Starting next week, enforcement of the new hands-free cellphone law will begin, so how will this affect you? Starting August 1st, you can get ticketed for driving while holding your cellphone. If you are one of habitual phone users, you are going to need a Bluetooth device. If you have a newer model car, odds are that there is Bluetooth tech already installed, so check to see if your vehicle is equipped. Another option is picking up some Bluetooth earphones or earbuds with a built-in microphone. Your best bet is to just put down the phone and focus on driving. Violators of the new law will be ticketed $50 for the first offense, but after that it will $275.

Four cities in Minnesota will soon be implementing new local sales taxes. The state legislature approved the measure last spring, for Excelsior, Rogers, West St. Paul, and Elk River. The new law takes effect October 1st.

A 49-year-old man from Lowry drowned in Lake Burgen near Alexandria late Tuesday night. The Douglas County Sheriff’s office received the call that the man had disappeared while swimming. The dive team found the   body about 50 feet from the shore in 10 feet of water. Paramedics tried to revive the man but were unsuccessful. The man’s identity has been withheld until the family is notified. This is the sixth drowning in Douglas County in the past three years.

The Willmar Public Works will be spraying for mosquitoes tonight. Work crews will get started tonight at 7 p.m. and will wrap up around midnight.

A USDA proposal could cut Food Stamps to three-point-one million people across the country. The Trump administration says the new policy could save billions of dollars. This could affect tens of thousands of Minnesota families; in May, over 67 thousand got food assistance. The Department of Human Services says it has not yet fully calculated how new rules will affect Minnesota.

Several Twin Cities area lakes will be closed until further notice due to high levels of E.Coli. Officials for the Hennepin County Health Department tested the water on Monday. Excelsior Beach on Lake Minnetonka, McCarrons Lake in Roseville, as well as Lake Hiawatha Beach. According to the Minneapolis Parks Board, the recent has elevated E.Coli levels, and it may take several weeks of dry weather before the beaches can open.

Two Aldi supermarkets will be opening in the Twin Cities in August. The grocery store chain will be opening one location in Minneapolis near Uptown on August 21st. The second location will be in Richfield, the grand opening for that store is store opens August 14th. With these 2 new additions, this will bring the total number of Aldi Supermarkets in Minnesota to 70.

Governor Tim Walz says there is a growing need for more local government aid and county funding. Local Government Aid and County Program Aid both allocate dollars to the cities and counties to help cover expenses they can’t pay for with tax dollars.  Walz says that is an issue they will address in the next budgeting session of 20-21.

A bicyclist was struck and killed in north Minneapolis Tuesday night. The accident happened just before midnight at the intersection of Dowling and Humboldt avenue. The man on the bicycle was headed northbound on Humboldt when he ran the stop sign and was struck by a car headed in the westbound direction. The driver of the car is cooperating with police.

Highway 67 southeast of Granite Falls will be closed until sometime in 20-20 according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Back on April 4th, Mn-DOT closed highway 67 between Upper Sioux Agency State Park entrance and just west of the Yellow Medicine River Bridge at 600th Street. Mn-DOT has been investigating and found that there is significant movement going on 50 feet below the pavement, causing the roadway to shift and crack creating significant drops between lanes and creating hazardous conditions. Barriers are in place and motorists are restricted from using the roadway at this location. Remember, motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties may apply.

The death of a woman in a mobile home fire in Paynesville Tuesday night is under investigation by not only local law enforcement, but also the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the A-T-F. Officials say that they were called to the 400 block of Minnie Street after receiving reports that a man had doused the mobile home in gasoline and set it on fire. When emergency crews arrived the found the body of a woman inside the bathroom. The unidentified suspect was arrested at the scene of the crime and is expected to be charged with second-degree murder.

 

 

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