Home sales were strong last month across Minnesota. Chris Galler is president of Minnesota Realtors: "We're up 10.9 percent in closed sales across the state and pending sales were up 32-percent from a year ago. Now part of that is due to the pandemic that we had last year but it's still very strong." Galler says they saw an 18-percent increase in new listings last month, however, it's not matching demand. Eleven of the state’s 13 regions saw increases in closed sales compared to April 2020,
The Governor's Fishing Opener is on. After a nearly two-year wait due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Otter Tail County finally gets to play big fish and host the 2021 festivities. Minnesota Tourism Director John Edman: "People are pretty excited about getting out and celebrating, continuing this tradition of the Governor's Fishing Opener, you know that's been going on for 73-years in the state and we really use this as a springboard in the state to talk about fishing and the outdoors and the start of the tourism season in Minnesota." Otter Tail County is home to over one thousand lakes.
Now that the criminal trial for three former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd has been delayed until next March, we asked former U-S Attorney for Minnesota Tom Heffelfinger about the implications. He says civil federal charges, combined with the trial and conviction last month of Derek Chauvin are... "Just one more basis on which it will be almost impossible to find a jury that hasn't heard about all of this and hasn't formed an opinion on it." According to the federal charges, Derek Chauvin, J-Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao used the "color of the [...]
Key players are admitting the Minnesota Legislature probably will *not* finish its work by next Monday's midnight deadline. Governor Tim Walz: "I think as a minimum, certainly by Monday we should have a clear understanding of where our principles are around the budget." Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says: "It's the policy issues that could make it go longer." ...specifically, Democrats wanting police reform, and Republicans demanding the governor relinquish his COVID emergency powers. House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler says there's also, how to use billions of dollars in federal COVID aid: "I think it will take that amount [...]
Republicans say Minnesotans might have to pay state income taxes on COVID unemployment benefits, and businesses could be taxed on COVID emergency loans, because Democrats are using the issue to try to gain leverage in state budget negotiations. House G-O-P Minority Leader Kurt Daudt : "If Minnesotans do not get this tax relief by Monday, this will fall squarely on the governor's shoulders and House Democrats' shoulders." House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler responds Democrats are ready to pass COVID tax relief, but it must be part of a broader budget package: "It's funding for schools and kids, making sure that people [...]
A new report just out from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows that 723 Minnesotans died by suicide in Minnesota in 2020--a decrease from 830 in 2019, which was a record number. "But we have seen this long-term increase in the number of suicide deaths in Minnesota." The MDH's Dr. Stephen Gingrich says for the past two decades, the number of suicides in Minnesota has steadily increased, mirroring patterns across the U-S. MDH officials say 2020 marks the sixth straight year in which more than 700 Minnesotans died by suicide.
Minnesota 7th District Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach supports House Republicans removing Representative Liz Cheney -- a vocal critic of former President Trump -- as G-O-P Conference Chair. Fischbach says the conference "lost faith in Congresswoman Cheney’s ability to look to the future and advance our collective priorities" -- and adds Republicans' top priority must be "pushing back against the liberal overreach" of President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Minnesota D-F-L Party Chairman Ken Martin responds Trump's "lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election" led to the storming of the U-S Capitol -- and Martin says Fischbach and fellow representatives Jim [...]
A Minnesota judge on Tuesday denied media requests to allow cameras at an upcoming hearing for a former Brooklyn Center Police Officer charged in Daunte Wright's death. 48-year-old Kim Potter is charged with manslaughter in Wright's death during a traffic stop on April 11th. The city's police chief at the time said he believed Potter, mixed up her Taser with her handgun when she shot Wright. Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu rejected requests by several media organizations to record an omnibus hearing Monday for Potter. Court rules allow such recording only when both parties consent. Potter objected.
Now that Judge Peter Cahill has ruled that there are aggravating sentencing factors in the Derek Chauvin case, former U-S Attorney for Minnesota Tom Heffelfinger says it could mean longer sentences for Chauvin... "Especially because of the detail he applied to both the abuse of position of trust and authority and of the special cruelty, those two are very serious and I suspect they would warrant some upward departure." Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and is set to be sentenced on June 25th. The defense has already requested a retrial, arguing that [...]
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is asking the legislature to pass a measure that would provide around five-and-a-half million dollars to support soil health in the state. Headlining the program would be grants to ease the cost and risk of planting cover crops. Tom Griebel farms near Pipestone and says the use of cover crops has given a boost to his bottom line, one of many reasons he supports the practice. "To also help improve the soil health, and also keep nutrients such as nitrates out of the water system." Griebel urges his fellow farmers to try cover [...]