-million-dollar grant to build safer roads and streets. Through the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant, Minneapolis will be able to provide upgrades to “end traffic deaths and severe injuries” by 2027. The funding will be used to improve traffic signals, back projects on “high injury” streets, and include protected bikeways and intersections, crosswalk signing and striping, street lighting and mobile speed wagons to enforce speed limits.


>>Mother Gets Stayed Sentence for Fatal Overdose of 2-Year-Old Child in St. Cloud

(St. Cloud, MN) — A Minnesota woman will not have to spend any more time in jail for causing the fatal drug overdose of her two-year-old child in St. Cloud. Twenty-five-year-old Jamacy Johnson received a four-year stayed sentence in Stearns County and was given credit for serving 169 days. She pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter. The child was unresponsive at St. Cloud Hospital in April 2022 and died two days later of fentanyl toxicity. Police say Johnson and her boyfriend claimed the child had eaten a Benadryl tablet, but officers later found fentanyl pills in their apartment.


>>Iron Range Hell’s Angels President Charged with Kidnapping, Assault

(Duluth, MN) — The head of the Iron Range chapter of the Hell’s Angels is charged with kidnapping and assault. Prosecutors say 38-year-old Jerand French was the main aggressor in November when a male victim was repeatedly punched and kicked while a woman was raped at the same residence by a prospective club member and another man. The beating of the male victim, reportedly recorded by other group members, continued at their clubhouse. French turned himself in earlier in the week but was released on a half-million-dollars’ bail Thursday afternoon.


>>Rock County Sheriff’s Office Asks for Help in Fatal Hit and Run

(Luverne, MN) — The Rock County Sheriff’s Office in southwest Minnesota is asking for the public’s help investigating a fatal hit and run. Deputies were called to a report of a man lying in a ditch around noon Wednesday north of Beaver Creek. They discovered 76-year-old William Krotzer of Luverne dead and his vehicle was found with a flat tire about one mile east of his body. Investigation determined Krotzer was a victim of a hit and run, believed to be hit by a newer-model Chevrolet Z-71 pickup truck, either maroon or similar color, that would probably have front-end damage.


>>Late-Season CWD Hunt in Southeast Minnesota Permit Areas

(Wabasha, MN) — A late-season chronic wasting disease (C-W-D) management hunt begins today (Fri-Sun) in southeastern Minnesota. The D-N-R’s Erik Hildebrand says deer can be harvested this weekend in seven permit areas. He says it’s a great opportunity for hunters to still chase deer and also help with the C-W-D surveillance effort. The hunt includes permit area 342 near Wabasha where a wild deer recently tested positive for the first time. Hildebrand says hunters will be required to submit a deer sample for C-W-D testing.


>>Northern Soda Opening State’s First Taproom

(New Brighton, MN) — Minnesota’s first soda taproom is opening this weekend. Northern Soda Company of New Brighton is hosting grand opening events today (FRI) through Sunday. The company started in 2018 in a 2,500-square-foot facility in Arden Hills and will now be in a 10,000-square-foot building. Co-CEO Davod Zarghami says they offer 19 year-round flavors with special seasonal rotators. He says they also have slushies and ice cream, large T-Vs, arcade games and board games.

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