>>Legal Analyst on Violations at Burned Down Lutsen Lodge
(Lutsen, MN) — Owner Bryce Campbell says the destroyed main lodge at Lutsen Resort was insured and “we will rebuild again” — but Hamline University legal expert David Schultz says outstanding violations cited by the State Fire Marshal’s Office could complicate collecting on an insurance claim. He says, “this could give an insurance company enough discretion to say, we’re gonna choose not to pay out. “Schultz, who also has experience in municipal zoning and code enforcement, says court cases against insurance companies are difficult to win because they have “deep pockets.” State officials say Lutsen Resort’s outstanding violations involved annual inspections of sprinkler and fire alarm systems, but add it’s too early in the investigation to determine if that played a role in the fire.
>>DEED Awards $7.8 Million to 7 Business Expansion Projects in Minnesota
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is awarding more than seven-point-eight-million dollars in funding for seven business expansion projects statewide. DEED says the projects are expected to support 719 jobs and leverage 169 million dollars in outside investment. DEED officials say the Job Creation and Minnesota Investment funds are important programs that stimulate economic investment across the state. The companies awarded funding are in Minneapolis, Grand Rapids, Crookston, Anoka, Rochester, Inver Grove Heights, and Cloquet (KLOH’-kay).
>>American Cancer Society Pushing Legislature to End Flavored Tobacco Sales
(Eagan, MN) — The American Cancer Society and anti-smoking groups are urging the Minnesota Legislature to end the sales of flavored tobacco products this session. Spokeswoman Emily Myatt says kids get hooked because the flavors mask the harsh taste of tobacco and that makes it harder to quit. She says, “…we know that flavored tobacco products, that’s the bread and butter of the tobacco industry to lure people into addiction. “Myatt says a statewide survey shows 62 percent of Minnesotans support ending the sale of flavored tobacco products. The 2024 legislative session begins Monday.
>>US Supreme Court Hears Trump Appeal on Colorado Ballot Decision
(Washington, DC) — The U-S Supreme Court today (Thurs) hears oral arguments as former President Donald Trump appeals a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court barring him from the ballot in that state. That issue that brought a different ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court. The legal question is whether the U-S Constitution’s 14th Amendment applies to a president and, if so, whether Trump incited an insurrection at the U-S Capitol, disqualifying him from holding office. Or the high court could leave the decision to voters at the polls or it say the issue is not yet “ripe” for a ruling. That would be similar to what happened when the Minnesota Supreme Court denied a request to keep Trump’s name off next month’s presidential primary ballot here, saying it doesn’t necessarily determine who’s in the general election.
>>2024 State Patrol Awards Ceremony in Mendota Heights
(Mendota Heights., MN) — The Minnesota State Patrol’s 2024 Awards Ceremony is this afternoon (Thurs 1pm) in Mendota Heights. State troopers, public servants and citizens who performed heroic acts or excelled in a crisis over the past year will be honored. The State Patrol will recognize two passersby who stepped in to help a state trooper knocked to the ground by a suspect, a nurse for performing C-P-R at the scene of a serious car crash, and a Washington County sheriff’s deputy who pulled a man from a burning semi. The Trooper of the Year Award will also be presented.
>>Man Struck and Killed by Hennepin County Plow Truck in NE Minneapolis
(Minneapolis, MN) — Officers say the man found dead in the street near a northeast Minneapolis gas station was hit by a slow moving Hennepin County plow truck. A police report says the man walked in front of the plow truck as it left the gas station parking lot early Wednesday morning. The incident is still under investigation and no arrests have been made. The medical examiner is expected to identify the man and his cause of death.
>>Xcel Plans Higher Electric Rates During Peak Evening Hours
(Minneapolis, MN) — Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy wants to charge consumers more during evening peak hours. The energy utility has asked the state Public Utilities Commission to let it switch Minnesota electric customers to variable rates. If approved, the plan would be a change from flat rates currently being used. Xcel says the shift is meant to ease pressure on the electric grid when demand is highest and give customers more control over their power bills.
>>Authorities in Duluth Ask People to Stay Off Ice on Superior Bay
(Duluth, MN) — The Duluth Fire Department is asking people to stop ice fishing on Superior Bay adjacent to Park Point due to unsafe ice conditions. Officials say the warm temperatures have led to large cracks and fissures forming in the ice and there’s also some open water. Authorities want the public to stay off the ice until conditions improve. They say that wind conditions play an important factor in ice safety on large bodies of water.