There’ll be an open house later today in Sauk Centre to discuss the discovery of emerald ash borers in the area and in Stearns County. The infestation of several trees was confirmed in early April. The meeting tonight will be held in the Sauk Centre City Council Chambers beginning at 6 pm. You’ll have a chance to provide input on the proposal to add Stearns County to the state’s formal quarantine list.

The Minnesota Department of Health says that a new study of over 1,000 patients supports early evidence that medical cannabis may help reduce the severity of nausea, pain, insomnia and other side effects associated with cancer and its treatment. Researchers from the Dept. of Health and from the Oncology research Center at Health Partners/Park Nicollet that cancer patients showed significant improvements in symptoms. The analysis included data from 1,120 patients that were in the program dating back to July of 2015. Minnesota’s medical cannabis program collects more patient info than any other state and there are over 30 states that now have legalized at last some forms of medical cannabis.

The state of Minnesota has put out its “top 13” most dangerous counties for drunk driving-related counties for crashes. In our area, Stearns County was #7. The list had Hennepin County as #1 followed by Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota, St. Louis and Washington Counties. Following Stearns County were Wright, Ottertail, Olmstead, Cass, Scott and Crow Wing.
From 2012 to 2016, 183 people died from drunk driving crashes in the 13 counties as opposed to 432 statewide. 768 were seriously injured in that time in the 13 compared to 1382 statewide. Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka says the immediate goal is to get Stearns County out of the top 10 at least, if not better.

State Representative Dean Urdahl of Grove City reports from St. Paul that an unwillingness of House Democrats and Governor Tim Walz to move on their proposal to raise taxes on Minnesotans by $12 Billion Dollars continues to hold up budget negotiations. Urdahl went on to say that with a billion dollar surplus, a gas tax increase and other taxes do not need to be raised, and a lot of fat could be trimmed from a bloated State Government. The session has less than two weeks to go.

Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, 11,842 in reality, is gearing up for another walleye/northern fishing opener week-end. Roughly 4500 of the state’s lakes are considered fishing lakes. The DNR expects around a half million of the 1.4 million licensed anglers to be on the water despite cooler temps, both above and below the surface. You’re reminded that this is Take a Mom fishing week-end. Moms can fish without a license Saturday & Sunday, and in most cases all Minnesota residents can all fish for free when in a state park. This year’s Governor’s Fishing Opener takes place in the Albert Lea Area for the first time ever. Officials remind you to wear a life jacket and be safe on the water.

Kandiyohi County has been listed in a study as being among the best places in the state for living on social security.The county came in second to Lake County with a cost of living amount of  $17,819.00 and an average social security income of $20,078 annually. SmartAsset delved into the data in its 5th annual study, which included social security income, cost of living data, and taxes. One negative that all counties in the Minnesota had-social security income is taxed by the state, putting a burden on many retirees who are on a fixed income. Minnesota, one of the highest taxing states in the country, is one of only 13 that tax the elderly for social security.

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