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Briefly

Hagedorn backs declaration

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Hagedorn of southern Minnesota and the entire Minnesota congressional delegation have sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging the administration to approve the state of Minnesota’s request for a major disaster declaration because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Minnesota’s health care facilities are confronting a lack of needed supplies and limited capacity, which will be exacerbated by a limited number of qualified medical staff that is expected to decrease further as the pandemic continues to spread,” the group wrote. “At the same time, the state’s economy has been dramatically impacted by this crisis, with approximately 300,000 applications for unemployment having been filed since the pandemic’s onset, and businesses small and large facing sharp declines in revenues.”

The delegation asked that Trump issue an expedited major disaster declaration that will allow the state to access more federal aid for nutrition, medical care, crisis counseling, funeral services and Small Business aid, among other things.

Southern Minnesotans return home

BLUE EARTH — Congressman Jim Hagedorn of southern Minnesota says that over the past several weeks he has been working with various U.S. embassies and the U.S. Department of State to help arrange travel back to the United States for southern Minnesotans who were traveling in countries that closed their borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hagedorn says he has aided 12 constituents in their efforts to return home from three different countries — Honduras, Peru and Turkmenistan.

“If you, a family member or loved one is currently stranded in a country that has closed its borders, please do not hesitate to contact my office and we will work with the U.S. Embassy and the State Department to help facilitate your travel back home,” Hagedorn said.

I-90 work set for late April

FAIRMONT — Weather permitting, eastbound Interstate 90 from Fairmont to Blue Earth will begin to close for construction the week of April 27.

The Faribault County Road 1 (Guckeen) bridge over I-90 will close for construction as early as April 20, while the associated ramps along I-90 will close the following week. Westbound I-90 traffic should expect some short-term lane closures during the week of April 20, as crews set barriers. I-90 traffic will be carried one lane each way in the westbound lanes, with reduced speeds. Completion is expected in October.

Fairmont area motorists are reminded that Highway 15 ramps will close for three weeks at a date to be determined.

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