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It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Webster, MN

Home Care Webster, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Historic Webster School (Let's Go Webster) gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Webster, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Webster, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I am a current client of this provider Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Webster, MN?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Webster, MN

Types of Elderly Care in Webster, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Webster, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Webster, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Charles Tollander Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Webster, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local The Peppered Pig or visit Drummer Boy at Shiloh Historical Marker, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Webster, MN

Benefits of Home Care in Webster, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Webster, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Webster, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Webster, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Webster, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Webster, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Webster, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Brookdale Clear Lake
  • Brighton Senior Living At Regency Village
  • Senior Link Assisted Living
  • Focused Care at Webster
  • Light Heart Memory Care - Webster
  • A Place For Mom - Senior Living Advisor Christina Young
Home Care Webster, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Webster, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Webster, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Webster, MN

Latest News in Webster, MN

Minnesota Town Ball team fighting postseason ban for alleged rule violation

RICE COUNTY, Minn. (FOX 9) - A contested rule violation in amateur baseball this summer earned a postseason ban for a championship-contending team south of the metro.The Webster Sox, in rural Rice County, are having a season to remember. But there will be no playoffs and no opportunity for the club to play for the Minnesota Town Ball title. The players are crushed. They insist the alleged rule violation was just an attempt to have some fun and i...

RICE COUNTY, Minn. (FOX 9) - A contested rule violation in amateur baseball this summer earned a postseason ban for a championship-contending team south of the metro.

The Webster Sox, in rural Rice County, are having a season to remember. But there will be no playoffs and no opportunity for the club to play for the Minnesota Town Ball title. The players are crushed. They insist the alleged rule violation was just an attempt to have some fun and in no way gave them a competitive advantage.

The Sox are currently on a 10-game winning streak as they wind down their regular season this week. Club management said it is the best season in their 72-year history.

"It's been a lot of fun. It's been tons of fun to play with these guys," said shortstop Peter Grassl. "I mean, I believe that we are a very good team, and we would definitely make a deep run."

But Grassl and the rest of the Sox will not compete for an amateur state crown this summer. And that is for the alleged rule violation earlier this season that the club believes has been taken completely out of context by the league’s governing body, the Minnesota Baseball Association (MBA).

"Had no positive impact on anybody, didn't stand in the league standings, didn't have a negative impact, wasn't any type of competitive advantage, and no malicious intent," explained Sox General Manager Mike Prochaska.

Team management tells FOX 9 that during a game with Owatonna, which both teams treated as an exhibition or scrimmage to get in some practice for league action, Webster’s players convinced their 54-year-old manager, Todd Klehn, to take an at-bat late in the game.

No harm, no foul. Only a little fun, they thought. In fact, he struck out on three pitches.

But it turns out the manager is not a formally registered player with the state. The MBA requires all players who compete for Town Ball teams to fill out a contract and submit it to the state for formal rostering.

So, when word of the at-bat made its way to the MBA, the association took a closer look at the circumstances and determined it was a game between two league teams. Furthermore, Webster had used an illegal player. The punishment was a total ban on playoff baseball in 2023.

"We belong in the postseason," exclaimed Prochaska. "That is in the best interests of baseball. I think banning team players that had no impact on this is not right. That's not in the best sense or interest of baseball."

MBA President Mark Forsman told FOX 9’s Paul Blume that the rules are the rules and that the formal registering of players is critical to ensure a fair play. Adding, that the rules are what makes amateur Town Ball so special.

Upon learning of their punishment, Webster hired an attorney. But their last-ditch appeal was denied by the MBA.

"It does suck," said Grassl. "It is frustrating. It's not great. It's tough for everybody, our players, our fans, everybody in the community. I mean, it is really frustrating for all of us. So, you know, it is what it is. At the end of the day, you just kind of have to live with it and move on and move forward. And that is what we are going to do."

Added Prochaska, "What I would like to do, and I think other teams that have had similar suspensions, how can we as teams, players and our management of teams work together with Minnesota Baseball Association to come up with a tiered penalty program based on severity, similar to like Major League Baseball? And work together instead of one side, one ruling fits all. That would be my counsel and advice. I am a big advocate of you know, working together. You are going to get better results."

