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Minneapolis police chief says budget cuts will make department less proactive

Plus: U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s use of rent-free campaign office questioned; Target says most corporate HQ employees should expect to work from home through June of 2021; Klobuchar co-sponsors resolution requiring face masks in U.S. Senate; and more.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo
MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo
The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil writes: “Budget cuts and staff shortages will make the Minneapolis Police Department ‘one-dimensional,’ with fewer detectives to crack patterns of crime, Chief Medaria Arradondo warned council members Thursday. Facing a potential $14 million cut, Arradondo said the department will have to shift its resources to officers who respond to 911 calls and investigate crimes. That means other, proactive work will be scaled back, the chief said during a public budget meeting.… Hours after they discussed the cuts to the Police Department, a City Council committee signed off on a $110,000 plan to hire two more workers, and potentially a contractor, to solicit public input as they seek to overhaul public safety in the city.”

In Politico, Daniel Newhauser writes: For at least seven years, GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn appears to have enjoyed rent-free use of a campaign office supplied by a political donor — which would be a clear violation of federal election law that comes amid mounting scrutiny of his finances. In dozens of filings with the Federal Election Commission, as early as October 2013 and as recently as last month, Hagedorn has listed a basement suite in a downtown Mankato, Minn., building as his campaign’s headquarters…. But election spending records show Hagedorn has reported no payments for the use of that space over the course of the last four elections he’s run to represent Minnesota’s 1st District in Congress, including his current race. Hagedorn’s campaign and the former owner of the building struggled to explain the situation. In recent interviews, they insisted there had been no impropriety but gave conflicting accounts of why no payments have been disclosed. 

MPR’s Tim Nelson, Kirsti Marohn and Matt Sepic report: “Minnesota officials have loosened some key restrictions involving restaurants and specified how many spectators may attend indoor high school games. The Minnesota Department of Health rolled out new guidelines, updating previous instructions for the hospitality industry to limit the spread of COVID-19. The changes include: Per-table limits for dining parties rise to 10. The limit had been four, with up to six from a single household… Steve Grove, the commissioner of Minnesota’s Employment and Economic Development department said the change is a ‘just a small tweak that in consultation with industry, we think makes sense.’”

In the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges writes: “A surge in new coronavirus cases means only five small Minnesota counties should be able to safely operate all of their schools on a normal schedule, according to a weekly report issued Thursday. The same report from the Minnesota Department of Health says nine counties have severe enough outbreaks that all of their schools should close in favor of virtual learning for the foreseeable future. All told, 44 of the state’s 87 counties moved to a more restrictive range for in-person schooling compared to last week, while three counties moved to a less restrictive zone.”

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The AP reports: “A surge of coronavirus cases in Wisconsin and the Dakotas is forcing a scramble for hospital beds and raising political tensions, as the Upper Midwest and Plains emerge as one of the nation’s most troubling hot spots. The three states now lead all others in new cases per capita, after months in which many politicians and residents rejected mask requirements while downplaying the risks of the disease that has now killed over 210,000 Americans.

WCCO-TV reports: “Duane Waldriff, 70, was charged Thursday by the Duluth City Attorney’s office with misdemeanor assault in connection to an attack on a WCCO photojournalist last week. Waldriff, from Lamberton, is accused of punching Dymanh Chhoun’s cellphone while he was recording video for WCCO of a confrontation between supporters of President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden on Sept. 30.”

Also for WCCO, David Schuman writes: “Hundreds gathered in both St. Paul and Minneapolis Thursday to express outrage over the release of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. He is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. A common sentiment among the two groups of protesters was that Chauvin getting out on bond shows the injustice of the court system. In St. Paul, marchers dragged body bags and carried gravestone-shaped signs marking the dead.”

Frederick Melo writes in the Pioneer Press: “A Ramsey County-led community meeting on the possible conversion of Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital into a homeless shelter drew more than 200 participants, many of them outraged at the proposal or taken aback that there would be any hesitation to house growing numbers of the most vulnerable during a pandemic. Fairview has offered to lease Bethesda, which is located in St. Paul’s Capitol Heights neighborhood, to the county through April 2022. The county board will review the $3 million proposal on Oct. 13, though County Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo said Thursday she will ask for a lease vote to be delayed to allow more time for community engagement.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Nicole Norfleet and Jackie Crosby write: “Target has told its Twin Cities corporate employees that the majority of them can expect to continue working virtually through at least June because of the continued threat of the coronavirus. Target is the largest employer in downtown Minneapolis, with more than 8,500 workers in its corporate headquarters plus other offices.”

The Forum New Service’s Sarah Mearhoff writes: “After a White House Rose Garden event resulted in a coronavirus outbreak that spread to Congress’ halls, Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is co-sponsoring a resolution requiring face masks, a testing strategy and contact tracing in the U.S. Senate. Introduced on Monday by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Concurrent Resolution 49 if passed would put in place a universal face mask requirement in U.S. Senate buildings and wings, testing protocols and contact tracing for all who work in the Capitol complex….”