>>School Resource Officer Bill on Hold in Minnesota House Committee

(St. Paul, MN) — A bill that aims to clarify when school resource officers are allowed to use restraining holds on violent students stalled last night (Tues) in a Minnesota House committee, with D-F-L sponsors apparently not having enough votes to move it forward.  Elk River Republican Paul Novotny (nuh-VOTT’-nee) contends school resource officers must have latitude to use force if necessary to protect someone from bodily harm or death.  Novotny says 94 percent of students want on-site officers back in the schools.  But Matt Shaver with EdAllies says, “The Minnesota Student Survey didn’t ask students their thoughts on whether the adults in a school building should have the authority to hold them in face-down positions for non-violent situations.”


>>Special Election to Fill Seat of Former House Speaker Daudt on March 19th

(St. Paul, MN) — A special election to fill the Minnesota House seat vacated by former Speaker Kurt Daudt of Crown is set for March 19th.    House District 27-B includes parts of Anoka, Isanti, Mille Lacs and Sherburne counties.   Representative Daudt’s resignation was effective February 11th, the day before the 2024 legislative session began.  The governor’s office says a special primary election is scheduled for February 29th if necessary.   Daudt served as Minnesota House speaker from 2015 through 2018 and left to take a consulting position in Washington, D-C.


>>Minnesotans Spend About $185 on Valentine’s Day

(St. Paul, MN) — The average Minnesotan spends about 185 dollars on their loved one for Valentine’s Day.  Minnesota Retailers Association president Bruce Nustand (NEW’-sted) says about 60 percent will buy candy, followed by greeting cards and flowers.   He says about 30 percent of Minnesotans will celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening out either during the week or over the weekend.    Nustad says the local economy gets a boost from this holiday.


>>Minnesota Courthouses Hosting Free Valentine’s Day Weddings

(Undated) —  Minnesota couples are getting married for free on this Valentine’s Day (Wed) in a number of state district courts.   Kim Pleticha (PLET’-uh-kuh) of the Minnesota Judicial Branch says Hennepin County has 24 wedding slots filled today and 32 couples are tying the knot in Ramsey County.  She says one judge will be performing weddings at the courthouse in Duluth and Judge Michelle Anderson will also officiate weddings today in Virginia.  Pleticha (PLET’-uh-kuh) says St. Louis County was added this year and she hopes additional Minnesota counties will offer Valentine’s Day weddings next year.    Couples need to have a marriage license from their home county.


>>CDC Considers Ending of 5-Day COVID Isolation

(Atlanta, GA) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be considering an end to the five-day isolation recommendation for people who test positive for COVID-19.  Multiple sources are reporting the C-D-C plans to shift to a “more practical approach” that would allow a return to work or school 24 hours after the end of a fever.  C-D-C leaders have not yet confirmed this shift in guidance, which would treat COVID in a similar manner to the flu and R-S-V.  No response yet from the Minnesota Department of Health on the proposal.


>>MDA Accepting Applications for Specialty Crop Grants

(St. Paul, MN)  —  Minnesota farmers who grow specialty crops are eligible for grant funding to help promote and market what they grow.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for its Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.  The program is designed to increase the competitiveness of Minnesota specialty crops in both foreign and domestic markets.  The deadline for applications is March 21st.  More information on crop eligibility and application guidelines is available on the M-D-A website.


>>Pope County Man Arrested for Sending Sexual Messages on Social Media

(Glenwood, MN)  —  A man is facing charges in Pope County after sending sexual messages to an undercover deputy posing as a child.  Twenty-six-year-old Kyle Lieser of Glenwood was arrested on two felony charges of trying to engage a child in sexual conduct using electronic communication.  Investigators say Lieser sent a message to the undercover deputy, thinking he was talking to someone younger than 15-years-old.  Additional messages led Lieser to arrange a meeting that ultimately led to his arrest.


>>Driver Killed in Head-On Collision with Semi in Northeastern Minnesota

(Orr, MN) —  The State Patrol is investigating a deadly crash between a car and a semi-truck near Orr in northeastern Minnesota.   The report says the car crossed the centerline on Highway 53 and collided head-on with the semi Tuesday afternoon.  Troopers say the 30-year-old driver from Clearbrook died at the scene.  The truck driver wasn’t hurt.


>>Babbitt Woman Suffers Critical Injuries in St. Louis County Crash

(Pike Township, MN) —  St. Louis County authorities say a woman is in critical condition after a single vehicle  crash Tuesday afternoon near Embarrass.  Deputies say a car driven by 22-year-old Emily Schnacky of Babbitt left Highway 21 and rolled over into the westbound ditch.  Schnacky was airlifted to a Duluth hospital in critical condition.  Investigators are trying to determine what led to the crash.


>>Minnesota Twins Spring Training Begins for Pitchers and Catchers

(Fort Myers, FL) —   Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Minnesota Twins spring training today (Wed) in Fort Myers, Florida.   Many of the players  are already working out at the Lee Health Sports Complex. The first full-squad workout is set for Sunday.  The Twins play the Gopher baseball team in an exhibition game Friday February 23rd and the first Grapefruit League matchup is the next day versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Minnesota hopes to repeat as American League Central Division champions in 2024.


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