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Snow, severe cold in forecast for much of Minnesota

Plus: North Dakota county may stop accepting refugees; St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul faces uncertain future; Gophers to face Auburn in Outback Bowl; and more.


This from FOX 9, “A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for areas north of the metro in central Minnesota. In the metro, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect. Our forecast shows the heaviest snowfalls will be to the north of the metro. Areas including Brainerd, Fargo, and Duluth could get between five and eight inches. Closure to the metro, the area will see less snow, with some spots seeing up to three inches. However, the timing may be problematic and the snow could make for tough travel [Monday] morning.”

Adelie Bergstrom of the Duluth News Tribune says, “As much as a foot of snow could fall Sunday night and Monday morning across Northwestern Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth, while the Twin Ports could see 6-10 inches. … Weather Service forecasters described the area from Superior to Ashland as a bull’s-eye, with high confidence of 10 inches of snow or more. Strong winds could cause isolated power outages along the South Shore of Lake Superior, they said.”

MPR News reports: “Investigators arrived at the scene of a deadly Minnesota National Guard helicopter crash on Saturday near St. Cloud, as a memorial took shape in a nearby field and colleagues spoke about the three men who died. The Guard identified the three soldiers who died as 30-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles Nord of Perham, 28-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers Jr. of Winsted, and 28-year-old Sgt. Kort Plantenberg of Avon. … All three had returned home last May from a nine-month deployment to Kuwait, where they conducted aerial medical evacuations.”

Says Paul Walsh in the Star Tribune, “Close family members are recalling with a mix of fondness and anguish a woman who was killed along with her young sons by her ex-husband before he took his own life at a south Minneapolis home. Joyce and Bruce Ellingson, in a paid obituary published Sunday, said of their slain daughter and grandchildren, ‘It is so very, very hard to move from the present tense to the past tense when talking of Kjersten, William, and Nelson. We are heartbroken’. The Ellingsons went on to describe daughter Kjersten Schladetzky as ‘a fiercely loyal friend, a wonderful listener, a brilliant leader, thoughtful, insightful and a rare breed of person.’”

This from the AP, “Reuben Panchol was forced to leave war-torn Sudan decades ago as a child, embarking on an odyssey that eventually brought him to the American Midwest and left him eternally grateful to the country that took him in. ‘I am an American citizen, a North Dakotan,’ said Panchol, a 38-year-old father of four. ‘And without North Dakota, I couldn’t have made it.’ Panchol hopes to share his story on Monday with members of a local commission who are set to vote on whether their county will stop accepting refugees. If they vote to bar refugees, as expected, Burleigh County — home to about 95,000 people and the capital city of Bismarck — could become the first local government to do so since President Trump issued an executive order making it possible.”

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In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes, “At a time of declining finances, the future of St. Joseph’s Hospital in downtown St. Paul remains cloudy, raising alarm with physicians and nearby residents alike. Recent media reports have raised the possibility of a closure within three years, as well as layoffs elsewhere throughout the former HealthEast system. Meanwhile, staffing cuts at Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital, also in St. Paul, will take place in coming months. Current plans call for eliminating more than half of the 114 beds in the long-term acute care facility.”

In the Star Tribune, Emma Nelson reports, “Money from a St. Paul parking ramp sale will help stock library shelves next year. The $5 million sale of the city-owned Gateway Ramp downtown in August will fill a gap in the libraries’ 2020 collections budget and ease the transition to a permanent funding source, after years of relying on one-time money to pay for library materials. … St. Paul eliminated library fines at the beginning of 2019, bringing more people into the libraries at a time when operations and materials costs are on the rise. Mayor Melvin Carter’s proposed 2020 budget reduced collections spending from nearly $1.5 million to $1.3 million, a cut that library officials said could result in fewer materials and longer wait times.”

Also in the Star Tribune, this from Jim Buchta, “Twin Cities developers are luring baby boomers and empty nesters from their suburban homes by offering decked-out gathering spaces with fully outfitted kitchens and dining tables big enough for the whole family. … Such spaces … are aimed at providing elements of the homes those empty nesters are leaving behind, including one of the most important: A dining room table, which often gets left behind in the move.”

KARE 11 reports: “The Minnesota Gophers are going to the Outback Bowl to take on the Auburn Tigers. P.J. Fleck and his squad will be playing on New Year’s Day for the first time since 2014 after their 10-2 season. The Tigers finished their regular season 9-3 and ranked No. 12 in the final rankings. The Gophers are ranked No. 18.”

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