It's National Cooperative Month--a proclamation that first originated in Minnesota in 1948. Scott Reimer is General Manager at Federated Rural Electric Association and says co-ops nationwide and locally are focused on meeting their members' needs. "We've been here for them since the 1930s and we're here for them today and we're all about reliable electricity, customer service and safety." Reimer says electric cooperatives in Minnesota serve about 1.7 million Minnesotans in all 87 counties and operate the largest electric distribution network in the state.
After finishing a two-week "Click it or Ticket" seatbelt campaign, law enforcement is getting ready for Halloween. Mike Hanson, director of the state Office of Traffic Safety says: "Halloween is a big deal. It's also on a weekend (Sunday 10/31) this year, I believe. And it's also a night that we see a significant uptick in the number of impaired driving events that take place out there." Deaths from speed-related crashes are up significantly in Minnesota from prior years, and impaired driving crashes are also a significant part of the state's traffic fatalities.
The holiday season is maybe two months away, but experts are advising shoppers to start making their lists now, due to transportation supply chain issues. John Hauslauden with the Minnesota Truckers Association says they continue reeling with a shortage of drivers. He says it's important to remember "if you got it, a truck brought it": "Everything that we count on for our quality of life and our very survival spends some time on a truck. Whether it's coming to or from a distribution center, or retail store, delivery to your home, coming from a port. It all spends time on a [...]
A State Senate hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon will center on concerns about Driver and Vehicle Services offices around the state that have yet to reopen following shut-downs in reaction to COVID-19. The hearing comes after a group of lawmakers sent a letter to D-P-S Commissioner John Harrington earlier this month. Concerns listed include complaints of long waits and long drives to get a drivers test, delays in license services, and some locations still not yet reopened. The lawmakers in the letter cited money allocated by the legislature to ensure all drivers license exam stations are open, but say they have [...]
The Science Museum of Minnesota this morning announcing the giant beaver has won the vote to go on and potentially become the Official State Fossil. Minnesota is one of only seven states that does *not* already have a designated state fossil. "So we absolutely have every intention of taking this thing all the way through legislation and getting it passed." The Science Museum's Dr. Alex Hastings says an initial eight candidates were chosen, and the giant beaver was a write-in ninth candidate. Other finalists included the crow shark, bison antiquus, and the large long-snouted crocodile relative.
U-S Senator Tina Smith is asking for answers after the United States Postal Service’s recent changes to first-class mail services. She says the changes... "Significantly slow down delivery of first-class mail up to five days for delivery, which is down from the current two to three days to give context, this is the slowest mail delivery that we've seen in 50 years." Smith says that she understands the post office's "desire to overcome budget shortfalls" but is concerned that the new service standards will disproportionately affect the elderly, disabled people, veterans and rural and Tribal communities.
Seatbelt citations down significantly in latest enforcement campaign, but officials say not the whole story
Minnesota law enforcement cited just over 18-hundred drivers for seatbelt violations during the latest two-week "Click it or Ticket" campaign. That's significantly less than last year's 26-hundred tickets, and well over the four-thousand number from both 2018 and 2019. State Traffic Safety Office's Mike Hanson says some agencies couldn't participate as much this year because of staffing shortages and scheduling challenges: "So while the enforcement numbers might at first glance look to be positive, we have to look at the back side of that which is those crash statistics." Preliminary figures show as of October 10th, 80 unbelted motorists have died [...]
Estimates show that 10-to-30 percent of people who become infected with COVID-19 will end up coming down with long-haul COVID symptoms. Mayo Clinic Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn says symptoms can vary from shortness of breath: "Some may have a little bit of brain fog, while in others, the symptoms may be quite severe. They may have shortness of breath to the point that they need to remain on oxygen for several months after their infection, or not be able to do some of the basic activities of life." Dr. Vanichkachorn says the trouble with long-haul COVID is that it's so very nebulous, [...]
An influential medical panel says many Americans shouldn't take aspirin to prevent first heart attacks or strokes. The U-S Preventive Services Task Force says that applies to individuals 60 and up. "The reason for the change is because as time goes on, we get better evidence and now more studies are showing that taking aspirin for older, healthy adults is not as beneficial as was once thought." HealthPartners Dr. Karen Margolis. The task force now recommends daily low-dose aspirin for adults in their 40s and 50s--only if their doctors determine they're at increased risk for heart disease.
The D-N-R has launched a war on deer farmers, says state Representative Tim Miller from Prinsburg about the ban on importing or moving farmed deer within Minnesota to control the spread of chronic wasting disease. Prinsburg contends the D-N-R is targeting deer farms, but doing nothing to address the situation in the wild, where deer are "free to roam and... can cause all sorts of problems": "We aren't talking about that. We're talking about hard-working Minnesotans that are trying to earn a living off of a very important livestock, and the D-N-R has effectively shut them down." D-N-R Commissioner Sarah Strommen [...]