Canadian Wildfire Smoke Chokes Minnesota; New Bemidji Women’s Shelter Breaks Ground; MN Legislature Enters Final Week

>>Air Quality Alert Issued For Minnesota Due To Wildfire Smoke

(St. Paul, MN)  — Fewer than 48 hours after the MPCA announced that fewer air quality alerts than last summer were expected this year, an air quality alert was issued for the entire state yesterday..  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued the alert yesterday due to wildfire smoke from Canada being pushed into the state behind a cold front.  The amount of fine particles in the air was expected to make the air quality unhealthy for everyone.  The alert expires in northern Minnesota at 8 a.m., while it will end in the southern half of the state at noon. (24/7 News Source)

>>>New Bemidji Women’s Shelter To Break Ground

(Bemidji) More than 550 victim-survivors were turned away from Bemidji’s Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter in 2022 due to a lack of space. Crews break ground this week on a new $4.1 million facility funded by grants and donations.

Plans to replace the 46-year-old facility are decades in the making. The Star Tribune says increased capacity will mean fewer referralsre to sister shelters and more programming. Advocates are on duty 24/7 for mental health services and legal referrals and to accompany clients to court.

The new shelter will feature eight bedrooms, five offices, two intake rooms, a playroom, meeting room, therapy room, laundry and a great room with kitchen. (Star Tribune)

>>One Week Remaining In This Year’s MN Legislature Session

(St. Paul, MN)    Minnesota lawmakers have one week left in this year’s legislative session.  The legislature has five voting days left in the session and all business needs to be finished by next Monday.  Lawmakers still need to finish the capital investment bill, better known as the bonding bill, and will need cooperation from Republicans to get the votes required for passage.  DFL lawmakers also hope to move a measure legalizing sports betting and the Equal Rights Amendment bill before the end of the session. (24/7 News Source)

>>Duluth Man Found Dead At Boundary Waters Canoe Area

(Ely, MN)    A Duluth man has been found dead in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota.  Sixty-two-year-old Mark Ham was found dead near a capsized canoe on Friday afternoon.  Ham was on a solo camping trip in the area.  Investigators say a life jacket was found at the scene but Ham was not wearing it.  His death is being investigated by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office.(24/7 News Source)

>>KS Man Reported Missing In Kandiyohi County

(Nest Lake, MN)    First responders are searching for a Kansas man who may have fallen out of a kayak on a lake in Kandiyohi County.  The 39-year-old from Overland Park, Kansas was reported missing on the south side of Nest Lake early yesterday.  Investigators say his empty kayak was found yesterday afternoon.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is assisting in the search for the missing man.(24/7 News Source)

>>Dog Walker Watch Program To Begin

(St. Cloud) The St. Cloud Police Department is launching the Dog Walker Watch community engagement program to help people increase awareness of their surroundings and effectively report suspicious activity.

The Star Tribune reports the program  is part of the National Association of Town Watch organization, and  will Kick off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30 at the police station.

Throughout the yearlong program, participants will learn how to identify and report suspicious activity, tips for preventing crimes and burglaries, how to best use camera and alarm systems, and severe weather safety. Dogs are welcome at the kickoff event. (Star Tribune)

>>Walz, Flanagan Each Catch Walleye During MN Fishing Opener

(Lake City, MN)    Minnesota’s two top elected officials can boast about their successful efforts during Saturday’s statewide fishing opener.  Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan took to the water in Lake City on Saturday and were both able to land a walleye.  Walz and Flanagan spent Friday promoting fishing and outdoor activities by meeting with students, visiting the DNR Mussel Lab and attending a community celebration.  Walz said the state fishing opener is one of his favorite days of the year, and he thanked Lake City for being a beautiful place to live and a great place for tourists to visit and fish.(24/7 News Source)

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