Minnesota ranked in top 3

Minnesota was named the third best state in the nation by U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday.

The Best States rankings evaluate all 50 states based on criteria such as health care, education, economy and infrastructure. Washington took the top spot with New Hampshire following.

Minnesota is the only state to rank in the top three each of the past three years, coming in second in 2018 and third in 2017, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

"Minnesota's success is not by chance," Gov. Tim Walz said in response to the online news magazine's ranking. "Our investments in education, health care, and community prosperity make Minnesota a great place to live, work, and raise a family - but we can still do better. I'm committed to working together to make life even better for all Minnesotans, and continuing to invest in the things that make Minnesota one of the best states in the country."

Minnesota excelled particularly in natural environment (No. 3) and opportunity (No. 3) and scored lowest on fiscal stability (No. 25) and economy (No. 18).

Among neighboring states, Wisconsin was 11th, while Iowa was 14th; North Dakota and South Dakota came in 15th and 20th, respectively.

The full rankings are available at www.usnews.com.

Lane closures in Elbow Lake

The construction project on Highways 55, 59 and 79 in Grant County continues, with crews removing concrete and replacing curb, gutter and sidewalks on Highway 79. The eastbound lanes are closed while that work is being completed.

The southbound lane on Highway 55 will be closed for a couple more weeks as crews continue storm sewer work and concrete work begins. Cross-street intersections may temporarily close in the areas where crews are working.

On Tuesday, May 20, railroad crews will be in the area installing a temporary signal at the Highway 55 crossing. That work is expected to take a day to complete. Drivers are urged to watch for railroad flaggers and obey traffic control.

MnDOT and Riley Bros Construction are holding weekly public meetings each Tuesday at noon at the Grant County Office Building. These meetings will take place throughout the project, but are subject to cancellation based on attendance.

For more detailed project information, go to the project website.

State asks motorists, farmers to share the road

Motorists traveling on Minnesota highways this spring should be aware of large farm equipment moving along roadways, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

According to the past three years of data, there were 386 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota resulting in 166 injuries and six deaths. Inattentive driving and speed were the biggest contributing factors in those crashes.

Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The equipment also makes wide turns and sometimes crosses over the centerline. Large blind spots can also make it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles.

Motorists should: Slow down and use caution, watch for debris dropped by farm vehicles, wait for a safe place to pass, wear seatbelts and always drive with headlights on.

Farm equipment operators should use lights and flashers, put slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph and consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.