Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
PAUL -- Minnesota’s opioid epidemic was more deadly than ever in Ramsey County last year, taking the lives of 72 people, a 16 percent increase over the year before. The urgent need to address the crisis came into sharp focus again Thursday, April 19, as law enforcement officials announced a counterfeit prescription drug containing the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl killed the rock star Prince in 2016.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota continues to have among the nation's best scores on a biennial assessment of students' math and reading skills, but large gaps remain between students of color and their white classmates. Results from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also called the Nation's Report Card, were released Tuesday, April 10. Every two years, more than half a million fourth- and eighth-graders from across the nation take the assessments.
ST. PAUL—Pharmacies across Minnesota are making it easier to get the opioid antidote naloxone that reverses drug overdoses. HealthPartners and Park Nicollet pharmacies announced Wednesday, March 21, that they have started providing naloxone to patients who have opioid prescriptions and are at high risk of an overdose.
ST. PAUL—They came to the Minnesota Capitol frustrated and angry. Many cried as they told their stories; some struggled to hold back sobs of grief. "I don't have politically correct words to say what I've seen," Corey Tanner told a Senate committee investigating the abuse of seniors and vulnerable adults. His mother, Mildred, was mistreated in a memory-care facility.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's job market has improved to record levels for black residents although their jobless rate remains more than double the state average. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, or DEED, released a jobs report Thursday, Jan., 18, that showed 7.5 percent of black Minnesotans were unemployed in December. That's the lowest jobless rate for black residents since the state began keeping records in 2001.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's individual health insurance marketplace, MNsure, saw record enrollments and the smoothest annual sign-up period since the agency's troubled launch in 2013. MNsure announced Wednesday, Jan. 17, that more than 116,000 people purchased insurance through the state market created under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. That's slightly higher than last year, when 114,810 people bought plans, but it falls short of the 5 percent growth agency officials anticipated.
SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Two east metro politicians and a first-time candidate with behind-the-scenes political experience are running to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Dan Schoen, who resigned last year after allegations of sexual misconduct.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton's administration says its efforts to make state hiring and contracting more inclusive are paying off, but there is still a long way to go before all Minnesotans have equitable representation in the government workforce. Last year, state contracts awarded to businesses owned by people of color, women and veterans grew an average of 89 percent over 2015, an increase from $40 million to $75 million. While that's impressive growth, it represents a fraction of the roughly $2.5 billion Minnesota spends with contractors each year.
ST. PAUL—After dropping for a year, Minnesota students' scores on the ACT college entrance exam are on the rise, but future access to the test might be limited. Minnesota's composite ACT score rose four-tenths of a point to 21.5 in 2017, compared with a national average of 21. The state also had the highest score of the 17 states where every eligible student takes the exam. A perfect score is 36. ACT uses students' performance on the exam to judge their college readiness, and Minnesota students made gains in all four areas: English, reading, math and science.
LAKE ELMO, Minn.—Connie Hayes likes to think there is a little bit of magic in the design of the new Pankalo Education Center. The superintendent of the Northeast Metro Intermediate School District says designers considered every detail in planning the new school for students who have complex special needs. The school, which is set to open in September, will be located in Lake Elmo—14 miles east of St. Paul in suburban Washington County. "We know our kids need a different approach than they would get in a traditional setting," Hayes said.