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Small plane lands on I-35W in Arden Hills

Plus: Minnesota considers shortened quarantines for those exposed to coronavirus; Minneapolis residents weigh in on police funding; American Indian Movement co-founder Eddie Benton-Banai dies at 89; and more.

The Pioneer Press reports: “A small airplane crash-landed Wednesday evening on Interstate 35W in Arden Hills, closing the northbound lanes of the freeway. The Minnesota Department of Transportation said the plane came down on I-35W at the Ramsey County Road E2 exit, just south of Interstate 694. The crash-landing happened shortly before 9:30 p.m. The Minnesota State Patrol said the pilot was apparently attempting an emergency landing. The single-engine plane — identified as a Bellanca Viking — collided with a vehicle, but no one was injured.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson, “Minnesota health officials are considering shortening quarantines for people exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — even if it slightly elevates the risk of viral transmission. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday announced that local public health agencies could opt to shorten 14-day quarantines to 10 days if people have no symptoms, or seven days if they have no symptoms and test negative for COVID-19.”

In the Pioneer Press, Mara H. Gottfried writes: “The St. Paul officer who shot an unarmed man did so ‘to protect his fellow officers and himself’ and because he had information that the suspect ‘claimed to have a gun and had used a knife earlier that evening in a violent assault and rape,’ his attorney said Wednesday. Tony Dean, who the police chief has terminated, was an award-winning officer who reached his dream of becoming a cop in his hometown.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Liz Navratil writes: “Minneapolis residents made impassioned and often conflicting pleas Wednesday night for changes to the Police Department and public safety following George Floyd’s death and an increase in violent crime. Just like the elected leaders who represent them, the people who spoke during an especially long public hearing were divided. … The 2021 budget, which city leaders will approve next week, has drawn immense public scrutiny and will provide the next major test of the city’s appetite for changing policing and public safety following Floyd’s death. More than 400 people signed up to dial into the live-streamed meeting, a showing unlike any other in recent city memory.”

The AP’s Amy Forliti and Felicia Fonseca write: “Eddie Benton-Banai, who helped found the American Indian Movement partly in response to alleged police brutality against Indigenous people, has died. He was 89. Benton-Banai died Monday at a care center in Hayward, Wis., where he had been staying for months, according to family friend Dorene Day. …. Benton-Banai’s place in the American Indian Movement, a grassroots group formed in 1968, can be traced to his launch of a cultural program in a Minnesota prison, said co-founder Clyde Bellecourt.”

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At MPR Paul Huttner tells us, “Here’s another impact from our mild late fall in Minnesota. Many Minnesota lakes are running behind the average ice-in date. … NASA’s MODIS Terra satellite shot Wednesday clearly shows plenty of open water across central and southern Minnesota. Most lakes in northeast Minnesota do have ice cover. Most of the bellwether lakes in central Minnesota are still mostly open water. The median ice-in date for Gull Lake is December 1.”

For KSTP-TV, Alex Jokich reports, “There is an urgent need for registered nurses and nursing assistants in Minnesota, according to the state’s employment agency. Many hospitals are dealing with staffing shortages due to the pandemic. Mayo Clinic, Allina Health and CentraCare have all reported losing staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, mostly due to community spread. … According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), ‘registered nurse’ is the most in-demand job in the state right now with 3,203 openings.”

Says Zoe Jackson in the Star Tribune, “High school students laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for pandemic unemployment assistance, according to an order issued Tuesday by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The court ruled in favor of youth equity nonprofit Youthprise, finding that an unemployment law judge incorrectly determined that high school students were ineligible to receive pandemic unemployment assistance. The decision makes $14 million to $28 million in benefits available for young people, said Youthprise Vice President Marcus Pope.”

Says Megan Burks for MPR, “The burnt bits and pieces [from the George Floyd memorial site] are taken a few blocks down the street to the Pillsbury House and Theatre. There, Austin works with trained art conservators from the Midwest Art Conservation Center to clean and archive everything, in the hopes of creating a permanent remembrance and travelling exhibit. It’s part of the ongoing effort to claim 38th Street and Chicago Avenue — its story and the physical space — for the community. Residents and activists have held the intersection as an autonomous zone for six months.”

The Green Bay Press Gazette’s Doug Schneider writes: “U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson privately admitted that Democrat Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump in the November elections even while he publicly called the election’s integrity into question, says a former GOP leader in Wisconsin. Former Brown County Republican Chairman Mark Becker, in an article published online Wednesday morning, says Johnson ‘knows Joe Biden won a free and fair election. He is refusing to admit it publicly and stoking conspiracies that undermine our democracy solely because it would be political suicide to oppose Trump.’ ‘I find this unconscionable,’ Becker wrote in the piece, which was published by The Bulwark.”

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