Minnesota News Roundup: Snow continues falling across southeastern Minnesota
Snow continues falling across southeastern Minnesota where several inches has already accumulated. The Rochester airport had recorded nearly seven inches through midnight. More snow is expected through the morning commute and motorists are being advised to plan for extra time. There have already been numerous traffic mishaps due to slippery and snow-covered roads. A number of school districts in the area are opening late or canceling classes.
As winter conditions turn to spring melting, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is reminding homeowners to determine if they may need flood insurance coverage. Flood damage is not covered under a standard homeowner's policy. The average flood insurance premium is 400-dollars per year depending on where you live and the coverage you choose. It could be higher, but in low-to moderate-risk areas, coverage can be purchased for just over 100-dollars. Also keep in mind flood insurance doesn't become effective until 30 days after it is purchased.
First hearings are expected this week in both the Minnesota House and Senate on bills to legalize same-sex marriage. Senate Republican Minority Leader David Hann says the timing and priority doesn't make sense when lawmakers haven't even seen the DFL legislative budget bills, yet they're already proceeding on the same-sex marriage issue.
House Democratic Majority Leader Erin Murphy says if the same-sex marriage bill passes committee, it will then wait in line for action on the House floor. She says the bill will stay there until significant progress is made on the budget. To stay alive, the same-sex marriage bill must pass a committee in either the House or the Senate by Friday.
Duluth Police are investigating the death of a young man. Saturday afternoon, authorities were called to the home of a man who is believed to be in his 20's. Officials are calling his death suspicious, but are not releasing any other details at this time. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office is conducting an autopsy. The man's name has not been officially released, pending notification of family.
The St. Cloud Police Department is using a new technology to help communicate with residents who do not speak English. The mobile interpretation unit is called ELSA. Sergeant Jason Burke says the unit is about the size of a cell phone and it provides immediate communication in 180 different languages. The company also provides a live telephone support line that officers can call and access in the event that a portable device is not available. Burke says the department has only been using ELSA for about week and have already used the translator during three different calls.