Slow cooker Super Bowl: 3 game-winning recipes

Transfer potatoes to slow cooker. Drain chicken and shred with fork. (Tip: Shred with a hand mixer.)Fill warm tortillas with chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese or your favorite toppings.Recipe courtesy of Passionforsavings.com5-Ingredient White Queso DipIt wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without some kind of chip dip. Shallow depth of field with selective focus on cheese dip.4 / 4FARGO — Each year, football fans across the country look forward to one special weekend in February. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. They suit up in their chosen team’s gear to cheer them on for the Super Bowl. Cover with lid and cook on high heat 4 to 5 hours or low heat 7 to 9 hours, until potatoes are tender. And each year, foodies across the nation begin preparing weeks ahead of time, digging through recipes trying to decide what to feed their pigskin-loving guests for the festive event.But while food is a passion for them, hosts often sacrifice time spent enjoying the game with friends and family in exchange for time spent in the kitchen.But it doesn’t have to be that one.Slow cookers have made it possible to prepare meals and appetizers ahead of time, so cooks can enjoy the party, too.Try these three slow cooker game-winning recipes that are perfect for Super Bowl 51.Crock-Pot Chicken TacosFor those throwing a mega-Super Bowl party, slow cooker shredded chicken will feed the crowd. Give party-goers plenty of options for topping their tacos by setting out bowls full of lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, black olives and more.Ingredients:1 pound frozen chicken breasts1 package taco seasoning1 (16-ounce) jar of salsaDirections:Combine all ingredients in a Crock-Pot and cook on high for 4 hours. Lay each potato on a square of aluminum foil (large enough to fully cover), drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over each potato and rub around potato to evenly coat. But by adding fun toppings like bacon, cheese, green onions and sour cream, Super Bowl fans will thank the host for a creative meal.To get extra creative, offer toppings based upon the teams in the Super Bowl. Wrap foil around each potato.Pour water into a 6- or 7-quart slow cooker. Foodies can eat this dip with chips or take it to the next level with a nacho bar, complete with black olives, peppers, onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream.Serves: 3 cupsIngredients:1 pound pepper jack cheese8 ounces full-fat cream cheese½ cup full-fat sour cream1 (10-ounce) can original diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained¾ cup whole milk (if needed)1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon onion powder1 teaspoon paprika1 teaspoon chili powderDirections:In a slow cooker, combine the cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and diced tomatoes over low heat. Let the mixture heat until the cheeses melt and a smooth cream forms, stirring often. Once melted, serve immediately and turn slow cooker to “keep warm.” Enjoy!(Note: The Baking Fairy has gotten mixed feedback about using low-fat substitutions so she uses full-fat dairy in this recipe for best results.)Recipe courtesy of Thebakingfairy.netSlow Cooker ‘Baked’ PotatoesSure, a baked potato itself might not seem like enough to feed a crowd. For example: offer guests seafood options to represent the New England Patriots or Grilled Corn and Peach Salsa to represent the Atlanta Falcons.Serves: 4 to 6Ingredients:4 to 6 medium russet potatoes (no more than 10 ounces each)4 to 6 teaspoons olive oilFreshly ground sea salt and pepper1/2 cup waterDirections:Scrub and rinse potatoes; dry. Closeup of a hot baked potato topped with sour cream, bacon, green onions and cheddar cheese.1 / 4Pulled chicken tacos with lettuce sour cream and salsa2 / 4Game day football party table with beer, chips and salsa.3 / 4Queso Blanco or White Cheese Sauce with corn tortilla chips, salsa and fresh tomatoes. Add milk if needed. This should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.Add the spices if desired. Serve warm with desired toppings.Recipe courtesy of Cookingclassy.comVisit for more recipes including Crock-Pot Chili, Jalapeño Popper Dip and Crock-Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. To give guests even more options, opt for a build-your-own-taco bar.

Charges stem against 5 suspects in Crosslake burglary incident

Simpson still continued to struggle with officers and held her hands beneath her body clenched together, the complaint stated. Garcia pushed Simpson back and she fell backwards, the complaint stated.The officers had Girard on the ground and still struggled with getting her handcuffs on. Then the other female, Talitha Simpson, 41, Mankato, was attempting to get into the struggle to help Girard.Garcia yelled at Simpson several times to get back and the males were starting to become upset and were about to get up and help the females, the complaint stated. The males were later identified as Matthew Davis, 34, Princeton; Aaron Tomsky, 37, Waite Park; and Chad Charles Anderson, 36, Mankato.While talking to the males, Maier observed some commotion coming from where Fyle and Breezy Point Police Officer Joe Garcia were. Maier reached Simpson about the same time when another officer, Emily Police Officer Damien Stalker, did. The other two males said they didn’t have IDs. Maier told them to stay where they were and went to help the officers when Simpson went at the two officers again. Fyle was physically trying to subdue one of the females, identified as Sherah Girard, 37, Milaca, and Garcia stepped in to help get Girard in handcuffs, the complaint stated. The individuals refused to give Crosslake officer Jake Maier and Sheri Fyle their names and also refused to cooperate with officers as to the reason they were on this property.Neighbors called police when they noticed people were next door when no one was suppose to be there.According to the statement of probable cause filed against the defendants, as Maier was explaining to the males why they were at the property, one male swore and said he didn’t have to show an ID, but later did identify himself. Garcia then deployed his chemical spray on Simpson which also got on the two officers. Recommended for youSex offender scheduled for releaseCrosslake Police Chief Bob Hartman stated in a press release that police met with five uncooperative individuals once on scene. Aaron Tomsky (left), Chad Charles Anderson (middle), Talitha Simpson (right)1 / 4Chad Charles Anderson2 / 4Talitha Simpson3 / 4Aaron Tomsky4 / 4CROSSLAKE—Five people were charged Monday in Crow Wing County District Court in connection with a possible burglary in progress that occurred Friday night on Forest Lodge Road in Crosslake. Maier used pressure points and they were eventually able to get handcuffs on Simpson.Maier looked in the open shed next to the driveway and it had been ransacked, the complaint stated.Some items were discovered in the suspect’s vehicle that belonged to the construction company that has been doing work on the house located on this property, Hartman stated.Hartman stated that it was also later determined that one of the individuals who had lived at this location in the past was there to pick up a boat that belonged to him.”The officer said that had they simply identified themselves and explained that they were here to pick up the boat, other that the individual with the warrant, they could have gone on their way without any charges,” Hartman stated.Charges filed included:• Girard and Davis were charged with obstructing the legal process-interfering with a peace officer.• Tomsky charged with third-degree burglary, obstructing the legal process and a theft warrant• Simpson charged with fourth-degree assault of a peace officer and obstructing the legal process.• Anderson charged with giving a peace officer a false name, obstructing the legal process and theft.The Crosslake Police Department was assisted by the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office and the Breezy Point, Emily and Pequot Lakes police departments. Recommended for youSex offender scheduled for release When Maier reached for Simpson she was flailing her arms and kicking and kicked both officers in the face twice.

