VERNDALE, Minn. (AP) — A central Minnesota restaurant owner has turned one of the state’s favorite winter shelters into an indoor-outdoor dining experience during the coronavirus pandemic. Brian Hagen, who owns the Pirates Den on busy U.S. Highway 10 in Verndale, is serving his meals in fish houses. Hagen tells the Star Tribune that his phone has been “ringing off the wall” since he posted his plan on Facebook. State health officials on Sunday confirmed 2,714 new COVID-19 cases and 53 new deaths in a report that spanned two days because of the New Year’s holiday.
A pair of Minnesota Republican lawmakers is suing the state’s budget agency in an attempt to halt pay raises for state employees. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Rep. Marion O’Neill, R-Maple Lake, and Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch, have asked a Ramsey County Judge to strike down a decision by the Minnesota Management and Budget to give government employees a 2.5% raise in July. The Senate Republican majority voted to postpone the pay hike amid the pandemic, but Gov. Tim Walz's administration ruled that legislators did not have the authority to modify the pay raise.
Authorities in Goodhue County are investigating a body found in a burned vehicle on Thursday. Firefighters and police from Kenyon, Minnesota responded to a 911 call for a “structure fire” late Thursday, the Star Tribune reported. Firefighters found human remains in the vehicle. The Goodhue County sheriff’s office says an autopsy is being performed to identify the person killed. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office and sheriff’s office are also investigating the cause of the fire.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Police say they are investigating the death of a man whose body was found inside a tent at a Minneapolis homeless encampment. Police said in a release that officers responding to a welfare check Sunday found a man “whose body had experienced obvious trauma." Police had originally identified the deceased as a woman before getting further information from the medical examiner. Police said numerous people fled on foot as officers arrived, but it’s not clear if any of them were involved in the man’s death. Many of them may have mistakenly believed the officers were there to assist [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The controversy over Prince's estate is heating up again after the Internal Revenue Service said administrators have undervalued it by 50%, or about $80 million. The rock star, who died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016, did not leave a will. The IRS determined that Prince’s estate is worth $163.2 million, overshadowing the $82.3 million valuation submitted by Comerica Bank & Trust, the estate’s administrator. The Star Tribune reports that the discrepancy primarily involves Prince’s music publishing and recording interests. Court documents show the IRS believes that Prince’s estate owes another $32.4 million in federal taxes, roughly doubling [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has reported 54 deaths from COVID-19, along with 2,543 positive coronavirus tests, in its final reporting period of 2020. The new numbers bring the state’s pandemic death toll to 5,377 people. A total of 417,832 cases of the coronavirus were detected since the pandemic began. The Department of Health has reported a slow down in new cases, with the average number of daily new cases decreasing by 48% over the last two weeks. Gov. Tim Walz has kept a ban on indoor dining in place through the holiday period, but some businesses around the state defied that [...]
(AP) — U.S. farmers are expected to end the year with higher profits than last year and the best net farm income in seven years thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income. That's according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest farm income forecast. Farmer challenges in 2020 included the impact of trade disputes, drought and wind damage, and low prices for corn, cotton, wheat, chicken, cattle and hogs. Farm cash receipts are forecast to be the lowest in more than a decade. But farmers are expected to receive $46.5 billion from the U.S. government. That's the largest [...]
Police in Minneapolis shot and killed a man during a traffic stop on the city’s south side Wednesday night. The shooting was the first police-involved death in Minneapolis since George Floyd died in May while being arrested by four officers, and stirred anxiety about renewed protests in the city. Officers were carrying out a traffic stop on a man they said was suspected of a felony. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said witnesses said the man fired at officers first and pledged to release the body-camera video on Thursday. The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is handling an investigation.
Minnesota health officials said the state continues to vaccinate healthcare workers, long-term care residents, and staff but a limited supply of vaccine doses means it lags behind other states that have moved on to their next phase. Health officials said Wednesday there is also a lag time between when doses of the vaccine are allocated and administered. Case growth is down 68% since the peak in new infections in mid-November. Meanwhile, a pair of GOP state lawmakers pressed Gov. Tim Walz to release a plan by Monday with a timeline for lifting restrictions on businesses. They cited the decline in case [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis mayor and police chief announced changes in the city’s disciplinary processes for police officers in an effort to make it easier to hold them accountable for bad behavior. Mayor Jacob Frey and the police chief said the city attorney’s office would be more deeply involved in misconduct investigations as soon as they begin. Frey said more than 50 percent of all disciplinary cases are either reduced or overturned and arbitrators typically cite due process concerns such as faulty investigations. Michelle Gross, of Communities United Against Police Brutality, was skeptical the change would make much difference.