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FBI warns of armed protests at state capitols leading up to Biden inauguration

Plus: two Minneapolis city employees under investigation following violence at the U.S. Capitol; Wisconsin GOP group refuses to take down website message telling people to ‘prepare for war’; DNR’s Eaglecam back online; and more.

Chain link fences currently surround the Minnesota State Capitol.
Chain link fences currently surround the Minnesota State Capitol.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

WCCO-TV’s Jeff Wagner writes: “Concerns of follow-up attacks on all 50 state capitols led to a warning from the FBI, stating that armed protests will be happening around the buildings later this week and leading up to the inauguration for President-Elect Joe Biden. A source tells WCCO an FBI situational information report, or SIR, that was sent to law enforcement partners around the country was leaked. Information in the SIR indicated some groups are asking people to gather at state capitols across the country. WCCO was told Minnesota and Michigan may have been specifically mentioned in the report because of recent activity in the states with ‘Boogaloo Bois.’”

The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil writes: “Two Minneapolis city employees are under investigation following the pro-Trump rally and insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week. The city ‘received complaints involving two of its employees and the city is in the process of conducting an investigation,’ city spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie said in a statement. The city did not release the names of the employees or specify for which department they work. It was not immediately clear whether they were part of the group that stormed the Capitol building.”

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune Editorial Board writes: “Outgoing President Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the U.S. as long as he remains in office. Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment without delay, joined by a majority of Trump’s own Cabinet as needed to remove him from office. It’s important that Trump’s own running mate and his appointees lead the effort to decisively repudiate a president who has broken his oath to preserve, protect and defend this nation and its laws while fomenting rebellion and inciting violence in his zeal to retain power. The message would be unmistakable to all who may still harbor support for Trump: He is a discredited leader, unfit for office and unworthy of future support.”

For KSTP-TV Alex Jokich reports, “As Minnesota’s bars and restaurants welcome customers back inside for the first time since November, some are considering long-term changes to help them survive the pandemic. Roma Restaurant and Roman Market in Willernie is undergoing a major transformation, turning its former banquet hall into a deli and specialty grocery store. ‘Without any catering bookings and with so many restrictions on large groups gathering, there’s no potential for us to make enough revenue to survive in this building for the rest of this year without doing something drastically different,’ said general manager Brian Pilrain. Pilrain said his business, located in Washington County for the past 15 years, decided to invest $100,000 into plans that will help sustain them through the pandemic and beyond.”

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The Associated Press reports: “A local Republican group in northwestern Wisconsin is refusing to take down an online message urging conservatives to ‘prepare for war.’ The St. Croix County Republican Party’s website includes a message that reads ‘if you want peace, prepare for war.’ The message goes on to say that President Donald Trump changed the Republican Party and patriots need to continue the fight be counted as conservative warriors. The state Republican Party has asked the county group to take the message down but the county group has refused. The county party’s chairman, John Kraft, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the message went up before right-wing extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and he can’t help what inferences Democrats draw from it.”

The Star Tribune’s Jennifer Bjorhus reports, “Minnesota’s push to adopt the Midwest’s first zero-emission vehicle mandate to boost the supply of electric vehicles for sale has automobile dealers and defiant Senate Republicans on the attack. The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association has sued the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) over its proposed clean car rule. State Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have threatened to again try to strip the state regulator of its rule-making authority with respect to auto emissions. Neither move is likely to cut the cord on Minnesota’s clean cars initiative. The proposed rule requiring automakers to supply Minnesota with more new electric vehicles to sell is a keystone of Gov. Tim Walz’s push to slash the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.”

MPR’s Peter Cox reports: “Minnesotans with disabilities are still waiting for answers on specifically when they’ll get the COVID-19 vaccine. As a group, people with disabilities often disproportionately suffer from the effects of the pandemic. Under state guidance, home health settings and group homes should receive the vaccine following frontline health workers, nursing homes, assisted living and some other health care settings. … Barnett Rosenfield, the supervising attorney with the Minnesota Disability Law Center, has some concerns about how the state plans to serve those who are not in care facilities or group homes. For years, people with disabilities have been encouraged to live in as independent a setting as they’d like. Rosenfield said that’s good, but it can mean people who really should get the vaccine early on will not.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson, “Minnesota has given COVID-19 vaccine to nearly a third of its priority group of 500,000 health care workers and long-term care residents — putting the state at an average pace nationally as it prepares to offer shots to the next wave of people who are elderly or have critical front-line jobs. The state ranked 23rd nationally on Monday for its rate of COVID-19 vaccine shots per 100,000 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has administered 157,245 of 422,450 distributed doses. Minnesota ranks behind the Dakotas and Iowa but ahead of Wisconsin.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Some famous, high-flying Minnesotans are back to bring us a little joy this year. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s EagleCam has returned online. The live camera provides a glimpse of what life is like in the nest, and even includes audio so you can listen in.”

At BringMeTheNews, Adam Uren says, “Minnesota is home to four cities where the average home sells for more than $1 million. That’s according to Zillow, which revealed its annual rankings that show the number of $1 million-plus cities in the U.S. grew in 2020, despite the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unsurprisingly, three out of the four cities are on the shorelines of Lake Minnetonka, home to some of the richest property in Minnesota. Joining the list this year is Sunfish Lake, the tiny metro city of 545 people located east of Mendota Heights ….”

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