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Majority of Minneapolis council pledges to begin ‘ending the Minneapolis Police Department’

Plus: St. Paul school board chair Marny Xiong dies of COVID-19; Biden to travel to Houston to meet with George Floyd’s family; growth rate of new COVID-19 cases is slowing in Minnesota; and more.

photo of minneapolis police officer uniform
In the Star Tribune, Liz Navratil writes, “Two-thirds of Minneapolis City Council members joined activists in Powderhorn Park Sunday and promised to ‘begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department.’ ‘Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis police department cannot be reformed, and will never be accountable for its actions,’ the council members said, in a statement that they read off piece by piece. Joining in the statement were Council President Lisa Bender, Vice President Andrea Jenkins and council members Alondra Cano, Jeremiah Ellison, Cam Gordon, Jeremy Schroeder, Phillipe Cunningham and Andrew Johnson.”

At MPR, Emily Bright says, “St. Paul school board chair Marny Xiong died Sunday morning of COVID-19, after she was hospitalized for a month in critical condition, according to her family. She was 31. … Xiong grew up on the east side of St. Paul and earned her college degree at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She served as school administrative manager at Hmong International Academy in Minneapolis. She was elected to the St. Paul school board in 2017 and became chair earlier this year.”

In the Pioneer Press, Isabel Saavedra-Weis reports: “Ramsey County is objecting to a plan to use a vacant St. Paul warehouse as a temporary morgue should the coronavirus death toll exceed current capacities. Among concerns expressed by neighbors: ‘ghosts’ and ‘evil spirits,’ commissioners said in a letter to the state. … The Ramsey Board of Commissioners says the state’s decision could have negative consequences for the city’s North End neighborhood. In a letter to the state sent the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, they mention worries about its impact on future economic development in the neighborhood and the truck traffic it could draw. It also mentions ‘the taboo of dead bodies.’”

The AP is reporting: “Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to travel to Houston to meet with the family of George Floyd and will provide a video message for Floyd’s funeral service. A Biden aide on Sunday described the plans of the Democratic presidential candidate. They did not include attending the service. Biden expects to give the family his condolences, said the aide, who discussed Biden’s plans on condition of anonymity. Funeral services Monday will follow a six-hour viewing for Floyd, who was raised in Houston. Burial is set for Tuesday in the Houston suburb of Pearland.”

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Says the Star Tribune’s Joe Carlson, “The growth rate of newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 is slowing in Minnesota, even as the number of tests to detect the viral respiratory illness continues to climb, the latest data showed Sunday. The moderating trends are happening as the state prepares for its latest round of loosening restrictions on businesses and public places.”

Says Cody Matz for FOX 9, “Tropical storm Cristobal is nothing special. … But this ordinary storm could become one of the most unusual in North America in the last 200 years. … In fact, the forecast cone (the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center to show the possible path for the center of circulation) actually encompasses a small sliver of Minnesota and a large chunk of Wisconsin. IF Cristobal can stay organized, meaning it hangs on to its overall center of circulation, it would be the first to do so this far north and west on the continent in nearly TWO CENTURIES!”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Kristi Belcamino writes: “The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identify of a man they believe set several arson fires in St. Paul during the civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. The reward is for “information that leads to the positive identification, arrest and conviction of a man responsible for setting fire to a neighborhood school and several St. Paul businesses during the recent unrest,” the ATF said Sunday in a news release.”

At ESPN there’s this. “Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald says the Minneapolis that is in turmoil following the death of George Floyd is not the city he grew up in, but he is hopeful that unheard voices will now be listened to in the wake of tragedy. … ‘The events of the last several days have turned Minneapolis, and our nation, upside down. Injustice, death, destruction, pain, violence, protests, and riots have made it clear — we as a nation are not OK. We are not healthy,’ Fitzgerald wrote. ‘The violent death of George Floyd in police custody is yet another example of a systemic problem we have yet to solve. A cancer we are failing to cut out. People and communities are suffering, lives are being lost and futures are being destroyed.’”