Minnesota News Briefs: Maplewood police officer receives Medal of ValorMinnesota News
-- A Maplewood Police officer was awarded the national Medal of Valor Wednesday in Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON D.C - -- A Maplewood Police officer was awarded the national Medal of Valor Wednesday in Washington D.C.
In September of 2009, Officer Julie Olson responded to a domestic violence call. When she and her partner arrived, the suspect shot and killed Officer Richard Crittenden. He then fired at Olson and the bullet damaged her spare magazine, ricocheting into her arm. Despite her injury, Olson was able to return fire striking the suspect five times. Mary Lou Leary with the U.S. Department of Justice says she doesn't know how Officer Olson kept her compsure under that stress, but thanked and congratulated her for bringing an end to a terrible situation. Olson was able to disarm and apprehend the suspect. He later died from his injuries.
With a storm system pushing toward Minnesota that could drop as much as eight inches of snow on central and southern portions of the state, the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Kevin Gutknecht says plow crews are gearing up for what could be a long night. He says MnDOT has road weather information systems that help them track any weather that moves in so they know what kind of chemicals to use and when to start applying them.
He's asking drivers to make sure they give the plows plenty of room to work, and says they'll be running 24-7 until the snow is cleared.
Representatives from the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) were at the Capitol today to testify about patient-to-staff ratios at hospitals and to push the Standards of Care Act. MNA President Linda Hamilton says the bill addresses how much time a nurse is going to have to take care of a patient and give them the kind of care they need. They're asking the legislature to make sure every patient in Minnesota has a certain level of care they can count on. The bill passed out of the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee in the state House today.
A bill being introduced today in the Minnesota state Senate would reinstate a five-year moratorium on wolf hunting and trapping. Grey wolves were delisted in January of 2012 and the first-ever wolf season started November 3rd. Opponents of the wolf hunt call the inaugural season a violation of the original Minnesota Wolf Management Plan and the public's trust. They say a five-year wait will allow the state time to assess the current population and impact of the 2012 take on Minnesota wolves. The legislation has bipartisan support.
A bill that would allow Minnesota voters to cast ballots two weeks before an election, including weekend voting, was hotly debated yesterday (Wed) in a Senate committee. The question the Senate election committee struggled to answer is whether the proposed law would violate a clause in the state constitution that designates one specific Election Day. Most states now allow in-person early voting.
High corn prices and a low return on ethanol has led to the loss of 45 full-time jobs in Fairmont. Biofuel Energy Corp. stopped producing the fuel in September, but at that time said they were not anticipating layoffs because they wanted to be ready to restart the moment market conditions improved. With a dismal 2012 corn harvest due mostly to the drought gripping the Midwest vice president Mark Zoeller says the plant will likely remain idle until this year's harvest is complete. The 15 remaining employees will operate Biofuel Energy's grain storage facility. The company had about 135 employees before the shutdown and related job cuts.
A felon from Fridley has been indicted in federal court for allegedly possessing ammunition for a nine-milimeter handgun. Prosecutors say 22-year-old Raphael Matthews was caught with the ammunition during a traffic stop on January 31st. Federal law prohibits Matthews from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time because of two previous felony convictions. He faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.