The Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office is among eight Minnesota law enforcement agencies being recognized for outstanding efforts to promote traffic safety.

The award, given by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety, includes a prize of four portable breath-testing devices.

"We are dedicated to keeping Blue Earth County roads safe and working toward fewer traffic-related deaths and injuries," said Sheriff Brad Peterson. "Each life matters, and it's an honor to be recognized for the protection of people on the roads that we all share."

The sheriff's office was particularly praised for its performance during two special safety efforts in 2016: a focus on distracted driving and a "click it or ticket" campaign.

The agency will receive its award Tuesday in a 9 a.m. ceremony at the Blue Earth County Historic Courthouse in Mankato.


St. Cloud

Uber follows Lyft into three Minnesota cities

Rochester, St. Cloud and Mankato are getting a bigger share of the ride-hailing business.

The ride-hailing service Uber last week announced launching operations in all three cities. The company is celebrating by offering free rides — up to $15 each way — to passengers through midnight Sunday. New and existing customers can use the promotion code RIDEROCHESTER, RIDESTCLOUD or RIDEMANKATO in the respective cities.

Uber's arrival comes a week after its rival, Lyft, expanded to those cities.

Both Lyft and Uber use freelance drivers who can work whenever they want for as long as they want. Drivers using their own cars respond to the requests submitted by riders.

Tim Harlow


Municipal airport will be renamed for female pilot

Faribault's City Council unanimously voted last week to change the name of its municipal airport to recognize the pioneering aviation achievements of hometown native Elizabeth "Betty Wall" Strohfus, who died last year.

Strohfus was one of 1,074 female pilots to earn silver wings in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program. The women flew military aircraft in noncombat roles during wartime to free up male pilots for combat. They were considered civilians until Congress retroactively granted them veteran status in 1977.

The Faribault Municipal Airport-Liz Strohfus Field is one of several airports in Minnesota to bear the names of individuals. Others include Detroit Lakes-Wething Field, Morris Municipal Airport-Charlie Schmidt Field and Fergus Falls Municipal Airport-Einar Mickelson Field.

The name change now goes to the Federal Aviation Administration for final approval.

The American Association of University Women spearheaded the effort to rename the airport with the support of the Strohfus family.

Mark Brunswick