MANKATO (LEARFIELD) - Hog farms, and their impact on the state's economy, were the basis of a recent study from the University of Minnesota extension. Megan Roberts, an extension educator who worked on the project says the average hog farm generates more than $1.5 million in economic activity, activity that is often the life-blood of rural Minnesota. "For rural communities we really wanted them to think about how to have discussions about how to support agriculture in a community," said Roberts. "And to recognize that agriculture contributes to rural communities." Roberts says the study made it clear that not all farms [...]
BLOMKEST (LEARFIELD)-- Seven people are okay after a Memorial Day weekend boat rescue in west-central Minnesota. Sheriff's deputies say a speed boat malfunctioned Sunday afternoon on Big Kandiyohi Lake with three adults and four kids on board. A nearby pontoon rescued all seven from the sinking boat. No one was injured. Officers say the outboard motor fell off the 1974 boat into the water. The boat owned by a man from Hector is considered a total loss.
SACRED HEART (KMHL) – A Sacred Heart woman was killed and another man received serious injuries from a crash that occurred north of Sacred Heart early Friday morning. According to the Renville County Sheriff’s Office, Danielle Johnson, 34, of Sacred Heart and 29-year-old Nicholas Brekke, also of Sacred Heart were riding in a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer that entered the ditch and rolled several times. Authorities say the crash was reported around 5:45 Friday morning. Officials say Johnson was declared dead at the scene of the accident, while Brekke was taken to CentraCare Hospital with serious injuries. Sheriff’s officials say the accident [...]
MARSHALL (KMHL) – The Lyon County Law Enforcement Center is once again open to the public. The center opened Thursday. Sheriff’s officials are asking though that all citizens visiting the law enforcement center to wear a facemask because of continued concerns of COVID-19. The jail however, will remain closed to visitors until further notice, however money can be deposited into inmate accounts at the kiosk in jail administration during normal business hours.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- Minnesota's unemployment rate jumped to eight-point-one percent in April and the state shed 360-thousand payroll jobs due to COVID-19. Oriane Casale (OR'-ee-ahn kuh-SAL') with the Department of Employment and Economic Development indicates that number is probably too low because of the fast economic drop and other factors. Casale won't hazard a prediction on what May's unemployment number might be "but what I will say is that we would anticipate our unemployment rate to be more in line with what we're seeing nationally." The U-S jobless rate rose to 14-point-seven percent last month.
MARSHALL (KMHL) – An area lawmaker is joining Republican leadership in the Minnesota house calling on Governor Walz to allow churches in Minnesota to reopen. Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R-Ghent) says people are getting frustrated. "You can 50 people on the outdoor patio, you can have 10 people at church, but make sure you don't sing," said Swedzinski. "I'd love to see the data. If this is about science, where does that come from?" He adds that if crowds can be in big box retailers – then churches should be safe too. "We don't need people holding our hands for this stuff, [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- Republican legislative leaders claim Governor Walz's phased re-opening of some businesses June 1st discriminates against Minnesota churches. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt questioned why churches are limited to ten people outdoors while hundreds of people can gather in the aisles of big-box stores. S enate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said, "I am growing more concerned there is a targeted effort to keep churches closed." Gazelka says he hopes the federal courts will intervene. Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis Bernard Hebda wants to give Catholic parishes the option of re-opening May 26th under strict protocols for social [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - "Surprising and really disappointing" says the president of Hospitality Minnesota about Governor Walz's decision to allow only outdoor seating at restaurants and bars to re-open June 1st. Liz Rammer (RAY-mer) says many Greater Minnesota establishments don't have that option and it could be the final blow for some. "There are small town cafes and coffee shops and this is going to be another devastating blow to those folks, who were fully anticipating to be able to open their in-restaurant dining by June 1," said Rammer. The governor responds that we can’t pretend 100-thousand dead Americans that this [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- Governor Tim Walz is allowing bars and restaurants, hair salons, tattoo parlors and campgrounds to re-open June 1st under some restrictions. Outdoor dining will only be allowed at Minnesota bars and restaurants by appointment, with a six-foot social distance between tables and at a 50-percent capacity limit. Restaurant workers must wear masks and customers are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings. Barber shops, hair salons, and tattoo parlors can operate at 25-percent capacity and workers and patrons are required to wear masks.
WASHINGTON (LEARFIELD) -- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) is proposing relief for ethanol producers through an amendment to the CARES Act. People are driving less, demand for fuel has fallen sharply and dozens of ethanol plants are sitting idle. With Congress working on another coronavirus pandemic relief package, the Minnesota Democrat is among a group of senators working to ensure ethanol doesn’t get left out. Klobuchar says the stand-alone bill is a fairness issue. Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley is co-sponsoring the bill.