Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Voyageurs National Park receives special funding to open during shutdown

Plus: Hortman disables state House mute button; Minnesota fire deaths down; doctors increasingly prescribing painkiller combo with high risk of overdose; and more.

Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park

That’s a bargain. MPR’s Dan Kraker reports: “Voyageurs National Park has received special funding to restore some winter operations for at least the next two weekends. … Voyageurs National Park Association, a nonprofit that partners with the park, is giving a $5,000 grant to the park. … Combined with some federal fee dollars, it will allow the park to open its Rainy Lake Visitors Center for at least the next two weekends, Jan. 12-13 and Jan. 19-20, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., if the partial federal shutdown lasts that long.”

Mute point. WCCO’s Pat Kessler reports: “It is no secret that the Minnesota lawmakers sometimes hold raucous legislative sessions. But there’s something even many lawmakers didn’t know. … House GOP leaders installed a ‘mute button’ to cut off their microphones if things got rowdy! … ‘When we found out about it, we were outraged,’ said incoming Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman. … She says her Republican predecessor installed a mute button at the Speaker’s podium to silence opposition. That is why one of Hortman’s first official acts is to disable the mute button, which she says was used against unruly Democrats at least twice.”

Good news. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports:Deaths from fire in Minnesota in 2018 dropped sharply from an exceptionally deadly 2017, and stand at the lowest total since 2009, according to state statistics released Thursday.”

Seems counterproductive. MPR’s Jon Collins reports: “A study from the University of Minnesota has found that doctors are increasing simultaneous prescriptions of benzodiazepines and opioids, a combination that may amplify the risk of overdose death.”

Article continues after advertisement

In other news …

Booze news:Neighborhood restaurants finally won the right to sell hard alcohol. So why aren’t they?” [City Pages]

They came out of nowhere:Driver damages pavers in front of Fifth Street Towers in Minneapolis” [KMSP]

Bullseye:Target rings up strong holiday sales growth of 5.7 percent” [Star Tribune]

New Americans:Naturalization ceremony in St. Paul welcomes 1,000 new citizens” [KSTP]

Weird:New History Channel show tells of pilot’s 1948 ‘dogfight’ with UFO above Fargo” [Fargo Forum]

Misheard:Wolves’ Wiggins Clarifies ‘Gay’ Comment On Opponent’s Behavior” [WCCO] Here’s the linguistic analysis.