>>Earned Safe and Sick Time Law Begins January 1st in Minnesota
(St. Paul, MN) — Earned sick-and-safe time for nearly all workers is the law in Minnesota beginning January 1st. Senate bill sponsor, Saint Paul Democrat Sandy Pappas (PAP-us) says Minnesota learned in the pandemic that employees who are sick need to stay home. She said, “businesses that are especially vulnerable might be restaurants, nursing homes, day care centers — where you can really spread the illness among a wider population.” But Lauryn Schothorst (SHOT-horst) with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce contends sick-and-safe time is effectively a significant new paid-time-off policy. She argues, “employers don’t have much control over understanding who’s out when, for what purposes, when they can take legitimate enforcement action against an employee for not showing up to work, and when it’s protected under the law.”
>>3 More Flu-Related Deaths in Minnesota, Drop in Hospitalizations
(St. Paul, MN) — The weekly update from the Minnesota Department of Health includes three more flu-related deaths and a total of 14 this season. One-hundred-27 people were hospitalized with influenza the week ending December 23rd, which is down 41 from the previous week. Six Minnesota schools reported flu outbreaks and there were five in long-term care facilities. State health officials say they expect the flu season to peak sometime after the holidays.
>>Meeker County Sheriff Investigates Deadly Shooting of Woman near Dassel
(Dassel, MN) — Authorities in Meeker County say a woman is dead and her husband is in custody after a shooting in Dassel Township. The man called 9-1-1 late Thursday morning to report that he had shot his wife. Sheriff’s deputies found the woman dead inside the home and arrested her husband. Two children were there at the time of the shooting, but they weren’t involved. The Minnesota B-C-A and Litchfield police are assisting local investigators.
>>Man Dies on Lake of Woods Ice Breakthrough
(Angle Inlet, MN) — Authorities in northern Minnesota say a man’s body has been recovered from Lake of the Woods. The Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office learned of a potential drowning in the Northwest Angle around 8 am Thursday. Deputies say a large vehicle carrying anglers broke thought the ice and one man fell into the water. Searchers later recovered the victim’s body in about ten feet of water. The man’s name and further details haven’t been released.
>>2 Fisherman on ATV Safe After Breaking Through Ice on Upper Red Lake
(Undated) — Two fishermen are safe after they fell through the ice on an A-T-V Thursday morning on Upper Red Lake in northern Minnesota. Emergency responders received a call from the two, who were able to get out of the water but couldn’t get back to the resort. But within half-an-hour, they were back at the resort where first responders found them wet and cold, but uninjured. Recent rain and prolonged temperatures above freezing have caused ice conditions to deteriorate and many fish houses in the region have fallen through. Earlier this month, more than 30 people were rescued from a piece of ice that broke loose on Upper Red Lake.
>>MN DNR issues Ice Warning Due to Warm Weather
(Undated) — The Minnesota DNR is asking residents statewide to hold off on activity on the ice due to deterioration throughout the unusually warm December. Officials say many, if not all, of the state’s lakes do not have thick enough ice to support fish houses or wheelhouses and recreational vehicles. The warning comes after D-N-R conservation officers and sheriff’s deputies across the state have responded to numerous reports in recent days of vehicles and structures breaking through the thin ice.
>>Spring-Like Weather Deteriorating Gravel Roads in St. Louis County
(Duluth, MN) — The warm temperatures and steady rains are making a mess out of some gravel roads in northeastern Minnesota. Gordy Halverson of St. Louis County Public Works says these conditions are more typical during spring thaw in April. He says, “we ended up with some potholes, some ruts in some places where we had actually put some gravel down while things were frozen. And then of course it didn’t have a chance to pack in or freeze dry.” Halverson says crews are repairing some of the “really bad” spots but will have to wait for some gravel roads to dry out. He urges drivers to be careful and slow down.
>>Suspect Charged in Deadly Rock County Hit and Run Crash
(Luverne, MN) — A southwest Minnesota man is now charged in a hit-and-run crash that left a man dead December 13th in Rock County. Prosecutors say 36-year-old Lucas Strassburg of Kenneth is facing one count of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 76-year-old William Krotzer of Luverne. Deputies found Krotzer lying in a ditch near Beaver Creek and his vehicle with a flat tire about a mile away. Investigators discovered debris from a Chevy Z-71 pickup at the scene and determined Strassburg had been driving it at the time and dumped his work truck in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
>>Minneapolis Man Charged in May Overdose Death
(Minneapolis, MN) — Forty-year-old Delwayne Center of Minneapolis is charged with third-degree murder in connection with a drug overdose in May. Police found the victim unconscious at Center’s apartment. Officers say Center injected the man with meth while he was tied up during sexual activities. Investigators say despite the victim’s attempts to free himself, Center administered more meth until the man passed out. Center didn’t call police until the next morning.