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Frey announces $5M private fund for public safety experiments

Plus: drug overdose deaths up 30%; high school sports league votes to resume games once “pause” is lifted; Minneapolis fourth-ranked U.S. city for tackling climate change; and more.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
Frey market solutions. The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil reports:Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and local business organizations announced plans Thursday to create a private fund with at least $5 million for new programs aimed at transforming public safety. … In a news conference hours before City Council members are set to push through their own budget amendments, Frey described the fund as an effort to find a pathway for advancing some of their ideas ‘without cutting police.’ … The Minneapolis Community Safety Innovation Fund will collect donations from private organizations that could be used to help city leaders fulfill their promise of transforming public safety after George Floyd’s death.”

The other epidemic. The Star Tribune’s Glenn Howatt reports:Drug overdose deaths in Minnesota increased sharply in the first half of 2020, going up 30% compared with the same period last year, according to state health officials. … Overdose fatalities began to rise in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold in the state. … Altogether, 490 Minnesotans lost their lives to opioids and other drugs in the first six months of 2020, compared to 373 deaths in the same period in 2019.”

Sports coming … soon? KARE’s Diane Sandberg and Dana Thiede report: “The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) board of directors voted unanimously in a virtual session Thursday morning to start the winter sports season as soon as a pause on high school and youth sports is lifted by the state. … Board members approved a three-model plan formulated by the MSHSL return to participation task force. The task force framed those models by saying they offer flexibility depending on when Governor Tim Walz lifts Executive Order 20-99, which is currently scheduled to expire on Dec. 18.”

Green Mill City. The Southwest Journal’s Nate Gotlieb writes: “Minneapolis continues to rank among the top cities in the nation when it comes to setting and meeting climate change goals, according to a scorecard out last month. … The scorecard, from the Washington D.C.-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), analyzed the climate policies and goals of 100 major U.S. cities and ranked them on a 0-100 scale. … Minneapolis was the fourth-ranked city for a second straight year. The council said the city maintained the ranking because of progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions, efforts to integrate equity into climate efforts and policies such as residential-energy disclosure.”

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In other news…

Apparently we didn’t buy enough N95 masks:3M to cut 2,900 positions next year in response to changes in global economy” [Star Tribune]

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