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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

MN public safety agencies reeling from weekend tragedy

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024   

The risk first responders face is getting renewed focus following the fatal shooting of two police officers and a paramedic in Minnesota. Amid challenges facing agencies, leaders say those in the field remain committed to the mission. The tragedy occurred Sunday in the Twin Cities suburb of Burnsville when teams were responding to a domestic-violence call. Smaller police departments and ambulance crews are having difficulty recruiting staff these days, and law enforcement has been under more scrutiny following the murder of George Floyd.

Eric Bullen, president of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, said even with these challenges, there are many dedicated professionals still out there.

"I think there needs to be a realization that public safety workers get up every day with truly the best intentions. And the people that you see day to day going out on the front lines are truly there for the right reasons and truly there to support their communities and public safety," Bullen emphasized.

Bullen added the public is right to scrutinize "bad actors" within public safety, adding that those situations need to be dealt with in appropriate ways. Meanwhile, this weekend's tragedy has led to concerns about negative effects on recruiting. For EMS crews, a statewide task force has already been studying hiring gaps, and some police departments in rural areas have closed amid staffing woes.

Julie Gotham, executive director of the Minnesota 100 Club, which financially supports families of first responders killed in the line of duty, said while people might sometimes get frustrated with public-safety agencies, it's important to still recognize the risks and the duties that go along with them.

"If I get a traffic ticket - for example, if I'm going too fast - maybe it means that I'm putting someone else in danger and somebody needs to slow me down and give me that warning. So, if I get outside of my own worldview and think about the broader good, it makes perfect sense to me," Gotham explained.

If you feel inspired to donate to the families of those killed on Sunday, officials warn there have been scammers trying to take advantage of the situation. Gotham said in these moments, carefully researching fundraisers and nonprofits trying to organize donations is vital.


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Creedon Newell practices teaching construction skills in Wyoming's new career and technical educator bridge course, designed to encourage trades students and professionals to pursue a career in CTE teaching. (Photo by Rob Hill)

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