Live healthier: Drink more red wine

Good horticultural practices can lead to a healthier environment and that leads to the occupiers of the environment living a healthier life. Wine contains high levels of antioxidants called flavonoids. Readers can reach him at These are thought to work by mopping up excesses of harmful chemicals naturally produced by the body as well as making the blood less likely to clot and lowering high blood pressure.Because red wine is higher in flavonoids and contains resveratrol, it offers a boost for nullifying or preventing cold viruses from establishing in our bodies.A 5-ounce glass of red wine alone will not assure one of avoiding cold viruses, as other factors need to be in place as well (like not smoking, regularly exercising and eating a healthy diet).A simple thing like a 15- to 30-minute daily walk will boost the production of natural killer cells and help prevent viral infections from moving from the lungs into the bloodstream.Top off that exercise with a glass of red wine; the effects are good for only 24 hours the researchers claim and must be repeated daily.As if this research wasn’t enough good news to we moderate imbibers and exercisers, scientists have found that wine aged in French oak barrels contains a tannin that can help heal one’s liver,This ‘French oak’ is botanically known as Quercus robur (known in America as the English oak and Truffle oak) and comes under the general classification of the white oak group, which includes many species.As a group, they are fine grained and strong, making them useful for making furniture, building boats as well as placing in wine and whiskey barrels. Ron Smith, World of Wine columnistMy career in horticulture and my interest in wine run on parallel tracks. According to medical science there are some 200 viruses that can trigger this common ailment.The impact of red wine was even greater than white wine or low intakes of alcohol alone. The same can be said of moderate red wine production — or at least it has been circumstantially shown that those quaffing a glass or two on a daily basis, along with other healthy life habits, may live a longer, healthier life by lowering risk of heart attacks, dementia and strokes.Harvard and Spanish researchers have indicated that all wine is an ally against the frequent health problem — the common cold. Like grape varietals, the environment oaks grow in can influence the tightness of their grain.In Europe, and in particular, parts of France, the grain is tighter than that found in most other ecosystems where it grows.A red wine aged in French oak barrels, not only has the flavonoids and resveratrol’s positive influence on our health, but the aging in French oak barrels also provides protection to the liver with the tannin called roburin.This tannin helps protect the liver from alcohol related harm and from chemically driven damage, which can happen from prescription drugs like taminophen (found in Tylenol) and excess consumption of alcohol.So go ahead and enjoy that glass of red wine with your dinner, just make sure it spent some time in French oak barrels.Ron Smith, a retired NDSU Extension horticulturist, writes weekly about his love of wine and its history.

Minnesota woman accused of scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars from people around the world

Ryan Lewis” online who was in dire need of cash and that she sent wires to Lewis for several thousand dollars.The victim told Rawson she later went to Mulari’s home in Dilworth and gave her two checks totaling $15,000.Bomb comment was ‘misunderstanding,’ says man accused of airport threat   In all, Mulari has scammed people around the world out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, documents state.In one case, a victim committed suicide in Ohio shortly after discovering she had been scammed for tens of thousands of dollars, according to the court documents, which charge Mulari with one count of theft by false representation. Rawson said he believed that person posed as a special military operative who needed various supplies, including money, and that Mulari would eventually step in to serve as an intermediary between the victim and the phoney secret military agent supposedly in distress.Mulari agreed that Rawson understood the operation as it truly functioned, documents state.Documents also state that a female victim in Fargo told Rawson she met a “Capt. According to court documents:In spring 2016, Hunter Rawson, a detective with the Dilworth Police Department, began investigating several fraud cases tied to a suspect identified in court documents as Barbara Ann Mulari, 55, of Dilworth.As part of those investigations, Rawson spoke to a man who claimed Mulari had approached him about providing her with fake identification documents, including one that would allow her to identify herself as a “private hire Diplomat for Special Secret Service Armed Forces.”Minn. Barbara MulariMOORHEAD—A Dilworth woman is accused in Clay County District Court of being part of a scheme that defrauded people around the world out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and led in one case to a victim committing suicide. After asking for permission to search her purse, he found three identification cards from fictitious government agencies bearing Mulari’s picture.Rawson seized binders full of personal information of unidentified individuals and police learned Mulari was sending large packages from Dilworth to Nigeria.Police returned to Mulari’s home in June with a search warrant. couple charged after allegedly driving to meet 14-year-old for sex   Rawson spoke with Mulari in May 2016. At that point, Rawson shared with Mulari his suspicion that she was scamming people.He also spelled out for her what he believed was happening — that Mulari likely had an accomplice, probably living in Nigeria, who found victims using social media or a dating website.Bigfoot saga continues in Ellendale, N.D.