Webster wraps up its 2023 season on Sunday with a home game against the St. Benedict Saints.

South Minneapolis boxing gym offers community through sport

As swinging punching bags creak on their chains and children shriek with excitement, Ludy Webster waits at the front desk of his boxing gym for his students to arrive.Nobody comes through the door of Ludy's Boxing Gym in south Minneapolis without a handshake, high-five or hug from the owner.He receives a chorus of "Hey, Ludy!" greetings in return before the students swarm the gym, some to stretch, some awaiting their coach's first instructio...

As swinging punching bags creak on their chains and children shriek with excitement, Ludy Webster waits at the front desk of his boxing gym for his students to arrive.

Nobody comes through the door of Ludy's Boxing Gym in south Minneapolis without a handshake, high-five or hug from the owner.

He receives a chorus of "Hey, Ludy!" greetings in return before the students swarm the gym, some to stretch, some awaiting their coach's first instructions of the day.

Webster, 56, started boxing at age 13 and credits his career in the sport with keeping him out of trouble. In opening his own gym in 2021, he hoped to provide the same outlet for others in his hometown.

"It kept me disciplined, even as I got older," Webster said. "In my late teens, early 20s, I was still boxing. A lot of my buddies would go out, and I would go out, but that would stop me from drinking and doing anything bad because I knew I had a boxing match coming up."

The gym is a nonprofit organization, with Webster raising money to offer kids discounted boxing classes and support a group of young, competitive boxers.

To rent the building and pay for gear in 2021, Webster and another co-founder invested $40,000 of their own savings, with an additional $10,000 donation from U.S.A. Boxing, a nonprofit that supports new gyms.

Though the boxing gym is breaking even, Webster still relies on income from running a plumbing company to make a living. Any extra money after paying the gym's bills goes to buying more boxing gear, water bottles and Gatorade for kids.

"It is starting to get tight on us," Webster said. "I'm barely getting by with rent and all our bills."

The "for-profit side" of the gym — selling memberships and classes for kids and adults — helps to finance Webster's goal of training boxers who travel to represent Minneapolis in national competitions.

Webster said it's tough managing two businesses — one for money and one for passion — pretty much on his own. His duties for the gym alone can range from hosting car washes and fundraisers, arranging free memberships for volunteers and teaching boxing classes, including two kids' sessions, about a dozen adult trainings and a beginners' course every week.

Boxers can also purchase a gym membership or pass for more open practice. The cost starts at $25 for single-day pass for a class or gym access and runs up to $150 a month for unlimited access for a family.

Though Webster admits running a business doesn't come easy or naturally to him, his clientele agree Webster himself is the selling point of the gym.

"He supports the kids a lot," said Miguel Arroyo, whose son goes to Webster's classes twice a week. "The environment was really welcoming. That's why we just continued going."

When the doors first opened, Webster was able to attract 60 clients from social media promotion and distributing flyers. Now, the gym has amassed about 115 clients.

"It just took off," Webster said. He ultimately aims to double the size of the 2,500-square-foot gym to accommodate more clients.

Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

Ludy Webster guided Jayden Clark, 7, as he threw a combination of punches during the children’s boxing class at Ludy’s Boxing Gym on Thursday.

Webster's positive reputation led local competitive boxer Damarius Gilbert to join a year ago. As a coach, Webster creates a uniquely warm and comfortable space for growing boxers, Gilbert said.

"I needed to find a new coach," Gilbert said. "I came here, and automatically it was like, 'Welcome to the family.' So it was a great first-time experience."

Being able to box at Ludy's has improved both his physical and mental health, Gilbert said, and having a coach who prioritizes creating personal connections with students has been a game-changer.

"Boxing brought me a better life," Gilbert said. "It changed me into a better man."

Webster said his relationship with his students has expanded in the two years he's owned the gym, especially with a group of teenagers who regularly come by to do homework and hang out with friends.

"You're more than a coach," Webster said. "You're a father figure. A psychiatrist. You're mentally really helping with the kids because they're trying to figure it out in life. They've got a lot more questions than boxing questions."

