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Congress confirms Biden’s win following attack on U.S. Capitol

Plus: pro-Trump rally at Minnesota State Capitol includes calls for armed revolt; frustration mounts over pace of vaccinations at Minnesota nursing homes; St. Louis County Commissioner calls Duluth a ‘cesspool’; and more.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar reading the final certification of Electoral College votes early Thursday morning during a joint session of Congress.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar reading the final certification of Electoral College votes early Thursday morning during a joint session of Congress.
J. Scott Applewhite/Pool via REUTERS

A quartet of Washington Post reporters write:Members of Congress, shaken and angry following a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Trump’s supporters, put a final stamp on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday morning and brought an end to a historically turbulent post-election period. Republicans had at one point planned to object to the electoral college votes in a series of states won by Biden, but after the storming of the Capitol, several GOP senators changed course, disputing only Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both challenges failed. Shortly after Congress affirmed Biden’s win, Trump pledged an ‘an orderly transition.’”

The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor writes: “They cheered and sang, and they talked about armed revolt. They posed for pictures and wore Colonial-era costumes, and they laughed when they found out a mob breached the U.S. Capitol Building. The roughly 500 supporters of President Donald Trump who gathered outside Minnesota’s fenced-off State Capitol on Wednesday mixed violent rhetoric with jubilation at a four-hour rally that later moved to the governor’s residence amid chaos in Washington. ‘Now you know why Trump wanted us there’! said Alley Waterbury, a local Republican Party leader from Woodbury who emceed the rally. ‘My God you guys, we are going to fight, we are going to go down, there’s going to be casualties. I’ll be the first casualty, I do not care.’”

KSTP-TV’s Rebecca Omastiak reports: “The Minnesota State Patrol reports there will be an increased law enforcement presence at the Minnesota State Capitol following a violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol and related protests in St. Paul. Protests had been ongoing Wednesday afternoon following congressional efforts to certify the results of the November election. In St. Paul, protesters first gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol before moving to the Governor’s Residence, which was surrounded by police officers.”

In the Star Tribune, Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt write: “Only 7,400 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been given to residents and workers at Minnesota nursing homes in the past week despite a targeted campaign that gave them first priority for vaccinations. The slow pace has stemmed from bottlenecks in the patchwork distribution system, particularly with the large pharmacy chains that were tapped by the federal government to deliver the shots in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Those pharmacy chains, CVS Health and Walgreens, lacked the technicians to administer the vaccines quickly, which has resulted in unexpectedly long waits for the shots to arrive.”

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The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix reports, “Last summer, postal inspectors flagged a suspicious package heading for an apartment building in south Minneapolis. Its contents: 13.5 pounds of meth. The box was intended for Victor Damien Armenta, according to charges of felony drug possession with intent to distribute filed in U.S. District Court this week. Police arrested Armenta after setting up a sting to see who would pick up the parcel, which was addressed to an alias.”

The AP reports: “UnitedHealth Group will spend nearly $8 billion in cash to add a health care technology company to its growing Optum business. UnitedHealth said Wednesday that it will add Change Healthcare to its OptumInsight segment and boost its ability to provide data analytics and revenue cycle management support, among other offerings. Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth brings in most of its revenue through a health insurance business that covers about 48 million people. But its Optum segment generates bigger profit margins and provides a growing portion of the company’s operating earnings. That business runs surgery centers, clinics and one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management operations.”

For the Duluth News Tribune, Brady Slater says, “The city of Duluth was referred to by Commissioner Keith Nelson as a ‘cesspool’ on a day rural commissioners both ruled the St. Louis County Board and illustrated north-south division at its annual meeting. … Nelson illustrated the north-south divisions that have dogged the board. He called Duluth ‘a cesspool’ after Duluth commissioners questioned why an elected commissioner was annually appointed to the county’s planning commission — a type of body that is often made up of non-elected citizens in other jurisdictions.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “A north Minneapolis entrepreneur is getting rave reviews for his efforts to keep people safe from COVID-19 and Minnesota’s brutal winter. K.B. Brown is mixing the need to wear a mask with fashion by sewing the mask directly into the hoodie. The design is showing people they can look good while masking up. … ‘Everybody’s loving it. They are asking for more colors, they are asking for more variety, we have some people who are runners and doing outdoor activities and it’s nice because once they get into a crowd they can just pull it up,’ said Katie Brown, K.B.’s wife.”