Lost Italian: Avocado dip and rainbow of veggies a Super Bowl score

Readers can reach them at previous recipes can be found at ” target=”_blank”> The couple owns Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their 12-year-old son, Giovanni. The fruits emit ethylene gas which gets trapped inside the paper bag and accelerates the ripening process. This crudités platter features Green Goddess dip for the Super bowl. This recipe was inspired by the very ripe avocados I found last week at the Hornbacher’s store on 32nd Avenue in south Fargo. Serve with fresh vegetables or your favorite chip.Sarah’s Tips• When selecting vegetables, use a mix of at least six veggies with a focus on creating a balance of colors, flavors and textures.• Veggies like green beans, pea pods, asparagus, cauliflower and broccoli will be more vibrant and have better texture when blanched in boiling water for just a minute or two, and then cooled immediately in an ice bath.• If using baby potatoes, boil first in salted water just until fork tender, then cool in an ice bath.• For vegetables that are cut into strips, like carrots and peppers, cut the ends along a bias rather than straight across for a more elegant presentation.• Arrange vegetables next to contrasting colors and textures.”Home With the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. Simply place the hard avocados in a paper bag with a banana and/or apple, fold the top down to close the bag, and within 24 to 48 hours the avocados should be ripe and ready. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor1 / 4Remove dirt from mushrooms with a damp paper towel instead of submerging them in water.Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 4This cabbage is hollowed out for a crudités platter features Green Goddess dip for the Super bowl. Add the avocado and blend again until creamy but still somewhat chunky. This recipe has been a popular one on our blog ever since, and I knew I didn’t want to compete with it.I decided instead to turn an old recipe for green goddess salad dressing into a party dip with the simple additions of fresh avocado and sour cream.Crudités is simply a fancy French word that is defined by Merriam Webster to mean “pieces of raw vegetables served as an hors d’oeuvres, often with a dip.” All too often when we think of a vegetable platter, images of boring, uniform strips of carrot and celery emerge along with some dry and crumbly cauliflower or broccoli, a sad-looking cherry tomato or two and ranch dip.In other words, a courteous nod to nutrition that nobody really wants to eat, especially at a party.But we believe that, with the right approach, a good crudités platter is capable of taking on the best hot dips, sandwiches and other bastions of greasy goodness that so often define a Super Bowl party spread.To achieve this, you will need to create a platter so visually stimulating that it naturally draws your guests’ attention to it.Focus on creating a balance of colors, flavors and textures, and incorporate a mix of traditional and non-traditional veggies like petite potatoes and mushrooms, colorful bell peppers, green onions, fennel, green beans, radishes, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas.For added elegance, cut your vegetables along a bias instead of straight across, and create a standout centerpiece for your dip with a bowl made from red or green cabbage.For enhanced vibrancy and texture, some vegetables should be blanched in boiling water for a minute or two, then immediately transferred to an ice bath. Even moderately ripe avocados can be hard to come by in our part of the country, and I couldn’t resist bringing home a bagful.I have a great food hack if you can’t find ready-to-use avocados. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor4 / 4A crudités platter may not be considered standard fare for Super Bowl Sunday, but when it’s artfully presented with a creative variety of raw veggies, we’ll wager that it can hold its own against any hearty contender. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.If the dip is too thick, add more buttermilk in a slow, steady stream while blending, until desired texture is achieved.Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving, or up to 2 days. I’ve even had results in as little as six hours, especially when I use both a ripe banana and an apple.With the Super Bowl coming up, I pondered how to turn these beautiful, ripe avocados into the perfect game day dish.Guacamole would be a perfect contender, but a few years ago we featured a terrific family recipe for a rough-cut guacamole with chorizo sausage. This step brightens up green veggies like string beans, pea pods and asparagus, and does wonders for improving the texture of cauliflower and broccoli.Tony and Gio responded so well to this gorgeous avocado green goddess dip and colorful platter of healthy, raw vegetables they nearly devoured it all in one sitting.Considering how much they love their hearty party foods, I’ll consider this a touchdown.Avocado Green Goddess Dressing in Edible Cabbage BowlIngredients:1 head of red or green cabbage1 cup sour cream½ cup buttermilk¼ cup real mayonnaise¼ cup fresh chives, chopped3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped1 garlic clove, peeled1 anchovy fillet (optional)2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and halvedSalt and pepper to tasteFor the cabbage bowl:Cut about a half inch off the bottom to create a flat base, and then slice off about an inch from the top. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be prepared up to one day in advance.For the dip:In a food processor or blender, puree all ingredients but the avocado, salt and pepper, until smooth. Especially when it’s served with this week’s Avocado Green Goddess Dip. Use a sharp paring knife to carve around the perimeter of the bowl, leaving about a quarter to half-inch from the edge.Use the knife to carve out the center for easy removal, and then a spoon to scrape out the remains. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor3 / 4Avocados can be quickly ripened in a paper bag with a banana and an apple.

