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Number of pedestrians struck by drivers in St. Paul increases over last year

Plus: a crisis in rural health care; STDs rise to record high in Minnesota; unemployment rate drops; and more.

Police tape by Justin McGregor

The carnage in St. Paul isn’t limited to shootings. The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick reports: “Despite a high-profile awareness and enforcement campaign, St. Paul drivers are hitting more pedestrians this year than last year. … The tally was 54 pedestrians struck as of April 10, compared with 38 at the same point last year, according to police figures. … It grew again this week, when a woman with a child in the back seat of her car plowed into three schoolchildren and a staff member while they were crossing the street, with the walk sign, in front of their school Monday. … The car was moving slowly, and the most serious of the injuries were a broken toe and pinched nerve for a 9-year-old girl. Several witnesses told police the driver was on her cellphone; the driver denied that, saying she was blinded by the afternoon sun.

Health news site Stat heads to Cook County to highlight one aspect of a rural health care crisis. Casey Ross writes: “The pain started at midnight. … Clare Shirley shuffled through the darkness to the bathroom. The pain, pulsing through the pit of her stomach, came again and again, taking her breath away. She could barely move. … Two days from her due date, Clare quickly realized what was happening. She woke her husband, Dan. Their first baby was coming — fast. But to deliver safely, they’d have to make it through a 2 1/2 hour journey across a rugged landscape to the big-city hospital in Duluth.

Let’s hope this trend has climaxed. The Star Tribune reports: “Sexually transmitted diseases rose to another record high in Minnesota last year, with a sharp increase in syphilis cases and a steady rise in other infections, state health officials said Thursday morning. … Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger called the numbers a cause for ‘urgent concern’ in a statement released Thursday morning. … Overall STD infections rose 10 percent for the year, with notable increases among people who use drugs, particularly heroin, opiates and methamphetamine.”

Some good jobs news for the state. MPR reports: “Minnesota’s unemployment rate improved to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 percent in March. And for the first time in more than two and a half years, the state’s annual job growth rate also outpaced the nation. … Minnesota employers added 5,300 jobs during the month. Revised February numbers also showed 6,200 jobs gained that month compared to the initial report of 3,800 jobs, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday.”

In other news…

Pairs well with tears: “Surly Brewing Unveils Official Minnesota United Beer” [WCCO]

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Harsh: “St. Paul City Council votes 6-1 to reject Dai Thao’s symbolic call for Trump investigation” [Pioneer Press]

This is why Woodbury can’t have nice things: “Woodbury archery range closes after arrows purposely shot into nearby nursery fields” [Star Tribune]

Casey Carl is off the case: “Target innovation chief departs as projects are dismantled” [Star Tribune]

Young Joni in NE Minneapolis gets a mention: “GQ’s Best New Restaurants in America 2017” [GQ]

More bollards on the way: “Protected bikeways are coming to UMN campus” [Minnesota Daily]

Might be of interest to some of you: “Prince Deluxe ‘Purple Rain’ Tracklist Leaks” [Variety]

FYI: “Governor declares Friday as ‘Prince Day’ across Minnesota” [MPR]