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Winter storm dumps record snowfall across Twin Cities

Plus: more than one-third of voters in Minneapolis have already cast a ballot; Vikings still hoping to have fans at U.S. Bank Stadium for home games; 93-year-old’s obit requests that people not vote for Trump; and more.

frozen gleanMatt McKinney and Tim Harlow write in the Star Tribune: “A winter storm shouldered its way into the record books Tuesday while dumping 6 to 8 inches of heavy snow across the Twin Cities, burying curbs, garden hoses and whatever was left of fall. The precipitation tapered off Tuesday night after shattering the previous record for Oct. 20 of 3 inches, set in 1916, and nearly besting the all-time snowiest October day in the Twin Cities. As flurries turned to a full-on storm, National Weather Service meteorologist Brent Hewett had simple advice: ‘Have a shovel’ at the ready. Accumulations were deepest in the southern metro with heavy wet snow falling up to an inch an hour… The widespread storm swept across much of the state from Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota to Alexandria, Brainerd and Duluth in the north.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “With two weeks to go before Election Day, Minneapolis city officials say over 100,000 absentee ballots have been returned to election officials. It’s the first time the city has received this many absentee ballots in an election. ‘The high number comes as health officials and the City support voting early, especially by mail, to prevent the spread of COVID-19’, the city said in a release Tuesday. According to city officials, the city has received 100,691 completed absentee ballots from Minneapolis voters, which includes early votes cast at Early Vote Centers, ballots received in the mail and dropped off in-person. There were 271,049 registered voters in Minneapolis as of Oct. 13 … .”

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At MPR, Jon Collins reports, “The defense attorney for one of the former police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing is arguing that the trial should be moved from Minneapolis to avoid harassment by protesters. Attorney Thomas Plunkett filed a memo in the case Tuesday arguing that a confrontation following last week’s hearing in the case was evidence that the trial should be held elsewhere for safety reasons. While he talked with reporters, protesters interrupted Earl Gray, the attorney defending former officer Thomas Lane. One man pursued Gray through the Hennepin County Government Center atrium as they shouted at one another.”

In the Pioneer Press, Dave Orrick says, “Minnesota state employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic should get used to it. State workers were informed Monday and Tuesday that they’ll most likely continue telecommuting through at least June 2021, according to memos sent to workers this week. The decision affects about half of the roughly 56,000 state workers who currently work from home and has no bearing on non-state employees; it’s an action the state is taking as an employer, not any sort of executive order affecting others.”

Dee DePass writes in the Star Tribune: “Calhoun Square in Uptown is getting a new name and a multimillion-dollar makeover that would transform the once vibrant hot spot into a mix of retail, offices and possibly apartments. The three-story building is being renamed Seven Points, after the crown that graces the rooftop on the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. Construction to reopen that corner’s closed building entrance is expected to begin before year’s end at a cost of about $750,000. Future construction plans include converting parts of the second and third floors into offices and possibly apartments.”

MPR reports: “The Ramsey County Board unanimously agreed Tuesday to move forward with an agreement that will allow the county to convert part the Bethesda Hospital complex into a 100-bed homeless shelter. The county will lease the space from M Health Fairview which recently decided to close the hospital. Before voting, commissioners acknowledged public safety concerns some have voiced about the plan. Trista MatasCastillo, a commissioner who represents an area nearby, talked about the need for housing for people living on the streets or in encampments.”

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The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson says, “Five home games remain in the Minnesota Vikings’ 2020 season, and the team is still hoping to bring fans into U.S. Bank Stadium — if they can get the go-ahead from the governor. The Vikings don’t expect to put a capacity crowd of 67,200 in the purple seats, owing to pandemic restrictions. Given the team’s 1-5 record, fans aren’t exactly banging down the doors right now anyway. But Vikings fans are nothing if not loyal, and some want to see them in person. So the team has spent months drawing up plans phasing in a safe return to fans in the stands, beginning with a smallish crowd of 3,300, or about 5% of the building’s capacity.”

In the Pioneer Press, Nick Ferraro writes: “Georgia May Adkins of Inver Grove Heights died of a stroke Sept. 28 at United Hospital in St. Paul. She was 93. Her obituaries published in the Pioneer Press included details of how she wanted to be cremated and then honored with an Oct. 16 service at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in West St. Paul under COVID-19 protocols. Adkins also had one other request: shun Donald Trump. “In lieu of flowers, Georgia preferred that you do not vote for Trump,” the obit read.