Minneapolis seeks longer bar hours for Super Bowl

Ramsey and Hennepin counties could put geographic, zoning and license-classification limits on where the extended hours permits could be issued.Lawmakers did not take action on the proposal Tuesday; it was “laid over” for possible inclusion in a wide-ranging liquor bill.The legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate and the House, where it is awaiting a hearing in the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee.The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner. The US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis has been completed six weeks early. Legislation sponsored by Sen. That money would be used to process paperwork, train workers and beef up police protection.Under the proposed legislation, only businesses with existing liquor licenses could apply for the special permit for extended hours. Karin Housley, R-St. Typically, bars cannot serve alcohol past 2 a.m.Two Minneapolis city officials on Tuesday told members of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee that extending bar hours in the past has not been a problem.”We monitored it in 2014 and we found very few problems and we found many people enjoyed it,” said Grant Wilson, manager of licenses and services for Minneapolis.The bill detailed Tuesday would allow a $250 fee to be charged to establishments requesting a permit for longer hours. 2 and 5, 2018. Bank Stadium Sunday, Feb. Mary’s Point, would allow bars and restaurants to serve patrons until 4 a.m. between Feb. Forum News Service file photo.MINNEAPOLIS — Super Bowl revelers will have more time to drink when the big game is played next year in Minneapolis if lawmakers approve a bill discussed in a Senate committee Tuesday. Establishment owners would have to receive a special permit from Ramsey or Hennepin counties to stay open those longer hours.Minneapolis will host Super Bowl LII in the Vikings’ new U.S. 4, 2018.Minnesota lawmakers approved similar changes in 2008 when the Republican National Convention was in St. Paul and in 2014 when the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in Minneapolis.

Beargrease mushers strategize, reflect in race’s final stretch

Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service7 / 7NEAR TOFTE, Minn. His family’s cabin is on the trail and it was helpful to train there, he said, but the dogs thought they were going to the cabin when they reached that point of the race.Anderson, a two-time Beargrease champion, came into the race with a different strategy than in previous years. Using that strategy, he’s experimented with placement of his dogs within the team and instead of his usual lead dogs, he’s had seven or eight different dogs leading his team to gain experience for the Iditarod. Anderson whispered to his handlers and, hearing the noise, a dog raised its head to look at its owner.As Anderson replaced the runners on the bottom of his sled, musher Nathan Schroeder of Warba arrived at the checkpoint and his team slid into a clearing next to Anderson’s team. Despite his team slowing down, he was still having fun, he said. Redington was the first Beargrease marathon racer into the checkpoint. 31, 2017. Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service2 / 7Sawbill checkpoint coordinator Josh Capps splits firewood at the checkpoint on the Beargrease trail Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service5 / 7John Beargrease marathon racer Ryan Redington nears the Sawbill checkpoint Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Once you learn the trail, you have a lot more mental confidence and so do the dogs,” she said.Schmidt, another Beargrease rookie, said his goal is to finish the race.”I’ve only heard stories about the hills and now I’m experiencing them and they’re just as bad and hard as they say,” Schmidt said.The core of his team was still running strong coming into the Sawbill checkpoint and he said he was trying to stick to his training speed. Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service3 / 7Handler Andrew McAfee reads “And The Band Played On” to pass the time while watching Beargrease marathon racer Matthew Schmidt’s team, resting on beds of straw in the woods at the Sawbill checkpoint Tuesday, Jan. As Grand Marais, Minn., musher Matthew Schmidt napped in his truck, his dogs slept underneath blankets on a bed of straw and snow. He was down to six dogs leaving the Sawbill checkpoint — the minimum a musher can have in the marathon — and his team likely wouldn’t have the power to keep up the pace that had allowed him to lead the race on Sunday and Monday, he said.Redington has always wanted to race in the Beargrease because his grandfather had competed in the marathon. It’s a learning experience, always is,” he said. However, Redington said he didn’t ask for much advice from Beargrease veterans before his rookie marathon this year.”I wanted to run my own race and I’m happy that we did it. A lot of scenarios could unfold on the trail and mental preparation is needed to anticipate them, she said, noting that living near the trail and knowing the terrain is an advantage.”A rookie coming into this race, or any race for that matter, it’s tough to be a rookie. We learned a lot and look forward to running it next year,” Redington said as he fed his dog a mixture of water and meat.More than an hour later, Two Harbors, Minn., musher Colleen Wallin’s team arrived at the checkpoint and she settled into a chair to eat a pasty. Snow on the Beargrease trail was soft and heavy because of Tuesday’s warm, 25-degree weather and mushers reported that it had been slow going all day.Ryan Redington, who trains in both Ashland, Wis., and Alaska, was in first when he pulled into the Sawbill checkpoint shortly after noon Tuesday. 1 / 7Beargrease race fans, volunteers and handlers watch racer Colleen Wallin arrive at the Sawbill checkpoint Tuesday, Jan. — Quiet-zone signs cautioned “canine athletes at rest” as seven dog teams arrived to settle in for a few hours at the Sawbill checkpoint in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Tuesday afternoon. She still had 10 dogs on her team and she noted that she had young dogs that lasted longer on the trail than her veteran dogs.She planned ahead of time where she would stop to rest and eat among the race’s checkpoints and she’s stuck to the plan so far, she said. 31, 2017. Schmidt’s handler Andrew McAfee sat in a chair next to the dogs, using a cooler as a footstool as he read a book.In another clearing 10 feet away, musher Ryan Anderson from Ray, Minn., tucked blue blankets around his dogs. Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service4 / 7John Beargrease marathon racer Matthew Schmidt signs into the Sawbill checkpoint for timekeeper Traci Ellingson on Tuesday, Jan. His upcoming Iditarod race is his priority so he left four Iditarod dogs at home who have been on his winning Beargrease team three times, he said.”You start kicking yourself out there, you know, the woulda, shoulda, couldas. He’s also been trying to find a balance between the dogs’ calorie intake, weight and speed that will work for the Iditarod.”I just want to find that line between how much the dogs actually need every day while they’re running 100 miles a day, and I’m gaining a lot of confidence with how much the dogs need and that’s the real reason I’m here,” he said.Coming into the Sawbill checkpoint 30 minutes after Anderson, Schroeder said he was focusing on the finish line.”We’re on survival mode now,” said Schroeder, who is four-time Beargrease champion.He thought he had a good strategy going into the Beargrease, but he’s faced some challenges this year, including injured dogs. He’s using the marathon as training for the upcoming Iditarod in March and isn’t worried about finishing first in the Beargrease. Silence hung in the air as Anderson and his handlers communicated using hand signals. 31, 2017. Mushers are typically competitive, but usually want each other to have a good race. Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service6 / 7Erin Redington spreads straw for her husband Ryan Redington’s team in the woods at the Sawbill checkpoint Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. The wind blew through the trees, causing snow to fall from the branches onto the dogs, and one of Schmidt’s dogs lifted its blanket-covered head in curiousity.The Sawbill checkpoint was one of the last in the 373-mile Beargrease marathon before mushers crossed the finish line this morning at Billy’s Bar near Duluth.

