Warm temperatures and dry conditions mean increased wildfire risk, so the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restrict open burning in the following counties effective immediately: Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Washington, and Wright. The state will not issue burning permits for brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted. “Escaped debris burns are the number one cause of wildfires, so that’s why we issue these restrictions,” said Casey McCoy, DNR fire prevention supervisor. “They really work—we’ve reduced wildfires by nearly a third since [...]
Study details mercury exposure risks from use of skin-lightening creams, eating certain kinds of fish
Twin Cities women who use skin-lightening products or who eat certain kinds of fish more often may be putting themselves and their babies at risk for mercury exposure, a new study by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has found. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can harm the brain or nervous system and cause other health problems. The Minnesota Family Environmental Exposure Tracking (MN FEET) project measured mercury, lead and cadmium in nearly 400 Twin Cities women and their babies. Pregnant women from Asian, East African, Latino and White communities were recruited for the study. The study focused on these groups [...]
Highway 93 at Le Sueur is expected to open by noon today, (Tuesday, April 23). Highway 93 into Le Sueur closed for the second time this year on Saturday due to flooding on the Minnesota River. MnDOT crews are monitoring, especially during rains, the areas along Highway 169 between Mankato and Le Sueur where there were mudslides last week that closed the southbound lanes. Other Highways that remain closed: Highway 19 east of Henderson (closed March 19 due to flooding) Highway 93 south of Henderson (closed March 16 due to flooding)
The state Department of Education released the 2018 Minnesota graduation rates. More Minnesota seniors than ever before graduated in 2018 with 55,869, it is 83.2% of the graduating class overall, making it the state's highest rate on record. Education Commissioner Mary Catheryn Ricker says the credit for the historic numbers goes to the teachers, coaches, and administrators on a local level that work daily to keep students engaged in learning.
Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sara Strommen is touring the state highlighting budget items. She made her way to the Nicollet Conservation Club to discuss projects that will impact southern Minnesota. Among the projects includes funding for buildings, water/wastewater systems, water access sites, trails and bridges. There are also proposed fee increases. She adds that another big project involves combating Chronic Wasting Disease.
Homeowners are reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract bears. “Bears are roaming around now with the loss of snow and warmer weather, so interactions with people have started in many areas of Minnesota,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife damage program supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources. As bears emerge from hibernation, their metabolism gradually ramps up and they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation can be scarce. Remove attractants such as bird seed, garbage, livestock feed, or compost to reduce potential conflict. [...]
Motorists are advised that a slight modification to the Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System (RICWS) at Highway 60 and Cottonwood County Road 1 at Mountain Lake will be made effective Wednesday, April 24, weather permitting. The modification consists of extending the flashing warning time by one second or resulting in a 15 percent increase in warning time for County Road 1 traffic. The modest increase from 6.5 seconds to 7.5 seconds is to strike a balance between providing additional notification to for more cautious drivers while not providing so much time that other drivers begin to distrust the flashers and enter [...]
The Minnesota State High School League has agreed to a legal settlement that will allow boys to compete on high school dance teams beginning next school year. The Star Tribune says the settlement comes after a ruling last month by a federal appeals court that it must allow two high school boys in Roseville and Hopkins to be a part of their schools' competitive dance teams. Juniors Dmitri Moua and Zachary Greenwald sued last July saying the league's girls-only bylaws violate a federal law that bars sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funds. A federal judge denied the request, [...]
MN-DOT is making another round of awards in its "Safe Routes to School" program -- this time 2.3 million dollars to 63 cities and school districts across Minnesota. Spokesman Dave Cowan says what prompted the program..."The rate of students walking and bicycling to school in the state, and nationally, is one-third what it was in the 1960s." Cowan says the grants go for sidewalks, trails and crossing improvements, plus safety instruction in the classroom. "Bike to School Day" is May 8th in Minnesota. In our area, a Safe Routes to School 2019 Planning Assistance Award went to Region 9 Development [...]
The CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour will welcome 26 new sculptures to the City Centers of Mankato and North Mankato on Saturday, May 11 for its ninth public art installation. The exhibit will feature stunning works of art created by artists from across North America, including many pieces by Minnesota sculptors. Artists and volunteers will begin installing the sculptures at 6:00 a.m. that morning.