At MPR News, Elizabeth Shockman reports, “In 2022 Minnesota nursing homes reported staffing shortages that were worse than anywhere else in the country. The ability to find direct care workers for these institutions and others has become a crisis. That’s according to a new report from the University of Minnesota. ‘The crisis of low-wage healthcare workers is a crisis for all those that require care,’ report authors wrote.”

At the AP Alexandra Simon says, “At a press conference Tuesday. Gov. Walz said he plans to again ask the legislature to send Minnesotans ‘Walz checks’ of $1,000 per adult. In his re-election campaign, Walz heavily promoted the plan to distribute bonus checks to refund a portion of the surplus to taxpayers. ‘The case for sending money back to Minnesotans to help with rising costs has never been stronger. Together, we have a golden opportunity to do that while also investing in our workforce, our schools, and our kids – all while lowering costs for our middle-class families, small businesses, and seniors,’ Walz said in a statement.”

This from William Bornhoft at Patch: “In Minnesota, 10 hospitals were ranked among the Best Hospitals for Maternity Care for 2022-23 released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report. In the ranking of nearly 650 hospitals providing labor and delivery services, fewer than half received the ‘high performing’ designation, the highest a hospital can receive for maternity care. These Minnesota hospitals received the ‘high performing’ designation for maternity care:

    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis)
    • United Hospital (St. Paul)
    • Mercy Hospital — Coon Rapids
    • Mayo Clinic — Mankato
    • Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital (Grand Rapids)
    • Mayo Clinic — Red Wing
    • M Health Fairview Northland Medical Center (Princeton)
    • M Health Fairview Ridges Hospital (Burnsville)
    • M Health Fairview St. John’s Hospital (Maplewood)
    • M Health Fairview Woodwinds Hospital (Woodbury).”

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At Vox Karen Landman says, “This flu season’s ferocious start has given way to record-shattering levels of transmission — and massive strains on the American health system. In the week ending November 26, more than 34,000 positive flu tests were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from labs around the U.S., as shown in the orange line on the chart below. That’s more positive flu tests than have been reported in any single week during any flu season on record, going back as far as 1997.”

For the Strib Connie Nelson writes, “Craig Blacklock has spent most of his life doing one thing: photographing Lake Superior. … Instead of the ‘hyper real’ photographs he’s become known for, his new book, ‘Light Waves,’ is filled with highly magnified images of reflections on the never-still water. A celebration of light, color and movement, the book brings natural miracles largely left unseen into focus. ‘I’m creating abstract images that are purely abstract, but they are the reflections of reality,’ Blacklock said from his home and gallery in Moose Lake.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “A Minnesota company has announced plans to build a $400 million soybean crushing plant north of Grand Forks. Red Wing-based Epitome Energy LLC said the plant could process up to 42 million bushels of soybeans annually. The company said the crushing facility may allow area farmers to fetch an additional 25 cents a bushel with the ability to process soybeans nearby.”

A KMSP-TV story says, “An elementary school teacher is accused of criminal sexual conduct involving three of his students. Roger Ebnet, 59, of Benson, Minnesota, is charged with three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct of a child under the age of 14. According to the criminal complaint, a Benson Police officer on Dec. 2 saw a video recording from a classroom at Northside Elementary School in Benson, which was recorded on Dec. 1, that showed Ebnet sitting on a chair with his elementary school students in front of him on a rug.  During various points in the day, Ebnet is seen having three separate boys – ages 7 and 8 – seated between his legs during various times of the day, charges said. The video, according to charges, shows three separate incidents in which Ebnet placed the boys’ hands under his groin area as the children in the classroom have their eyes closed.”

For the Washington Examiner Heather Hamilton says, “ MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said if he is elected as the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, he will not take a paycheck from the organization. ‘I’ll take my whole salary and stick it right into the RNC — something I will believe in once we get this thing fixed’, Lindell said Monday during his broadcast on his Frank Speech platform. Mike Lindell tonight challenges Ronna to a debate, says he will raise 10x more money than her for the RNC, will take no salary, condemns Tucker Carlson & Fox for not having him on, and says he has already secured the votes of the delegations of 6 states.”

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