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Mayo making its COVID-19 modeling public with online tracking tool

Plus: St. Paul Council votes to move forward with guaranteed basic income project; Minnesota man accused of joining Islamic State returns to face terrorism charges; Minneapolis ends lease negotiations for temporary 3rd Precinct police HQ; and more

Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic

The Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson writes: “Mayo Clinic is going public with a modeling approach to predicting COVID-19 trends that its leaders said has effectively guided their hospital preparations since the start of the pandemic. The Rochester-based health system is unveiling an online tracking tool Thursday that provides recent COVID-19 case data for U.S. counties, as well as reputable advice on how to prevent infections with the coronavirus that causes the disease. The tool on the site will be updated this fall with county-level modeling forecasts for pandemic activity.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Joe Carlson says, “Hundreds of thousands of patients and donors to Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health hospitals are getting letters saying some of their personal data may have been exposed in the second-largest health care data breach in state history. The growing list of those affected includes more than 160,000 patients and donors at Children’s Minnesota, and more than 200,000 patients and donors from Allina Health hospitals and clinics.”

The AP reports, “A Minnesota man who is accused of joining the Islamic State group in Syria has been returned to the United States to face terrorism charges. Abdelhamid Al-Madioum made his first court appearance in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on Wednesday. Authorities say he was vacationing with his family in Morocco in 2015 when he secretly booked a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, and then traveled to Syria. He’s charged with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.”

In the Pioneer Press, Kristi Belcamino writes: “The St. Paul City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to move forward with Mayor Melvin Carter’s guaranteed basic income demonstration project. Last week, minutes before the seven council members appeared ready to vote in favor of using $300,000 in federal CARES Act funding to launch $500 monthly payments to 150 low-income families affected by the coronavirus pandemic, city staff reviewed a letter of concern from U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum. … On Wednesday morning, a letter of response was sent to McCollum from the mayor and council members addressing her concerns and noting that St. Paul was one of several U.S. cities using the federal funding in this way.”

MPR’s Brandt Williams writes: “City officials say Minneapolis has ended lease negotiations for a new temporary headquarters for the 3rd Precinct police station which was burned down earlier this year. In August, a council committee had agreed to pursue an agreement for a space along Hiawatha Avenue which used to house a printing company. However, some residents of the neighborhood pushed back, saying the process was rushed and didn’t give them enough time to weigh in on the temporary police station. And the council agreed to a delay. A city spokesperson said the two parties have reached an impasse and will not pursue further negotiations.”

The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers writes: “The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension late Tuesday identified the Duluth police officer who discharged his firearm in a downtown incident on Sept. 12 as Tyler Leibfried, a five-year member of the force. Leibfried has been placed on standard administrative leave after the incident, in which a 23-year old Duluth man was injured by the officer’s shot. … According to the BCA news release, Duluth police officers responded to an apartment at 105 W. First Street following multiple 911 calls about a physical domestic incident. Shortly after officers arrived, the officers said they heard two gunshots, and a witness reported hearing loud sounds from inside the apartment. Officer Leibfried discharged his firearm into the door. The shot went through the door and struck the man inside in the shoulder.”

Says Jackie Salo at the New York Post, “A rowdy group of anti-maskers marched through a Target in Florida and shouted at other shoppers to ‘Take off that mask’, viral video shows. Footage on Twitter Tuesday showed the crowd parading around the aisles of the store — located in Ft. Lauderdale, according to HuffPost — and disregarding the store’s face mask requirement as one of them exclaims, ‘We’re not going to take it anymore!’”

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A WCCO-TV story says, “A federal lawsuit has been filed against multiple property managers and owners in Minneapolis, accusing them of sexual harassment in violation of the Fair Housing Act. According to U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, a property manager for numerous single-family and multi-family rental properties, Reese Pfeiffer, is accused of sexually harassing female tenants. He allegedly made unwelcome sexual advances, discussed sexual topics without consent, and entered their homes under the pretense of collecting rent to solicit sexual favors — among other incidents.”

KSTP’s Joe Augustine reports: “A contentious, drawn-out court battle over how people with developmental disabilities are restrained in state-run facilities will soon come to a close after more than a decade, but a federal judge warns the state will face more lawsuits if it does not set a better standard for the care of vulnerable adults. While Judge Donovan Frank concluded earlier this month that he no longer needs to monitor two state-run facilities to ensure they are complying with best practices, he blamed the Minnesota Department of Human Services for failing to make ‘meaningful lasting improvements in the lives of people with disabilities.’”

In the Star Tribune, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen write, “The one little agenda item for the meeting — “Reconsider Placement of Fall Activities Seasons” — holds massive ramifications. Whether or not to start football and volleyball yet this fall is the decision the Minnesota State High School League board of directors will explore in a special session set for 9 a.m. Monday. On Aug. 4 the board postponed both sports — the most popular by participation for boys and girls — until spring because of COVID-19 concerns. Since then, Minnesota has become an Upper Midwest island without prep football this fall. And fall club volleyball exploded in popularity.”

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