Governor Tim Walz says probably early next week he'll announce some specifics of a plan to roll out an expected COVID vaccine in Minnesota. Walz says one question still being debated at the federal and state levels is whether health care workers should get the vaccine first, or those in long term care facilities. As for the population-at-large... "Most Minnesotans need to understand (that) trying to get the number of vaccinations, to start to get the immunity and start to get the impact we need (is) probably gonna be into the first or the second quarter of next year, March and [...]
The investigation continues after a 28-year-old Bemidji man was shot and killed in a hunting accident Wednesday in northern Minnesota. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office says a 33-year-old Redby man fired at what he thought was a deer and killed another hunter who was not wearing blaze orange or other high-visibility clothing. The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Lukas Dudley. Officials say the two men were not hunting together and the shooter is cooperating with the investigation. A decision on whether to file charges in the case not yet been made.
A new state budget forecast comes out this morning (915am), telling lawmakers how much red ink they have to deal with next year -- and how much money is available for an assistance package they're working on for COVID-closed restaurants and bars. Governor Tim Walz says: "As you might expect, House Democrats and House Republicans have a little different approach to this. Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats have a little different approach, and the package we put out is different than all four of those. So we're at the point right now we're trying to meld them together." The governor's [...]
Governor Tim Walz says likely next week he'll give details of the rollout plan for a highly-anticipated COVID vaccine in Minnesota, but health officials stress Minnesotans must remain extra-vigilant on COVID precautions to save as many lives as possible. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says Minnesota is still in a very critical spot in the pandemic -- the worst since it began: "Things that seemed relatively safe even in August -- or even in early October -- are much, much higher risk as we head now into December." Malcolm says Minnesota has more COVID cases per population than earlier hotspots [...]
With hospitals and healthcare workers struggling to keep up amid increases in COVID-19 cases statewide, Minnesota Medical Association President Dr. Marilyn Peitso is again urging Minnesotans: "Stay home, wear your mask, wash your hands and maintain your social distancing, these are things that work...Minnesota's is one of the nation's hot spots right now, our hospitals, our ICUs are full." Peitso says we need to do these things if we want to "get through to the other side of economic damage and human damage" caused by the virus.
It's the second weekend that bars and restaurants in Minnesota are shut down under Governor Tim Walz's COVID emergency order, as he continues pushing for state aid to those struggling businesses: "Along with cooperation with the legislature, I'm prepared to call them back into special session and pass this package immediately." The governor said he wants the special session this coming week. Any deal needs agreement by Senate Republicans. They have not unveiled their plan yet. The parties seem to be talking about a similar dollar amount for aid to restaurants and bars, but a sticking-point could be whether to also [...]
If you're sending out holiday packages to loved ones, Nicole Hill with the United States Postal Service in Minnesota has a few recommended deadlines: "So we're looking at December 18th, send your greeting cards, send your x-mas cards out to your loved ones, make sure they have the right postage, make sure that the addresses are legible." Hill says priority mail should go out by December 19th. For more information about packaging or postage, you can visit usps.com.
Minnesota hog farmers adversely impacted by COVID-19 have until Tuesday to apply for financial help. Minnesota Pork C-E-O David Preisler says the "Hog De-Population Cost-Share Program" can help specific farmers: "It is strictly for farms that had to put animals down because they either didn’t have a place for them to go packing plant-wise, or their barns were full and were not able to move small pigs into finishing barns.” Preisler says eligibility hinges on de-population occurring between March 2nd and September 30th of this year. Farmers can apply for assistance on the Minnesota Ag Department webpage.
An officer who was shot multiple times was treated at the hospital and released, a suspect is in custody, and two other people were airlifted to a Rochester hospital with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds -- that after a nine-hour standoff in Albert Lea which ended just before noon Sunday. Investigators say the suspect, a 21-year-old man from Albert Lea, shot the police officer and two other men in what the city's public safety director called "essentially... an ambush situation." A State Patrol officer fired their weapon, but it's not known if the suspect was shot, although he was injured by shrapnel. It [...]
The latest state budget forecast comes out tomorrow (Tues) and lawmakers are wondering how much red ink they'll have to deal with. The last forecast in May showed a 2.4-billion-dollar deficit -- a four-billion-dollar drop from the previous budget surplus -- due to economic effects of COVID. But Governor Tim Walz says, based on preliminary information he has... "We believe that that number will be materially better. And when I say that, I'm in the dangerous spot of forecasting a forecast." The forecast will tell lawmakers how big a gap they'll have to close in the next state budget -- and [...]