MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: June job numbers due out today
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota officials release the latest job numbers for June later this morning (10am). Unemployment in April was the lowest in seven years at 4.6 percent as private-sector employers added over 11-thousand jobs -- and total Minnesota employment topped the 2.4 million mark for the first time ever. Construction and manufacturing led job gains in the last report while government had the biggest losses in May.
The search continues for a suspect in a botched robbery of the Thrifty White Pharmacy in Breckenridge. A several hour standoff ended last night after SWAT swept the building and didn't find anyone inside. Police Chief Nate Harder says officers and deputies surrounded the store entrances after the robbery was reported shortly after five pm but somehow, the suspect apparently managed to slip away in the confusion. Harder says they have a person of interest.
Authorities have released the name of a young woman killed in a chain-reaction crash Tuesday night near De Graff in western Minnesota's Swift County. Investigators say 19-year-old Kayla Wrobleski was making a left turn off Highway 12 when the car was rear-ended by another driven by 37-year-old Thomas Kolbe of Sleepy Eye. The impact pushed Wrobleski's car into the path of a truck and she was killed. Kolbe and an eight-year-old passenger were treated and released at a Benson hospital. The truck driver wasn't hurt.
Chrysler Corporation is testing its new Dodge Charger today (Thurs) on the Emergency Vehicle Operator Course at Camp Ripley and 50 law enforcement agencies are attending. Major John Donovan says the EVOC is a 4.3-mile track that is part interstate, part county highway and part dirt road. Donovan says state troopers, police officers and deputies will have a chance to get behind the wheel of the newly designed Charger, which features an interceptor law enforcement package.
Minnesota's "clean energy" industries are the focus as Governor Dayton, business leaders and state agency heads hold a summit meeting this morning (730am-130pm) at the University of Minnesota. Madeline Koch with the state Department of Employment and Economic Development says a key question is, where are the opportunities, and what statewide policies can drive a larger market opportunity for clean energy businesses. The conference is focusing on wind and solar energy, biomass, energy efficiency and "smart grid" strategies to improve electric power delivery.
A competition other than the obvious one may have started as a result of "U.S. News and World Report's" annual ranking of the nation's best hospitals. For the first time since the survey began in 1991, Mayo Clinic in Rochester took number one. Johns Hopkins was bumped down from the top spot to number three -- its lowest showing since the rankings started 23 years ago -- and Johns Hopkins President Ronald Peterson sent a basket of Maryland treats to the Mayo Clinic in congratulations. Peterson quips he hopes Mayo reciprocates in the future when Johns Hopkins reassumes the number one position. Changes in the U-S News scoring procedure may have played a role in Johns Hopkins' slide and Mayo's surge forward; reputation now carries less weight and patient safety scores are now worth twice as much as in previous years.
Minneapolis based U.S. Bancorp is reporting increased revenue in the second quarter. Bloomberg reports that the financial services company saw roughly 20-million dollars more in revenue during the quarter versus the same period last year. A company spokesperson says loan business overall was up nearly seven-percent.
A Former Navy SEAL is claiming that late author and fellow Navy SEAL Chris Kyle did punch former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. Jeremiah Dinnell testified yesterday that the same incident described in Kyle's book "American Sniper" did happen at a California Bar in 2006. Ventura is suing the estate of the late author claiming the story was completely fabricated.
A Maplewood girl is joining First Lady Michelle Obama for lunch at the White House tomorrow (FRI). Twelve-year-old Sophie Bollin is one of 54 winners of the annual nationwide Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The contest promotes healthy eating, and recipes were required to incorporate a healthy helping of fruits and vegetables. Sophie was one of 15-hundred kids who entered the contest. Her recipe for quinoa and black beans and was Minnesota's top entry. Winners from each state and U-S territory--along with a parent or guardian--will attend Friday's Kids' State Dinner.
An Alexandria man is dead after slipping under the water at Maple Lake's Forada Beach. Douglas County Sheriff's Sergeant Greg Windhurst says a 9-1-1 call came in about a possible drowning yesterday (Wed) evening, and emergency crews pulled 23-year-old Ryan Dodds from the water and tried to resuscitate him -- but Dodds was pronounced dead at the scene.
An Albany man is hospitalized after a one car accident. Stearns County Sheriff's deputies say 19-year-old Mitchell Leyk was found by a passerby, face down in a ditch 20 feet from his vehicle. Investigators say appears Leyk lost control of his vehicle on the gravel road and rolled numerous times. Leyk was thrown from the car and officers believe Leyk was not wearing a seatbelt and that speed may have been a factor in the accident.
The last of three inmates who escaped from the Northeast Regional Corrections Center last week has been caught DPD Public Information Officer Jim Hansen says 22-year-old Tyler Sandstrom was found at his girlfriend's house and arrested without incident. The girlfriend, 21-year-old Kayla Vranish, was arrested for Aiding and Abetting Escape and taken to the Saint Louis County Jail.
As the temperature begins to rise following the rare July cold spell, the pollen counts are expected to go up as well and so will the risk of anaphylaxis. It can happen to anyone with allergies, but a lot of people aren't aware of the life-threatening condition. That's why allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett says he and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings are joining in what's called the Ready2Go campaign. Peterson is kicking off a nationwide draft to find three kids who, like him, have life-threatening allergies and are prepared with their anaphylaxis action plan. Those selected will meet Adrian in person and film an educational video. Peterson suffered anaphylaxis at Minnesota Vikings training camp in 2012, after eating a couple of bowls of gumbo for lunch, and found that allergies to shrimp, scallops and lobster trigger the condition for him. You can learn more at Ready2Go.com, and that's the number "two."
The Minnesota Vikings are worth a lot of money. Forbes Magazine valued the NFL team at about one-billion-dollars. They ranked 34th on the list of "The World's 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams" of 2014. The number one team on the list is European Soccer club Real Madrid, valued at just under three and a half billion-dollars.
Minnesota Power has reached a settlement agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that resolves alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. The agreement covers the Boswell, Laskin, Taconite Harbor and Rapids Energy Centers and includes more stringent emissions limits at the affected units and also includes the addition of 200 megawatts of wind energy. Minnesota Power will also spend 4.2 million over the next five years in conservation and clean energy projects that benefit local communities. Minnesota Power is one of many utility companies whose investments in electric generation facilities were reviewed as part of the EPA's Coal Fired Power Plant Enforcement Initiative that began in 1999. That initiative has resulted in over 25 related settlements nationwide.
Travis Rose of South Haven is the state's newest millionaire, thanks to the Minnesota State Lottery Rose collected his check from lottery headquarters in Roseville this week after winning the Million Dollar Payday scratch game. This $30 game has 35 chances to win a one-million-dollar prize.