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Stay up to date on the latest developments as winter weather moves into our area. Tweet your photos, videos and weather updates to include on the blog using the hashtag #MNwx.
ST. PAUL -- Fire deaths have increased 30 percent in Minnesota so far this year to 56, and officials are worried about the historically dangerous holiday season. Last year at this time, there were 42 fire deaths. In 2015, there were 57 deaths, the highest number since 2002 when there were 64. The state’s all-time low figure was 35 in 2009 and the highest was 134 in 1976. The three leading causes of residential fires in Minnesota are all holiday staples: cooking, heating and open flames, although the leading cause of fatal fires in Minnesota is careless smoking.
A Minnesota Senate staff member filed a complaint with the Senate's human resources department on Tuesday charging that state Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-South St. Paul Park, sent her a photo of a man's genitals in 2015. Ellen Anderson told Minnesota Public Radio that Schoen used Snapchat, a mobile messaging app, to send her the sexually explicit photo. Schoen was a House legislator at that time but was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2016. Schoen's attorney, Paul Rogesheske, denied that his client sent such a sexual message to Anderson or any other woman.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis-based Jostens and the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee plan to bring the jeweler’s 33 championship rings it has created for Super Bowl winners on tour. The tour starts in Minneapolis Sept. 5 with a six-day run at the Star Tribune Atrium at Capella Tower. The rings will then be on display for the Vikings’ Sept. 11 home opener in Vikings Plaza.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's obesity rate among adults crept upwards in 2016, but remains below that of its neighbors, according to a national study released Thursday, Aug. 31. The study, by New Jersey-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found 27.8 percent of adults in Minnesota were obese in 2016, up 1.7 percent from a year prior. That figure is good for 18th out of the country's 50 states and District of Columbia. South Dakota ranked 24th with 29.6 percent, Wisconsin was 29th (30.7 percent), North Dakota was 36th (31.9 percent) and Iowa was 39th (32 percent).
ST. PAUL -- A post-summer survey shows an upward trend of Minnesota’s tourism business, the state’s tourism promotion office said. Summer revenue was up for 42 percent of survey respondents and occupancy was up 35 percent, according to Explore Minnesota on Wednesday, Aug. 30. Meanwhile, 30 percent of respondents experienced a decrease in revenue and 31 percent said occupancy was down. The hotel and motel sector reported decreased occupancy due to significant growth of new hotel rooms in the Twin Cities area, the tourism office said in its news release.
ST. PAUL -- Fines will increase Aug. 1 in Minnesota for drivers who fail to stop for a school bus with activated lights and the crossing arm fully extended. The fine will jump to $500 from $300. In the past six years, law enforcement across the state wrote nearly 9,000 stop arm violation citations, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said. During the annual School Bus Stop Arm Survey earlier this year, 3,659 bus drivers across the state reported 703 stop arm violations in just one day.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's unadjusted job count passed the 3 million mark in June for the first time ever, according to figures released last week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The agency said the state added 4,400 jobs in June on a seasonally adjusted basis and has gained 77,478 jobs over the past year, the biggest over-the-year job gain since May 1998. Job growth in Minnesota is up 2.6 percent over the past year, compared with a national job growth rate of 1.5 percent.
ST. PAUL — innesota Gov. Mark Dayton could not land a motel room for his Saturday, July 9 fishing trip, but he hopes to reel in a bass. And maybe a muskie. "I tried to get a hotel, motel reservation for tomorrow night, and they were booked," Dayton told reporters Thursday. "So, that's a good sign."
LUTSEN, Minn. — Historic Lutsen Resort on the North Shore of Lake Superior is up for sale for a cool $9.95 million. Lutsen is Minnesota's oldest active resort, founded in 1885, according to the resort's website. The property sleeps 700 guests in 209 rooms with a variety of accommodations and includes two swimming pools, a spa, restaurants and ballroom overlooking Lake Superior. The resort was with the ski hill just a few miles away. The ski hill and neighboring properties are no longer associated with the business operation of the lakeside resort.