KTOE Greater Mankato News
Mankato-Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive species, has been confirmed in the City of Mankato for the first time. Infested trees were discovered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) as part of a routine tree survey. View a Minnesota EAB status map. Residents are encouraged to watch for signs when checking for EAB: Identify ash trees. EAB only feed on ash trees. Ash have branches that come off the trunk directly across from each other, known as opposite branching. On older trees, the bark is in a tight, diamond-shaped pattern. Younger trees have relatively smooth bark. Look for woodpecker damage. Woodpeckers eat EAB larvae [...]
(St. Paul, MN) -- Minnesota hospitals are facing continued pressure from a spike in respiratory viruses. A weekly update from the state showed over 83-hundred Minnesota hospital beds are occupied, above the threshold that suggests scarcity. Flu-related hospitalizations has dipped slightly, but still remain high for this time of year. Hospital officials remain unsure when or if a second wave of respiratory illnesses will hit the state.
Senator Amy Klobuchar is using a cold Minnesota day to highlight a new law named after two boys from Kimball who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Cheryl Burt lost her sons Nicholas and Zachary in January of 1996 after making a fire in their new home: "What actually ended up happening I believe is that there was a down draft. We had a faulty furnace which then exacerbated everything and we did not have a carbon monoxide alarm. All I knew is we were getting sicker and sicker and sicker throughout the night." Burt believes that a carbon monoxide alarm may [...]
Saint Paul police have released body-cam video of an officer fatally shooting 24-year-old Howard Johnson Monday night on the city's East Side. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says stills show Johnson pointing a gun and a muzzle flash. Here is the audio. It is graphic: The officer radios that Johnson has "the gun in his right hand, he's pointing it at a car, he's trying to carjack right now." The officer accelerated the squad and the B-C-A says at that point he struck Johnson with the vehicle. The video shows the officer flinging open the door and yelling "Don't do it!" [...]
Advocates are eyeing two billion dollars of the state's budget surplus for what they call long-term investments in housing. Anne Mavity with the Minnesota Housing Partnership says the state is short 100-thousand units for the hardest-working front-line employees: "Two years ago, the governor proposed one billion dollars' worth of investments in housing. We think he can do better. We think he has more resources available to dedicate to housing, and we're confident that he will do so." Mavity contends one-time money -- which much of the budget surplus is -- will produce long-term benefits when invested in housing.
Rural broadband projects across Minnesota are set to receive nearly $100 million as the state pushes to bring high-speed internet to the remaining communities that don’t have access. DEED Commissioner Steve Grove" "We estimate will help 33,000 homes or businesses get online who are not online today." Grove says this is the single largest investment in the state's history for broadband internet.
As many as 15-thousand nurses are voting today (Fri), Monday and Tuesday on new contracts with 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth-Superior: Nurses at Allina, Children's, M Health Fairview, North Memorial and Methodist in the Twin Cities would receive 18 percent raises over three years; Essentia and Saint Luke's in Duluth, 17 percent plus other bonuses. Union leaders are recommending a "yes" vote. They say the tentative contracts also include "unprecedented language... to address chronic understaffing in our hospitals for the first time in history." Vote results will announced next Wednesday, early afternoon. Nurses union negotiators at Saint Luke's [...]
A leading butter supplier is easing supply concerns. Heather Anfang with Minnesota-base Land O' Lakes says reports of a holiday butter shortage are false: "There was less inventory this year as an industry in butter than last year, but last year was at a really high level. So I think that sparked some of this media around a butter shortage, but we prepare all year for the season and we’re ready, we’ve got product." Shortages are nothing new, especially in 2022. But if we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, the one thing that could make butter harder to find – is [...]