Medica is again a choice for most MNsure consumers

That included new policies and expected renewals from Medica’s 2016 enrollment of about 43,000.But more 2016 Medica customers chose not to renew their policies than the insurance company had expected. But only Medica had so far hit its cap, just 11 days after the start of open enrollment. In 62 counties in the southern and western part of the state, Medica’s November departure left just a single insurance carrier, Blue Plus. 8, Tuesday brought another welcome surprise: a last-minute re-entry into the market by an insurer that dropped out months ago.Medica began selling individual market insurance again Tuesday, giving an extra choice of carrier to almost the entire state.The Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer had pulled out of the individual market back in early November after it hit its enrollment cap of 50,000 total policies sold. ST. A new law just passed by the state Legislature gives discounts of 25 percent of the premium to people ineligible for federal subsidies. Those benefits will take a few months to arrive but could save thousands of dollars to eligible Minnesotans.The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner. That’s $47,520 for an individual or $97,200 for a family of four.Minnesotans who earn more than that can get help, too. Now, consumers in those counties will have an extra choice of plan — and an extra choice of provider network.All but one of the health insurance carriers on Minnesota’s individual market this year set enrollment caps in an attempt to control costs. PAUL — Minnesotans buying health insurance on the state’s individual market have endured a lot the past year, from delayed tax forms to skyrocketing premiums and shrinking networks to growing uncertainty about the future. UCare and HealthPartners have not yet reached their caps.UCare’s cap of 30,000 customers gave it more room than Medica to grow enrollment over its 16,000 customers from 2016. That meant Medica had fallen back below its 50,000 cap and went back on the market.Medica is offering 2017 plans in all counties except Cook and Lake.Its re-entry will have a particular impact in much of rural Minnesota. In the past week, though, all the news has been good.Following the Thursday passage of a $300 million premium relief package and Saturday’s extension of the 2017 enrollment period by a week to Feb. HealthPartners’ 72,000-person cap left room for only 6,200 new customers, but it also lowered its potential customer base by pulling out of several Minnesota counties.The Medica plans are available for purchase at who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty line qualify for federal tax subsidies to offset part of the cost of their insurance.

Minn. couple charged after allegedly driving to meet 14-year-old for sex

She allegedly admitted that the relationship had been started through Facebook and that they had traveled to Duluth to engage in sexual intercourse with the teen.Bigfoot saga continues in Ellendale, N.D.Frank remains on probation following a 2016 conviction for child neglect or endangerment in Sherburne County. 13, Adkins allegedly suggested that he and Frank show the teen “how to be sexually intimate with another person.” That same day, he sent the girl two nude photographs and four videos that showed him engaged in a sexual act with Frank, the charges state.Investigators said the Facebook conversations continued in the following weeks, with Adkins encouraging the teen to become friends with Frank. Kayla Marie Frank, 33, and Phillip James Adkins, 34A couple allegedly drove to Duluth from the St. Criminal charges filed Tuesday in State District Court also indicate that Phillip James Adkins, 34, and Kayla Marie Frank, 33, sent the teen a series of lewd photos, videos and messages through Facebook before arranging the meeting.Adkins and Frank, who live in Rice, Minn., were arrested at a West Duluth motel on Friday evening after Duluth Police Department investigators were alerted to the planned meeting. The messages allegedly turned “extremely graphic and sexual with offers from Defendant Frank to show (the victim) how to be sexually intimate with someone.”Both defendants allegedly had conversations with the teen about taking her and “stealing her away from her family.” Investigators said Frank wrote that she “knew that they would get into trouble but that she would figure out a way to make it happen.”Slow cooker Super Bowl: 3 game-winning recipesOn Friday, Adkins and Frank traveled to Duluth and told the victim that they planned to be at the Super 8 motel, 4100 W. Superior St., by 5 p.m., according to the complaints. 22. Cloud area on Friday with the intention of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl they had met online. Investigators verified that the couple had a reservation there and waited in the lobby for them to arrive, arresting both on site.Adkins allegedly admitted to police that he had sent the videos to the girl, who he knew to be 14, and had come to Duluth to have sex with her. Senior Judge Dennis Murphy set her bail at $20,000 with conditions or $200,000 without.Adkins, who does not have any significant criminal history, had bail set at $10,000 with conditions or $100,000 without.Both defendants are due back in court on Feb. Adkins also faces an additional count of soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct.Each charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.Authorities said they opened the investigation after receiving information that Adkins and Frank were exchanging communication of a sexual nature with the girl through Facebook. The messages were initially just general conversation, but progressed to become “extremely sexual,” according to a criminal complaint.Live blog: National Signing DayOn Jan. 5. The source of that information was not specified.Investigators were able to obtain access to the girl’s account and learned that she and Adkins began communicating on Jan. He acknowledged that it was wrong and asked for help, according to the complaint.Frank also confirmed that she had been exchanging messages with the girl, who she knew to be 14, the charges state. They allegedly admitted that they had traveled to Duluth with the purpose of having sex with the teen, who they knew to be 14.Both suspects are charged with a felony count of electronic solicitation of a child.

