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Minnesota Statewide News March 29, 2024


House Republicans Disappointed by 2023 Graduate Rates in Minnesota

(St. Paul, MN) — The Republican lead on the Minnesota House Education Policy Committee says she’s disappointed the state’s graduation remained flat in 2023 at 83.3%. State Representative Peggy Bennett of Albert Lea says while we continue to make historic investments in education, they come along with too many mandates. Bennett says she believes that changing the state’s educational playbook, including giving school districts more local control, would improve these numbers. She blames Democratic strategies for declines in reading, math and science proficiency.

Minnesota Law Enforcement Targeting Distracted Drivers in April

(St. Paul, MN) — Starting Monday, law enforcement officers around the state will be targeting distracted drivers through the end of April. Mike Hanson of the state Office of Traffic Safety says, “put that cell phone away for the month of April — 30 days. And you will find that your driving task will be easier and less stressful, and you will be a much safer driver.” State officials say distracted driving contributed to one in 11 crashes between 2019 and 2023. April is national Distracted Driving Awareness Month. There have been a total of 74 fatal crashes on Minnesota road this year.

Michigan Couple Busted with Cocaine at MSP Airport Sentenced to Federal Prison

(Minneapolis, MN) — A couple from Detroit, Michigan are going to federal prison after getting caught with 23 kilograms of cocaine at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The U-S Attorney’s Office says 30-year-old Jajum Solomon was sentenced to ten years on Thursday and Leila Ivery received a 57-month prison sentence. Prosecutors say Solomon and Ivery flew on separate flights from L-A to Cleveland on May 16th, 2023, each with a layover at M-S-P. Law enforcement in Minneapolis obtained a search warrant and found more than 50 pounds of cocaine their suitcases. Both suspects pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Twin Sister Arraigned for Role in Deadly Fillmore County Buggy Crash

(Preston, MN) — A woman accused of lying to police to cover up her sister’s role in a deadly Fillmore County buggy crash will not be jailed before her trial. Thirty-five-year-old Sarah Petersen was arraigned Thursday with her unconditional bond set at ten thousand dollars. Petersen told authorities that she was responsible for a crash last September that left two children dead and two others injured. Investigators would later accuse Petersen’s twin sister, Samantha, of being behind the wheel during the crash. Sarah Petersen reportedly tried to cover for her sister because her twin had drugs in her system at the time. Her next court appearance is June 3rd.

Cheerio Challenge in Duluth Set to End Today

(Duluth, MN) — The Cheerio Challenge in Duluth which aims to collect cereal for local food shelves is ending today (Fri). The challenge was initiated in response to comments made by billionaire Kathy Cargill, who criticized Duluth officials and residents of the Park Point area in an article in the Wall Street Journal. The effort has resulted in numerous donations, including a generous contribution of $5,000 to each food shelf by Project Joy. Donations will be accepted at the Duluth Labor Temple until 4 o’clock this afternoon.

Winter Storm Helps Reduce Drought in Minnesota

(Omaha, NE) — Recent snowstorms in Minnesota have helped alleviate dry conditions in several areas of the state. The latest U-S Drought Monitor map shows much of the state is now considered abnormally dry. This marks a significant change from last week, when three-quarters of Minnesota was experiencing moderate, severe, or extreme drought. In southeastern Minnesota, which had been in extreme drought since the previous year, enough moisture over the last week has reduced the area to the severe drought category.

Twin Cities Auto Show Opens This Weekend in Minneapolis

(Minneapolis, MN) — The 51st annual Twin Cities Auto Show opens tomorrow (Sat) and continues through Sunday April 7th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Hundreds of new cars, S-U-Vs, trucks, and electric vehicles will be on the show floor. Scott Lambert of the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association says they will get well over 100 thousand people through the gates here before we’re done. He says they have some superhero vehicles including the original Batmobile from the old T-V show and the new Batmobile from the current movie run. Lambert says there’s also an electric vehicle neighborhood and garage and you can take an E-V for a test drive. Discount tickets to the Twin Cities Auto Show are available at Kwik Trip locations.

Minnesota Twins, Lopez Win Season Opener at Kansas City

(Kansas City, MO) — The Minnesota Twins are celebrating a 4-1 win over the Kansas City Royals in the season opener Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Twins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez threw seven innings of one-run ball and struck out seven batters for the victory. Third baseman Royce Lewis hit a first-inning home run but had to leave the game in the third inning with a right quad injury. Carlos Correa had three hits and two R-B-Is and Griffin Jax pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save. Game two of the series is Saturday.

Gopher Men’s Hockey Tops Nebraska-Omaha in NCAA Regional

(Sioux Falls, SD) — The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team skated past Nebraska-Omaha 3-2 Thursday night in the N-C-A-A Tournament in Sioux Falls. Jaxon Nelson scored the game-tying goal in the third period and the game-winner with just over four minutes remaining. Goaltender Justin Close made 34 saves for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota will face Boston University on Saturday night at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. The Terriers beat R-I-T 6-3 in the other semifinal Thursday. The winner of the Sioux Falls Regional advances to the N-C-A-A Frozen Four in St. Paul.





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