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Researchers: Virus that causes COVID-19 found in Lake Superior beach water

Plus: Extensive investigation of the Lois Reiss case; no positive COVID-19 tests for the Vikings; Trump and Biden battle for Range voters; DJ with ties to Rep. Hagedorn taken off the air; 115-pound cougar killed by a vehicle in Bloomington; and more.

Lake Superior
Lake Superior
MinnPost file photo by Steve Date

The way this year is going … KARE’s Jennifer Austin reports: “Since the Fourth of July, [Dr. Richard Melvin]’s been taking samples every weekend from eight beaches along Lake Superior and testing them with his team for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Nothing. Then, after sampling the weekend of September 11, he found trace amounts of the virus in water along four Duluth beaches: Brighton Beach, the 42nd Avenue beach, the beach near Leif Erickson park, and the beach on Park Point near the Franklin Tot Lot.”

Extensive Lois Reiss investigation. The Atavist Magazine’s John Rosengren reports: “Dave [Reiss] was supposed to have left for a fishing tournament in Illinois on Tuesday, March 20. He would have taken his white Cadillac Escalade, which was what he typically used to pull his 20-foot-long boat. But on Thursday, two worm-farm employees saw Lois, Dave’s wife of 35 years, pull out of the driveway in the Escalade. They hadn’t seen her since. Concern soon escalated to alarm, and the employees called the police.”

Interview with Hennepin County’s Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty. The Southwest Journal’s Michelle Bruch reports: “The State Public Defense Board placed Moriarty on paid leave for three months late last year and issued a written reprimand for issues including an unclear delineation between personal and official social media accounts and ‘fractured’ relationships with justice partners in the county and judicial branch. … ‘I am accused of not getting along [and] being collaborative with my justice partners, who are primarily prosecutors. I don’t particularly view them as my justice partners as much as I view our community,’ Moriarty said.”

Related:Minnesota panel declines reappointment of Hennepin County Public Defender Mary Moriarty

Battle for the Range. MPR’s Dan Kraker reports: “Four years ago, Trump carried the 8th Congressional District, which covers northeastern Minnesota’s North Shore and Iron Range, from Canada to Bemidji to Lake Superior and south nearly to St. Cloud, by 16 points. But Cindy Rugeley, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota Duluth, said Biden could turn out a lot of voters who stayed home last time, thanks to his focus on issues of importance to the region.”

Touring the damage. The Pioneer Press’ Mary Divine reports: “As Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan launched a statewide small business listening tour — to hear from owners and workers how COVID-19 has affected them — they visited Stillwater and White Bear Lake on Tuesday. At her downtown Stillwater salon, [Kristy] Zimmerman shared her concerns during a one-on-one listening session with Walz. She told him she hopes he will consider easing back on the state’s capacity restrictions and offer some sort of payroll tax relief.”

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In other news…

Frightening numbers: “North Dakota has just 22 intensive care beds available as hospital admissions surge” [Fargo Forum]

Paid advertising consultant: “KTOE takes DJ with Hagedorn ties off air” [Mankato Free Press]

Not the usual territory: “DNR: 115-Pound Cougar Struck, Killed By Vehicle In Bloomington” [WCCO]

Appointed by Gov. Rudy Perpich in 1984: “Longest-serving Minnesota judge departing the Hennepin County bench” [Star Tribune]

Still haven’t caught anything: “Report: No positive COVID-19 tests for Vikings on Tuesday” [KSTP]

End of the season: “Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka closes early due to COVID-19 cases among staff” [KMSP]