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Homeowners complain that insurers are denying storm damage claims

Plus: New lions and tigers arrive at Sandstone sanctuary; air pollution is still more deadly than violent crime in the Twin Cities; Suni Lee visits Battle Creek Elementary; and more.

This from KSTP-TV, “The state is reporting a spike in complaints from homeowners whose insurance claims were denied following recent storms, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The department is issuing an alert, asking Minnesotans to review their insurance policies, particularly in the areas of hail and wind damage. … The Minnesota Department of Commerce told 5 EYEWITNESS News it has seen an 18% increase in homeowners insurance complaints since 2020. They said many of those complaints are from homeowners concerned about coverage denials or unexpectedly high out-of-pocket costs after damage from wind or hailstorms. ‘One of the things we’re seeing, there are more frequent and severe storms happening here in Minnesota,’ said Minnesota’s Deputy Commissioner of Insurance Julia Dreier. ‘Those things do raise costs and insurance companies as a result are amending their policies.’”

At KARE-TV Allesandra Doyle says, “The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota, is the new forever home for four big cats that formerly resided at the now-infamous Tiger King Park in rural Oklahoma. According to the sanctuary, Alyssa the liliger, lions Alana and Aurora and white tiger Thor Jr. were all part of their animal Witness Protection Program over the past year while their legal cases moved through court.”

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Another KSTP story says, “As of Thursday, 87 total cases of (monkeypox) had been confirmed in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Health officials are urging Minnesotans to limit close, skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact, with people who have new or unexpected sores and rashes, as well as those who’ve recently traveled to areas where the virus is spreading.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches (including muscle and back).”

For KIMT-TV Mike Bunge reports, “The Diocese of Winona-Rochester is alerting the public about an ordained priest charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The Diocese says the offense allegedly happened in Winona County in December 2020 and involved Ubaldo Roque Huerta, who was ordained as a priest on June 28, 2008.  The Diocese says Roque Huerta had not had an assignment within the Diocese since 2018, his faculties were suspended in November of 2019 and at the time of the alleged abuse, the Diocese was actively working toward his laicization.”

Stribber Liz Navratil says, “Eight North Side residents who sued Minneapolis seeking to increase police staffing are weighing how to proceed with the case after Mayor Jacob Frey unveiled a plan to boost hiring, the group’s attorney said Thursday. The announcement came at a press conference held one day before Frey’s administration had been scheduled to appear in court to explain why it had fallen 119 officers shy of the minimum number required in the city’s charter. That hearing has now been pushed to November.”

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At The Minnesota Reformer, Christopher Ingraham says, “Air pollution from car exhaust, wildfires and other sources kills over 300 Minneapolis and St. Paul residents annually, according to new estimates from a leading team of air quality researchers. That number has risen in recent years as air quality has slightly deteriorated in the upper Midwest.  The figure is almost certainly an underestimate of the true burden of air pollution in the Twin Cities: It does not reflect the effects of fine particle pollution on infants, which are known to be especially severe. It also doesn’t include mortality from other pollutants, like nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, whose health effects are less studied but thought to be smaller. … While violent crime looms large in the public imagination for its risks to life and limb, homicides add up to just a fraction of air pollution deaths both worldwide and closer to home. In 2019, for instance, roughly four times as many Twin Cities residents were killed by air pollution as were murdered.”

An AdWeek story says, “Some estimates say airline fares have risen by 26 percent and jet fuel prices have doubled over the past year. SmartAsset crunched numbers from the 100 busiest airports to see how costs at each location have changed since 2021. … (MSP ranked third most in increases, with average fares up $102.)”

Jana Hollingsworth of the Strib says, “Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan visited Castle Danger Brewery on Thursday to celebrate both the success of the “Free the Growler” movement spearheaded by the brewery and new Minnesota job creation numbers. The longtime production cap on to-go sales, including growlers, was lifted in May when the Minnesota Legislature agreed to a deal that also allows craft distilleries to sell more of their product on site. The beer production cap affected five Minnesota breweries that made more than 20,000 barrels of beer annually, including Castle Danger.”

Soraya Keiser at the Pioneer Press reports, “The Battle Creek Elementary School gymnasium in St. Paul turned into a creative paradise Thursday. Tables set up with craft supplies, toys and educational games filled the space … but they were also in for a special treat. Suni Lee, 2020 Olympic all-around gold medal gymnast and Battle Creek Elementary alumna, partnered with Amazon to host a special back-to-school donation event at the school. The donation will help Battle Creek Elementary expand their E-STEAM program, which stands for environmental education in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.”