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Records raise questions about MPD’s training on dangers of restraints

Plus: Minneapolis Charter Commission working group recommends keeping a police reform measure off November ballot; U of M study looks to help businesses and schools make indoor spaces safer; Halstad now home to world’s largest sugar beet; and more.

For MPR, Riham Feshir says, “Ten years ago, a police officer drove his knee into the back of a 28-year-old Black man already in handcuffs during a confrontation at a Minneapolis YMCA. The man, David Smith, died and the Minneapolis Police Department paid his family $3 million. As part of the 2013 settlement, the department agreed to include additional training on how to avoid positional asphyxiation, which is the inability to breathe and death as a result of body position. … Newly released Minneapolis police training records shared with and reviewed by MPR News are giving critics more reason to question whether officers were adequately trained on the dangers of improper restraints.”

The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil writes: “A working group of the Minneapolis Charter Commission voted Tuesday to recommend keeping a police reform measure off the November ballot — an indication that the commission could slow down the movement to dismantle the police department. The full commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the proposal, but the 4-2 vote of its working group signaled that some members of the commission feel the push to change the city’s charter is moving too fast.”

In the Pioneer Press, Mara H. Gottfried writes: “A handful of billboards in support of law enforcement have been vandalized in the Twin Cities, including one that was altered with graffiti in Minneapolis to say ‘Shoot Our Police’ rather than ‘Support Our Police.’ The Center of the American Experiment is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the prosecution and conviction of the person or people responsible, John Hinderaker, the president of the Golden Valley-based conservative-leaning think tank, said Tuesday.”

For MPR, Peter Cox reports: “COVID-19 affects Black and Hispanic children at higher rates than whites in Minnesota, state health data shows. Of the 52,281 confirmed cases as of Tuesday in Minnesota, people aged 19 years old and younger are around 13 percent of the cases. Health professionals see a troubling trend. ‘We’re for sure seeing a disproportionate number of children of color being impacted by COVID,’ said Patsy Stinchfield, director of infection prevention and control at Children’s Minnesota.”

The Associated Press reports: “A board member has resigned after an image comparing Minnesota’s mask mandate to the Holocaust was posted on the Wabasha County GOP’s Facebook page Monday. The Republican Party of Wabasha County had said the image was maliciously posted.”

At KARE-TV, Emily Haavik writes, “Researchers at the University of Minnesota hope a new study will help businesses and schools make their indoor spaces safer. Preliminary results have been released from the study done by the U of M’s College of Science and Engineering, analyzing how the coronavirus spreads indoors. … Researchers found that in indoor spaces, good ventilation will filter some of the virus out of the air, but may leave more particles on surfaces. In a classroom setting simulation, only 10% of the aerosols were filtered out by ventilation when an asymptomatic teacher was talking for 50 minutes.”

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For the Forum News Service Mikkel Pates says, “Get to know Halstad, Minn.: Soon to be famous as the home to the ‘World’s Largest Sugar Beet!’ The town of 600 has been there all along, about 33 miles north of Moorhead at the intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and Minnesota Highway 200. … But now they’ve gone one better with that 21-foot-tall beet sculpture. It’s 8-feet in diameter and weighs in at 10,000 pounds.”

An AP story says, “Eastman Kodak will receive a federal loan of $765 million to help reduce the country’s reliance on other countries for ingredients used in generic drugs. … The Kodak unit will have the capacity to produce up to 25% of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals. The government loan will help support startup costs needed to repurpose and expand Kodak’s existing facilities in Rochester and St. Paul, Minnesota.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Beginning Aug. 1, Minnesota anglers will be able to catch walleye and use live bait while fishing on Mille Lacs Lake. A walleye fishing closure and restriction on live bait was put into place on the lake in July after a record ice fishing season led to the harvest of almost 30,000 pounds of walleye, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.”