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More than 200 Minnesota business owners say they’ll defy governor’s order, reopen this week

Plus: Minnesota lawmakers head into seventh special session of the year; Christmas tree lots throughout the Twin Cities see record sales; Gopher-Badger football game back on; and more.

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Mara Klecker writes in the Star Tribune: “The state of Minnesota on Sunday suspended the liquor license of Boardwalk Bar & Grill in East Grand Forks, Minn., for continuing dine-in service in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order. … Despite the order, more than 200 other business owners have also committed to reopening this week, according to a group called ReOpen Minnesota, which has publicly expressed support for the owner of Boardwalk Bar & Grill. The group has announced a plan for business owners to reopen starting on Wednesday, according to the group’s Facebook page. The governor’s four-week executive order is set to expire on Friday.”

KSTP-TV reports: “State lawmakers will be heading into their seventh special session of the year Monday. They’ll be working to pass a coronavirus relief package to help businesses and unemployed Minnesotans struggling with the latest round of shutdowns. Lawmakers are largely focusing on the state’s businesses and the hospitality industry, but there’s also a chance struggling families will get some money.”

WCCO-TV says: “It’s clear people want to embrace the holiday spirit more than ever this year. Tree lots throughout the Twin Cities are seeing record sales, and some are even selling out — something they’ve never done before. On Sunday afternoon, scoutmaster Joshua Koepp and Boy Scout Troop 9401 broke down and cleaned up their tree lot after selling their last tree that morning. ‘We sold our trees faster than they’ve ever sold them before,’ Koepp said. … Other Christmas tree lots that have sold out for the season include both Mother Earth Garden Centers in northeast and south Minneapolis; Our Lady of Grace Men’s’ Club Christmas Tree Lot in Edina; and Nativity’s Men’s’ Club Christmas Tree Lot in St. Paul.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Erin Gulden,Minnesota is staying the course with its guidelines for school opening and closing decisions during the pandemic, even as political pressure to reopen schools intensifies and some large districts elsewhere in the U.S. make plans to return students to classrooms. Five months after the state released its ‘Safe Learning Plan,’ state officials have no immediate plans to update the metrics schools have used this fall to determine when they must shift in and out of in-person, hybrid or distance learning.”

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Kristi Belcamino writes in the Pioneer Press: “A man was shot Sunday morning during what investigators say might have been an attempted carjacking. About 6:44 a.m. Sunday, officers called to a shooting on the 1100 block of Hancock Street found a 30-year-old man who had been shot in the lower right side of his abdomen, according to St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders. … No arrests had been made Sunday morning and the shooting remains under investigation.”

A Newsweek story by Christina Zhao says, “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an ally of President Donald Trump, accused Fox News of conspiring to overthrow Trump at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in Washington D.C. ‘We cannot give up ever on this,’ Lindell told the pro-Trump crowd Saturday afternoon. ‘This is a spiritual warfare in our country and in the world.’”

The Star Tribune’s Briana Bierschbach says, “President-elect Joe Biden was not U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s first choice to lead her party, but she has a few requests for him now that he is. Cancel tens of thousands of dollars in federal college debt per student. Pay all federal contractors a $15 minimum wage. Declare climate change a national emergency, among other things, and do it all in his first 100 days in office through executive orders. The wish list, rolled out in a petition last week, is the latest in a public push from the Minneapolis Democrat and progressive allies in Congress to steer the new administration toward policies and appointees favored by their movement.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “Fire crews knocked down flames Sunday afternoon at a homeless encampment in St. Paul. Officials say a firecracker sparked the flames shortly after 12 p.m. at the encampment near the intersection of East Kellogg Boulevard and Robert Street North, in Culture Park along the Mississippi River. Ramsey County fire crews quickly put out the flames. … This fire is the latest one to flare up at homeless encampments in the Twin Cities. Local leaders have expressed concern about fires at encampments during the winter months and have been working to find housing for those in need.”

The AP reports: “The annual football game between rivals Minnesota and Wisconsin will be played this season after all, Big Ten officials announced Sunday. The game initially was scheduled for Nov. 28 but was called off because of COVID-19 cases within the Gophers program. It’s now scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. It will be the 130th meeting between the teams, which is the longest-running uninterrupted series in Football Bowl Subdivision history, and is the most-played rivalry in FBS history.”