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Winter weather threats graphic listing extreme cold, wind chill, heavy snow and ice.Will the weather outside be frightful?

Nov. 16

Thanksgiving is just around the bend, bringing with it a season of twinkly lights, yummy food, and – here in Minnesota, anyway – winter weather, some of which can be hazardous. It’s important to know what to expect, but if you’re like most people, you find the National Weather Service’s watch, warning and advisory (WWA) system a tad confusing. What’s the difference between a winter storm watch and a blizzard warning, for example, and how does that change the way you would prepare? After talking with everyone from your average person to social and behavioral scientists...

 

Photo of trooper's graduating.How Minnesota troopers are learning about autism

Nov. 13

Imagine how you’d feel if you woke up one morning and discovered that your son was missing. Imagine how frantic you’d feel; how powerless. You’d call 911 immediately, of course, and knowing that law enforcement were looking for him would do quite a bit to set your mind at ease. But what if your son was autistic? It’s not that uncommon anymore. In the 1990s, about one in every 2,500 people was known to be autistic. Today that number is one in 68, having grown to 37 times more in less than 30 years. And if your son is autistic, maybe he can’t speak...

 

Photo of a Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety inspector looking at a natural gas pipe.How a pipeline inspector becomes a pipeline inspector

Nov. 9

Pipeline inspections are like city streets: You don’t really think about them until there’s a bump in the road. Very few Minnesotans know there’s an Office of Pipeline Safety, and that’s OK: it means they and the pipeline industry are following regulations and putting safety first, and successfully avoiding occurrences like explosions and gas leaks. In case you’re wondering, the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS) acts as a regulatory agency – their job is to ensure that Minnesota’s 86 pipeline operators, 60,000 miles of pipeline, and nearly 1.5 million gas meters are in compliance...

 

Nov. 6

There’s not much time left in this year’s motorcycle riding season, so you’re likely taking every opportunity to get on your bike and enjoy the crisp (well…sometimes downright cold) fall air and what beautiful fall colors are left. But along with turkeys and pumpkin spice everything, the season brings with it unique dangers to a motorcycle rider. There is much less daylight. Wet leaves can be slick on the roadway. And deer are out in droves. There have been 52 motorcyclists killed so far in 2017. Of the 46 motorcyclists killed in crashes where helmet use was known, 74 percent weren’t wearing a helmet...

 

Photo of materials at the Toward Zero Deaths conference.Toward Zero Deaths: Exactly what it sounds like

Nov. 2

If you’ve never heard of Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) project, don’t worry. But if you spend any time at all on Minnesota’s roads – whether as a driver, passenger, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian – you’ll definitely want to know. It’s a joint venture of organizations and agencies with the common vision that even one traffic-related death is too many. In short, they’re working toward zero deaths. Which is why about 900 of them got together in St. Paul last week for the annual TZD conference. It’s a forum to share best practices, identify ongoing and new traffic challenges...