>>Flags Half-Staff to Honor Fallen Army Sergeant Wolfe of Mankato
(St. Paul, MN) — Flags are flying at half-staff in Minnesota until sunset tonight (Fri) in honor of fallen Army Sergeant Cade Wolfe from Mankato. Twenty-four-year-old Wolfe and four other aviation soldiers died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash November 10th over the Mediterranean Sea. The order from Governor Walz says, “Minnesota is deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Cade Michael Wolfe, a Minnesotan who dedicated himself to selflessly serving our nation and keeping our country safe.” There’s a public celebration of life for Sergeant Wolfe at 3 p-m today in the Mankato National Guard Armory.
>>Flanagan, Renter Advocates Highlight New Tenants’ Rights Laws
(St. Paul, MN) — Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and other state officials are spotlighting new tenants’ rights laws that took effect January 1st in Minnesota. Among them: landlords can enter apartments only between 8 a-m and 8 p-m, with at least 24-hour notice. Michael Dahl with renter advocacy group HOME Line says, “Imagine getting out of the shower to find your landlord in your apartment without prior notice. It happens.” Under another law, from October 1st through April 30th, a landlord must provide heat of at least 68 degrees in residential units when it’s less than 60 degrees outside.
>>8 More Flu-Related Deaths in Minnesota in Late December
(St. Paul, MN) — Eight flu-related deaths were reported in Minnesota the final week of December for a total of 22 this season. State health officials say 225 people in the state were hospitalized with influenza the week ending December 30th. There were no outbreaks in schools because most districts were on holiday break. Two long-term care facilities reported flu outbreaks last week. Influenza A is the most common strain in Minnesota.
>>Final MNsure Application Deadline is January 15th
(St. Paul, MN) — The final deadline to apply for health and dental insurance through the state’s marketplace is creeping up. MNsure CEO Libby Caulum (CAH-lum) says Minnesotans wanting to obtain coverage effective February 1st need to sign up by January 15th. She says most MNsure enrollees, including many middle-income families who weren’t eligible before, qualify for discounts, in the form of tax credits that lower the cost of monthly premiums. She says in 2024 the average savings is 6,750 dollars or about 560 dollars a month, and access to these savings is only available through MNsure.
>>6 Suspects Charged in Federal Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy in Minnesota
(St. Paul, MN) — Six people face federal charges for an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed large amounts of fentanyl in Minnesota. Court documents say the suspects traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to buy fentanyl pills from suppliers, hid the drugs inside stuffed animals and mailed them to addresses in Dakota, Washington and Ramsey counties. Investigators learned about the trafficking and seized packages containing more than 30 thousand grams of fentanyl pills. The six suspects charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl are Cornell Montez Junior, Robiel Williams, Quijan Bankhead, StardashaDavenport-Mounger, Fo’Tre Devine White, and Shardai Rayshell Allen. Prosecutors did not provide their hometowns.
>>Man Accused of Threatening to Blow Up Thief River Falls Grocery Store
(Thief River Falls, MN) — A northwest Minnesota man is charged with attempted aggravated robbery after police say he threatened to blow up a grocery store in Thief River Falls. Court documents show 44-year-old Shawn Rud (rood) was wearing a mask when he walked into Hugo’s grocery store and gave the clerk a note demanding money, or he would detonate a bomb. Officers say Rud left the store without any money and they used surveillance video to tie him to the December 30th crime. A search of his home turned up evidence linking him to the incident.
>>Kaprizov to Represent Minnesota Wild in NHL All-Star Game
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov will be playing in his third straight N-H-L All-Star Game next month in Toronto. Kaprizov wil be Minnesota’s lone representative this year. He’s scored 34 points in 34 games for the Wild so far this season. The team placed Kaprizov on injured reserve with an upper body and he’s expected to miss at least a week. N-H-L All-Star Weekend is February 1st through 3rd at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
>>Former Timberwolves Guard Ricky Rubio Retiring from NBA
(Minneapolis, MN) — Former Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio says he’s retiring from the N-B-A at the age of 33. In a social media post, Rubio expressed gratitude for his 12 years in the league, mentioning the “positive memories and relationships built during his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers.” Rubio says he needs to focus on mental health as he embarks on the next chapter of his life. Rubio was drafted fifth overall by the Timberwolves in 2009 and averaged 10.8 points and 7.4 assists per game over his 12-year career.