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Two People from Rochester Arrested in 'Operation Exile'

(ABC 6 News) -- With heroin overdoses on the rise in Minnesota, law enforcement officials announced Thursday they’ve taken a major step to end the flow of drugs, and end the rising death toll.

It was called "Operation Exile," a sweeping drug bust targeting major heroin traffickers in Minnesota.

"Today we have made it clear to those who want to sell heroin, this deadly powder in Minnesota, that we will stop them,” said Andrew Luger, U.S. Attorney for Minnesota. “Make no mistake about it, heroin is deadly, and we will not tolerate it in Minnesota."

In an operation that spanned seven counties, officials arrested 65 people and seized around 2.5 kilograms of heroin.

They also seized seven firearms and $250,000 in cash that they say came directly from heroin sales.

Of the those 65 arrested, two are from Rochester.

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'Operation Exile' Heroin Sweep Arrests More than 65

Shaunda Gadsden and Martinez Williams - Olmsted County Adult Detention Center

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - More than 65 people suspected of selling heroin in Minnesota have been arrested as part of a sweep.
    
U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andy Luger says the arrests "struck at the heart" of international drug cartels that have been doing business in the state and will have a significant impact on the heroin trade in Minnesota.
    
The operation that led to Thursday's arrests, called Operation Exile, began in December.
    
The Drug Enforcement Administration says some of the arrests happened in recent weeks, but the coordinated take-down began before dawn Thursday in the metro-area counties as well as St. Louis and Olmstead counties.
    
Minnesota health officials earlier this year said there have been nearly 300 heroin-related deaths in the state in the last 15 years. Ninety-eight people died last year alone.

Charter Communications Adds 140 Jobs, Moves to New Location

(ABC 6 News) - A Rochester company has added 140 news jobs and is setting up shop in a new location .

If this building looks familiar, that's because you may recognize it as part of Big Blue... Rochester's IBM campus. But with some vacant space, Charter Communications is now moving in. The new location and addition of positions is part of keeping up with Rochester's growth as a city.

"We love to open in areas where the economy is vibrant," says Charter Communications' Don Detample. "As you know, as people come in and move here they build homes and buy things which includes cable services and that's good for us."

The addition of 140 new jobs for Charter started four months ago. Another benefit of the new location... there's still room for additional expansion.

Power Outage Delays Finalization of Kasson Shopko Development

(ABC 6 News) -- For months, Kasson city leaders have been pushing for a new Shopko development in what is currently a city park, and for months citizens have been pushing back.

But now the long-standing controversy is nearing its end.

At a special meeting Wednesday night, the Kasson City Council approved, in principal, the purchase and development agreement with Oppidan Inc., the developer for the project.

The meeting saw a much smaller crowd than at past meetings, with only a handful of residents in attendance.

City leaders have continually supported the project despite the public outcry, and they said they're excited about the potential economic boost to Kasson.

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Local Attorneys Named as Candidates for Third Judicial District

(ABC 6 News) -- There are currently two open judicial position in Minnesota's Third District Court, and the number of candidates recommended by the Commission on Judicial Selection is down to four.

Erin Felten is an attorney and shareholder at Patton, Hoversten & Berg, P.A., where her practice consists of family law, child protection, probate, employment law, corporate matters, and criminal defense of misdemeanor through felony charges. Previously, she was an associate at Olup & Associates, L.L.C., and, prior to that, was an associate at Adams, Rizzi & Sween, P.A. Ms. Felten currently serves as a volunteer attorney with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and is a member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative of the Mower County United Way.

<span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Mayo Launches New App to Reach Patients Worldwide</span>

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Mayo Clinic is expanding its reach to anyone at any time of day, as long as they have a smartphone. That reach is now possible through a new iPhone app called "Better.” It's a tool that has all sorts of health guidance from Mayo Clinic, including access to your very own personal health assistant.

The "Better” app is a collaborative project between Mayo Clinic and a group called Social+Capital Partnership. The app, which launched Wednesday, is a tool that lets people worry less when it comes to healthcare and instead focus on well-being. 

"For 150 years, Mayo has provided the highest quality of health care, we now want to be able to scale that knowledge so that we can reach anyone, anywhere at any time,” said Dr. Paul Limburg, Mayo Clinic.

Doctors, Local Lawmakers Fighting Medical Proposal

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It has doctors and local legislators concerned, but some certified nurses in greater Minnesota say it's needed. 

A bill to give nurse anesthetists the authority to perform interventional procedures for patients with chronic pain is heading to the Minnesota House and Senate for consideration. 

This procedure on the spinal cord is extremely precise. Interventional pain medicine is a practice where if the needle is off target by as little as one millimeter, it can be fatal or cause paralysis. It takes 14 years of education and training to execute it. 

"Compare that to roughly 7 years of training of a certified registered nurse anesthetists," said Dr. Kris Zeller, who attended a press conference to express concerns about the proposed legislation.