>>Minnesota Legislature’s 2024 Session 2 Weeks Away
(St. Paul, MN) — We’re only two weeks out from the start of the 2024 legislative session at the Minnesota State Capitol. The main assigned task is a bonding and infrastructure bill for state public works projects. There appears to be general agreement on a dollar figure around the governor’s proposal of just under one-billion dollars, but some lawmakers want more emphasis on local water and sewer projects. Democrats’ push for end-of-life options will see heated opposition from those who label it assisted suicide. Expect debate on possibly putting an abortion rights constitutional amendment on the ballot. And promises were made to law enforcement to revisit the issue surrounding use-of-force by school resource officers.
>>Walz to Announce Food Insecurity Initiative at Second Harvest Heartland
(Brooklyn Park, MN) — There’s a news conference this morning (Mon 10am) in Brooklyn Park to announce a new initiative to address food insecurity in Minnesota. Governor Tim Walz is joining officials from Second Harvest Heartland, representatives from Cargill, Target and Pillsbury, and community leaders to talk about the major collaborative. The food shelves across the state saw a record number of visits in 2023.
>>Congressman Emmer’s Family Home a Target of Swatting Incident
(Delano, MN) — Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer says he and his family were the target of a “swatting” incident over the weekend. Emmer said on social media that it happened Saturday night and involved a 9-1-1 prank call that wrongly diverted a police presence to his home. The 6th District Republican wrote, “Thankfully, no one was home or injured. I condemn this illegal abuse of police resources.” Emmer thanked the Wright County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and support.
>>Funeral for Murdered St. Paul Activist Attended to by MN Leaders
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota leaders including Governor Tim Walz, U-S Senator Tina Smith, and Attorney General Keith Ellison joined hundreds of community members Saturday for the funeral of 50-year-old Hmong St. Paul activist Tou Ger Xiong. Xiong was kidnapped, robbed, and killed in Columbia last December while visiting South America. Four people have been charged in connection with his murder.
>>Minnesota Newborns Will be Screened for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Health is adding Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) to the list of conditions for which newborns are routinely screened. The most common form of muscular dystrophy, D-M-D is a genetic condition that gradually makes the body’s muscles weaker with a life expectancy of around 20 years old. State Health Commissioner Brooke Cunningham says “being able to detect life-altering conditions through newborn screening means families can be connected to early interventions and treatment that can not only improve a child’s quality of life but also save lives.” Minnesota health officials estimate nine newborns will be detected each year.
>>No Names Released in Coon Rapids Triple Homicide
(Coon Rapids, MN) — The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office still hasn’t identified the three victims of a apparent homicide Friday in Coon Rapids The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office reported two men and woman were found dead in a home after dispatch received a 9-1-1 call with the sounds of a disturbance in the background. Two kids were there at the time of the incident but were not injured. Deputies say a male suspect was taken into custody late Friday.
>>2 Men Dead After Car Leaves Road in Clay County
(Barnesville, MN) — The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a crash in Clay County Sunday morning that left two men dead. State troopers say a car driven by a 28-year-old man from Fergus Falls left Highway 9 near Barnesville and crashed. The driver and a 28-year-old passenger from Barnesville died at the scene. The report indicates one of the victims was not wearing a seatbelt.
>>Pedestrian Seriously Hurt in Hit and Run Crash in South St. Paul
(South St. Paul, MN) — Dakota County authorities say a pedestrian is hospitalized with serious injuries after being hit by a car Saturday night in South St. Paul. Officers say they found a man lying in the street suffering from significant injuries consistent with being struck by a vehicle, which was no longer on the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital and his current condition is unavailable. Anyone with information about the incident or suspect vehicle is asked to call the South St. Paul Police Department or Minnesota State Patrol.
>>Rochester Traffic Stop Leads to AK-47, Handgun, Cocaine and Mushrooms
(Rochester, MN) — A Rochester man is facing felony drug and firearms charges in connection with a traffic stop last week. Rochester police say they stopped a car driven by 40-year-old Somnith Thuo and spotted open beer cans and a nine-millimeter bullet and smelled marijuana. A search of the vehicle led to a handgun, about a half ounce of cocaine, 20 grams of mushrooms, and an AK-47 rifle was found in the trunk. Officers say Thuo had nearly 17 hundred dollars cash and admitted the handgun belonged to him. He was arraigned on multiple drug possession charges Friday including one with a firearm count.
>>USA Hockey Congress Mandates Neck Guards for Players 18 and Under
(Colorado Springs, CO) – Starting August 1st, hockey neck guards are mandated for all age players, other than adults, after the U-S-A Hockey Congress passed legislation requiring the protection. The move comes in response to the death of Hibbing, Minnesota native Adam Johnson, whose neck was cut by an errant skate in October 2023. In a statement, U-S-A Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher says, “The overwhelming opinion was that the time is appropriate to modify our rules.” The legislation also “strongly” encourages all adult players to wear neck guards and requires all on-ice officials under 18 to wear neck protection.