- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014
Freezing rain coats roads in the Dakotas, hampering travel

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Freezing rain coated roads throughout the Dakotas Monday, causing headaches for motorists and delaying or shutting down schools.

The National Weather Service posted a freezing rain advisory in much of North Dakota and in northern South Dakota, with much of the rest of South Dakota under either a winter weather advisory or a winter storm warning. Up to half a foot of snow was expected in southeastern South Dakota by the end of the storm, according to forecasters.

Freezing rain was also making roads icy in western Minnesota, and snow was expected across the state and into western Wisconsin later.

The storm with both rain and snow was unusual for the time of year, said Todd Heitkamp, a weather service meteorologist in Sioux Falls.

“We’ve been in a warm weather pattern, and when you get a pattern like that, any system you see is going to be like a late-fall or early spring storm,” he said.

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Guthrie ends fiscal year with surplus

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Guthrie Theater has ended its fiscal year with a nearly $250,000 surplus, thanks in part to a successful summer run of “My Fair Lady.”

“My Fair Lady” was the highest-grossing show in Guthrie history, selling 100 percent of available tickets. The surplus comes a year after the Tony Award-winning Minneapolis theater ended the 2012-13 season with a $437,000 deficit.

Artistic director Joe Dowling also credits belt-tightening, increased giving and finding a balance of shows across the Guthrie’s three stages that appealed to a broad audience.

Dowling tells Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1uKG3sWhttps://bit.ly/1uKG3sW ) it’s a balancing act, “But this year thankfully we got it right.”

The current season is Dowling’s last before he steps down after 20 years. The Guthrie will name a successor in the new year.

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MNsure moves 2015 sign-up deadline to Dec. 20

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota’s health insurance exchange pushed back Monday’s deadline to enroll in coverage for the new year, giving consumers until Saturday to sign up.

MNsure officials said moving the deadline to Dec. 20 was not due to any website issues or problems handling a surge of traffic from last-minute shoppers. Rather, the exchange capitalized on some health insurance companies’ decision over the weekend to extend their own enrollment deadlines to Dec. 31 for plans to start Jan. 1.

“This ensures that the lowest cost plans will be available to consumers longer and that people don’t leave any money on the table,” MNsure CEO Scott Leitz said.

The new deadline is at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Leitz wouldn’t rule out any further extensions.

By Friday, MNsure had signed up or renewed more than 30,000 Minnesota residents for health insurance since Nov. 15. That includes nearly 13,000 in private health plans - more than triple its sign-ups in the first two months of enrollment last year.

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Prettner Solon to consider run for Duluth mayor

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon said Monday she will consider a run for Duluth mayor as she leaves her post in state politics.

She described the mayoral position as “the only political job I ever aspired to” because of her deep affinity for a place she represented for 12 years on the City Council and then nine more in the state Senate. She served four years as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s lieutenant, but didn’t run with him for re-election.

Prettner Solon said she won’t make a decision on the race until spring. The filing period runs from mid-May until early June.

She said she’s in no rush to jump into another campaign. She plans to spend a couple of months in Arizona with family after her term ends the first week in January - reading books and taking walks.

“I have said I will give it consideration, but I’m going to take a break first,” she said. “I’m going to take a break and see how it works for me.”

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