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Small town in Kandiyohi County could become center of Minnesota abortion fight

Plus: Attorney General Keith Ellison takes public input on Sanford Health-M Health Fairview merger; gun diversion program looks to expand; Mankato leads nation with low unemployment rate; and more.

Says Stribber John Reinan, “Minnesota’s newest abortion battleground might be a town of 500 people on the western prairie. The Kandiyohi County city of Prinsburg is considering an ordinance that would allow residents to sue abortion providers. Although the town doesn’t have an abortion clinic, the proposed law also would allow lawsuits against companies that provide abortion drugs by mail. It’s the first step in a campaign that organizers hope will spread across the state, especially in conservative rural areas.”

A Michelle Griffith story at the Minnesota Reformer says, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Tuesday announced his office is seeking public input on a possible merger between Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services to create a new health care system that spans the Midwest. Ellison said people can submit comments or concerns about the merger through a new online forum. The Attorney General’s office will also hold three or four in-person meetings in Greater Minnesota next year.”

At KSTP-TV Brittney Ermon reports, “The leaders of a Minneapolis gun diversion program are hoping to expand resources to the community after six years of success. The nationally recognized program is only accessible to eligible offenders, but the co-founders are hoping to secure grant funding to make the initiative available to the public. … classes are taught by licensed social workers and mental health professionals that discuss topics ranging from healing to controlling emotions. The founders explained people of color often end up in the program because of decisions fueled by trauma. ‘It’s not, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ but ‘What happened to you?’ We need to hear what happened,’ (program director Priscilla Brown said.”

Stribber Kavita Kumar says, “Mankato has the lowest unemployment of any city in the nation — and it is one of six cities in the state or on its border that were among the 20 best for jobs this fall. Coming in at an ultra-low 1.3%, Mankato was at the very top of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates for September. Figures for October will come out next week.”

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For KARE-TV Julie Nelson and Belinda Jenson report, “Thousands of people drive to the North Shore every year to take in the beauty of the rivers and, of course, the great Lake Superior. But another natural resource is also drawing tourists — only revealing itself when the sun goes down. Todd Burlet who is an International Dark-Sky delegate, and avid night photographer, told us, ‘It’s just like, the drum roll, please, because, you know, night’s about to come. And then the next act is laying back and just watching the stars come out.’ That’s right: stargazing. You might not think stars are worthy of a road trip, but that might be because you’ve never really seen them.”

A Jay Kolls story at KSTP-TV says, “In May, U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, announced a major violent crime initiative along with partners from the FBI, ATF, BCA, Minneapolis Police and St. Paul Police.  The goal, Luger said at the time, was to go after violent offenders connected to gun crimes, carjackings and gangs. Monday, Luger told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the number of cases charged and now being prosecuted in his office is up 300% from this same time a year ago and headway against adult carjacking offenders is being made.”

For the St. Cloud Times Becca Most says, “After about an hour of discussion Monday night, the St. Cloud City Council unanimously rejected recommendations from the city’s planning commission to impose buffer zones between THC and CBD retailers and areas like schools and parks. In October the St. Cloud Planning Commission recommended the council approve zoning restrictions that would restrict retailers from selling THC or CBD products within a quarter mile of schools or other cannabinoid sellers, and 350 feet from places of worship and parks. The commission’s original draft effectively eliminated all sales in most of St. Cloud by placing a quarter mile buffer from all schools, other sellers, places of worship and parks.”

For The Athletic, Bo Wulf releases his weekly NFL power rankings. “1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2) (Last week: 1) … 32. Minnesota Vikings (8-2) (Last week: 4) Sorry, but rules are rules. When you suffer the most lopsided loss of the NFL season to date, you have to spend a week in the ceremonial back of the line.”

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