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Air Pollution Advisory Issued for Twin Cities metro and Southern Half of Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is issuing an air pollution health advisory for the southern half of Minnesota, from Thursday afternoon until early Sunday morning.

The MPCA says warmer temperatures, moisture and low wind conditions are causing fine particle formation and trapping near the ground.

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Miller Lite Offers Free Rides on New Year's Eve

Miller Lite is offering free rides on Metro Transit bus, light rail and commuter rail routes for revelers celebrating the New Year.

Rides begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, and run until 3 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 1.

St. Cloud Woman, 85, Dies after Nov. House Fire

Police say an 85-year-old woman hospitalized since a St. Cloud house fire last month has died.
The Hennepin County medical examiner's office says Sally Douglas died Monday night at Hennepin County Medical Center of complications from smoke inhalation.

Stillwater Man Gets Four Months in Jail, Probation for Sex with Students

A Stillwater man learned his punishment Wednesday for having sex with two high school students while he was their teacher in Wisconsin.

Matthew Koenen, 37, was sentenced to four months in jail and 15 years of probation in Washington County.

Koenen pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

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New House Committees Focusing on Rural Minnesota

The new Republican majority in the Minnesota House has formed several new committees aimed at highlighting specific concerns of rural lawmakers.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports Republicans plan to continue focusing more attention on Greater Minnesota rather than the Twin Cities, a theme that helped them reclaim the House.

Anchor Bank to Acquire Voyager Bank

St. Paul-based Anchor Bank is expanding into the southwestern Twin Cities and Mankato with the purchase of Voyager Bank.
Anchor says it has an agreement to acquire the operating assets and deposits of Eden Prairie-based Voyager, including offices in Mankato, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Shakopee. The sale price was not disclosed.

Struggling Morrison County Humane Society Receives Outpouring of Support

An update to a story we brought you just before thanksgiving, on the struggles facing the Morrison County Humane Society in Little Falls.