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First wave of subzero temperatures hits Minnesota

REUTERS/Eric Miller
MPR’s Paul Huttner writes: “The first blast of subzero air follows our fresh snowy coating this week. This won’t be the coldest air we’ll see this winter, but it will get our attention. The overall cold snap lasts about 60 hours — from Monday evening through Thursday morning. Most of Minnesota endures three subzero mornings this week. Temperatures bottom out in the single digits and teens below the next two nights across Minnesota. The Twin Cities likely bottoms at minus 5 Tuesday morning and minus 10 Wednesday morning.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Nearly 10,000 low-income, uninsured or underinsured people in St. Paul could lose access to the only healthcare they have ever known. Monday, the CEO of Open Cities Health Center, which runs clinics on Dunlap and Rice streets in St. Paul, announced the organization is running out of money and ceasing operation. Dr. Ritesh Patel emphasized there is only enough money to cover the rest of this month. Come Jan. 1, the doors of the clinics are expected to close.”

In the Star Tribune, Faiza Mahamud reports, “In the wake of recent school shootings — in Wisconsin and California — Minnesota parents are anxious to know what their children’s schools are doing to make sure students are prepared in the event of an active-shooter. But school leaders say they’re reluctant to disclose details of the emergency drills they conduct, sharing with parents only information about basic safety procedures they follow to respond to any threat. Making public their active-shooter emergency plan, school officials say, may compromise students’ safety and tip off intruders.”

In the Duluth News Tribune, Peter Passi writes: “Spirit Mountain appeared to be on track to have its shortest ski season ever this year, until Monday night, when the Duluth City Council intervened, providing $235,000 in aid to the financially beleaguered ski hill. By an 8-1 vote with 5th District Councilor Jay Fosle opposing, councilors approved the subsidy. Without the support, the Spirit Mountain Executive Director Brandy Ream warned the ski hill would have had barely enough to meet its payroll later this week and would have been forced to close its doors before even reaching the historically lucrative holiday season.”

WCCO-TV has this: “Sun Country Airlines announced its first-ever route to Canada on Monday. The Minnesota-based company says its new seasonal nonstop service will connect Minneapolis-St. Paul residents to Vancouver.”

Says a KSTP-TV story, “An updated environmental review released by a state agency Monday found no serious threat to Lake Superior if crude oil ever leaked from a new pipeline to replace Enbridge Energy’s aging Line 3 across northern Minnesota. State regulators ordered the update after the Minnesota Court of Appeals in June declared that an earlier review, issued in February 2018, was inadequate because it failed to specifically address the potential impacts of a spill into the Lake Superior watershed.”

Also for the Duluth News Tribune, Kelly Busche writes, “Duluth’s microdistilleries are bracing for a ‘perfect storm’ materializing at the start of the new year. With federal distillery taxes slated to increase fourfold at the start of 2020 and Minnesota’s tight distilling laws, some microdistilleries are uncertain if they’ll turn a profit — or even stay open — next year.”

The Star Tribune’s Greg Stanley reports, “Buying and protecting undeveloped flood-prone land in key parts of Minnesota — around the headwaters of the Mississippi, on the North Shore and just south of the Twin Cities — would be far cheaper than paying later for inevitable flood damage to homes and businesses that might be built if the land is not protected, a group of conservation researchers said Monday. Throughout most of the United States, and particularly along the Mississippi River, it would cost taxpayers less to buy and conserve the vacant land in most flood plains now than to pay out federal flood insurance claims and disaster recovery funds over the next 30, 50 and 100 years, the researchers found.”

For Fox News, Nicole Darrah writes, “A Minnesota man’s obituary claims he died last week after the Vikings succumbed to a Monday Night Football defeat against the Seattle Seahawks. John J. Ford, of Plymouth, ‘passed away surrounded by family on December 2nd after the Vikings allowed 17 unanswered points’, his obituary, published in the Star Tribune on Thursday, joked. … The 86-year-old football fan, who was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., loved the Minnesota Vikings, in addition to Notre Dame, golf and a ‘good cigar.’”

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