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The special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act is underway for the next three months, offering the opportunity for Americans who’ve lost their jobs and their health insurance during the pandemic an opportunity to get affordable coverage.

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On its face, the decision seems to be from another century or at least another place: Armed agents will not be allowed to deploy within 250 feet of the state’s polling places under a judge’s approval of a lawsuit settlement.

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Any effort to involve the public in public safety policy should be a plus for any law enforcement agency and governing body. So it is at least somewhat disappointing that a recent excellent effort of a local community group to raise issues about local public safety policy and culture was met…

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Thumbs up to various nursing homes and senior living facilities for their random acts of kindness and efforts to bring joy to residents’ lives during this trying time of the pandemic.

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Buying hotels falls outside the basic services government should provide, but an unusual deal between North Mankato and owners of the ailing Norwood Inn hotel may be an opportunity to serve a public need for workforce housing.

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Cold enough for ya? You betcha. The subzero temps Minnesota experienced the past week weren’t record-setting, but it has been some time since we’ve had such frigid weather for days on end.

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First and foremost, you should know that feeling somewhat gloomy right now is perfectly understandable. The continuing pandemic, daily struggles and a long stretch of bitter cold weather can add up to a bit of mental health meltdown.

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The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump unveiled the dark landscape of where American democracy stands, and those who supported him in this trial should be met with stiff resistance going forward.

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Thumbs up to positive news about the pandemic in the region and state as cases continue to fall, as do positivity rates and hospitalizations.

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The severity of the COVID-19 virus has created the daunting task of medical providers and health-care policy leaders deciding who might die and who might be spared by deciding who gets the vaccine first.

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The GameStop frenzy in the stock market has subsided, or at least is no longer making headlines. The stock price in the struggling video game retailer remains too high for a corporation that hasn’t turned a profit in years and is unlikely to reverse that trend, but it is no longer escalating.

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The Biden administration may have extended the pause on federal student loan payments and interest through an executive order in January, but Minnesota needs to take a closer look at how college-bound high school students in this state can be helped before they accumulate so much debt.

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Thumbs up to the Biden administration and those who are communicating and cooperating reasonably with a government that is stable, reasonable and restoring America to its citizens and the world.

One of the early policy changes made by President Joe Biden was announcing his administration would explore ways to speed up the process to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill.

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Thumbs up to the collaboration and partnership between Minnesota State University and Mayo Clinic Health System on the opening of the surgical simulation laboratory that will assist students and practitioners with their medical education.

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This time of year a drop in blood donations typically occurs. Winter weather, seasonal illness and holiday travel are usually factors behind the drop. But this winter — one like no other in recent history because of the COVID-19 pandemic — blood donations are needed more than ever.

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Minnesota’s rollout of coronavirus vaccines has to this point remained somewhat underwhelming. It’s important the state overcome bureaucratic obstacles and manage not only distribution of vaccines but the risk of each form of distribution.

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Joe Biden today begins his first full day as the 46th president of the United States. The 45th president, Donald Trump, today in Florida continues to sulk over his electoral repudiation (and, presumably, frets over his looming legal problems).

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While American revolutionaries decried taxation without representation, Minnesota revolutionaries today might cry their Republican members of Congress are offering representation without conversation.

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As the reality of President Donald Trump’s divisive threats to the Constitution and subsequent impeachment sets in, many are calling for Americans to come together in a unity that seems like it has been gone for decades instead of years.

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The unofficial but undoubted outcome of last week’s Georgia runoffs — two more Democrats in the U.S. Senate, which would give them the narrowest of majorities — is obviously good news for President-elect Joe Biden.

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The president of the United States has incited an insurrection that defaced the U.S. Capitol and caused death, then praised the insurrectionists all the while continuing his lies to the American people that he won the 2020 election.

On Sunday, this area’s two U.S. representatives were sworn in for the 117th Congress. Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota’s 1st District and Michelle Fischbach of the 7th took an oath pledging to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

First-time Illinois Congresswoman Mary Miller could have drawn from the collective wisdom of countless thoughtful Americans as she addressed the group "Moms for America" at President Trump’s rally in Washington on Tuesday.

Begins Monday, Feb. 1