Emergency Broadband Benefit Available

By |2021-05-12T08:02:24-05:00May 12th, 2021|

Blue Earth County is working to help build consumer awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program.  The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.   The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands.  The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the [...]

Coalition calling on state lawmakers today to fund early childcare and education

By |2021-05-12T06:59:21-05:00May 12th, 2021|

A coalition of childcare centers across the state today is delivering a message to key state lawmakers about priorities for the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) and state funding for early care and education. "We have a petition with 1,159 signatures from providers, teachers and families in our base of over 500 community-based childcare centers across the state." The "Kids Count On Us" coalition's Kessa Andrews is calling on lawmakers to raise wages for staff, to use childcare assistance program funding to raise the reimbursement rate to 50-percent for families, and to use a small portion allocated for creating a department [...]

Biden praises Walz, five other governors for COVID vaccination efforts

By |2021-05-12T06:57:25-05:00May 12th, 2021|

President Biden says from May 24th through July 4th, Uber and Lyft will offer everyone free rides to and from vaccination sites: "I think that is really stepping up:  both Uber and Lyft, free rides, to -- they'll wait -- and from, they'll take you back home." The president made today's (Tues) announcement at a virtual meeting with six governors, including Tim Walz -- who told the president: "I'll be at the Saint Paul Saints opener, a Twins affiliate, and we're giving vaccinations to folks coming through the gate as they come there.   They know that a vaccinated Saints fan is [...]

Advocates say eviction moratorium should remain in place 12 more months

By |2021-05-12T06:53:55-05:00May 12th, 2021|

As lawmakers debate possible ways of ending Minnesota's COVID moratorium on evictions, advocates say the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent should continue for one year, until all federal assistance is distributed.  Ivory Taylor with Homeline says: "With the lifting of the federal or state moratorium, as many as 53-thousand Minnesota households are at immediate risk of eviction -- and we know that this disproportionately impacts Black and Brown Minnesotans." Owen Duckworth with "The Alliance" says 25 percent of Black, indigenous and people-of-color households in Minnesota report they're behind on rent -- compared to just nine percent of households with [...]

GOP lawmaker says strategy is to get recreational marijuana bill ready to become law next year

By |2021-05-12T06:52:13-05:00May 12th, 2021|

Backers admit a bill to legalize recreational marijuana that will likely pass the Minnesota House tomorrow (Thurs) has little chance this session in the GOP-controlled state Senate.  But Republican Representative Nolan West from Blaine says the strategy is to get the bill into a form that people can feel comfortable with in 2022: "I think it's a better conversation for next year.  The budget is way more important than this.   We should be focusing on the budget.  Why are we doing this right now?   It's a next-year issue." Lawmakers are generally more willing to take on controversial policy issues in even-numbered [...]

MN Republican lawmakers demand legislature have control over federal COVID aid to state

By |2021-05-12T06:50:57-05:00May 12th, 2021|

As lawmakers and the governor wrangle with end-of-session budget negotiations, Republicans are demanding the legislature have control over billions of dollars in federal COVID assistance that's coming to Minnesota.   Ham Lake Senator Michelle Benson points to inappropriate spending of federal dollars under what she calls "one-man rule" of Governor Tim Walz: "Tens of thousands of dollars that were supposed to reach specific populations, help them... reduce the spread of COVID.   They're supposed to reach tens of thousands of people.  There were some of their videos that reached four." Republicans are highlighting other alleged misuse of federal dollars on a webpage called [...]

Pro-legalization advocates applaud upcoming House vote

By |2021-05-12T06:45:46-05:00May 12th, 2021|

The Minnesota House Thursday afternoon is set to vote on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. Leili Fatehi with Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Legislation says that's significant. "This session is the first time we've had an adult-use cannabis bill even get voted out of a legislative committee and it's very exciting that it's gotten voted out of not just one committee but 12 committees and now it's going to the House floor, where we anticipate it will pass there as well." Fatehi admits it's not likely the measure will pass this session in the Republican-led Senate--where Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has [...]

MnDOT Invites Public to Test Knowledge of Transportation System

By |2021-05-12T06:43:58-05:00May 12th, 2021|

Residents of South Central Minnesota are invited to join Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) planners online May 18 to test their knowledge of the state transportation system and share their vision for its future. The “Let’s Talk Transportation!” virtual events will be held from noon to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Topics will include aging infrastructure, climate change, economy and employment, equity, safety and transportation options. In addition to a trivia competition, these events will feature colorful comics that will encourage people to tell their own stories about how transportation affects their lives. 

Access to Annual Clean-up adjusted due to Victory Drive construction

By |2021-05-12T06:42:19-05:00May 12th, 2021|

Due to the reconstruction of Victory Drive (between Hoffman and Stadium roads), access to Annual Clean-up has been adjusted. Eligible residents participating in Annual Clean-up at the Public Works Center, 501 S. Victory Dr., will need to enter the site using the eastbound lanes of Hoffman Road.  To access Annual Clean-up from the:  North: Use Victory Drive and turn left onto Hoffman Road.  West: Use Glenwood Ave, continuing straight onto Hoffman Road.  South: Use Pohl Road and turn right onto Glenwood Avenue, continuing straight onto Hoffman Road. 

Mankato Clinic physicians encourage vaccination for adolescents

By |2021-05-12T06:18:49-05:00May 12th, 2021|

(MANKATO) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in adolescents ages 12 to 15. The final decision on Emergency Use Approval is expected Wednesday by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAAP) applauds this step in bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents. Mankato Clinic physicians encourage parents and caregivers to protect their teens against COVID-19 when the vaccine is available to them. “Data from clinical trials shows that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for younger age groups. The [...]

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