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Saturday, July 13, 2024

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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Minnesota

In making homes more energy efficient, Minnesotans could see new rebates released sometime next year. Officials are still piecing together the framework for these new programs, which are federally funded. (Adobe Stock)

Friday, July 12, 2024

With new home energy rebates on horizon, MN wants to emphasize equity

Minnesotans this month have a chance to share their thoughts on how the state should distribute home energy rebates. With federal incentives coming …

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A University of Minnesota expert said drinking enough water helps your muscles work efficiently, a key benefit for those doing outdoor labor during hotter stretches. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Ice cold water: A shield against hot temperatures, especially for outdoor workers

Minnesota could see temperatures reach the 90s in the coming days and as residents try to stay hydrated, one health expert said consistency is key…

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Under Minnesota law, landlords are prohibited from accepting application fees when no units are available. Housing advocates say there are some examples where landlords might not break the law, but they accept fees from applicants that make it clear they don't meet the requirements. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Pie-in-the-sky listings? Paying rental application fees for an out-of-reach unit

Data is scarce, but Minnesota housing advocates say in a tough rental environment, applicants sometimes fork over screening fees for a unit they …

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Minnesota officials say a new roofing standard, created by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, has shown to reduce the costs of hail and wind-related damages by up to 60%. The standard is now being used for home resiliency programs. (Adobe Stock)
Roof repair grants could keep MN insurance claims from spiraling out of control

Minnesota is part of a patchwork of states trying to reimagine storm preparedness, by making roofs on homes stronger - before winds and hail fueled …

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The Conservation Fund said it aims to protect five million acres of forest by 2035. (Adobe Stock)
National project helps MN push back against deforestation

Deforestation remains a concern in the U.S. but success stories are emerging and Minnesota advocates said new achievements bode well for all …

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According to the national organization Inseparable, Minnesota's 988 mental health crisis call line is within federal goals related to answer rates. (Adobe Stock)
MN part of deeper look into '988' crisis line effectiveness

A new report examined the rollout of the 988 mental health crisis line in each state, including Minnesota. The revamped National Suicide and Crisis …

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According to the U.S. Department of energy, e-bikes topped the 1 million mark in sales in 2022, almost four times the total from 2019. (Adobe Stock)
Can e-bikes become a carbon reduction force?

Tomorrow Minnesota will reopen online applications for electric bike rebates. Environmental advocates are closely watching consumer demand for …

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The union representing Minneapolis park keepers says since 1984, the department's superintendent's salary has increased by 229%, but in contrast, frontline workers' wages have fallen behind when factoring in inflation. (Adobe Stock)
Mpls. labor dispute highlights park workers' job challenges

With the July 4 holiday approaching, families are likely to spend time at municipal parks to celebrate and Parks Department staff in Minneapolis hope …

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Proposed water permit changes in Minnesota to limit harmful runoff from industrial farms would only cover about 1,000 of the state's 17,000 livestock feedlots. However, environmental groups said the affected farms generate about one-third of the manure spread on agricultural fields. (Adobe Stock)
MN regulators unveil tougher water permit requirements for CAFO's

Minnesota will soon hold public hearings on proposed water permit changes as it seeks to get control of nitrate pollution from industrial farms…

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If you are displaced by a natural disaster such as a flood, consumer watchdogs say you should keep all your receipts, including for food and temporary lodging as your home is repaired. It can help recoup expenses when going through necessary insurance claims and other forms of assistance. (Adobe Stock)
Watchdog hopes MN flood victims keep shady contractors at bay

Communities across Minnesota, especially in its southern half, have been responding to flood emergencies, and consumer protection groups are urging …

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Violence Free Minnesota reported in 2018 through 2022, nearly 67% of bystanders or intervenors to domestic violence were killed by an abusive person using a firearm. (Adobe Stock)
SCOTUS ruling instills hope for domestic violence prevention groups

Domestic-violence prevention organizations in Minnesota continue to express relief over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling dealing with abusers having …

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The Minnesota DNR says rivers in several parts of the state are running extremely high and fast, and conservation officers recommend people stay off the areas until water levels drop. (Photo courtesy of DNR)
Soggy MN weather prompts safety issues as state park season kicks off

Recent bouts of heavy rain are not just leading to flooded basements in Minnesota, they are reducing access to state parks just as summer demand …

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