Minnesota This Week: cold, tough news

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Cold air was a reality for every Minnesotan this week and headlines from around the state reflected that. The unforgiving temperatures claimed the life of one woman in Minneapolis and stretched the limits of homeless shelters and charitable organizations. One unique twist on the cold weather narrative came from Winona Daily News reporter Patrick Anderson who chose to focus on the winter fly fishing season.

Two teenage girls in Rochester went missing from Mayo High School. Details are sketchy surrounding their disappearance, but authorities said the two girls are friends. Little else is being shared with the public. KAAL quoted Rochester Police Department Captain Brian Winters as saying, “We cannot talk about the welfare of these children in an open environment with news media present. They are even at potentially more risk when we do that.” Fears have spread through Rochester’s Somali community that the girls’ disappearance may be linked to sex trafficking. Members from the community are reaching out and asking Greater Rochester for help.

Proposals to cut the state budget are underway in St. Paul. Republican lawmakers in the House voted a proposal out of committee that would cut the state’s workforce by 15 percent. Republican lawmakers have also taken the lead on funding cuts to municipalities by reducing to Local Government Aid payments. In general, city governments through out the state expressed frustration with the proposed cuts since they are already seeing additional strain on their budgets from an unexpectedly high amount of snowfall this winter.

Michael Olson is online editor for Minnesota Today. His weekly news roundups will appear on Friday.

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