Newsletter: Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Newsletter: Thursday, January 13th, 2022

--Morrison County Public Health is out of free at-home rapid tests at this time. Please visit to find other testing options near you.

--Governor Tim Walz yesterday announced his intention to provide $40 million in new funding to help support hospital staffing to serve Minnesotans across the state during the current surge of COVID-19 cases brought on by the Omicron variant. Governor Walz submitted his plan for the funding from the American Rescue Plan to the Legislative COVID-19 Response Commission on Wednesday. The $40 million will cover the costs for providers (mostly RNs) who will work 60 hours per week for 60 days to provide care to patients at certain Minnesota hospitals dealing with staffing shortages due to COVID-19. With case counts expected to rise over the next several weeks, the Walz-Flanagan Administration is using every available resource and taking action now to help ensure that hospitals in Minnesota have more staff to enable them to provide the best care possible. Additionally, the Governor announced that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is taking emergency action to provide regulatory relief to hospitals and long-term care facilities, allowing them to expand capacity to more easily treat additional patients. In response to requests from long-term care providers and hospitals, MDH’s actions include: Waiving licensing fees and restrictions associated with adding new beds in hospitals or nursing homes in response to a COVID surge and; allowing nursing homes to quickly expand capacity by reactivating beds they had previously applied to leave vacant and permitting certain nursing homes to more easily move or transfer patients without normal transfer and waiting periods. Minnesota’s doctors, nurses, hospital, and long-term care staff have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two years. They are treating people who have COVID-19 in addition to providing emergency care, rehabilitating those on the road to recovery, and caring for older Minnesotans and those with specialized needs. And by treating some patients who no longer need hospital-level care, long-term care facilities also help preserve hospital capacity by accepting patient transfers from acute-care units. As of Tuesday, Minnesota hospitals are treating more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients, including nearly 260 in the ICU. This number is expected to rise in the coming days. At the same time, many hospitals are dealing with staffing absences due to COVID-19, further squeezing staff capacity.

--Some area schools are reminding parents/guardians and students about some changes or some questions that arose about their school calendars. Royalton schools will have class Friday January 14th, this was reported first on the calendar as a day off but the school district stated that Friday is a full day of class in Royalton. Also Upsala area schools are reminding parents and students that Monday, January 17th is a full day of class in Upsala.

--Drunk driving arrests went back up in Minnesota during the recent statewide holiday enforcement campaign. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says there were 2,037 people arrested for DWI between November 24th and December 31st. That compares to 1,383 during the same period the year before. While the number is high, it is still lower than what we saw each year between 2016 and 2019.

--The Boys & Girls Club in Little Falls announced yesterday that they will be closed the remainder of this week. If you need to make end-of-the-day arrangements regarding busing arrangements, please call Michelle Carll for assistance. She can be reached at 320-632-2029.

--Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A federal holiday that falls on the third Monday of January and was established by President Ronald Reagan and started in 1986 (though some states not until later). With the holiday, there is no regular mail delivery, many banks and government agencies will be closed on Monday. Some schools like Little Falls are off today but others rules are in session today so check with the schools on details there. Most offices are likely open today around the area but always best to call ahead to make sure.

--Shannon Wettstein of Morrison Soil and Water announced that they helping put together an event on January 17th at the Little Falls VFW with speakers, local producers talking on how they cultivate, using cover crops and also hear from forage and feeds, there will be a mental health practitioner on counseling farmers and others. This is an opportunity to come together starting at 9am that morning. For those wanting more information on the event, or questions on tree sales other water and soil items call Shannon at 320-631-3553.

--A St. Cloud man is charged with seven felonies after allegedly assaulting a woman and her son despite court orders to stay away from them. According to the charges filed in Stearns County District Court, 24-year-old Jeffrey Jennings Jr. assaulted the woman over a period of 15 days at his south St. Cloud apartment. Records show the victim was at a party on December 27th when Jennings showed up and brought her back to his apartment unit. She told police she had been there until police were called on January 10th because she was afraid of what Jennings would do to her if she left. Jennings allegedly assaulted her daily and choked her more than once. He also allegedly used a cord to whip the boy when he wouldn't go sit in a corner. Jennings was arrested when arriving police officers saw him leaving the apartment complex. He told officers no one was inside his apartment unit, but the woman and boy were eventually found inside. Court records show both the mother and the boy had bruises and visible marks on them.

--Corrine Blikstad Nelson, 93 of Little Falls formerly Grove City.

TODAY= mostly cloudy, temps dropping through afternoon.
TONIGHT= snow after 4am overnight, cloudy, low 8 above.
FRIDAY= snow likely, 2-4 inches, high 15, low around -10.
SATURDAY= partly sunny and colder, high 11, low around 0.
SUNDAY= snow in afternoon, cloudy and warmer, high near 30.

HS BHK= Little Falls at Princeton tonight 6:30pm on Q92 WYRQ.
BBALL= listen to a boys/girls double header Friday between Little Falls and Pierz from Pierz High School 5:30pm on Q92 WYRQ.
TWINS= The Minnesota Twins announced they will be retiring Jim Kaat's number 36 later this summer. The number will be pulled from the list of available numbers players can wear. He becomes the 9th Twins players to have a number retired. The ceremony is July 16th.
COL FB= The Gopher's College Football schedule for next season has been released. P.J. Fleck's team will start September 1st against New Mexico State. Homecoming will be October 1st against Purdue, other big games include at Penn State and at Nebraska, home against Iowa and at Wisconsin November 26th with the Iowa and Wisconsin games ending the regular season for 2022.
COL BB= Michigan State hold off Gophers 71-69 last night.