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Minneapolis Council approves tiny house project for North Loop

Plus: Erin Murphy cleared of wrongdoing by campaign finance board; Indigenous Minnesotans hospitalized for COVID-19 at six times the rate of whites; police group withdraws endorsement of GOP state House candidate over antisemitic post; and more.

Indoor Villages rendering
Indoor Villages rendering
Indoor Villages

A tiny step towards easing Minneapolis’ housing crisis. WCCO’s Christiane Cordero reports: “The Minneapolis City Council has approved $2 million in CARES Act money for a facility that utilizes tiny homes to serve those who are experiencing homelessness. As the first snowflakes of the season started falling, that gives the OK to build 100 houses for people who otherwise don’t have one. … On Friday, the city council passed the proposal for the project called Indoor Villages. … The vote moves forward a project to create a community of tiny houses will be built inside an empty warehouse in the North Loop neighborhood, offering protection from the winter cold. Unlike a tent, they’re secured with locks, offering privacy and security.”

Erin wasn’t errin’. The Star Tribune’s Torey Van Oot reports: “The state’s campaign finance agency has dismissed a GOP complaint contending that a prominent DFL Senate candidate sought to fund campaign workers for other Minnesota Senate races. … The complaint, filed by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, alleged that state Senate candidate Erin Murphy violated state law by seeking to hire organizers to work on behalf of Democrats running in other contested races. Gazelka cited social media posts and a job description published on Murphy’s campaign letterhead. … In dismissing the complaint, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board found that the advertised positions were not funded by her state Senate campaign, but rather by the Minnesota DFL State Central Committee.

Big disparity here. WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield reports: “New numbers show Indigenous people in Minnesota are getting hit especially hard by COVID-19. … According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the COVID case rate is four-times higher for Indigenous residents than for White Minnesotans. The hospitalization rate is nearly six times higher.

Unendorsement. In the Mesabi Tribune, Jerry Burnes reports:Minnesota’s largest police association has pulled its endorsement of Republican House 6B candidate Julie Buria, citing since-removed social media posts considered to be anti-Semitic in nature. … Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA), a group representing more than 10,000 law enforcement members statewide, emailed constituents Wednesday informing them that the organization changed course, effective immediately. The MPPOA board ‘cannot stand behind a candidate who makes anti-Semitic comments of any kind,’ Peters wrote in an email obtained by the Mesabi Tribune.”

In other news…

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MBOLD move:Minnesota food industry forms MBOLD, aims to become hunger-fighting powerhouse” [Pioneer Press]

This weekend:Highway 100 to close in both directions for LRT project” [KARE]

Could mean less doe:Minnesota cracks down on small venison processors” [Echo Press]

It happened:Minneapolis & St. Paul weather: It’s snowing…” [City Pages]

With more to come!The first significant snowfall of the season hits this weekend” [MPR]