>>President Biden Cheers Blatnik Bridge Funding in Twin Ports Visit
(Superior, WI) — President Joe Biden celebrated one-billion dollars in federal funding to replace the Blatnik Bridge between Duluth and Superior during stop Thursday in the Twin Ports. Biden says the project will create ten-thousand union construction jobs and they will use iron and steel made in America. The president told the cheering crowd, “We’re rebuilding factories and jobs are coming back to America!” Minnesota Republican Party Chairman David Hann (HAN) says with inflation soaring and economic growth stalling, families and businesses are enduring the harsh consequences of “Bidenomics.” The Biden administration touted three-point-three percent G-D-P growth in the fourth quarter which was much higher than the two percent predicted by Wall Street.
>>Craig Unveils Bill to Eliminate Federal Tax on Social Security Benefits
(West St. Paul, MN) — Congresswoman Angie Craig is proposing there be no federal income tax on anyone’s Social Security benefits — but what’s controversial is how she’d pay for it. High-earners would pay more Social Security payroll tax, because it would apply to the first 250 thousand dollars of income, rather than the first 168 thousand. The Minnesota Democrat says, “what I’m proposing extends Social Security… for decades out into the future — finds a way to pay for it — and over 75 years we could have nine trillion dollars to put toward reducing the national debt.” Craig’s bill will likely see little support from Republicans who control the House. She says she’s looking for a co-sponsor in the U-S Senate.
>>Minneapolis City Council Passes Gaza Ceasefire Resolution Despite Mayor Opposition
(Minneapolis, MN) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (fry) is not onboard with a resolution passed by the city council Thursday calling for an immediate cease fire in Gaza. The measure also calls for an end to U-S funding to Israel, releasing Israeli hostages taken by Hamas (huh-MOSS), and releasing Palestinians from Israeli military prisons. The council passed the resolution despite Mayor Frey’s opposition and comes after multiple amendments were added. The city’s Jewish mayor called the resolution “one-sided.”
>>Office of Cannabis Management Launches New Search, Application for Director
(St. Paul, MN) — A new application process and national search are underway for the director of the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management. Interim director Charlene Briner says they made some changes to the job description posting and opened it to candidates with regulatory experience outside cannabis. She says they also made compensation adjustments to better reflect both state agency head compensation across the enterprise and also to make the position more competitive in the national market. The Office of Cannabis Management is accepting the new round of applications through February 26th. Briner says she expects to continue serving as interim director until at least May.
>>M State Moorhead Announces Cannabis Certificate Programs
(Moorhead, MN) — Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead is the latest school in the state to offer cannabis certificate programs. Students can earn certificates in cannabis cultivation, retail, and extraction and product development. Each online program is nine weeks and costs 750 dollars. M State is partnering with cannabis education company Green Flower, which will provide instruction and training. St. Cloud State University and St. Paul College also have cannabis certificate programs.
>>MDA Returns to Winter Fancy Food Show in Vegas
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) exhibited four local food and beverage businesses at the 2024 Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas. The four brands that participated included Janet’s Finest Compotes, Maazah Chutney, Mixly Cocktail Co., and Plucky Pickle Dip. The M-D-A’s Pavilion Program supports state food and drink companies in attending national shows, offering discounted booth spaces, and promotional and logistical support for show attendance.
>>State Health Department Reports 40-Year High in Newborn Syphilis Cases
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting there were 29 cases of newborn syphilis in 2023 including three stillbirths – the highest number in 40 years. Doctor Ruth Lynfield says untreated syphilis in pregnant people can result in stillbirths, miscarriages, premature births, smaller babies, and brain and nerve problems. Lynfield says the increase in congenital syphilis is especially troubling because it can be prevented through early detection and treatment. As recently as 2013 and 2014, there were no cases of congenital syphilis in Minnesota.
>>Rochester Man Indicted for First-Degree Murder in 2022 Shooting
(Rochester, MN) — A Rochester man accused of fatally shooting 41-year-old Kim Robinson of Eyota (ee-OH’-tuh) on December 24th, 2022 now faces a first-degree murder charge. Olmsted County prosecutors initially charged Mustafa Bush with second-degree murder, but a grand jury found probable cause that Bush was responsible for Robinson’s death while committing domestic abuse. Bush does not yet have a date set for his arraignment.
>>Pedestrian Critically Injured in Duluth Hit and Run Crash
(Duluth, MN) — Police in Duluth are investigating a hit-and-run crash that left a pedestrian hospitalized with critical injuries. Officers say the 24-year-old man was struck by a vehicle that left the scene around 5:45 Thursday. Investigators say they located a car a short time later that matched the description, and the suspected driver has been questioned. No further information is being released.
>>US Pond Hockey Championships Cancelled, Golf Courses Opening
(Minneapolis, MN) — Organizers of the U-S Pond Hockey Championship are cancelling the final weekend due to the warm temperatures and deteriorating ice conditions. Officials say the recent cold snap provided some of the best ice ever on Lake Nokomis for opening weekend, but a heat wave has since moved in. More than 300 teams came to Minnesota for the annual pond hockey event. Meantime, Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids is opening its driving range today (Fri) for the first time in January. Shadow Brooke Golf Course in Lester Prairie is taking tee times to open Wednesday with temperatures expected to be in the 40s and even low 50s in southern Minnesota.