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BC-MN--Minnesota News Digest, 1:30 pm, MN

December 23, 2018

Here’s a look at AP’s general news coverage in Minnesota. Questions about coverage plans go to News Editor Doug Glass at 612-332-2727 or dglass@ap.org. Dave Kolpack is on the desk.

This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

AROUND THE STATE:

MINNESOTA-MEDICAID

MINNEAPOLIS _ Minnesota’s unemployment rate is at historic lows, but the number of people using public health insurance for the poor is still at historic highs. The Star Tribune reports that the state’s unemployment rate is 2.8 percent, but Medicaid enrollment is at 1.1 million. Minnesota had a 5 percent unemployment rate in 2013, but only 740,000 people on Medicaid. SENT: 320 words.

SCHOOL BUS-DRIVER SHORTAGE

LINCOLN, Neb. _ School districts throughout the U.S. are struggling to find school bus drivers, a challenge that has worsened with low unemployment and a strong economy. The problem has become so severe that some districts are offering sign-up bonuses for new drivers, while others rely on mechanics, custodians and other school employees to fill the gap. By Grant Schulte. SENT: 750 words, photos.

BRADLEY CENTER

MILWAUKEE _ A Milwaukee arena has been reduced to rubble as the Milwaukee Bucks plan to redevelop the site. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Bucks took over control of the Bradley Center on Sept. 1. The move was part of an agreement that resulted in the construction of the $524 million Fiserv Forum arena nearby. The Bucks hired Minneapolis-based construction firm Veit & Co. Inc. to dismantle the center. SENT: 220 words.

EXCHANGE-PREVENTING STUDENT SUICIDES

MINNEAPOLIS _ In August, Gila Grad marked one year since surviving a suicide attempt when she jumped from a bridge in Minneapolis. On the anniversary, she gathered friends for a party to celebrate her survival. During the party, she discussed how mental illness can affect anyone _ advocating for open discussion and destigmatization. Grad currently studies gender and women’s studies, religious studies and Jewish studies as a part-time student at the University of Minnesota. She’s an advocate for accessibility to resources because she said mental illness can impact anyone. By Helen Sabrowsky and J.D. Duggan, Minnesota Daily. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1516 words, photos.

EXCHANGE-ICE SCULPTORS

MANKATO, Minn. _ Ice sculpting is a bit of an artistic niche, so winter festival season acts as a reunion for Minnesotans passionate about the art form. “There aren’t that many ice sculptors, so we tend to bump into each other,” said Deneena Hughes, an ice carver from Eden Prairie. Hughes was on one of four teams who transformed ice blocks in Sibley Park into sleighs, reindeer, holiday gnomes and an abominable snowman at Mankato’s Kiwanis Holiday Lights. The group was technically competing against each other for a $500 people’s choice award _ won by Adam and Ashley Scholljegerdes for their abominable snowman and Rudolph carving _ but their familiarity with each other makes it more of a friendly contest than anything. By Brian Arola, The Free Press. SENT IN ADVANCE: 522 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

GROUND TURKEY RECALL, TRAIN-VEHICLE COLLISION, STOCK SCHEME-SENTENCING, GERMANY-REPORTER.

SPORTS:

VIKINGS-LIONS

DETROIT _ The Lions officially fell out of playoff contention with last week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills so are playing the spoiler role against the Vikings, who have playoffs in their sights after coming off one of their best performances of the season against the Miami Dolphins. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game time is noon.

TIMBERWOLVES-THUNDER

KLAHOMA CITY _ The Thunder, one of the hottest teams in the NBA, host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 650 words, with photos. Game time 7 p.m. CT.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apminneapolis@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP in New York via FTP or email (statephotos@ap.org). Be sure to call to follow up on emailed photos: 800-845-8450, ext. 1900. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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