>>Minnesota Democrats Continue to Push for MinnesotaCare for Everyone
(St. Paul, MN) — Democrats are renewing their push (9am Tues) to allow anyone to purchase their health insurance through state-subsidized MinnesotaCare, regardless of income. House Majority Leader Jamie Long and several interest groups are spotlighting the issue two days before the state Commerce Department is due to give lawmakers its analysis of various public health insurance options. Governor Tim Walz had the “MinnesotaCare buy-in option” in his state budget proposal in 2023. Backers say it will reduce premiums for everyone because the state, with a large pool of enrollees, can negotiate lower prices with health insurance companies and H-M-Os. Opponents warn it would be another expansion of bureaucracy and put Minnesota on the path to single-payer, government-run health care.
>>Public Hearing on Closure of Labor, Delivery Unit at Fosston Hospital
(Fosston, MN) — There’s a public hearing in northwest Minnesota tonight (Tues 6 pm) on the closure of the labor and delivery services unit at Essentia Health-Fosston. Those services have already been diverted to Essentia’s St. Mary’s Regional Health in Detroit Lakes. Opponents say pregnant women now must drive more than an hour to see their O-B/G-Y-N and have babies. The Minnesota Department of Health is hosting the discussion with people from the Fosston area.
>>Republican Fraser Launching Campaign to Challenge Senator Klobuchar
(Duluth, MN) — Republican Joe Fraser (FRAY-zher) kicks off his challenge to Democratic U-S Senator Amy Klobuchar with stops today (Tues) in Duluth (1135am) and Moorhead (605pm), and tomorrow in Rochester and Mankato. Fraser, a retired U-S Navy commander who now works in the banking industry, says,” Klobuchar’s time in office hasn’t made the lives of Minnesotans any better and things have actually gotten worse.” He says the cost of public education is soaring, yet the school system ranks only 16th-best in the world, and points to the “crises at our borders,” historic national debt and unsafe streets. Fraser, entering the race only about nine months before the election, will likely have a tough battle because of Klobuchar’s consistently high poll numbers.
>>Phillips Asks Wisconsin Supreme Court to Place Him on Primary Ballot
(Madison, WI) — Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips is asking the Supreme Court in neighboring Wisconsin to order that he be placed on that state’s April 2nd presidential primary ballot. The court has directed the state Elections Commission and the Wisconsin Presidential Preference Selection Committee to respond by 4 pm Wednesday. The Elections Commission has no role in placing candidates on the ballot. That’s done by the bipartisan selection committee which met in the state Capitol earlier this month and selected President Joe Biden as the sole Democrat on the ballot. In a statement, Phillips said that should be up to voters.
>>Unusually Warm January Continues in Minnesota
(Chanhassen, MN) — The unusually warm winter continued Monday with a record high of 50 degrees in the Twin Cities and some 51-degree readings in southern Minnesota. Caleb Grunzke (GRUN’-skee) at the National Weather Service says usually our high temperatures for this time of year are in the low to mid 20s and that’s over another 25 degrees in some places that did reach 50. He says St. Cloud’s high of 47 was three degrees off the record of 50 degrees in 1931. Hibbing set a record-high temp of 38 on Monday. Grunzke says much of southern Minnesota will likely see low 50s on Wednesday and parts of far western Minnesota could reach 60 degrees.
>>Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Canceled
(Grand Marais, MN) — The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race is officially canceled due to the warmer-than-usual winter. Race officials decided Monday that the lack of snow and warm temperatures were not safe for teams to take on the 100 and 65-mile races, scheduled for February 10th. This event was already being postponed from January 6th with little snow along the Gunflint Trail.
>>Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Crow Wing County for First Time
(Brainerd, MN) — Crow Wing County in the Brainerd lakes area is the 48th in the state with an emerald ash borer confirmation. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says staff recently collected E-A-B larvae and samples had emerald ash borer. There is a quarantine limiting the movement of firewood and ash materials out of the Crow Wing County area. State ag officials hope to slow the spread of the tree-killing insect.
>>Minnesota Twins Trade Veteran Polanco to Seattle Mariners
(Minneapolis, MN) — Veteran infielder Jorge Polanco is no longer a member of the Minnesota Twins. The club traded 30-year-old Polanco to the Seattle Mariners Monday for three pitchers and an outfielder. The Twins are trying to reduce payroll this season and Polanco is set to make 10-and-a-half million dollars in 2024. He signed with the organization in 2009 and played ten seasons in Minnesota. Polanco hit .255 with 14 home runs in 80 games in 2023. Reliever Justin Topa (TOH’-puh) and starter Anthony DeSclafani (DEE’-sklah-fah-nee) are two of the pitchers coming to the Twins from Seattle.