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The Minnesota News Network is your source for information across the state.

Walz sends sympathies to Wright family

By |2021-04-13T07:47:24-05:00April 13th, 2021|

Governor Tim Walz is sending his personal sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright: "I think there's a lot of mothers out there that know that you shouldn't be able to worry about your son dying, going to wash the car.   And now we have another name added to Philando, Jamar, George, and Daunte will now be added to that." The governor says there must be change, and is demanding the legislature hold hearings.

Morries Hall–man with George Floyd on day he died–to take the stand

By |2021-04-13T07:30:32-05:00April 13th, 2021|

Morries Hall is expected to take the witness stand today. Hall was with George Floyd on the day Floyd died and plans to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that if Hall does not offer testimony, his interview with investigators after Floyd's death should be admitted into evidence. Judge Pete Cahill however ruled... "None of the statements in the question and answer statement are admissible." The defense had also requested that the prosecution be compelled to explain why they did not offer Hall immunity to testify, but the judge ruled... "The request that the state [...]

Walz demands legislature hold hearings on police reform measures

By |2021-04-13T07:28:32-05:00April 13th, 2021|

Governor Tim Walz, prompted by the Brooklyn Center officer killing of Daunte Wright, is demanding the legislature "finally hold some hearings on some of these reforms": "Things that are supported by both law enforcement and community members, things that we know that would reduce the chance of a routine traffic stop escalating into a loss of life." Maple Grove Republican Warren Limmer, who chairs a key committee in the state Senate, says last summer lawmakers passed "monumental reforms with strong bipartisan support to hold police officers accountable." Limmer says those reforms are being implemented and police officers across Minnesota are receiving [...]

President Biden on Brooklyn Center Police Shooting

By |2021-04-13T06:59:55-05:00April 13th, 2021|

President Biden is calling for calm after the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright a Black man in Brooklyn Center. "Question is was it an accident, was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation." During a White House photo-op, Biden said he has not been in direct contact with Daunte's family: "I haven't called Daunte Wright's family but prayers are with their family, it's really a tragic thing." President Biden says peaceful protests are understandable, however: "There is absolutely no justification none for looting, no justification for violence" President Biden says the Black community is shaken: [...]

Construction season brings cone zone reminder

By |2021-04-12T08:25:55-05:00April 12th, 2021|

This week MN-DOT announced their slate of projects for the 2021 construction season, and with it a reminder to drives to stay aware of the cone zone. Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher says in the last six years work zone traffic crashes led to 49 deaths. "And more than 4900 people were injured. Please slow down, put the phone away, keep your eyes on the road and look out for our crews." Anderson-Kelliher says you can easily know what construction you may encounter on your route by using Minnesota 5-1-1 on your computer or smartphone before you hit the road.

MN House Democrats unveil $1B bonding proposal

By |2021-04-12T08:24:16-05:00April 12th, 2021|

Minnesota House Democrats last night (Sun) unveiled their roughly one-billion-dollar bonding bill for state public works projects -- double what Governor Tim Walz proposed, and on the heels of last year's record-breaking 1.9-billion-dollar bonding package. House Speaker Melissa Hortman says "needs are still great" across Minnesota and investments are important to get the state's post-COVID economy moving.   Senator Tom Bakk, Cook Independent who chairs the Senate Bonding Committee, has a different view: "We've got all of this federal money... coming in, one-time money. I don't know why we would borrow." Bakk says he wants to minimize the amount of borrowing, and [...]

Health officials concerned about vaccination numbers among nursing home workers

By |2021-04-12T07:19:55-05:00April 12th, 2021|

State health officials remain concerned that, at last check, only 55 percent of nursing home workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says a national effort is underway in the long term care industry to encourage staff to get vaccinated: "Certainly unions have a role to play, the employers themselves as well as leaders from the different communities or interest groups that these staff come from." SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley says the union is "strongly recommending" its members be vaccinated and has had a number of informational forums: "We're gonna keep strongly advocating for our members [...]

Farm Bureau takes annual leadership conference to South Dakota

By |2021-04-12T06:43:49-05:00April 12th, 2021|

This year's Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation leadership conference will cross the border into South Dakota. The bureau's annual LEAP Conference will be held in Sioux Falls on July 16th and 17th. Rachael Peterson with M-F-B says the move comes as part of a joint effort with the South Dakota Farm Bureau. "That’s giving us a great opportunity to add to our conference and have some different activities and speakers that we wouldn't normally have if we were just doing it on our own." Peterson says planning for the dual event started in 2019. The conference is designed as a networking opportunity [...]

Malcolm: Aside from periodic exceptions demand for vaccine remains higher than supply

By |2021-04-09T07:27:47-05:00April 9th, 2021|

This week the state topped more than 3-million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says that doesn't mean they're nearing a tipping point where demand for one of the various emergency use authorized vaccines has dipped. "I don't think we're close to that yet, perhaps in some demographics or in some particular pockets. But in general, we still have a lot of people eager to get the vaccine and we hope that eagerness frankly continues." Malcolm says there are instances where some vaccinators in the state reported needing less than their initial allocation because they have not filled all [...]

Top-income tax increase clears key MN House committee

By |2021-04-09T06:48:07-05:00April 9th, 2021|

Democrats as part of their state budget plan are moving forward with a tax bill, which Dilworth Representative Paul Marquart says... ..."provides over a billion dollars of tax cuts and aids to families and workers and businesses." But the money comes from a tax increase on top-income Minnesotans -- a non-starter in the GOP-controlled state Senate.   Republican Representative Greg Davids from Preston says with deep divisions between Democrats and Republicans there could be a state government shutdown in July: "I been doing this before a lot of members on this committee were born, and... at this time of year I [...]

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