Minnesota fifth largest minerals producer in U.S.

produced 40.8 million tons of iron ore in 2016, all of it from Minnesota and Michigan, down from 46 million in 2015 and 56.1 million tons in 2014.The report notes that U.S. gross domestic product.Fortier said a key finding from the report is that the U.S. Workers leave Minntac at shift change. steel production was up 8 percent last week from the same week in 2016 and up 6.4 percent so far this year compared to last year.The U.S. produced 13 different mineral commodities in 2016 worth more than $1 billion each. industrial minerals production in 2016 was $51.6 billion, 5 percent more than 2015.While the report looks at mineral commodities across the nation, eleven states each produced more than $2 billion worth of mineral commodities in 2016 including Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Wyoming, Missouri and Utah.The 40th annual Mineral Commodity Summaries Report includes statistics on more than 88 minerals that are important to the U.S. File photo by Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service.DULUTH — Mines off all kinds across the U.S. iron ore production compared to 2015.The U.S. may be disrupted. That’s up from 11 commodities that were 100 percent imported in 1984.In other key areas, U.S. The report identifies events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries.Steven M. produced an estimated $74.6 billion of raw mineral materials in 2016, a slight increase from 2015, the U.S. was 100 percent import reliant on 20 different minerals in 2016, including rare earths like manganese and niobium, which are among a suite of materials often designated as “critical” or “strategic” because they are essential to the economy or military and their supply into the U.S. The American Iron and Steel Institute reported Monday that U.S. Fortier, director of the USGS National Minerals Information Center, said the added value of mining into finished products such as steel, aerospace and electronics created an estimated $2.8 trillion in value added products in 2016, a full 15 percent to the total U.S. economy and national security. iron ore production in 2016 amounted to just 2 percent of all global iron ore production.Steel production picked up in late 2016, however, and has spurred increased demand for Minnesota iron ore. A warm winter lead to a 7 percent decline in salt mining.Michigan ranked 8th in minerals value produced, Wisconsin 16th, South Dakota 40th and North Dakota 45th.The survey does not include fuels that are mined, such as coal. The estimated value of total U.S. production of primary aluminum decreased for the fourth consecutive year, declining nearly 47 percent from 2015 to 2016 to the lowest level since 1951. steel and thus an 11 percent decline in U.S. The report said Minnesota was the fifth largest producer of mineral value in the nation, including taconite iron ore but also sand, gravel and stone, totaling $3.27 billion.Nevada was the top minerals producer — with copper, gold and silver adding to the value of stone, sand and gravel — at $7.65 billion in 2016.The USGS report reiterated what northern Minnesota residents already know; that the decline in global steel demand and prices in 2015 and 2016 spurred a decline in demand for U.S. Geological Survey announced Tuesday.

As P.J. Fleck overhauls Gophers’ recruiting class, he stays true to Minnesotans

3. It’s been fun to get to know him.””No. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY SportsMINNEAPOLIS — Under new head coach P.J. He gave his oral commitment in June and said he heard from Fleck the day after he was hired.”It was a pretty quick turnaround, thankfully,” Ryerse said. Our elite state of Minnesota.”Fleck has built a reputation for his sky-high energy and strong recruiting background. And you know where we’re going to build walls up around? 8. Before coming to Minnesota, he was head coach at Western Michigan and credited by recruiting services for the best recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference from 2014 to ’16.When Fleck first arrived in Kalamazoo in 2013, he set out on his own recruiting trail, common for new coaches with their own set of priorities. “I was still a little worried about that because nothing is set in stone until you talk to the coach or sign the national letter of intent.”The NCAA has said while a “verbal commitment” is popular to announce, it’s a nonbinding agreement. 6 news conference at TCF Bank Stadium, he reached out to Andries, the state’s top-rated recruit who had more than 20 offers from schools, including Florida, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon and Penn State.Andries then relayed Fleck’s message to Ryerse and the other Minnesota recruits.”‘Coach Fleck wanted me to let you guys know that we are all safe,'” Ryerse recalled of Andries’ delivery. I’ve got to meet him twice in person since then. The first conversation with Western Michigan’s new coaches was: “‘I’m sorry, we don’t want you,'” Faunce told the Star.Before Ryerse heard from Fleck, he tried to “keep my mind out of” the sudden uncertainty. 6, he inherited a recruiting class with 10 outstate commitments. Tulsa linebacker Kyrie Fisher backed out and pledged to Arkansas in mid-December amid the furor over the suspension of 10 Gophers players for their suspected involvement in an alleged sexual assault.That issue and an ensuing brief boycott ultimately contributed to Claeys and his staff losing their jobs.At the same time the suspensions were levied, Mississippi safety Jaquarius Landrews announced he would move his allegiance to Ole Miss. “You know where we’re going to start? In November, Florida guard Corey Gaynor committed to Miami (Fla.).Goal: 6 from Minnesota for fallRyerse wanted to be a Gopher. That meant some players who committed before Fleck arrived were out of luck.Evan Faunce, a tight end at Warren Central in Indiana, told the Indianapolis Star that Fleck “withdrew” a scholarship offer a few weeks before signing day. After Georgia cornerback Trey Creamer pledged to Iowa on Monday evening, nine of those recruits had moved on; the lone exception was Claeys-recruited junior college quarterback Neil McLaurin, who signed a letter of intent in December and is now enrolled at the U.So in less than three weeks, Fleck has added 23 new recruits to the five from Minnesota as national signing day arrives Wednesday.The Minnesota five are Marshall offensive tackle Blaise Andries, Robbinsdale Cooper offensive tackle Eric Abojei, Woodbury tight end Nathan Bursch, and the East Ridge duo of running back Dominik London and kicker Grant Ryerse.The sixth Minnesota player joined Tuesday night, with the addition of Hopkins defensive end Boye Mafe, who was recruited by Gophers new defensive line coach Bryce Paup, a former NFL standout, and by Rutgers’ new offensive coordinator, former Gophers head coach Jerry Kill.In the gray area of college recruiting, it’s unclear how many of those nine non-Minnesotan players left of their own accord, were swayed by other schools or were advised to look elsewhere.JUCO offensive lineman Jimmie Terry, among the nine departures, said on Twitter he had “been forced to de-commit.””Coach Fleck hasn’t called me at all or informed me of this; I had to talk to a recruiting assistant to find out,” he posted on Jan. “Only the signing of the National Letter of Intent accompanied by a financial aid agreement is binding on both parties,” according to ability to rescind anytime before signing allowed three recruits to leave Minnesota before Claeys’ firing Jan. I will be opening my recruiting back up due to this.”After Fleck was introduced at a Jan. “Just don’t think that it’s fair but life ain’t fair. The exception is five high school players from Minnesota, who had given oral commitments to former coach Tracy Claeys that Fleck will honor. Fleck, the Gophers football recruiting class has undergone an almost complete makeover. When Fleck replaced Claeys on Jan. But Fleck’s immediate outreach to the Minnesota recruits, Ryerse said, left a good first impression on the state’s players and coaches.”We respect that because he values the in-state kids,” Ryerse said.The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner. 1 thing in this culture in this program is recruiting,” Fleck said in his introductory news conference. Nov 7, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; A Minnesota Golden Gophers helmet sits on the sidelines before the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. It was great to talk to him and get to know what he’s about. “I didn’t have to sit back and be nervous.

