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Mass-vaccination clinic for teachers opens in St. Paul

Plus: San Jose pauses police chief search after Arradondo withdraws; Census redistricting data significantly delayed; MSP air traffic down 62% last year; and more.

COVID vaccine
Erin Clark/Pool via REUTERS
It’s a start. The Star Tribune’s James Walsh reports: “It’s been nine months and nearly 5,000 miles since Dana Ampaw shared a classroom with her students. … But that’s all about to change, thanks to the first shots of COVID-19 vaccine that Ampaw and 15,000 other metro-area teachers will receive over the next five days. Within seconds of getting her shot at St. Paul’s Roy Wilkins Auditorium on Thursday, Ampaw, a teacher from a family of teachers, was already thinking of ways to praise her students. … Excitement and relief seemed to be the words of the day, as a continually replenishing line of educators snaked its way across the skyway spanning Kellogg Boulevard, through the corridor next to Xcel Energy Center and down into the lower level of Wilkins.”

It was Rondo or bust. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Nora Mishanec reports:San Jose suspended its search for a new police chief for two weeks and postponed an upcoming candidates forum Thursday after the only finalist from outside the department — the chief who presided over the Minneapolis police department during the killing of George Floyd — withdrew his candidacy. … The two week pause will give the city more time to seek out candidates from outside the San Jose Police Department, San Jose City Manager Dave Sykes said in a statement. A virtual forum for the five remaining candidates, set to take place Saturday morning, was postponed to Feb. 13. … The city had ‘fallen short’ of its commitment to find a ‘diverse candidate pool,’ Sykes said.”

It’ll be a while till Minnesota learns whether or not it is losing a House seat. In Politico, Zach Montellaro reports: “A monthslong delay in the 2020 census has both parties essentially flying blind as they maneuver for control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections. … Redistricting is already a daunting task under normal circumstances. …But they can’t begin until they know the population size per seat, numbers that should have been available by Dec. 31. … The Census Bureau said Wednesday it may not be able to deliver those topline numbers before late April. Even once those figures are clear, they still have to provide the granular, block-level data to states so they can draw districts of equal population — a process that is supposed to be completed by the end of March, but could stretch past July 31 this year.”

Not exactly soaring. KARE’s reports: “The COVID-19 pandemic has spared few, and among those hardest hit is the airline industry. … The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) reported Friday that total traffic at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport fell to 14.9 million passengers during the 2020 calendar year, a 62% drop from 2019. … MAC reports 244,911 aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings) at MSP in 2020 versus 406,076 in 2019, a decline of about 40 percent.”

In other news…

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New initiative:UMN to use $5 million grant to improve relationship with tribal nations” [Minnesota Daily]

Flagging this:UW-Madison police chief bans ‘Thin Blue Line’ imagery” [ABC News]

Also in cops:As civil forfeiture faces statewide reform, some departments are making changes now” [KSTP]

Classy:Court Fines Albert Lea’s The Interchange $9K For Planning ‘Nail It To The Walz’ Party” [WCCO]

Today in MinnPost