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A locate rodeo contestant and a judge during competitionGet along, little … utilities?

April 19

You’ve seen those little multicolored flags stuck in the ground at construction sites or maybe even in yards in your neighborhood. They’re there because someone is planning on digging and called Gopher State One Call at 811. Gopher State One Call contacted various companies that might have underground utilities in the area (think water, sewer, gas, electricity, and phone, to name a few), who sent out people to locate the utilities and mark them with those multicolored flags so that whoever’s doing the digging can avoid them. Locating underground utilities is both an art and a science...

REAL ID graphicWhat’s the latest on REAL ID?

April 16

By now, you’ve probably heard that, come October 10, your standard Minnesota driver’s license won’t be enough to get you on a domestic flight. You’ve also heard that REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards won’t be available in Minnesota until October 1. What to do if you plan to get on a plane on, say, October 11? Don’t worry – you have options. First of all, Minnesota has something available called an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or enhanced ID card (EID). An EDL indicates lawful driving privileges, and both EDLs and EIDs can be used as border-crossing documents...

Phillip LaValleeIf you think you can safely text and drive, you’re wrong.

April 12

It’s easy to think that causing a crash while texting and driving is something other people do. Not you, though, right? You’re a good enough driver that it won’t make a difference if you glance down at your phone. Just for a moment. It’s important! What if you miss that text from your spouse? What if your friend posts on Facebook about where happy hour will be and you miss it? What if your boss emails you? No one else can successfully text and drive, but you can. News flash: No, you can’t. Really. Texting while driving doubles your risk of a crash or near-crash...

A basement damaged by floodingApril showers bring May flowers – and floods

April 9

It’s great living here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. At least until one of those lakes appears in your home. Flooding is one of the most common disasters in Minnesota, and spring is the most common time for it. Severe Weather Awareness Week is the perfect time to make sure you’re ready should a flood happen. When you think about what causes flooding, you probably think about how melting snow can overwhelm rivers — but heavy rains are a culprit as well. You may remember the 10-14 inches of rain that fell in Waseca County in 2016. The flooding that followed prompted...


A person digging.Before you use that shovel, read this.

April 5

When we say “Call before you dig,” we’re not just talking to those people in hard hats who work for construction companies and operate giant backhoes. We’re talking to you. You, standing in your backyard, trying to decide whether to plant the tomatoes by the garage or over by the fence this year. Before you use that shovel in your hand, read this. Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without calling 811. That means every six minutes, a person digging risks everything from gross inconvenience to fines to repair costs to injury...


A rider training grop at a training course.Spring into motorcycle season with a rider training course

April 2

We’ll admit it: March didn’t exactly go out like a lamb. So although the riding season is off to a slow, chilly start, now is the perfect time to take a rider training course. That way you’ll be ready to make this a safe season for you and your ride when warm weather finally arrives. The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center’s (MMSC) rider training season is already underway at some training sites and will begin at the rest of the 27 sites around the state this month. What’s great about the MMSC’s courses is that there’s one for every skill level. Whether you’ve never ridden before or are a 30-year veteran...