14U volleyball 1st in Annandale

Submitted photo
The Pequot Lakes 14U JO volleyball team finished first at the Annandale Winter JO Jam Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Back row: Isabelle Tangen, Mikaela Jones, Lydia Hubbard, Kate Bolz-Andolshek, Ella Pfeiffer and Catherine Ganley. Front row, from left: Rita Ganley, Brooklyn Dean, Mackenzie Merta and Ella Nies. The Pequot Lakes 14U JO volleyball team.

Lakewood Health offers Parents Empowering Parents group

8, in the lower level classrooms at Lakewood’s main campus, located at 49725 County Road 83 in Staples. The purpose of the support group is for parents and caregivers of children with special healthcare needs to be able to talk connect with one another, share information and ideas, receive ongoing support, and learn how to navigate available resources within the area.This month, they will discuss community resources, hear LuAnn Gammon talk about the importance of self-care, and have and open group discussion.Refreshments, childcare and activities will be provided.Call 218-849-8311 to register or for more information. Wednesday, Feb. Lakewood Health System will hold the Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) Talk support group from 7-8 p.m.

CLC to begin Cultural Thursday series

in lecture hall E354. 11, 2016 to witness presidential/legislative elections, visit friends and assess social and economic conditions in this Central American nation, which according to Fisk is “one of the world’s most vibrant and authentic democracies.” Fisk will give an account of the troubled past and of the amazing progress of the last decade in Nicaragua, where the popular government describes itself as “Christian, Socialist and in Solidarity”.This series started about 20 years ago as an opportunity for college students and community members to learn more about other countries and/or cultures. 28- Nov. Regional speakers often share photos and impressions of their travels overseas or time spent abroad.In addition to the February presentation on Nicaragua, there will be three other monthly presentations to attend. Nicaraguan girls dance at a pre-election celebration.Central Lakes College will again begin its Cultural Thursday series with a presentation titled “Nicaragua: The Biggest Little Country in the World” at noon Thursday, Feb. 2, in the Chalberg Theatre and at 7 p.m. On April 6, Sampada Lehman will share interesting cultural elements and insights about her native India with our college and community. And on May 4, CLC Instructor Kari Frisch will share photos and impressions from her time in Australia and New Zealand this past year.Everyone is welcome to join us for these cultural presentations.For information about these events or inquiries about the Cultural Thursday Series, contact Tracey Kloeckl-Jiménez (CLC Spanish Instructor) at 218-855-8183. Presenter Larry Fisk drove 800 miles through Nicaragua Oct. On March 2, East Gull Lake resident Claudia Allene will share her experience of traveling solo for three years around the world.
Submitted photo

Women’s wellness event to create heart disease awareness

Other sponsors include Life Link III, Grand Casino-Mille Lacs/Hinckley, and Nystrom & Associates, LTD.For more information, contact Jennifer Holmvig at or 218-545-4455. Thursday, Feb. Attendees will hear an inspiring presentation by a cardiologist and other health professionals, visit more than 75 informative booths and enjoy mini spa services and great food. 2, at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. Those attending are encouraged to wear red and show their support. There will also be a best red outfit contest with great prizes.A free shuttle service is offered, complements of Executive Express. Women can also have their blood pressure and pulse checked, determine their Body Mass Index, have a hearing test, learn their risk for osteoporosis and colon cancer, and visit with a physician, dietitian, nurses and other health care providers.The first 500 women will receive a swag bag they can fill with a variety of giveaways including Espsom salts, bath sponges, lip gloss, exercise bands, measuring cups, hand sanitizer, apple slicers, lunch kits, pill boxes, mini first aid kits, medication trackers, measuring tape, jar openers and hot/cold packs.Refreshments include handmade Fancy Pants dark chocolate samples, Bernick’s Figi water and trendy low calorie carbonated beverages, a variety of fresh deli samples from Cub Foods, and gourmet appetizers prepared by Heartwood. Vehicles should be parked in the East Brainerd Cub Foods lot where rides will be given to and from the event.CRMC and the Minneapolis Heart Institute are coordinating the event as part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign to create awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women. Area women are invited to experience a night designed to empower them to take better care of themselves at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s third annual women’s health and wellness event from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Women will be encouraged to get on stage and show off their cutest shoes to win an Expressions Shoes gift certificate and basket.

