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Hundreds of crashes during Monday commute after light snowfall

Plus: Department of Public safety vows speeding crackdown; Collin Peterson exit interview; Minnesota Senate passes bill allowing dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccine; and more.

frozen gleanIt only takes a little. Fox9 reports: “A dusting of snow and subzero temperatures have created slippery conditions on roads in the Twin Cities metro, making for a messy Monday morning commute. … Between 5 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., the Minnesota State Patrol responded to 314 crashes and 64 vehicle spinouts. Thirty-three of the crashes involved injuries and one was fatal. … The fatal crash occurred on Highway 212 in Carver County shortly before 7 a.m., according to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office. Hwy. 212 was closed in both directions at Kelly Road in Dahlgren Township for several hours.”

Possibly related. WCCO reports: “The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says speeding was the primary contributor in the spike in crash deaths in 2020, which was the deadliest year on Minnesota roads in five years. … Now, the DPS says there will be extra speed enforcement and an awareness campaign with the goal of reducing traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on the state’s roads. DPS is working with the state’s health and transportation departments. … According to DPS, 2020 was the deadliest year on the roads since 2015, but that 2020 had the most speed-related fatal crashes (120) since 2008 (125). … The Minnesota State Patrol also issued more than 1,000 speeding tickets for speeds of 100 mph or more in 2020. That’s compared to 533 tickets for that kind of excessive speed in 2019.”

The Collin Peterson exit interview. The Star Tribune’s Briana Bierschbach reports: “After three decades in Congress, Collin Peterson’s life’s work is now stashed away in 150 boxes. … Packing up the dead animal heads, old letters and plaques in his Washington, D.C., office reminded Peterson of little things even he’d forgotten after so many years, like the framed bill he saved more than two decades ago when he proposed to cede Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Canada. … It never happened, of course, but that wasn’t the point. The bill was a publicity stunt to bring attention to an across-border walleye dispute in his district, and it worked. Ontario backed off catch restrictions they imposed on his constituents. … ‘I did my duty and I didn’t get in a whole lot of trouble,’ Peterson, 76, told the Star Tribune in one of his first interviews since the former DFL lawmaker lost his race for re-election to Republican Michelle Fischbach. ‘None of what I accomplished is going to be earth shattering for the whole nation, but some of the things I did were a big deal in my part of the world.’

Finally, a bill with some teeth. KSTP’s Josh Skluzacek reports: “The Minnesota Senate on Monday passed legislation that would allow dentists to be trained and administer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines to patients. … The vote was 67-0. … ‘As the COVID vaccine becomes more readily available, we want to ensure that Minnesota has the flexibility to administer the vaccine quickly in communities across the state,’ the bill’s chief author, Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Madison Lake, said. ‘Our state’s rollout has been rocky to date. As we look to improve, one way to add flexibility is to add administers that we already have trusted as partners in delivering other vaccines.’ … Current law allows trained dentists to administer the flu vaccine to patients at least 19 years old; Sen. Draheim’s bill would add the COVID-19 vaccine and lower the age restriction to patients 16 and older.”

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In other news…

Amped about the future:Minnesota startup sees a growing niche market for electric work trucks” [Midwest Energy News]

Developing:Rochester’s Destination Medical Center forges ahead, despite COVID-19” [Star Tribune]

Still under investigation:Dead fish, birds found at federal wildlife refuge in Twin Cities” [BringMeTheNews]

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