Forum News Service
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WASHINGTON—Minnesota gets a new U.S. senator on Jan. 3. A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Al Franken said on Wednesday, Dec. 20, that the senator will resign on Jan. 2. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is to be sworn in the next day. The announcement puts to rest rumors that Franken will decide to stay in office after announcing two weeks ago that he would resign over sexual misconduct allegations. At the time, he only said he would leave the Senate "in coming weeks." That produced speculation that he may opt to remain in office.
ST. PAUL—The price tag for treating older Minnesotans for chronic diseases is projected to increase by billions over the next 10 years, according to a study released on Monday. Analyzing the state's data on health insurance claims, the Minnesota Department of Health study concludes treating Minnesotans older than 60 for chronic diseases will cost $16.1 billion by 2023, up 65 percent from the $9.8 billion paid in 2014.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., faces new allegations of sexual assault after two unnamed women have come forward accusing Franken of grabbing their buttocks on separate occasions, the Huffington Post and Star Tribune is reporting.
A Minnesota Senate staff member filed a complaint with the Senate's human resources department on Tuesday charging that state Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-South St. Paul Park, sent her a photo of a man's genitals in 2015. Ellen Anderson told Minnesota Public Radio that Schoen used Snapchat, a mobile messaging app, to send her the sexually explicit photo. Schoen was a House legislator at that time but was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2016. Schoen's attorney, Paul Rogesheske, denied that his client sent such a sexual message to Anderson or any other woman.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis-based Jostens and the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee plan to bring the jeweler’s 33 championship rings it has created for Super Bowl winners on tour. The tour starts in Minneapolis Sept. 5 with a six-day run at the Star Tribune Atrium at Capella Tower. The rings will then be on display for the Vikings’ Sept. 11 home opener in Vikings Plaza.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's obesity rate among adults crept upwards in 2016, but remains below that of its neighbors, according to a national study released Thursday, Aug. 31. The study, by New Jersey-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found 27.8 percent of adults in Minnesota were obese in 2016, up 1.7 percent from a year prior. That figure is good for 18th out of the country's 50 states and District of Columbia. South Dakota ranked 24th with 29.6 percent, Wisconsin was 29th (30.7 percent), North Dakota was 36th (31.9 percent) and Iowa was 39th (32 percent).
ST. PAUL -- A post-summer survey shows an upward trend of Minnesota’s tourism business, the state’s tourism promotion office said. Summer revenue was up for 42 percent of survey respondents and occupancy was up 35 percent, according to Explore Minnesota on Wednesday, Aug. 30. Meanwhile, 30 percent of respondents experienced a decrease in revenue and 31 percent said occupancy was down. The hotel and motel sector reported decreased occupancy due to significant growth of new hotel rooms in the Twin Cities area, the tourism office said in its news release.
FARGO - Fargo police have received preliminary results of the autopsy on Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind . Police reported on the department’s Facebook page Tuesday morning, Aug. 29, that the preliminary cause of death was “homicidal violence.” The autopsy is being conducted by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner in St. Paul because the body was recovered in Clay County, Minn. Further details about LaFontaine-Greywind’s death, or the manner in which her baby was born, were not released.
ST. PAUL -- Fines will increase Aug. 1 in Minnesota for drivers who fail to stop for a school bus with activated lights and the crossing arm fully extended. The fine will jump to $500 from $300. In the past six years, law enforcement across the state wrote nearly 9,000 stop arm violation citations, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said. During the annual School Bus Stop Arm Survey earlier this year, 3,659 bus drivers across the state reported 703 stop arm violations in just one day.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's unadjusted job count passed the 3 million mark in June for the first time ever, according to figures released last week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The agency said the state added 4,400 jobs in June on a seasonally adjusted basis and has gained 77,478 jobs over the past year, the biggest over-the-year job gain since May 1998. Job growth in Minnesota is up 2.6 percent over the past year, compared with a national job growth rate of 1.5 percent.