(Duluth, MN) - People on both sides of the abortion debate are speaking out in Duluth. A gathering was held outside of the Building for Women on Saturday, which was the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. Dozens of abortion advocates held signs in support of reproductive healthcare. An anti-abortion group also gathered for a counter-protest, but things stayed peaceful throughout the event.
(Minneapolis, MN) - Minnesota is expecting to have Afghan refugees moving into the state. The non-profit Alight is asking for donations for the over 250 families they are expecting. A financial contribution can be made online, but the group is also seeking pillows, bedding, food and couches. Former governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar are among those calling for Minnesota residents to help the refugees, who may possess very little.
(Rochester, MN) - A firefighter has minor injuries after a fire at a UPS warehouse in Rochester. It started late Saturday night, with fire crews able to extinguish the blaze by 2 a.m. Sunday. An exterior loading dock and several vehicles suffered damage in the fire. The firefighter who was hurt did not need to go to the hospital and no other injuries were reported.
(Coon Rapids, MN) - A Minnesota man is dead after being transferred to a Texas medical facility. Scott Quiner was on a ventilator at Mercy Hospital when they notified his wife on January 13th that they planned to turn off the life support. An Anoka County judge ruled against the decision, then Quiner was transferred. Quiner's death comes months after he tested positive for COVID-19 in October.
(St. Paul, MN) -- The federal trial against three former Minneapolis police officers begins today. J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao, and Thomas Lane are all charged with violating the civil rights of George Floyd and failing to intervene in the actions that led to his death in 2020. The officer convicted of killing Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has already pled guilty in a separate federal case with the same accusations. U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson says he believes the trial will last four weeks.
(St. Paul, MN) -- A key figure in Minnesota's response to COVID-19 will retire in February. State infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann announced yesterday that she will be stepping down February 2nd. Ehresmann has spent over 30 years with the Minnesota Department of Health, where she started as a student worker in the 1980s. She currently oversees more than 100 employees. Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says Ehresmann has "played a huge role in public health not only in Minnesota but nationally."
(St. Paul, MN) -- Minnesota labor officials are reporting the first drop in a year in the number of jobs in the state. Minnesota lost two-thousand jobs in December even as the unemployment rate dipped to three-point-one percent. Officials say one factor was the fast-spreading omicron variant. The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector took the biggest hit, with 16-hundred jobs lost.
(St. Paul, MN) -- Governor Tim Walz is proposing one-time payments to more than two-point-seven-million Minnesota households. The checks would be part of a spending plan announced by Walz yesterday. Payments would amount to either 175-dollars or 350-dollars per eligible household. Governor Walz is also proposing that some of the state's record surplus be directed toward frontline workers and caregivers.
(St. Paul, MN) -- Jury selection is finished in the federal trial for three former Minneapolis officers present at the death of George Floyd. Twelve jurors and six alternates were chosen yesterday from a pool of nearly 70 people from across the state. Opening statements are set for Monday. The three defendants are accused of violating Floyd's civil rights by failing to intervene when former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the victim's neck for over nine minutes in May 2020, leading to Floyd's death.
The Mankato Salvation Army began its seasonal shelter effort on November 1st managing these services amid the continuing COVID 19 Pandemic. With the continued increase of COVID 19 cases and the dangerously cold temperatures, the need for additional shelter that could provide isolation space for its guests became apparent. Today, the Mankato Salvation Army opened a COVID 19 isolation space today to support isolation services, recovery from illness, and supporting the safety of individuals and the community. This effort was supported through a partnership that included Blue Earth County Public Health, Connections Ministry, and the City of Mankato.