Momentum is building behind raising the state minimum wage to at least 9.50 and hour and pegging it to the cost of living. Mayors and city councils in the Twin Cities, Duluth and Hibbing are coming out in favor. They, along with public officials from smaller communities are joining Governor Dayton in pressing state lawmakers to raise the wage. Representative Tom Anzelc says he is working on the problem by proposing a constitutional amendment to allow the people to choose whether on not to raise the minimum wage and how much. According to Minnesota’s Raise the Wage Coalition, the increase would help more than 350-thousand in the state, including nearly a 140-thousand children of the working poor.
The Grand Rapids Fire Chief is retiring. A little earlier than he originally anticipated but effective March 31st of this year his 21 years of service protecting Grand Rapids will come to an end. He will not, however, stop his association with fires. He has taken a full time position with the state as the Executive Director for the Minnesota Board of Fire Training and Education, necessitating a relocation for he and his family to St Paul. Fire Chief Flaherty said he will be reflecting fondly on his years of service in Grand Rapids and it has been an honor serving the city.
The Reif Center’s eight million dollar renovation project was not included in the Governor’s proposal but that doesn’t mean it is out of the running. Representative Tom Anzelc said it is in the Senate’s proposed bill and he said the House Bonding Committee enjoyed the presentation when the toured the Reif and he is going to work very hard to secure bonding money for the Reif and he is cautiously optimistic about it’s success. Representative Anzelc was instrumental in securing bonding money for the Canisteo outflow project.
In the local crime report from the Grand Rapids Police Department:
A vehicle – building accident was reported on Monday February 3rd from a discount retail outlet on 29th Street SE. The vehicle had hit the side of the building causing significant damage to the building, the vehicle was also damaged however not as severely. The vehicle was towed, the building is awaiting repairs.
A mailbox was reported damaged on Monday from Horseshoe Drive in rural Grand Rapids. It appears a snowmobile caused the $60 in damages. Law enforcement was unable to follow the sled tracks in the snow because of vehicles driving over them.
On Wednesday February 5th a hit and run was reported from the Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital parking lot. Almost $1100 in damages to the rear bumper and tail-light assembly was done. There isn’t any video surveillance available.
On Thursday February 6th a one vehicle accident was reported from CR 63 in rural Grand Rapids. A mini-van struck the median strip and damaged two traffic signs and became stuck in the snow. There was signs that the driver attempted to dig themselves out but when LE arrived there was no-one around. The officer took down insurance and owner information from the vehicle and had it towed out and taken to impound.
While Governor Dayton is seeking additional heating assistance funding from federal sources our area representative says we need to do more. Representative Tom Anzelc said the cost of all types of heating energy in cold weather states needs to be addressed. He said he has been hearing many horror stories from his constituents and others in Northern Minnesota. Anzelc said the discussion needs to start at the federal level but he is more than willing to do what he can at the state level.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken says the farm bill has finally been approved after it was stalled for more than two years in the House and Senate it is now on its way to the President for signature.Franken says the safety nets for farmers included in the legislation are vital to the Gopher State’s economy. Franken also backed numerous energy reforms that are included in the legislation.
PolyMet officials say their proposed copper-nickel mine would have a big economic impact for the entire state. Spokesman Bruce Richardson says new technology is making it easier to separate the two minerals, and that’s why they want to start mining copper and nickel here. The proposed mine would be near Babbitt, and the proposed processing plant would be near Hoyt Lakes. Opponents of the project are concerned about the potential impact it could have on the water supply in the region.
The propane shortage is being blamed for a death in North Dakota and Minnesota Governor is seeking additional federal funds for heating assistance. According to a report out of Fort Yates North Dakota an autopsy is being performed on a 50 year old Sioux County ND woman after she was found unresponsive by her adult son on Tuesday morning. The police report indicates there was no propane in her mobile home’s tank and the inside temperature was the same as the outside, one below zero. Governor Dayton has expanded eligibility for the states Low Income Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP which will help tens of thousands of more Minnesotans affected by the ongoing propane emergency. The Governor has asked President Obama and members of Congress for additional funding to help in this time of crisis.
A long-time advocate for funding statewide tourism promotion, Sen. Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) was recognized Tuesday by the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition and awarded the “Tourism Leadership Award.” His work during the 2013 legislative session helped boost the Explore Minnesota Tourism budget by 66 percent. “Living in the Northwoods, I’ve seen firsthand how residents rely on tourism dollars to feed their families and make a living. Minnesota is a beautiful state, and I believe investing in marketing to promote that fact, and draw in more visitors is money well spent. I’d like to thank the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition for this honor,” said Senator Saxhaug. Explore Minnesota Tourism said after years of declining funding, it’s now poised to reach more markets and draw more visitors to all parts of the state. Tourism in Minnesota is a $12.5 billion industry, supporting leisure and hospitality jobs which represent 11 percent of total private sector employment. The Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition notes that every $1 invested in state tourism marketing returns an estimated $8 in state and local taxes, and $84 in spending by travelers. Doug Killian, chair of the coalition says, “Senator Saxhaug has been a strong voice for tourism for many years. His leadership in the Minnesota Senate to secure vital tourism funding is greatly appreciated and we applaud his work.”
Email users are increasingly savvy about spotting scam messages. So scammers are always on the hunt for new ways to evade the “delete” button. This scam email, disguised as a funeral notification, reaches a new low. According to a news release from the Better Business Bureau the new scam works like this:
You receive an email with the subject line “funeral notification.” The message appears to be from a funeral home in Texas, but it could be from anywhere. The email invites you to an upcoming “celebration of your friends life service.” The email looks real. It uses the business’s actual colors and logo. The email instructs you to click a link to view the invitation and “more detailed information about the farewell ceremony.” But instead of pointing to the funeral home’s website, it sends you to a foreign domain. Scammers place malware on these third party websites that downloads to your computer, giving scammers access to information on your machine.
As usual, watch for scammers changing up this con. They may hijack a different funeral home’s name and/or change their message.
Spot common email scams no matter the circumstances, by following these tips:
Don’t believe what you see. As in this example, scammers can easily copy a real business’ colors, logo and even email address.
Hover over links to check their source. Place your mouse over hyper-linked text and the true destination will appear.
Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. As always, do not click on links or open the files in unfamiliar emails.
Beware of pop-ups. Some pop-ups are designed to look like they’ve originated from your computer. If you see a pop-up that warns of a problem that needs to be fixed with an […]