WASHINGTON — Congress is approaching the end of this year's session and the farm bill is still being discussed, but Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., is confident it will be passed. "Getting a final farm bill passed before the end of the year is so important. Minnesota farmers need the certainty this bill is going to provide. I'm optimistic we're going to get that done," Smith said. One feature of the bill is a Community Connect Program that would help spread broadband access to rural and tribal communities, according to Smith.
HAWLEY, Minn. — Sept. 25, 2018, is a day tragedy struck the Bjorndahl family. Katie Bjorndahl's father, Aaron Bjorndahl, called her first thing in the morning, but the call went straight to voicemail which was abnormal. He called Katie's mother Lisa Bjorndahl to see if she had heard from her. She had texted, but received no response. Her mother then called Katie's workplace, where they said they couldn't get a hold of her and she didn't call in for work.
ST. PAUL-- Minnesotans will now be able to test, map and report broadband internet speed across the state. CheckSpeedMinnesota.com is a benchmarking tool created by The Minnesota Office of Broadband Development that allows users to answer a few questions and run a speed test to track results. In a press release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, it highlights the importance of having a system like this.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — LGBTQ Minnesotans are responding to a report this week of a new gender-neutral option for state driver's licenses. At least one lawmaker is questioning why the option did not have legislative approval. Residents in Minnesota will now have the option to choose 'X' as their gender on their state ID if they don't identify as either male or female.
FARGO—North Dakota is the fourth best state to retire early, a recent study conducted by HavenLife, a New York life insurance agency, says. The study measures by three main factors: well-being, cost of living and health care quality. The study states that North Dakota was ranked third in health care quality just behind Massachusetts and Minnesota. North Dakota is also ranked 11th in the well-being factor and 24th in the cost of living category.
According to an article by Wallethub.com, Minnesota and North Dakota were second and eighth, respectively, in U.S. women's equality. South Dakota ranked 37th. There were three different categories that contributed to the overall ranking: workplace environment, education and health, and political empowerment. When it came to workplace environment rankings, Minnesota ranked fourth in the nation, North Dakota ranked 31st, while South Dakota ranked last at 50th.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Monday issued a air quality alert for a large portion of Minnesota, from the arrowhead region down to the southwestern part of the state. The affected areas include Hibbing, Duluth, Brainerd and Mankato. Northwestern and southeastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, are not included in the alert. The smoke originated from a wildfire and British Columbia and the alert expires at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21.
ST. PAUL-- On August 3, Forum News Service reported 3 people who were affected by a cryptosporidiosis outbreak at the Shades of Sherwood Campground near the southeastern Minnesota community of Zumbrota. Health officials now say the number of affected people has increased to at least 72 as of Thursday, August 9. The pool owner has taken the following precautions since the outbreak first occurred: • The swimming pool was temporarily closed and hyper-chlorinated to kill any existing Cryptosporidium. The pool has since reopened.
ST. PAUL — Health officials have confirmed the first Minnesota case of measles in 2018 in a Hennepin County child. A 5-year-old who traveled internationally to a region where measles is common contracted the disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The child was most likely infectious from July 30 through August 7. The health department says if other cases popped up as a result of this case, symptoms would occur between now and August 28.
ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Department of Health is urging people to be aware of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak at the Shades of Sherwood Campground near the southeastern Minnesota community of Zumbrota. Investigators have identified three people sick with the illness with one having to be hospitalized. One of them was also infected by E. coli. The Minnesota Department of Health wants people to speak to them if they visited Shades of Sherwood Campground since July 1.