DPS: Fire deaths jump 31 percent in 2011

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released preliminary figures that show 51 people died in fires across the state last year, 12 more than in 2010. Minnesota's fire death rate is still far below the national average.
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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released preliminary figures that show 51 people died in fires across the state last year, 12 more than in 2010. Minnesota's fire death rate is still far below the national average.

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DPS: Spike in vehicle deaths to start 2012

As of last week, nearly 70 people have died on Minnesota roads through the first 11 weeks of the year. That's up more than 45 percent from the same period last year. The Department of Public Safety says a trend of poor seatbelt use and excessive speeds have both led to more serious crashes.

DPS: 80% of victims killed in recent crashes were unbelted

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says eight of the first 10 people killed in traffic accidents so far this year were not wearing their seat belts. The department also reports that only 20 percent of the 23 people killed in December were buckled-up. Between 2008-2010, about 45 percent of occupants killed were properly using their seat belts.

Minn. DPS: DWI patrols on lookout for Halloween partiers

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists that DWI patrols will be on the lookout for Halloween partiers this weekend. To get its point across, the DPS has created radio spots and a Public Service Announcement that features real law enforcement in-car camera video of costumed DWI offenders.

Minn. DPS: Drunken driving deaths in 2011 down 40 percent from decade ago

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says it is encouraged by the reduction of drunken driving deaths 2011 from a decade before, but notes that it is still a top safety threat. According to the Minnesota Drunk Driving Report released Friday, there were 111 drunken driving deaths in 2011, marking a 40 percent reduction in such deaths from 185 a decade ago. The report also revealed that there were 29,257 drunken driving arrests last year as well.

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MN traffic deaths at lowest rate since 1944

The Department of Public Safety says Minnesota's roads are the safest they've been in over 70 years, or at least less deadly. Preliminary results put traffic deaths under 400 fatalities. That's second best in the nation.

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In what could be another sign of economic recovery, tax revenues in all 50 states jumped in 2011. Slateline.org reports that Minnesota was one of the largest gainers, bringing in 15 percent more in 2011 than 2010. North Dakota was the envy of all others, with a whopping 44.5 percent revenue increase over the previous year.

Average parking rate in downtown Minneapolis jumps 8 percent

A new parking survey from Colliers International shows the average rate in downtown Minneapolis is $13 per day, the Business Journal reports. That's up about 8 percent from last year, but the rate is still more than four dollars below the national average of $17.19.