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Wisconsin confirms state’s first two deaths due to COVID-19

frozen gleanKSTP-TV reports: “Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) have confirmed the state’s first two deaths due to COVID-19. In the announcement Thursday, DHS said the first death was a man in his 50s from Fond du Lac County. The second death was a man in his 90s from Ozaukee County. It’s unclear if they had any underlying health issues. … Earlier Thursday, the state had announced its total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had risen to 155.”

For the Star Tribune, Liz Navratil says, “Minneapolis City Council members asked Mayor Jacob Frey to ensure vulnerable residents receive help as they extended the public health emergency that gives him more power to respond to the coronavirus. … Frey has enacted five emergency regulations. His first — announced hours before Gov. Tim Walz unveiled similar, statewide restrictions — limited bars, restaurants and coffee shops to takeout, delivery and drive-through service. He placed similar restrictions on adult day-care centers, halted the acceptance of land use permits and waived late fees for some business license renewals.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh, “Twin Cities-based Compass Airlines is ceasing operations next month in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, and the leader of the flight attendants union warned Thursday of other carriers at risk of the same fate without swift government assistance for the industry.”

This from USA Today, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday unveiled a historic stimulus package that includes direct payments of $1,200 to individuals and assistance to businesses to deal with the health and economic harm from the novel coronavirus. ‘We need to have the American people’s backs,’ said McConnell, R-Ky. Married couples would be eligible for up to $2,400 in assistance with an additional $500 for every child.”

Torey Van Oot of the Star Tribune writes, “Republicans who control the Minnesota Senate pushed back Thursday against some of Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders that aim to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said Walz’s decision to change unemployment rules without legislative approval ‘does not appear to pass constitutional standard.’ Other Republicans questioned the need for blanket closings of restaurants and other businesses, saying it could do grave economic harm in rural areas that so far have been little touched by COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, this from Mary Divine in the Pioneer Press, “Minnesota native Casey Maher has been living under lockdown in Madrid since Saturday. If she leaves her apartment to go anywhere other than the supermarket, pharmacy or hospital, she could be fined, or even arrested. … Maher has this advice for Minnesotans: ‘Oh my God, please take this seriously. I think every store, every restaurant, every shop needs to just close right now. I know it’s going to be an economic hit, and that’s going to worry people, but this is a huge deal. Distancing yourself as much as possible protects the people you love. The longer this is prolonged, the longer we’re going to have to stay in quarantine, so take it seriously, and quit gathering.’”

MRP’s Matt Sepic reports: “The jury in an otherwise empty courthouse found Washington County Deputy Brian Krook not guilty of manslaughter in a 2018 shooting death. Krook said previously he felt “horrible” that he fatally shot 23-year-old Benjamin Evans. But he said he had no choice because Evans threatened his life and the lives of his colleagues during a standoff in Lake Elmo in 2018.”

The AP reports, “A Pakistani doctor and former Mayo Clinic research coordinator was arrested Thursday in Minnesota on a terrorism charge, after prosecutors say he told paid FBI informants that he had pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State group and wanted to carry out lone wolf attacks in the United States. Muhammad Masood, 28, was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday by FBI agents and was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.”

A BringMeTheNews story says, “A Minneapolis man convicted in a 2014 shooting has been cleared of all charges after spending five years incarcerated. According to a press release from nonprofit The Innocence Project, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has dismissed charges against Javon Davis, who was convicted of attempted murder in 2015 for his alleged involvement in a shooting near Target Field. The shooting occurred in April 2014, leaving two men injured. One victim at the original trial testified that Davis was not at the scene, and Davis’ alibi that he was on the phone with a girlfriend several miles away was supported by cell phone records. But key evidence was not presented to the jury at the original trial … .”

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