>>Walz Elected Chair of Democratic Governors Association

(St. Paul, MN) — Governor Tim Walz is the next chair of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). Minnesota’s governor was elected chair during the association’s meeting Saturday in Phoenix. Walz said on social media that Democratic governors “have some big goals in 2024, including keeping the North Carolina governor’s office blue and flipping critical states like New Hampshire.” Minnesota D-F-L Party chair Ken Martin says, “Governor Walz has championed an agenda that has made Minnesota a national model for progress on everything from ending child poverty to climate action.” Walz will replace New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

>>Special Task Force on Child Protection Task Meets Today

(St. Paul, MN) — A special legislative task force continues its review of Minnesota’s child protection system this afternoon (Mon 1p.m.) at the State Capitol. Representative Dave Pinto from Saint Paul says they’re looking at the whole system. He says they will review, “how reports of potential maltreatment come into the system and kind of what happens with that, all the way to the other end: If a kid is in foster care, we want to make sure that they’re receiving the care and support that they need.” The task force is looking into whether changes need to be made during the next legislative session which begins in February.

>>19-Year-Old Killed in Landslide at Minneopa State Park Near Mankato

(Mankato, MN) — Authorities in Blue Earth County haven’t identified the 19-year-old man killed in a landslide at Minneopa State Park near Mankato. The sheriff’s office received a report Saturday evening that someone was trapped under the earth that had collapsed in the falls area. Deputies say they located the victim but he was already dead when they recovered him. Investigators aren’t releasing any other details about the incident.

>>2 Dead, 1 Wounded in Dinkytown Shooting near U of M

(Minneapolis, MN) — Police in Minneapolis are investigating a weekend shooting in Dinkytown that left two men dead and one wounded. Officers say two victims in their 20s were found wounded early Sunday near the University of Minnesota campus and they both died at the scene. The third man was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury. Investigators say he was an employee in a tobacco store where an altercation between two groups of customers “escalated to gunfire.” Authorities believe all three victims are not U of M students. No word on any suspects or arrests in the shooting.

>>Man Dead in Shooting Near Edina Mall

(Edina, MN) — A man is dead after a shooting in an Edina strip mall parking lot. Police found a man with life-threatening injuries near the Galleria shopping mall around 9 pm Saturday. Despite life-saving efforts, the man died at the scene. Officers say a suspect was arrested and that the suspect and victim are believed to have known each other.

>>Fatally Struck Pedestrian in Baxter I.D.’d

(Baxter, MN) — The State Patrol is naming the pedestrian killed in Crow Wing County as 61-year-old Ludivina Quiton Wirtz of Baxter. Troopers say Wirtz was fatally struck by a pick-up truck Thursday while crossing four-lane Highway 371 in Baxter and died at the scene. The pick-up driver, 45-year-old Anthony Sobiech of Pierz was not hurt. It’s not clear who had the right of way, and no alcohol or slick roads were involved.

>>Shipping Season Ends on Upper Mississippi River

(St. Paul, MN) — The shipping season officially ends today (Mon) on the Upper Mississippi River. Liz Stoeckmann (STECK’-man) of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers says they’re not shutting down boat traffic because of ice or cold weather. She says they’re doing standard winter maintenance on locks and dams, so it doesn’t affect the navigational season as far as barges and traffic going up and down the Mississippi River. Crews are doing concrete repairs at Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings and guide wall maintenance at Lock and Dam 3 in Welch and 7 near La Crescent. Last year’s shipping season ended on November 29th.

>>MN & WI DNR Capture 323 Invasive Carp in Mississippi River

(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota D-N-R says the 323 invasive carp captured in the Mississippi River is the largest-ever single capture in Minnesota/Wisconsin waters. Officials say 296 silver carp, 23 grass carp, and four bighead carp were captured Thursday near Trempealeau, Wisconsin. Officials say the capture was made possible by tracking tagged invasive carp, which led agency staff and contracted commercial fishers to them for removal. D-N-R Invasive Carp coordinator Grace Loppnow says it is likely these fish moved upstream from other locations during spring flooding and were not the result of reproduction in Minnesota waters.

>>DNR Warns of Unsafe Ice Conditions on Minnesota Waters

(Undated) — As temperatures get colder, area lakes, ponds, and rivers are starting to freeze. The Minnesota D-N-R says it is one of the most dangerous times of the year when it comes to recreating on the water. There have been numerous reports of anglers out on the ice, but the D-N-R says conditions are highly variable, and falling through the ice can be deadly in just minutes. Authorities say there should be at least four inches of clear ice before walking on it. Anglers should check the ice thickness with a spud bar, auger, or other device, wear a life jacket, and have a set of ice picks with them. Also, don’t go out alone and let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

>>Metro Transit Fines, Citations for No Proof of Payment Begins Today

(Minneapolis, MN) — Metro Transit is reminding those taking public transportation that starting today (MON) citations and fines will be issued to people who haven’t paid their fare. First-time violations are $35, second are $55, third are $75 with a prohibition from using Metro Transit for 60 days, and after that, the fine is $100 with a 120-day Metro Transit prohibition. Community service officers will board trains and buses asking people for proof of payment, either physical or digital, and give citations to those without proof, which need to be paid in 90 days.

>>Gopher Football to Play Bowling Green in Quick Lane Bowl

(Minneapolis, MN) — The University of Minnesota football team has three weeks to prepare for the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Michigan. The 5-and-7 Golden Gophers will face 7-and-5 Bowling Green the day after Christmas (12/26) at Ford Field. P-J Fleck’s team finished the season on a four-game losing skid but qualified for a bowl game due to a lack of six-win teams and their Academic Progress Rate score. Minnesota won its two previous matchups in the Quick Lane Bowl in 2015 and 2018.

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