With the help of two other volunteer coaches at the gym — and occasional assistance from older boxers who frequent the gym — Webster structures an engaging class for kids ages 6 to 14, including intense cardio, running drills, proper stance and punch technique. It's all set to a soundtrack of Disney songs.

Justin Hill, with more than a decade of boxing experience, assists with these classes, maintaining the energy needed to keep up with a dozen spirited students who are all eager to throw a punch at a grown-up. Hill noted Ludy's sense of community is not present in other boxing gyms.

"Everybody just cares about each other," Hill said, smiling down at his daughter Ayla, who bounced around the gym with a rainbow bow in her hair. "My daughter, she loves hanging around with the other kids. When I was a kid and I boxed, it kept me out of trouble."

"I just feel like there's more care and love here."

The Strib’s Incoming Publisher Just Settled a Lawsuit Over Allegedly Withholding Public Records

To hear retiring Star Tribune publisher/CEO Mike Klingensmith tell it, his successor could have been designed in a Newspaper Executive Laboratory."If you asked an AI to draw up a resume for a Star Tribune publisher job, I don't think they could do any better than Steve Grove," Klingensmith said (weirdly) Tuesday in a statement announcing the hire.In that case, the immediate baggage Grove brings to the state's highest newspaper job must be a hypothetical AI glitch.Grove, who's stepping down as commissioner of th...

To hear retiring Star Tribune publisher/CEO Mike Klingensmith tell it, his successor could have been designed in a Newspaper Executive Laboratory.

"If you asked an AI to draw up a resume for a Star Tribune publisher job, I don't think they could do any better than Steve Grove," Klingensmith said (weirdly) Tuesday in a statement announcing the hire.

In that case, the immediate baggage Grove brings to the state's highest newspaper job must be a hypothetical AI glitch.

Grove, who's stepping down as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for the Strib position, settled a lawsuit Monday brought by independent journalist Tony Webster. Webster sued Grove and DEED last fall, alleging that the agency failed to produce public records related to DEED Twitter accounts and Grove's personal account.

"I spent substantial time attempting to negotiate with Commissioner Grove’s attorney before filing the lawsuit," Webster tells Racket. "I laid out the facts and law, and they didn’t budge. Had Commissioner Grove expressed any willingness to work out a resolution last year, this needless waste of time and taxpayer money could have been avoided. I hope this settlement serves as a deterrent to other government officials who might delay and improperly deny public records requests."

In the settlement, DEED and Grove agreed to update policies, pay Webster $17,000, supply the previously requested data on blocked accounts, and promise to not withhold future records "for the duration of Commissioner Grove’s appointment and any future re-appointment as Commissioner of DEED."

As laid out in a blog by Webster, DEED has a long history of secrecy that pre-dates Grove. But things apparently haven't improved under his leadership. Last year MinnPost's Peter Callaghan criticized the agency for "finding new ways to evade public disclosure of how state dollars are spent." Yesterday Minnesota Reformer's J. Patrick Coolican took a critical look at how Grove's DEED dragged its feet on public record requests from his outlet.

All of this matters a helluva lot considering Grove will soon lead a newsroom that, ideally, is driven by skepticism of public institutions, corporations, and the elite. (One of the state's most powerful people, Republican billionaire Glen Taylor, happens to own the paper.) "Grove said his mission will be to carry on the Star Tribune's commitment to accountability in government," Stribber Brooks Johnson wrote in a fawning article introducing Grove. To which Webster wrote: "Interesting."

"If Grove’s conduct in Governor Walz’s cabinet is a preview of the 'commitment to accountability in government' he promises to deliver as Star Tribune CEO, I am not optimistic," Webster continues. "Though I nevertheless wish him all success."

When Racket requested a Grove interview Wednesday, the Strib's head PR guy, Steve Yaeger, punted to Gov. Tim Walz's PR team. We've yet to hear back from them. Yaeger declined to provide a comment on the behalf of the paper regarding the Grove/DEED/Webster settlement.

