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MDE survey finds most parents want to send their kids back to school in fall

By |2020-07-10T06:33:46-05:00July 10th, 2020|

An informal survey of Minnesota families collected by the state Department of Education finds that most parents--around 64-percent--want to send their kids back to school this fall. And the survey finds that most parents--more than 52-percent--found distance learning amid COVID-19 to be a bad or very bad experience. It's an assessment President of Education Minnesota Denise Specht mostly agrees with... "We all know that distance learning did not meet the educational needs of all students. I don't think that distance learning went well for most people, including staff and parents." State officials are weighing three different scenarios for fall: full-time classroom [...]

MN National Guard commander says earlier call-up could have stopped Twin Cities riots sooner

By |2020-07-10T06:32:10-05:00July 10th, 2020|

Could the Twin Cities riots have been stopped sooner, with possibly less destruction, if Governor Tim Walz had activated the entire Minnesota National Guard a day or two earlier? That question today (Thurs) from state lawmakers to the state Guard's commander. Major General Jon Jensen contends absolute numbers are only part of the equation: "If we had done things differently on Tuesday as it relates to numbers, as it relates to tactics, could we (have) avoided some of this? My unprofessional opinion as it relates to law enforcement is, yes. My professional military opinion is, yes." Jensen says, after a bad [...]

Republican lawmaker says Walz misled public on state response to Twin Cities riots

By |2020-07-10T06:29:21-05:00July 10th, 2020|

Walz administration officials told state lawmakers at Thursday hearings that M-P-D was still making operational decisions even after state forces were called in to quell Twin Cities riots. Republican Senator Jeff Howe from Rockville says about that: "Truly believe that the governor misled the public saying, hey, we've got this, this is on us, we've got the lead." Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington responds, taking back Lake Street was a state-led initiative: "Clear Lake Street to stop the fires, to get the fire trucks to where they needed to go... holding the 5th Precinct, holding downtown Minneapolis and not allowing the [...]

Walz official admits mistakes in handling Twin Cities riots after Floyd death

By |2020-07-10T05:40:15-05:00July 10th, 2020|

A top Walz administration official, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, admits he misjudged how quickly violence escalated in the Twin Cities after George Floyd's death -- and Republican Senator David Osmek wants to know what's being done to avoid a repeat: "Explain to me what you've prepared for, knowing full well we still have a tinderbox, that all it needs is a match." Harrington responds his department is much more attuned to protest organizers and their history of civil unrest: "Now we're having the conversation that says, well they're not talking about going on the freeway, but the organizations that are [...]

Online appointments for Class D drivers knowledge tests start today (FRI)

By |2020-07-10T05:37:58-05:00July 10th, 2020|

Online appointment scheduling for Minnesota class D driver's knowledge tests begins today (FRI). "We are dealing with such a huge backlog from the 8 weeks that we were out of the office, so right now we are hearing for our customers that it is hard to get in for a knowledge test, and if they do get in they are certainly waiting for a long time in line." DVS Director Emma Corrie with the Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) says they're discontinuing class D knowledge tests on a first-come-first served basis and will require appointments beginning Monday (July 13th). To [...]

Shortage of coins affecting Minnesota grocers

By |2020-07-10T05:26:18-05:00July 10th, 2020|

That pile of loose change in your car is worth more than you may think. According to the Federal Reserve, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a national shortage of coins, which has affected several businesses. St. Cloud-based Coborn's Chief Financial Officer Jim Shaw says the shortage has affected the number of coins they get from the bank, which has caused their stores to shift to a "card only" policy in their self-checkout lanes: "We are still accepting cash at our regular check-lanes but we are asking our guests to help out -- the signs do ask for exact change if possible." [...]

State officials concerned George Floyd officer trials could spark more civil unrest

By |2020-07-09T06:49:39-05:00July 9th, 2020|

More video surveillance, more officers, possibly a bike response unit -- security measures that officials are considering for the State Capitol in this tense period following the death of George Floyd.   Republican Senator Andrew Lang from Olivia told state Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington: "I'm concerned about what the response is gonna be when these murder trials start happening. I'm very concerned. I expect a lot out of your department, I expect a lot out of the State Patrol in the upcoming months." Harrington responded: "We're tracking the concerns about when the George Floyd murder trial will start.   We [...]

State rep asks, why no state COVID assistance for adult day care providers?

By |2020-07-09T06:37:36-05:00July 9th, 2020|

State Representative Tim Miller from Prinsburg says organizations that provide daycare for adults with disabilities are on the brink of collapse because they've been shut down indefinitely by the pandemic but have received no financial assistance from the state: "These programs, I have like four or five of 'em in my district and they politely call me and say, we're still not seeing this funding, can you help us? And I'm like, yep. And I go and talk to people in the legislature and they're like, yep, we're working on it. And then nothing happens." Miller says Minnesota has not asked [...]

Republicans focus on State Capitol security after protesters topple Columbus statue

By |2020-07-09T06:30:26-05:00July 9th, 2020|

Security at the State Capitol was Senate Republicans' focus at hearings Wednesday, prompted by protesters toppling the statue of Christopher Columbus during civil unrest after the death of George Floyd.   Republican Senator Jeff Howe from Rockville says many people were surprised at how easily protesters pulled down the statue, and asked state Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington: "Has anyone made any request to have the rest of these statues... looked at to make sure that they are... securely fastened to their bases?" Harrington: "Have not asked that question. I have asked my staff to scour the Internet to see if [...]

Ed MN Pres: Trump threat to pull school funding “doesn’t make sense”

By |2020-07-09T06:51:13-05:00July 9th, 2020|

President Donald Trump tweeted that he "may cut funding" if schools don't reopen in the fall. Denise Specht with Education Minnesota says... "I don't like to hear anyone say that schools aren't going to get their funding, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me, especially when we're talking about reopening our schools after a pandemic." Taking to Twitter to voice his frustration, Trump argued that countries including Germany, Denmark and Norway have reopened schools "with no problems." He also repeated his claim that Democrats want to keep schools closed for political reasons and not because of any risks associated [...]