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WOODBURY, Minn.—Amie Muller returned home to Woodbury nearly a decade ago after serving a two-year tour in Iraq. The end of her deployment, however, ushered in a gamut of health issues for Muller, including severe skin rashes and sun sensitivity, chronic fatigue and a fibromyalgia diagnosis. She was eventually diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer in 2016. Amie, a mother of three, died from the disease in February at 36.
WOODBURY, Minn. — Two people arrested this week ran a large-scale prostitution and trafficking operation offering commercial sex services into than a dozen states, according to prosecutors in western Minnesota's Washington County. Ricky Arlen Turner Jr., 28, and Brittany Marie Harenza, 25, face felony racketeering and concealing criminal proceeds charges in Washington County District Court. Turner also was charged with engaging in the trafficking of a minor and promoting prostitution, both felonies.
ST. PAUL—The Minnesota House and Gov. Mark Dayton want to provide the University of Minnesota with an additional $14 million over two years to help train physicians to work in greater Minnesota. The state funding would replace a portion of the revenue generated by nonprofit insurance provider UCare. The Minneapolis-based UCare donated money for a decade to the university's family medicine department to support residency programs for primary care doctors who plan to practice in rural Minnesota communities.
ST. PAUL—Adding new commodities to Minnesota's farming industry accounts for a portion of state agriculture funding proposed by the House, Senate and Gov. Mark Dayton. Industrial hemp is among the new crops eyed for growth. All three proposals include funding that could be used to grow and process industrial hemp, which is illegal unless a farmer is in a pilot project. It is a non-potent relative to marijuana that can be used in products ranging from rope to foods.
ST. PAUL — Another tuition freeze could be on the horizon for students at Minnesota State colleges and universities. Finance bills from the state House and Senate call for a halt to rising tuition costs within the Minnesota State system. Sen. Michelle Fischbach, Senate higher education chairwoman, penned a bill that would block state colleges and universities from raising tuition from 2016-17 rates for two years.
Andrew Lang's job is not exactly what his 6- and 9-year-old sons expected. When he was elected to public office for the first time in November, the boys thought he would serve in the Imperial Senate on a floating pod. They were slightly disappointed to learn their dad would legislate in Minnesota rather than the First Galactic Empire of "Star Wars." Still, the boys attended Gov. Mark Dayton's signing of Lang's first passed Senate bill Feb. 17. They even got a couple of hockey sticks from the governor's office out of it.
New funding for education makes up a weighty portion of the more than $1.9 billion in new spending Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton proposed in his two-year budget. The plan would add $371 million in funding for public schools through 2018 and 2019. The extra dollars would increase the state's spending per pupil by 2 percent each of the next two years.
ST. PAUL — A new round of state grants could extend broadband to thousands of businesses and households throughout areas of rural Minnesota that now are without reliable internet access. A total of $34 million has been dedicated to 42 broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state aiming to chip away at the number of people left offline in greater Minnesota. The state's Border-to-Border Broadband Infrastructure plan adds state taxpayer dollars to funding from private and local sources and federal reimbursements from the Connect America Fund.
A new round of state grants could extend broadband to thousands of businesses and households throughout areas of rural Minnesota that now are without reliable internet access. A total of $34 million has been dedicated to 42 broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state aiming to chip away at the number of people left offline in greater Minnesota. West Central Telephone Association in Wadena County is on the list to receive $718,850 for a project.