(Bemidji)The 35th annual Paul Bunyan Broadcasting Radiothon to End Child Abuse is in the books.  Lou Buron and Mary Campbell began the fundraising event shortly after purchasing KBHP and KBUN in Bemidji, and subsequently expanded it to955 KZY, Z99, and to other properties in Alexandria, Wadena, and Brainerd. Buron and Campbell are both recognized by the Pavek Broadcasting Hall of Fame Museum for their efforts in Minnesota Broadcasting and community service. A preliminary total on money raised for area Child Abuse Prevention programs is nearly 34 thousand dollars.

(Bemidji) The US Postmaster General’s Office has responded to a letter sent by Senator Tina Smith regarding mail delays and difficult conditions for employees at rural post offices. In it, the official response denies that the USPS has a priority delivery policy based on customer or sender. The response goes on to suggest that a deluge of mail and packages is due to an expected seasonal upswing.  We talked with Senator Smith this morning, following on the response, and the listening session held earlier this week with her staff in Bemidji:

With recent reported issues with delivery, Senators Smith and Klobuchar have introduced legislation called the Postal Delivery Accountability Act designed to address flaws in the USPS tracking system identified by the Postal Service’s Inspector General:

The text of the USPS response also addresses employee shortages,

“The Minnesota-North Dakota District’s Peak Plan for delivery calls for an additional 112 employees. Currently, only 24 have been hired and five more are in the process, leaving the district 81 employees short of its seasonal goal. However, 33 applicants have accepted job offers

and will be onboarded following the hiring process.”

Here is the full audio of the phone interview with Senator Tina Smith:


Family Of Air Force Maj. Holds Out Hope He’s Alive

(Andover, MN)    The family of a Minnesota man who is presumed dead after a military aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan is speaking out.  Air Force Major Jeffrey T. Hoernemann of Andover was one of eight crew members on the Osprey aircraft that crashed on November 29th.  His family issued a statement through the Air Force today, saying they have “hope” and “faith” he’ll be found soon.  The remains of two airmen have yet to be found, and crews are still working to recover the remains of three airmen who have been located.   The Air Force has grounded its entire Osprey fleet after learning that an equipment malfunction may have caused the crash.   (24/7 News Source)

>>Son Of Sen. Cramer Charged In Crash That Killed Deputy

(Mercer County, CO)    Ian Cramer, son of North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer, now faces charges in connection with a crash that killed a Mercer County Colorado Sheriff’s Deputy.  Cramer had reportedly taken his mother’s SUV and led police on a chase that ended when he crashed into 53-year-old Deputy Paul Martin’s patrol vehicle, killing him.  Cramer is charged with manslaughter, fleeing a peace officer, preventing arrest, reckless endangerment, and driving under suspension.   (24/7 News Source)

(St. Paul) State regulators have indefinitely banned a respiratory therapist from practicing in Minnesota after she failed to properly prepare a patient for transfer to the intensive care unit before they stopped breathing and died. According to the Star Tribune,

the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice announced Wednesday that it has indefinitely suspended the license of 33-year-old Christine L. Fairchild of Chisholm, stemming from the patient’s death on Nov. 30, 2021. The order did not specify what was improper about Fairchild’s care, nor did it identify the patient or reveal why he was in the hospital.

The order also did not specify the hospital where he was being treated. Board records show Fairchild’s last place of licensed employment was the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby. (Star Tribune)

>>Privately-Owned International Bridge Increasing Toll Amount

(International Falls, MN)    The only privately-owned bridge connecting Minnesota and Canada is raising prices at the beginning of next month.  Residents of International Falls began paying more to cross into northwestern Ontario last month, with a single trip moving from seven to nine-dollars.  On January 1st, the price for a 12-trip discounted bridge card will jump from 22-dollars to 72-dollars.  The owners of the bridge say the increase is needed to sustain operations, but local residents are asking U.S. and Canadian officials to get involved to keep any future increases from getting out of hand. (24/7 News Source)

>>Man Dead, Woman Injured After Chain-Reaction Crash

(Albertville, MN)    A man is dead and a woman is injured following a chain-reaction crash in Albertville.  It happened on I-94 yesterday afternoon.  The Minnesota State Patrol says a Kia Optima driven by 43-year-old Benjamin Wittrock collided into three slow-moving SUVs, killing him on impact.  Wittrock was not wearing a seatbelt.  Meanwhile, a 73-year-old woman driving one of the SUVs was hurt, but is expected to survive. An investigation into the four-car collision is underway.   (24/7 News Source)

>>MN Man Dies After Getting Trapped In Firewood Processing Machine

(Little Falls, MN)    Investigators in Morrison County say a man has died after becoming trapped in a firewood processing machine.  First responders were called to the plant in Fort Ripley Township after the man became trapped.  The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as 39-year-old Hector Zelaya of Little Falls.  The sheriff’s office says Zelaya died at the scene. (24/7 News Source)

>>Northern Minnesota Tribe Introduces Health Vending Machines

(Bois Forte, MN)    The Bois Fort tribe is introducing a new method to help those living on their reservation stay healthy.  The tribe has placed public health vending machines at two locations on the Bois Forte Reservation.  The machines contain a variety of products, including the overdose-reversal drug Narcan and HIV and diabetes test kits.  The machines are being funded by a one-million-dollar grant secured by the tribe with the help of the University of Minnesota-Duluth College of Pharmacy and Johns Hopkins University.  Officials say the program is the first of its kind in Minnesota and the first ever to be located on tribal land in the U.S. (24/7 News Source)

>>New Study May Show Path To Permanent Cure For Polio

(Minneapolis, MN)    A new study by University of Minnesota researchers may provide a path to a permanent cure for polio.  The study says a human antibody can attach itself to the three different types of the polio virus and neutralize it completely.  While polio cases worldwide have been greatly reduced due to vaccinations, isolated cases have been reported in the last decade.   (24/7 News Source)

>>Minneapolis Among Top Cities For Singles

(Minneapolis, MN)    Single Minnesotans are in luck, as Minneapolis is being named one of the top cities in the country for singles.  That’s according to a new WalletHub report.  The  personal fiance company compared over 180 cities based off local dating opportunities, economics, and things to do.  Minneapolis ranked near the top in 16th place.  Meanwhile, St. Paul ranked 58th.  Seattle, Washington, was named the number-one city for singles, followed by Las Vegas and Denver.  The worst city for singles was found to be Columbia, Maryland. (24/7 News Source)

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