>>State Commission to Certify Designs for New MN Flag and Seal
(St. Paul, MN) — A special commission is expected to certify the official designs this morning (Wed 9am) for the new Minnesota state flag and seal. Vice chair Anita Gaul of Marshall says they’ve already adopted the two finalists. She says this will be sort of the wrap-up meeting where we hopefully will have a draft of the report that we have to submit to the legislature on January 1st. Two non-voting members opposed the state seal design because it includes a phrase in Dakota language. The flag has a Navy blue shape of Minnesota with a white star inside and light blue representing water on the other side.
>>Authorities ID St. Paul Man Struck and Killed with Dog on Christmas Eve
(St. Paul, MN) — Police in St. Paul are identifying the man who was struck and killed along with his dog on Christmas Eve. Officers say 62-year-old Steven Wirtz was walking his two-year-old German Shepard Sunday night when they were both hit by a car in the North End neighborhood. Wirtz and the dog died at the scene. Investigators say the driver stop and is cooperating.
>>Rare December Flood Warning for Red River Valley
(Grand Forks, ND) — The National Weather Service is issuing a rare late December flood warning for the Red River. The warning includes Fargo-Moorhead and Wahpeton-Breckenridge. Forecasters say up two inches of rain has fallen in some areas on top of frozen ground sending the water into the Red River. Minor flooding is expected this weekend.
>>Salvation Army Twin Cities $700 K Short of Christmas Goal
(Roseville, MN) — The Salvation Army in Rochester and Duluth each reached their fundraising goal, but in the Twin Cities the social service organization is 700 thousand dollars behind last year’s Christmas pace. The red kettles are packed up for the season and only a few days remain in the campaign. Salvation Army Northern Division spokesman Dan Furry says,” the community has supported us for 135 years and we know that they’re gonna be there for us — but if there are folks out there who are able to make an extra donation this year, it certainly would be a blessing.” The Salvation Army says the Christmas campaign historically brings in three-fourths of its annual revenue. If you want to help, visit salvationarmynorth.org.
>>4-Year-Old Boy Home from Hospital After Near Drowning in MPLS Pond
(Minneapolis, MN) — Four-year-old Eli Steinbach is back home from the hospital after nearly drowning about a month ago when he broke through the ice at a pond near his home in Minneapolis. The boy’s mother, Caitlyn Shields, tells the Star Tribune he’d been underwater for about five minutes when a Minneapolis police officer jumped into waist-deep water to pull him out. Rescuers performed C-P-R for 30 minutes before Eli’s heart restarted. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs, and a water pipe also broke and flooded the basement of their home.
>>Savage Fire Department’s ‘Christmas Vacation’ Spoof Goes Viral
(Savage, MN) — A video by the Savage Fire Department went viral this Christmas with more than one-point-four-million views on TikTok and Facebook. Firefighters made a spoof of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and posted it on social media. The department recreated scenes from “Elf” and “Home Alone” in past years, but this year they recreated Clark Griswold’s “Hallelujah” Christmas lights moment. Every time they plug the lights in to turn them on, someone inside the firehouse shuts off the main power… unaware of the big lighting ceremony outside.
>>Taylor, Gophers Run Over Bowling Green in Quick Lane Bowl
(Detroit, MI) — The University of Minnesota football team is celebrating a 30-24 win over Bowling Green at the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. Freshman running back Darius Taylor rushed for 208 yards and a touchdown for the 6-and-7 Golden Gophers Tuesday afternoon. Fifth-year quarterback Cole Kramer threw a pair of T-D passes and ran for a score in his first career start. Minnesota has now won seven straight bowl games. Coach P-J Fleck improves to 5-and-oh in bowl matchups for the Gophers.