Grove, 45, grew up in Northfield and worked as a reporter at the Boston Globe and ABC News early in his career. He then pivoted to the tech world, working for YouTube and, later, Google News Lab. (The latter company is often cited for helping destroy the flailing journalism industry, though the News Lab is viewed as an olive branch.) Evidence of that Silicon Valley pedigree is all over Grove's quotes Tuesday to the Strib, which include terms like: "disruptive," "accelerate," and "digital-first." In 2019 Grove earned the top job at DEED, and became a vocal DFL cheerleader.

We also wish him success. A strong, feisty, incredulous Star Tribune means a stronger Minnesota.

Update: DEED PR rep Alicia Cordes-Mayo provided the following statement from Grove. "I blocked fewer than 20 user profiles from my personal Twitter account during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the incendiary nature of the tweets and comments posted on those profiles. Since that time, I have unblocked all of those accounts. Additionally, no accounts are blocked from official DEED state government Twitter accounts."

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Yaeger punted to the DEED PR team; it has been updated to reflect that he punted to Gov. Walz's PR team, who we contacted pre-publication and have not heard back from.

Minnesota's population growth sees 'concerning' stall for a second year

Minnesota's population growth has stalled for the second year in a row, suggesting the pandemic has left lingering effects and the number of people leaving the state continues to outpace new arrivals.The number of people living in Minnesota grew by less than 1% — about 5,700 people — between July 2021 and July 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2022 population estimates released Thursday.While the numbers are an improvement over the ...

Minnesota's population growth has stalled for the second year in a row, suggesting the pandemic has left lingering effects and the number of people leaving the state continues to outpace new arrivals.

The number of people living in Minnesota grew by less than 1% — about 5,700 people — between July 2021 and July 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2022 population estimates released Thursday.

While the numbers are an improvement over the previous year when the state recorded a net gain of about 1,600 people, they are still far short of Minnesota's typical annual growth of about 35,000 people, said Susan Brower, Minnesota's state demographer.

"To see two years of this level of growth is surprising," Brower said. Last year's low growth levels could potentially be attributed to higher death rates, slowed immigration and delayed pregnancies during the pandemic, she said. But seeing the situation continue for a second year is "concerning."

Laura Bordelon, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's senior vice president of advocacy, said the state has been losing population to other states for the past 10 to 12 years and the trend "appears to be accelerating."

"Without population and labor force growth, growing our state's economy is immensely challenging, so it is critical we attract and retain workers both nationally and internationally," Bordelon wrote in a statement Thursday.

The information released Thursday did not include city- or county-level data, but showed state and national estimates.

Nationally, the population rose 0.4%, suggesting a slight rebound compared with the .01% growth rate during the worst of the pandemic from 2020 to 2021, the lowest since the nation's founding.

Growth was largely driven by international migration, with every state gaining residents from abroad. Net international migration was nearly three times larger than in the previous year. This was also the first year since 2007 with a year-over-year increase in total births.

New York and California both had large population losses mostly due to people moving to other states.

The South gained 1.3 million residents, the largest of any region, driven by population gains in Texas and Florida that approached a half-million residents each.

Wisconsin gained about 12,000 residents, mostly due to a positive inflow from other states and abroad. But the state had more deaths than births for the second straight year.

International migration helped buoy Minnesota, bringing in about 14,000 more people than the number who left for other countries. But net domestic migration was worse than in previous years: About 19,000 more people left Minnesota than moved into the state, up from about 16,000 the year before.

Bordelon said it's not just the snowbirds who are leaving the state.

"The key working age group of 20-29-year-olds is the biggest group that relocates," she said in the statement, adding that retaining people and attracting newcomers can often come down to economics. "We need to ensure it's affordable from a tax and cost of living perspective," she wrote.

The state's meager population growth can be almost entirely attributed to the number of births outpacing deaths by about 11,600.

"Births are keeping us afloat, but not as much as they used to be," Brower said, adding that birth rates have long been trending downward. Because birth rates are often less variable and less impacted by policy than domestic and international migration, demographers tend to focus on the latter.

