UNDATED (LEARFIELD) -- By the end of this week Salvation Army Red Kettles will be up around the state as the annual fundraising drive begins. This year, for the first time, there will be digital options available to participate in the iconic fundraising effort. That includes Apple and Google pay options right at the kettle, along with a digital scanner that will open a popup donation window on your cell phone. The donation goal this year is set at three million dollars.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - The Coalition of Greater Minnesota cities says its members tell them the success of the next legislative session hinges on lawmakers passing a large bonding bill for public works projects. "What we're saying is that in order to meet the state's needs the legislature needs to do a bonding bill of at least $1.5 billion," said Peterson. "We think $1.5 billion or a little bit more is something the state can certainly afford." Rep. Mary Murphy (D-Hermantown) said previously the House plans to propose a 3.5-billion-dollar bonding bill -- possibly the largest amount ever, and five times [...]
WHITE, SOUTH DAKOTA (KMHL) – The South Dakota Department of Public Safety has identified the tenn that was killed in a crash Thursday morning on a rural road north of White, South Dakota. According to authorities, 18-year-old Sean Blom, of White, was the driver of a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu that was headed south when the vehicle left the road and struck a tree. The crash occurred around 8:30 Thursday morning. Authorities say Blom was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
RENVILLE (LEARFIELD) - Rembrandt Foods is closing its Renville egg-production plant. The move will result in the loss of 52 jobs in the central Minnesota community. The Iowa-based egg manufacturer didn't give a reason for the closure, which will begin in January. Changes in consumer demand for conventional eggs and proposed animal-welfare legislation in several states are affecting the company's production costs and profitability, but this wasn't cited as the specific reason for the closure. The closure is expected to cost about 52 people their jobs. Rembrandt Foods is owned by Timberwolves owner Glenn Taylor.
SIOUX FALLS (LEARFIELD) -- Sanford Health will be under federal oversight because of a recent settlement that resulted in a big payout from the company. The Argus Leader reports Sanford's billing will be watched by an outside auditor that's being hired. Many employees will also have to undergo annual training that touches on kickback laws. A neurosurgeon accused of defrauding the federal government cost Sanford more than 20-million-dollars as part of the settlement.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - Republican lawmakers are blasting state agency heads for improper contracting practices that violated state law nearly 18-hundred times over the past year at 32 different state agencies. "Very, very troubling that there is this attitude," said Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center). "Now we see it's an attitude across all the agencies that we can go and spend whatever we want, then we'll get approval and then we'll tell you what it's for. This has got to change." Others are calling for Gov. Tim Walz to do something about the problem. "The takeaway from this is not just [...]
ST. PAUL (KMHL) – There was not any federal funding included for an expansion project for U.S. Highway 14 in the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development program in 2020. The Minnesota Department of Transportation applied for a grant to fund $25 million of the $85 million project. Local and state officials hoped the money would help expand Highway 14 from two to four lanes between New Ulm and Nicollet. The 12 mile stretch is the final stretch of Highway 14 that remains unfunded between New Ulm and Rochester.
Photo: Lyon County Sheriff's Office, Facebook MARSHALL (KMHL) – Law enforcement agencies in Lyon County combined to transport 520 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs for disposal. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page said the drugs were collected by a partnership of the sheriff’s department, the Marshall Police Department and the Tracy Police Department’s “Take it to the box” program. Authorities say the boxes offer a safe place for residents to dispose of their prescribed or over the counter medications.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - Minnesota Senate Republicans have hearings this afternoon (2pm) on the latest problems at the state Human Services Department. Employees reportedly allowed vendors to perform work without signed contracts, in violation of state law. "Start asking some really tough questions like what are you going to do about it, or what have you done," said Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center). "Perhaps they need a little more push on adjusting their entire attitude in the department." Rosen says she's surprised she hasn't seen outrage from Governor Tim Walz. Human Services Commissioner, Jodi Harpstead, says that [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- Governor Tim Walz is authorizing state disaster assistance for six Minnesota counties impacted by severe weather this spring and fall. Dakota and Pope counties will receive state aid for damage suffered in spring flooding in March and April. The two counties were not designated in the federal disaster declaration but qualified after the deadline. Pipestone, Rock and Traverse counties are getting help to recover from severe thunderstorms and flooding in mid-September following requests from county boards. "Even though some of these events happened months ago, communities continue to struggle with damage to their infrastructure and local economy," [...]