MOORHEAD, Minn. — LGBTQ Minnesotans are responding to a report this week of a new gender-neutral option for state driver's licenses. At least one lawmaker is questioning why the option did not have legislative approval. Residents in Minnesota will now have the option to choose 'X' as their gender on their state ID if they don't identify as either male or female.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Monday issued a air quality alert for a large portion of Minnesota, from the arrowhead region down to the southwestern part of the state. The affected areas include Hibbing, Duluth, Brainerd and Mankato. Northwestern and southeastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, are not included in the alert. The smoke originated from a wildfire and British Columbia and the alert expires at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21.
ST. PAUL-- On August 3, Forum News Service reported 3 people who were affected by a cryptosporidiosis outbreak at the Shades of Sherwood Campground near the southeastern Minnesota community of Zumbrota. Health officials now say the number of affected people has increased to at least 72 as of Thursday, August 9. The pool owner has taken the following precautions since the outbreak first occurred: • The swimming pool was temporarily closed and hyper-chlorinated to kill any existing Cryptosporidium. The pool has since reopened.
ST. PAUL — Health officials have confirmed the first Minnesota case of measles in 2018 in a Hennepin County child. A 5-year-old who traveled internationally to a region where measles is common contracted the disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The child was most likely infectious from July 30 through August 7. The health department says if other cases popped up as a result of this case, symptoms would occur between now and August 28.
ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Department of Health is urging people to be aware of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak at the Shades of Sherwood Campground near the southeastern Minnesota community of Zumbrota. Investigators have identified three people sick with the illness with one having to be hospitalized. One of them was also infected by E. coli. The Minnesota Department of Health wants people to speak to them if they visited Shades of Sherwood Campground since July 1.
CHICAGO—Comcast users could soon miss out on Big Ten sports on both FS1 and the Big Ten Network, which could affect fans' viewing of the Minnesota Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers football games. Fox-owned BTN has had a deal with Comcast for 10 years, but the contract expires Aug. 31. FS1's contract will expire the same time. According to the president of BTN and Fox Sports, Mark Silverman, there is a real fear a contract may not be re-signed.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—Richard Chodek, who erected a fence that is preventing public access to a west-central Minnesota lake, defended himself against the state of Minnesota on Friday, July 20, after being charged with 12 misdemeanors. His hope to have the charges against him dismissed will be delayed by at least a month. Both him and the state of Minnesota will have until Aug. 17 to present their written arguments before a date for the jury trial will be set.
ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Department of Health is warning consumers to not eat Spring Pasta Salad from Hy-Vee if it was purchased before July 17. Six of seven cases in a Salmonella Sandiego outbreak have been linked to people who have eaten Spring Pasta Salad from four different Hy-Vee stores, a news release said. On July 16, the product was removed from all stores voluntarily while health officials have been investigating.
FARGO—Jamie Zastoupil and the children she cares for at Wiggles and Giggles Child Care are working to help the United Way School Supply drive. For the sixth straight year Zastoupil and the kids are selling lemonade and baked goods to purchase school supplies for children in need. Zastoupil finds that having a school supply drive like this can benefit both the children receiving the supplies and those who volunteer to help out.
HATTIESBURG, Miss.—Eleven dogs en route from a Mississippi animal shelter to Minnesota died when the van they were being transported in broke down Friday, July 6, in northern Mississippi. The van was headed to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, Minn. The volunteers who were driving unloaded the dogs as fast as they could to transport them to a cooler spot, but it was too late for 11 of the 50 dogs expected in Minnesota. According to the Southern Pines Animal Shelter Facebook post, they don't believe the deaths were caused by heat in the van.