Essentia Health to lay off 900 employees

DULUTH, Minn. — Essentia Health said Thursday it is laying off 900 employees as the Coronavirus pandemic cuts into business.

Essentia Health CEO David Herman said in a statement that the recent cost-reduction measures the Duluth-based health care system has taken “are not sufficient to preserve our mission and the health of the organization.”

The cuts represent 6% of Essentia’s workforce, the Star Tribune reported. The cuts are in addition to 850 Essentia employees who have been placed on administrative leave.

Essentia is the largest employer in Duluth with more than 6,000 employees in the northeastern Minnesota city. The health system has about 14,500 employees in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Alaska will send oil-wealth checks early

JUNEAU, Alaska — Checks from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund will begin going out to residents three months early, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said, citing economic hardships caused by the Coronavirus.

He called these “extraordinary times.”

“We need to make sure that people of Alaska have cash in their hands to help with this economy,” Dunleavy, a Republican, said Wednesday evening.

This year’s check is expected to be about $1,000 and Dunleavy’s office said the Permanent Fund Dividend Division, which determines annual eligibility for the checks, has received more than 670,000 applications.

Montana officials vote to pursue cleanup agreement

BUTTE, Mont. — County commissioners in Montana endorsed a plan for future mine pollution cleanup efforts and responsibilities at a Superfund site.

The Butte-Silver Bow Council of Commissioners voted Wednesday to authorize Chief Executive Dave Palmer to forward a signed agreement to the U.S. Department of Justice and a federal judge for review, The Montana Standard reports.

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