>>State of Minnesota Reissuing 128K Tax Rebate Checks

(St. Paul, MN) — The State of Minnesota is reissuing over 128-thousand one-time rebate checks that went uncashed and then expired — possibly because they came from a third-party contractor in Montana and might have been mistaken for junk mail. But state Revenue Commissioner Paul Marquart says this batch is “gonna look like the normal State of Minnesota check.” Marquart says the state got rebates to about two million people, but the checks being reissued still represent 48 million dollars, a “pretty good chunk of change.” He says officials want to get dollars into people’s hands to help them with everyday spending needs. He notes those who were issued rebates also should have received a 1099 form because, although the rebate is not subject to state tax, it must be reported on federal tax returns.


>>Former Senate Leader Dziedzic to Chair State Local Govt. and Vets Committee

(St. Paul, MN) — Majority Leader Erin Murphy is naming Minneapolis Democrat Kari Dziedzic (DEED-zick) to chair the State and Local Government and Veterans Committee in the Minnesota Senate. Dziedzic stepped down as majority leader due to a recurring cancer diagnosis, but Murphy said as the legislature opened the 2024 session “”I expect that she will continue to serve as a member of our caucus and a member of the Senate.” If Dziedzic were unable to serve and had to resign from the Senate, it would fundamentally disrupt the balance of power at the State Capitol at least until there was a special election. The D-F-L only has a one-vote majority in the Senate.


>>U of M Study Finds Ethanol Generated $6.6 Billion in Economic Activity

(Minneapolis, MN) — A new U of M Extension study finds that ethanol is a major contributor to the state’s economy. Brian Werner of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association says the ethanol industry generated six-point-six-billion dollars of economic activity, supported over 20 thousand jobs, provided one-point-three billion in income to Minnesota residents, and contributed two-point-five billion to the state’s G-D-P.” Werner says ethanol producers paid 182 million dollars in state and local taxes in 2023. He notes that it is also five to 20 cents cheaper per gallon than regular gasoline.


>>MSP and Duluth Airports Awarded Total of $30 Million in Federal Funds

(Washington, DC) — Minneapolis-St. Paul International and Duluth International Airport are getting millions in federal infrastructure funding for major projects. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar announced that M-S-P will receive 20 million dollars to expand and add two new gates to Terminal 2. The Duluth airport was awarded a ten-million-dollar grant for its traffic control tower re-location project. The Two Harbors Helgeson Municipal Airport in Lake County will receive more than one million dollars to build a new general aviation terminal.


>>AG Ellison Secures $85K for Solar Consumers Charged Early-Termination Fees

(St. Paul, MN) — Attorney General Keith Ellison says he’s secured around $85,000 in refunds for Minnesota consumers of certain solar garden operators after they were unlawfully charged with early-termination fees (ETFs). Community solar gardens are large solar power installations that produce electricity sent to Minnesota’s energy grid, giving operators credits in return, which can then be sold to consumers and used to offset their energy bills. The four operators, FastSun Solar LLC, Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, Generate Capitol Inc., and Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited, were all found guilty of charging 209 consumers up to $250 or $500 apiece in unreasonable E-T-Fs, agreeing to pay restitution and suspend enforcement of E-T-Fs in current contracts and not enter into new contracts with unlawful fees.


>>Spring Flooding Unlikely in Minnesota This Year

(Chanhassen, MN) — The National Weather Service says spring flooding is unlikely in Minnesota this year. The agency’s Chanhassen office released its spring flood outlook Thursday, saying the complete lack of snowpack in the state makes the probability of flooding lower than normal. The weather service says drought conditions in the state have improved slightly in the last few months thanks to rainfall over the Christmas holiday. Forecasters say drought conditions could quickly improve or worsen depending on how much precipitation falls in the next few weeks.


>>St. Paul’s Gothard Named National Superintendent of the Year

(St. Paul, MN) — Doctor Joe Gothard of St. Public Schools is being honored as the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year. Superintendent Gothard was named this year’s winner Thursday by the American Association of School Administrators. He’s been superintendent in St. Paul since 2017 after four years as superintendent with the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District. State Education Commissioner Willie Jett congratulated Gothard and in a statement said, “this well-deserved recognition is a testament to his passion for student achievement; and we applaud and thank him for his tireless work.”


>>Chisago County Authorities Release More Info on School Bus Crash

(Rush City, MN) — The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office says a 59-year-old woman from Harris is facing D-W-I and other charges after crashing a school bus into the ditch in Rush City. Deputies say there were 49 students onboard when the Rush City Public Schools bus went off the roadway Thursday morning. No one was hurt and another bus brought the kids to school. A sheriff’s sergeant says he observed signs of alcohol impairment when interviewing the bus driver and she was arrested and booked in jail.


>>Police Search for Suspect After Shooting in Mankato

(Mankato, MN) — Police are investigating after a man was shot in Mankato Thursday afternoon. The victim was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato for treatment, and his current condition is unknown. Officers haven’t announced any arrests and say their investigation is ongoing.


>>Investigators Release Name of Inmate Who Died in Polk County Jail

(Crookston, MN) — Authorities are identifying a man who died at the Polk County jail this week in Crookston. Investigators say 51-year-old Matthew Bagley of Lebanon, Tennessee, was in custody on a drunken driving charge out of Norman County. He was found unresponsive at the Northwest Regional Correction Center in Crookston on Wednesday morning and died after being taken to a hospital. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating Bagley’s death.


>>Ohio Man Charged in Disappearance of Girl from Glenwood

(Glenwood, MN) — A man from Ohio is charged in the disappearance of a 15-year-old Glenwood girl who authorities say he met online. The girl was later found in St. Cloud. The Pope County Sheriff’s Office says 22-year-old Trevor Beisser returned to Ohio after finding out investigators were looking for him and is jailed there pending extradition. Beisser is charged with kidnapping, possessing pornographic work, soliciting a child through electronic communication and other counts.



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