For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
It’s hard to believe we’re almost two weeks into the New Year! I hope you all had wonderful celebrations, and I wish you the best in the year to come. I am sharing a few updates, including information about the pipeline spill in Eagan, details about mentoring a child in our community, and some new laws going into effect January 1.
Eagan Gas Pipeline Spill
On Monday, when a group was in the process of collecting soil samples they ruptured a pipeline. More than 500 barrels — about 21,000 gallons — of gasoline gushed onto the street and into a nearby storm sewer. This is a pipeline that runs from Rosemount to Minneapolis.
Crews from Magellan, the company that operates the gasoline pipeline, worked through the night to contain and cleanup the area impacted by the spill. They flooded the area around the Eagan Lifetime Fitness to dig up the contaminated soil in and around where the pipeline was struck. You can read more about this from WCCO’s coverage here.
I am thankful for the swift response of our local law enforcement authorities and others to clean-up this unfortunate situation, and thankful it wasn’t worse. I will continue to monitor the situation, and I think this is an important reminder to check before you dig. You can call Gopher State One Call at 651-454-8388 or go to http://www.gopherstateonecall.org/ if you have questions about what is underneath where you are digging.
Mentor a child
The SunThisWeek reminds us that January is National Mentoring Month. This year's theme is In Real Life.
Mentors are needed for youths in Dakota County through Kids-'n-Kinship, a local non-profit organization that matches children ages 5 to 16 with volunteer mentors for fun and engaging weekly activities in the community.
There are 63 youths currently matched with mentors, and 21 youths waiting for mentors.
Ongoing training and support for mentors are provided. An information session is scheduled 5:00-6:00pm Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Heritage Library in Lakeville, and 10:00-11:00am Saturday, Feb. 3, at Merchants Bank in Apple Valley. For more information, go to www.kidsnkinship.org or call 952-892-6368.
National Foundation for Women Legislators Mentee Awarded Scholarship
I was very proud of a young Minnesota student I mentored through the National Foundation for Women Legislators. The group awarded Margaret Kleiman of Hutchinson with a $3,000 college scholarship at the 2017 NFWL Annual Conference in Minneapolis. You can read more about it from the House press release I sent to local papers.
Kleiman was selected as one of six national winners of the 20th Annual Bill of Rights Essay Scholarship Contest.
As Margaret’s mentoring legislator, I presented the award to her at a special lunch on Friday, Nov. 17, during the Annual Conference.
Applicants were given four prompt options, all of which examined timely current events. The essay topics asked students to further analyze the role of women in American politics. A selection committee judged each essay based upon the student's understanding of the U.S. Constitution, historical research, insight, perspective, inspirational quality and meaningful personal connection. Congratulations, Margaret!
News laws on January 1st
A few new laws went into effect on January 1st, including one that is especially important for those who are losing their hearing. Hearing loss associated with aging can lead to depression, dementia, hospitalizations and falls. A new law will allow home care providers to be trained on recognizing hearing loss and how to improve the lives of those experiencing it.
Also now in effect, you have the opportunity to register for new license plates honoring fallen officers. You can read about the handful of new laws here.
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