Minneapolis-St. Paul International is gearing up for a busy Thanksgiving holiday. Airport spokesman Jeff Lea: "The big takeaway this year at MSP is we're going to see double the volume of passengers than we did in 2020 which was severely impacted by the pandemic... but it's still about 30-percent from what we normally see pre-pandemic 2019 or years before that." Lea encourages travelers to arrive at the airport plenty early and check with their airline ahead of time for any schedule changes.
Woman who lost sister in drunk driving crash 15 years ago Thanksgiving talks about long-lasting impact
There will be extra law enforcement looking for impaired drivers on the state's road from now through the end of the year. At a press conference, Amanda Albrecht recounted how her family's life has changed since Thanksgiving 2006 when her sister Breana was killed after getting behind the wheel while under the influence... "Breana made one mistake that cost her her life a couple of months ago, for the first time in 15 years, I was mad at her for the ongoing pain my family goes through." Breana was weeks shy of her 20th birthday when she was killed in a [...]
Governor Tim Walz is urging Minnesotans to get vaccinated. As COVID cases continue to surge in Minnesota, Walz, speaking at HCMC Tuesday said healthcare workers are being pushed to the limit... "Listening to the folks upstairs I asked point-blank "you've been at this 20 months, how does it feel now?" and without a doubt, every one of them said it's worse now than it's been, it's harder on us now that it's been, the people who are here are sicker than they've been, and the pressure and the wear and tear on the staff is as bad as it's been." Walz [...]
There will be extra law enforcement looking for impaired drivers on the state's road from now through the end of the year. "Oftentimes when we hear the term DWI, we think about alcohol, but alcohol DWI the amount of people being arrested for this is going down, drug-impaired driving arrests are increasing at a substantial rate and we are focused on this right now." State Patrol Sergeant Tyler Milless says from 2018 to 2020, 58-percent of impaired drivers showed that they had two or more substances in their system at the time they were arrested.
Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for home cooking fires. Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Amanda Swenson says you should know how to use a fire extinguisher before you need to use one in an emergency... "That's a scary situation, and that's not the time to learn how to use an extinguisher, so be familiar with how to pull out the pin, how to unhook a nozzle if there's a hose with the nozzle attached." Swenson says you should have a lid close by when cooking on the stove. So in case of fire, you can slide the lid [...]
Second Harvest Heartland food bank C-E-O Allison O'Toole says 500 thousand Minnesotans are hungry right now, including 200 thousand children: "While I'd love to tell you the worst of times are behind us, for far too many people they're just not. Things aren't that different than they were a year ago." O'Toole says communities of color are twice as likely to experience food insecurity. She says local food shelves need volunteers and financial donations -- and suggests concerned citizens ask their foodshelf, what do you need?
A glimmer of hope has returned for a possible special session on COVID bonuses for front line workers, drought assistance and other issues. Senator Jim Abeler, a key Republican who has called for the removal of state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, signaled Monday he might reconsider -- if Governor Tim Walz will agree to prohibiting any COVID vaccination mandates by the state. Abeler says way back in August... "I told the governor, let's strike a bargain: You can keep your commissioner if you give the people back their conscience." A Walz administration spokesperson says they continue urging Senate Republicans to "put [...]
LeadingAge Minnesota is applauding Governor Tim Walz's announcement that he is activating the Minnesota National Guard to form skilled nursing "response teams" to provide support to long-term facilities experiencing staffing shortages. LeadingAge Minnesota's Kari Thurlow says it's a good first step, but... "We need to move forward and work with a bipartisan group of legislators to identify permanent solutions that can be put into place." Thurlow says there are currently about 23,000 open long-term caregiver positions across the state--and each month more employees are leaving than are being hired.
The American Cancer Society estimates that this year over 235,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed, and approximately 131,000 people will die from it, making it the leading cause of all cancer deaths in the United States. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. Timothy Larson with Minnesota Oncology says: "The most important thing is to quit smoking if you smoke, that is without a doubt the biggest intervention, you can see benefits in reduced deaths as early as five years after quitting." And Dr. Larson says that while lung cancer is a very deadly disease, at-risk people [...]
While job growth continues around the state so does wage growth. Oriane Casale (OR-ee-in cuh-SAL) with the state Department of Employment and Economic Development: "Wages have shown strong growth during the recovery with increases tracking with this really sharp rise in inflation while high demand low wage jobs are seeing even stronger wage growth than jobs overall." Casale says the average hourly wage for all private sectors rose 6.3 percent over the year and 8.7 percent since October 2019.