PL shooters place in Elks Hoop Shoot

18, in Hutchinson. Kelsi Martini placed second in the 10-11 age division while Cooper Johnson took second in the 12-13 age division.Maci Martini won the 12-13 division and will be competing at the State Level on Saturday, Feb. Submitted photoThe District Elks Hoop Shoot contest was held January 21 at Lake Region Christian School in Baxter.The Brainerd Elks Lodge No. Pequot Lakes Hoop Shoot particpants Kelsi Martini, left, Cooper Johnson, and Maci Martini. 615 winners competed against students from five other districts, including Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Hutchinson, Willmar, and Wadena.

Lake Shore: Mayor encourages people to bring initiatives forward

In a report to the council, Police Chief Steve Sundstrom said the increase was due to more traffic related incidents and more general calls for service.According to Sundstrom’s report:Thefts and other property crimes continued to remain low in 2016. “But are there other things you’d like to do?”He said topics that have been mentioned include getting fiber optic throughout the community and revising the city website. He said if anyone had other ideas, a committee possibly could take them up.Egan also noted the next year or two will be interesting in Lake Shore with work beginning this year on County State Aid Highway 77 improvements. The payments will be reimbursed from grants the city has received for the trail project.Monday’s meeting was also the first for council member Wayne Anderson, also elected in November.Public safetyLake Shore police had 1,551 incidents in 2016, an increase from 1,403 incidents in 2015. The department responded to 21 theft-related calls, 56 medicals, 128 residential or business alarms, 52 disorderly or disturbance complaints, seven assault complaints and 107 public assists.The department seized $8,323 in drug money and two vehicles are pending forfeitures.Police responded to one gun-related fatality and there were no structure fires.The city had no fatalities or serious injuries on city roads. Permits included one dwelling, one residential addition, three accessory structures, three decks/porches/patios and one septic system.The city issued 74 permits in all of 2016 for a total valuation of $3,408,50. Presiding at his first city council meeting Monday, Jan. 23, Lake Shore Mayor Kevin Egan asked residents to think about any initiatives they want the city to tackle over the next few years. There are 21 parcels where an easement is needed for the trail.Monday, the council authorized payment for two settlements to acquire two of those easements. “The town is in good shape, obviously,” Egan said. The department contracted with Zorbaz to provide an additional officer during summer weekends and with the Gull Chain of Lakes Association for an officer at the Department of Natural Resources boat access throughout the boating season.Building permitsThe city issued three permits in December for a total valuation of $542,000. Police arrested 11 drivers for DWI, issued 130 traffic citations and warned 635 motorists for various offenses.The department responded to 29 vehicle crashes and made a combined total of 24 arrests for various offenses.The department also continued participation with the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety and Cass County Sheriff’s Office in Toward Zero Deaths enforcement throughout 2016. Permits for 2016 included seven dwellings, nine residential additions, 21 accessory structures, 24 decks/porches/patios, 10 septic systems, 26 grading/shoreline alterations/steps, and one commercial addition/landscaping/patio.In other business July 23, the council:• Made annual appointments, including: council member John Terwilliger, acting mayor; Gammello & Qualley, city attorney; Widseth Smith & Nolting, city engineer; Justin Clasen & Co., city auditor; Frandsen Bank and Trust, BlackRidge Bank, First National Bank of Walker, First Bank Brainerd and Minnesota Municipal Money Market, official depositories; Pineandlakes Echo Journal (primary) and Brainerd Dispatch (secondary), official newspapers.• Made annual appointments to commissions and committees.• Learned city engineer Widseth Smith Nolting continues to work on a city hall building study regarding cost options for a new or renovated city hall. Regarding Trail 77, to be built in conjunction with the road improvement, the city continues to work to resolve easements needed.

16U volleyball places first

The team was undefeated during pool play, taking them to the gold bracket. Submitted photoThe Pequot Lakes 16U JO Volleyball team were tournament champions this past Sunday, Jan. They defeated CLC in the championship game. Front row, from left: Jenna Elfering, Jordan Tayloe, Mirjana Ganley and Sam Maciej. The Pequot Lakes 16U JO volleyball team. Back Row: Coach Jared Diem, Emma Benson, Chloe Seeling, Britt Kratochvil and Maddy Morrison. 15, at the Heartland Freeze Tournament in Monticello.

Letter to the editor: Barack Obama’s legacy

His achievements, not least pulling the nation back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, have been remarkable – all because they were bitterly opposed from the onset by Republicans who made it their top priority to ensure that his presidency would fail.”

“That story begins on Inauguration Day in 2009 when Mr. Mr. It is not irritable or touchy. The Obama stimulus, which staved off a 1930s-vintage collapse by pumping money into infrastructure, transportation and other areas, passed the House, without a single Republican vote. Obama’s negotiating skill on tough issues and the dignity and character that he and his family brought to the White House.”My opinion: We will also miss his moral compass, as described in 1 Corinthians 13:”Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Obama’s opponents have had trouble accepting that this actually happened.””Americans will miss Mr. 15, 2017:”Barack Obama is leaving the White House with polls showing him to be one of the most popular presidents in recent decades. There are three things that remain — faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”Bob Uppgaard,Pequot Lakes This makes sense. It does not hold grudges and will hardly ever notice when others do it wrong. The following are highlights from The New York Times on Sunday, Jan. Obama inherited a ravaged economy that was rapidly shredding jobs and forcing millions of people from their homes. Love does not demand its own way.