Rosen: Bill would protect account

ST. PAUL – State Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, says a bill she introduced Thursday aims to pay back Vikings stadium debt ahead of schedule, and prevent the stadium reserve account from being used for projects unrelated to the stadium.

The U.S. Bank Stadium Reserve Account is projected to grow significantly in the next three years, from about $62 million to nearly $250 million by 2023. The account requires a balance of roughly $40 million in order to cover stadium rent and operating expenses for a given year.

Rosen says the rapid growth leaves the account vulnerable to raiding by the Legislature. She says her plan would secure the account, protect it from becoming a slush fund, and use excess money to pay down stadium debt ahead of schedule.

Rosen says independent analysis shows Minnesota could save roughly $200 million under her proposal.

Fun Fair registration begins

FAIRMONT — Fairmont Community Education and Recreation and Fairmont Early Childhood Family Education are organizing the 35th annual Family Fun Fair, a festival of activities for young children and families.

The fair will be held 4:30-7:30 p.m. April 3 at Fairmont Elementary School.

Registrations are now open for organizations to participate as exhibitors. Each exhibitor is asked to provide some type of hands-on activity for young children.

The purpose of the fair is to assemble local agencies that are advocates of families with young children. The fair will give the public an opportunity to see the numerous educational, economic, health and support services available to families in this area.

Contact Community Education and Recreation at (507) 235-3141 by March 4 to reserve a space and ensure inclusion in publicity and flier. Registration may also be completed online at www.fairmont.k12.mn.us under the CER tab.

Second child dies of influenza

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota has recorded its second child death of the flu season, according to state flu data released Thursday.

As of last week, Minnesota had 58 flu-related deaths, including two child deaths, the state Department of Health reported. The overall number of deaths is below average at this point when compared with prior flu seasons, the Star Tribune reported.

More than 640 people in Minnesota were hospitalized due to influenza in the first two weeks of February, the highest two-week count of the season. The share of patients coming into clinics with flu-like symptoms reached 7.3% last week, the second-highest rate of the season.