"There are already a lot of conversations going on around migration and around workforce shortages," Brower said. "Employers are looking to where the workers are. … Migration is the piece that could more quickly fill the need."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mara Klecker covers Minneapolis K-12 schools for the Star Tribune. She previously reported on the suburbs of the Twin Cities. Before coming to the Star Tribune, she was the social services reporter at the Omaha World-Herald..

[email protected] 612-673-4440

MaryJo Webster is the data editor for the Star Tribune. She teams up with reporters to analyze data for stories across a wide range of topics and beats and also oversees a small team of other data journalists.

[email protected] 612-673-1789 MaryJoWebster maryjo-webster-2733706

Sweetland Orchard in Webster, Minnesota

Fall in the Midwest demands a trip to an orchard bursting with warm colors and crisp fruits. We recently spent an afternoon at Sweetland Orchard in Webster, Minnesota, where the fruit is just the beginning of the experience.Sweetland is run by Mike and Gretchen Perbix, who took over the orchard in 2010. You might know them by their pink-tinged Cherry Rhubarb Scrumpy cider. Back in 2010, the Perbix family tended about 1,000 apple trees on their 5-acre farm. In t...

Fall in the Midwest demands a trip to an orchard bursting with warm colors and crisp fruits. We recently spent an afternoon at Sweetland Orchard in Webster, Minnesota, where the fruit is just the beginning of the experience.

Sweetland is run by Mike and Gretchen Perbix, who took over the orchard in 2010. You might know them by their pink-tinged Cherry Rhubarb Scrumpy cider. Back in 2010, the Perbix family tended about 1,000 apple trees on their 5-acre farm. In the six years since, their business has evolved from an orchard selling apples at farmers markets and grocery stores, to a buzzing cider operation pumping out 15,000 gallons of the stuff each year.

Mike (pictured above) gives tours of the cidery, a tiny building packed with a cider press, a bottling line, other equipment, and kegs (and a baker’s rack or two of cooling cider doughnuts). As he explains the way the press works, Mike is humble about the process, giving his wife Gretchen and some important cheerleaders (namely Matty O’Reilly of Republic and the folks at Dogwood Coffee) a lot of the credit for the ciders’ success. The Perbix family started making hard cider in 2012, with a conservative 55-gallon batch. Now that their ciders are in high demand, they’ve started sourcing apples from two other farms in the Midwest to keep up production.

Each cider begins with grinding up a bunch of apples which then get pressed for juice. Then the juice and yeasts are combined and left to ferment for about two weeks before being racked (stored in jugs) until they taste just right. Mike likens the process to winemaking and is constantly experimenting with new combinations. These experiments are called Roundabouts and are labeled by batch number. We took a turn at the on-site tasting bar and tried four or five of these experiments, including the intriguing batch #10, an earthy, slightly leathery cider made with cascara (the dried husks of coffee beans).

The tasting-room bartender, Sam Falbo (pictured above), explained the intricacies of each cider. He paired Sweetland’s super-dry Northern Spy and a lovely sheep’s milk cheese called Friesago, from Shepherd’s Way Farms. Northern Spy is made exclusively from Northern Spy apples, unlike the orchard’s scrumpy ciders, which are blends of a few apple varieties.

Both Northern Spy and the Friesago cheese are sold at the orchard. You can almost always buy a bottle of anything you try at Sweetland’s tasting bar. And if your favorite cider is sold out? Have no fear! You might catch Mike quickly labeling a few bottles to fill the empty space in the cooler. A variety of apples and fresh baked goods are also sold at the orchard.

Families, take note: Sweetland isn’t a place where your kids can go on hayrides or scamper through a corn maze. Additionally, the orchard is under renovation this year. The Perbix family are in the process of expanding their arsenal of apple trees from 1,000 to 5,000. To make room for all of the new stock, they are trellising the trees, much in the way a wine maker prunes grape vines to manage their growth. Because of this development, visitors cannot pick their own apples for the time being. However, lazy orchard strolls and impromptu picnics are highly encouraged.

Sweetland Orchard, at 26205 Fairlawn Ave, Webster, MN, is open for tours and tastings on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through October 30. They can be reached at 651.252.4337.


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