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Blog Archive: April 2017

Row the boat: Join the Minnesota State Patrol

April 27

University of Minnesota Football Coach P.J. Fleck learned something new this week: The Minnesota State Patrol wears maroon in honor of the Golden Gophers. During Colonel Matt Langer’s visit to the U of M football locker room at TCF Bank Stadium, he and Coach Fleck discovered they had quite a few other things in common as well. For example, both Col. Langer and Coach Fleck are passionate about recruiting. They both want the best of the best to wear those maroon uniforms, whether it’s to drive the ball down the field for a touchdown or get impaired drivers off Minnesota highways...

Photo of a family planting flowers and trees.Join 787,237 of your neighbors in calling before you dig

April 24

That corner of your yard – you know, the one that gets all that southern light – would be a great place for a garden, don’t you think? Just flowers, nothing complicated. You’ll only be digging about six or eight inches down, so you probably won’t hit anything important, right? Wrong. Underground utilities such as natural gas can run just inches from the surface – and hitting one with a shovel could be deadly. And it’s not just natural gas. You could hit a power line, too – and how would you feel if that caused, say, an entire hospital or school to lose power?

Probability wheel for teen distraced driving.Before they get behind that wheel, show them this one.

April 20

Imagine your teen driving alone during the day without any distractions. Safe, right? Now imagine your teen picks up a friend. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but your teen’s risk of a crash just increased by 139 percent. Now let’s say night has now fallen and your teen has picked up two more passengers, is texting, and makes a grab for something that fell on the floor. The probability of a crash skyrockets 2,382 percent. That’s how a new program in Kandiyohi County is helping teen drivers and their parents learn not to drive distracted: by using a probability wheel...

Amber Alerts represent the best in Minnesotans

April 17

At their core, people – especially Minnesotans – are good and want to help others out, whether they know them or not. There is perhaps no better evidence of this than the Amber Alert. Because let’s face it: When you see one on your phone or the TV or a message board along the highway, you can’t help but think, “What if that were my child?” You want to help reunite that scared, suffering family. That could be the reason why Amber Alerts have been so successful in Minnesota. Since the program’s inception in our state in 2002, Amber Alerts have been issued for 32 children...

Sylvie Tikalsky cries as she describes how much she’ll miss her grandpa Joe, who was killed by a distracted driver.Distracted driving is a choice. So choose not to do it.

April 13

Think for a moment about a favorite relative of yours – perhaps a parent or grandparent. Now imagine that person going outside to get the paper as they have thousands of times before. Then think what it would be like to find out that, during that simple, mundane act, your relative was killed by a distracted driver. That’s what 17-year-old Sylvie Tikalsky thinks about every day. Her grandpa, Joe, had donned his bright yellow safety jacket to go to his mailbox in New Prague when he was struck and killed by a woman texting and driving...

Trade your desk for a Minnesota State Patrol car

April 10

That mouse. That paperwork. Those emails. That desk. Do they all just get to you sometimes? Do you dream of a dynamic career with fresh air that’s different every day and makes the world a better place? Perhaps most importantly, do you have eight minutes? That’s all it takes to watch “Make a Difference: Become a Minnesota State Trooper.” It follows several troopers as they go about their jobs patrolling roads, pulling over speeders, warning distracted drivers, and making DWI arrests. In short, it shows you what it might be like to join the state patrol...

Photo of crime victim 84-year-old Sally.Hey, crime victims: Sally wants you to know your rights

April 6

Some people may be uncomfortable around the homeless – but not 84-year-old Sally. She worked at St. Paul’s Dorothy Day Center, which provides daytime services for homeless people, for years, and she sometimes goes back to visit old friends and have lunch. That’s why Sally was unconcerned when, on one of these occasions in November of 2016, she saw a man bypassing a crowd of people outside Dorothy Day to get to her. “I thought, ‘He wants to talk to me,’” she explains. But what happened next was a total shock...


Red River flooding in downtown East Grand Forks in 1997.Like it was yesterday: The 20th anniversary of the Red River flood

April 3

Twenty years ago this month, the residents of East Grand Forks and surrounding communities found themselves in dire straits. The record 101 inches of snow they had received that winter was melting, and the banks of the Red River simply couldn’t handle it. And when it finally burst its banks, the water stretched an astonishing three miles inland. All but eight homes in East Grand Forks were flooded. Five hundred were condemned. Eleven people died...