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Monday, July 15, 2024

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President Joe Biden calls on the nation to 'lower the temperature' on politics; Utah governor calls for unity following Trump assassination attempt; Civil rights groups sound the alarm on Project 2025; New England braces for 'above-normal' hurricane season.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Watchdog hopes MN flood victims keep shady contractors at bay

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024   

Communities across Minnesota, especially in its southern half, have been responding to flood emergencies, and consumer protection groups are urging affected property owners to gain knowledge to avoid being swindled.

Gov. Tim Walz and other leaders are assessing the scope of the damage, with calls for a special legislative session to approve disaster aid.

Bao Vang, vice president of communications for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota, recommended homeowners facing restoration work from a flooded basement to not look past red flags in hiring a contractor. Repair scams are often associated with roof and siding damage after a thunderstorm but Vang said fraudsters can prey on flood victims, too.

"They're offering quick fixes, those big promises that they do not intend to keep," Vang explained.

She noted not all storm chasing contractors are scammers. Some may just lack the proper licensing for the area. Still, Vang pointed out your best bet is to check for locally based, accredited contractors, either through municipal government websites, the state Department of Labor and Industry, or BBB.org. Other tips include avoiding high-pressure sales tactics or requests for full payments up front.

With sections of many communities washed out by rising waters, local contracts will likely be fielding a lot of calls. Vang cautioned it does not mean you should get desperate. Instead, organizations such as the Better Business Bureau can help you fan out your search.

"We can help you look online, find reputable companies," Vang explained. "Those that have been doing great business with other customers."

Her organization has staff members who can talk you through steps over the phone. The calls are taken during normal business hours. In preparing to seek assistance, homeowners also are urged to contact their insurance company first and confirm what their policy covers, along with the filing requirements.


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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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