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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Rushmore woman killed in accident

KENNETH, Minn. --  A Rushmore woman is dead after her pickup rear-ended a dump truck Monday afternoon near Kenneth in southwestern Minnesota. 

The Rock County Sheriff's Office says there was a controlled burn in the area and smoke was crossing the roadway when 26-year-old Ashley Von Holtum hit the dump truck from behind.  Von Holtum was extricated from her vehicle and airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital where she died.  The dump truck driver wasn't hurt.  


Nurses at Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming in east-central Minnesota have voted in favor of a new contract.  The Minnesota Nurses Association says it makes progress toward staffing levels that ensure safe patient care and enable the hospital to attract and retain nurses.  Bargaining Unit Co-Chair Sandie Anderson says "our priority is ensuring that nurses have enough time to provide the quality care our patients deserve...and this contract moves toward that goal."  More than 220 nurses voted on the new contract. 


A new study covering Minnesota and other states finds that when the median price of a new home increases a thousand dollars, over 200,000 prospective buyers are forced out of the market.  The study from the National Association of Home Builders shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro, the average price of a home is just over $336,000 and buyers will need a nearly $90,000 annual income to qualify for a mortgage.  More than two thousand buyers are priced out when the price tag is bumped up by one grand.  In Duluth, the median home price is more than $214,000, and buyers need $56,000 in income to get a loan -- and nearly 300 buyers are priced out with just a thousand-dollar price increase.  Those in Rochester need to earn 76-thousand a year to get a mortgage and the average home price is 289-thousand.  When the price is bumped by ten bills, 139 people are priced out of the market.


The U.S. standard of living is in danger of declining nine percent by 2030 - back to the level it was in 2000 - according to a new study conducted in Minnesota and 15 other states.  Dan London of Accenture says that's due to three major economic threats: an aging population, lower workforce participation and a flat or declining labor productivity growth rate.  And he says Minnesota government leaders should step in by creating a "talent pipeline" for employers.  London says states that act now to better match jobs and skills will have a competitive advantage in winning the battle for talent in the future.