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Minnesota nursing homes to begin allowing in-person visits

Plus: Trump impeachment trial to start Feb. 9; Minnesota man charged with threatening an unnamed member of Congress; MyPillow CEO Lindell hires celebrity attorney to go after the Daily Mail; and more.

The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick writes: “In-person, indoor visits are returning to nursing homes in Minnesota. With vaccinations almost complete for skilled nursing facilities — and assisted living centers not far behind — the people hardest hit by the coronavirus is seeing signs that they might be turning a corner and putting behind them one of the most enduring and heart-wrenching images of the pandemic: vulnerable old people forced to live in isolation. To be clear, such pre-scheduled visits — where they’re currently allowed — are highly regulated, with everyone screened, masked and distanced, hardly the scene of grandchildren frolicking around the communal puzzle tables. But they’re happening.

For the New York Times, Katie Benner writes: “The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results. The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark.”

The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reports: “The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will begin Feb. 9 under a deal reached Friday by top Senate leaders — delaying by two weeks the high-stakes proceedings over whether Trump incited the violent Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The agreement was made by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) following a standoff over the timing of the trial, which could permanently bar Trump from holding public office.”

MPR’s Paul Huttner says: “Our next snowmaker is on the way. Snow will develop and move across much of Minnesota Saturday. The heaviest snow favors southern Minnesota from south of the Twin Cities to the Iowa border. This snow looks lighter and fluffier than our last system. It will create slick roads and difficult travel late Saturday and Saturday night. But it should be great snow for outdoor activities like sledding and skiing.”

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The Associated Press reports: “A marijuana industry activist who said he was temporarily living in Minnesota has been charged with threatening an unnamed member of Congress, according to court documents unsealed Friday. Jason Robert Karimi, 32, was charged earlier this month with one count of interstate communication of a threat, and he made his first court appearance Friday. According to the charges, Karimi called a U.S. representative, who is not named in court documents, on Jan. 11 and left a voicemail threatening violence. … When an FBI agent contacted him, Karimi allegedly said, “Is this about the voicemails?” according to court documents.”

Nick Ferraro of the Pioneer Press writes: “A West St. Paul couple says racial slurs and threatening words and images have been scrawled on their apartment door seven times since last year, with the last two coming this week. Daryl and Christine Morrison, who are black, live in a first-floor apartment along Allen Avenue. They say the first five incidents happened during a short span last spring and that four of them included the n-word. Two others threatened Christine Morrison.”

The Daily Beast reports: “MyPillow CEO and staunch Trump ally Mike Lindell has retained celebrity attorney Charles Harder to go after the Daily Mail over a story claiming he had a secret affair with 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star actress Jane Krakowski, The Daily Beast has learned. … Lindell said he believed the Mail story to be another ‘hit job’ that was written because he “won’t let up on the…machine election fraud,” regarding the Trump-Biden presidential election.”

Also from the AP, this written by Scott Bauer: “Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature will vote next week on a resolution that would end the statewide mask mandate designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Twenty-seven Republican lawmakers signed on to the resolution introduced Thursday. … Both the Senate and Assembly would have to pass it in order to end the public health emergency and undo the mask mandate issued by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Because it’s a joint resolution, it wouldn’t require Evers’ signature to take effect.”