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Domestic violence is an equal-opportunity destroyer

Oct. 17

You could call domestic violence an equal-opportunity destroyer. It doesn’t discriminate. Victims and their abusers can be male or female, young or old, gay or straight. They can be any race, any religion. Rich or poor; any level of education; married, living together or dating: Anyone can have their lives altered and even destroyed by domestic violence. When you hear the term “domestic violence” or “relationship violence,” you might think of the classic story of the woman coming to work with unexplained bruises, saying she “walked into a door” or ...

A firefighter walking in front of a burning home

Fire in Minnesota: The people behind the numbers

Oct. 14

Teresa was an artist. Todd was a computer analyst. Tom retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 35 years and played in a rock band, and Carter couldn’t wait to graduate from high school. Louise was an elementary teacher in St. Paul for 40 years, and Thomas was an iron worker. Rebecca managed a liquor store and loved softball. These seven people came from such diverse backgrounds, families and places. Different ages, different jobs and hobbies. But they, along with 30 other people, died in fires in Minnesota in 2018. It’s a tragic thing to have in common...

A motorcyclist on a curvy road

Fall riding hazards and how to avoid them

Oct. 10

There are still a few beautiful days here and there, and if you’re a motorcyclist, you’re probably squeezing out those last few rides before the snow flies. So it’s a good time to remember that you share the road with not only motorcyclists and other drivers, but sometimes with animals. Eight motorcyclists died as a result of a crash with an animal last year (most were deer, but there were other animals, too, including a moose). That ties the all-time record for fatal motorcycle crashes involving an animal. To date in 2019, three riders have died in collisions with animals...

A family looking over their escape plan diagram

Practice makes safety

Oct. 7

Remember playing baseball in the backyard, when the dog ran through the game and grabbed the ball? You and your friends could just call a do-over and try again. Or what about the first time you tried to make your grandma’s bread recipe? It came out inedible. But you called a do-over and tried again. There are some things in life where you’ll never get a do-over, though. Escaping a fire is great example. If you don’t carry out your fire escape plan correctly (or worse, if you don’t have an escape plan at all), you may not get another chance to do it right—you have to do it right the first time...

Hands on a steering wheel and a phone in a dash mount

Break the habit: Drive with a hands-free device

Oct. 3

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two months, you know that Minnesota now has a hands-free cell phone law. But habits are hard to break, whether it’s stopping smoking, cutting down on screen time, or just going to bed earlier. And if your habit is talking on your phone while driving without a hands-free device, you’ll need to break it right away. It may help to know that there’s a precedent for breaking such habits, though. For example, up until the 1980s, most people were in the habit of leaving their seat belt off in the car...