Gov. Tim Walz has extended Minnesota's peacetime state of emergency by another 30 days so he can continue to use executive orders to direct the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. With the Legislature in session, the governor no longer needs to call special sessions to give lawmakers a chance to rescind those extensions. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told the Executive Council Wednesday that Minnesota has now recorded 440,354 coronavirus cases, averaging about 10,000 new cases per week, with 5,774 deaths, averaging about 40 per day. Health officials on Wednesday reported 1,505 new cases and 50 new deaths
Minnesota has launched a dashboard to provide more information on the status of the state’s vaccination efforts. The website includes data on the number of doses promised to the state, doses shipped to providers and doses administered. The dashboard will be updated daily, though the figures lag by a few days because providers have time to submit data. The website shows that over 144,000 people had received at least one dose of vaccine from Minnesota providers as of Saturday, including nearly 7,400 who had already had their second dose. Minnesota on Tuesday reported 1,335 new cases and 13 more deaths.
A former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee to the neck of George Floyd for several minutes will be tried separately from three other former officers accused of his death. Court documents filed Tuesday show Derek Chauvin will stand trial alone in March due to the coronavirus pandemic while the others will be tried together in the summer. The judge wrote that it would be impossible to comply with social distancing made necessary by the coronavirus if all four defendants were tried at the same time. Chauvin, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after the [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis police officer who criticized the department in a magazine article after the death of George Floyd has been reprimanded for speaking to the media without seeking permission. Disciplinary records made public Friday show Colleen Ryan received a letter of reprimand on Dec. 2. Records show Ryan admitted she was interviewed as an anonymous source in a June 10 article in GQ magazine. In the article, she described the department as having a “toxic” culture. Her name was released Friday under a court order that's part of an ongoing human rights investigation into the department.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say the mother and father of a 3-year-old found dead in a St. Paul residence Sunday have been arrested on suspicion of the girl’s murder. It’s the city's first homicide of the year. Police say the father called the police department’s non-emergency number early Sunday morning and said something about needing a crisis officer before hanging up. Police tried calling back but received no answer and sent officers to the residence in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. Police arrived at about 2:30 a.m. when the father told them his daughter was on the back porch. Officers [...]
(AP) — Minnesota health officials have confirmed five cases of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the Twin Cities area. The variant, which was first detected late last year in the United Kingdom, was identified in specimens from residents in four Minnesota counties. Although officials aren’t surprised by the discovery and don’t believe it will lead to more serious cases, it raises the potential for the virus to spread even more rapidly. Health officials say they don't know if any of the five people had been hospitalized. At least two of the five recently traveled abroad.
(AP) — Gov. Tim Walz has proposed to legislative leaders that they write into law some of the key emergency measures that he's imposed to deal with the coronavirus. The move would give lawmakers more of a say in shaping the state’s response. The Democratic governor didn’t propose specific legislation. But he offered some principles that he said would facilitate the eventual wind-down of the state’s peacetime state of emergency. They include codifying the mandate for face masks in public indoor spaces and businesses. Republican lawmakers have chafed over the governor’s heavy reliance on executive orders to manage the pandemic.
(AP) — The four Republicans in Minnesota’s congressional delegation split on whether to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. But they remained silent Thursday on whether President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders bear any blame for the violence at the U.S. Capitol that interrupted the proceedings. Minnesota Democrats held little back on a day when top Democratic leaders called for Trump’s removal from office. Rep. Dean Phillips implored Congress to stay in session to consider impeaching Trump or invoking the Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove him. He also demanded the ouster of those responsible for the security [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge overseeing the case against four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd says he will take under advisement a prosecution request to delay the trial due to COVID-19. The trial is currently scheduled for March 8, but prosecutors are seeking a June 7 start to reduce public health risks. They say that a delay would allow time for more people to be vaccinated, and could reduce the chance that the trial would be disrupted by possible infections. Judge Peter Cahill did not say when he would make a decision. Derek Chauvin [...]
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a Minnesota state trooper who was attacked by a driver at the scene of a crash in Brooklyn Center managed to subdue the suspect with the help of a Taser and a passing motorist. The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. Sunday after the trooper stopped to investigate a single-vehicle crash. The suspect, a 38-year-old Zimmerman man, is facing charges of driving while intoxicated and fourth-degree assault. Authorities say the driver instigated the melee and the trooper was eventually able to detain the man after the unidentified motorist stopped to assist. Both the trooper and [...]