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Thousands of Minnesota elementary school students head back to classroom

Plus: tribal groups slam U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber for trying to derail nomination of Biden’s Interior Secretary pick; Dominion Voting Systems threaten MyPillow’s Lindell with lawsuit; South Dakota legal marijuana industry off to a slow start; and more.

empty classroom
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

MPR’s Elizabeth Shockman writes: “Thousands of Minnesota elementary students will be on their way to school Tuesday morning — some of them seeing their classrooms in person for the first time ever. The mere presence of the state’s youngest learners in physical school buildings is again shifting the picture of Minnesota education in the middle of a pandemic. And the changes come at a time when Gov. Tim Walz is launching a pilot program aimed at getting a limited number of teachers vaccinated.”

NBC News reports: “A group of Native American tribes is rushing to the defense of Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Interior secretary, and blasting a Republican lawmaker’s campaign to derail Haaland’s historic nomination as a slap in the face to his constituents. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., who sits on the House’s subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples, has been asking fellow lawmakers to join him in urging Biden’s transition team to withdraw Haaland’s nomination. … Now all five tribes in Stauber’s congressional district are accusing him of blindsiding them and appeasing big industrial interests at their expense.”

Says Maggie Haberman for the New York Times, “Officials with Dominion Voting Systems have sent Mike Lindell, the C.E.O. of MyPillow, a legal letter warning of pending litigation over his baseless claims of widespread fraud involving their machines. ‘You have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign,’ the letter said, referring to his continued false claims that their systems were rigged by someone to effect the outcome. ‘Litigation regarding these issues is imminent,’ the letter said.”

At Axios, Ursula Perano writes, “The letter also orders Lindell to ‘preserve and retain all documents relating to Dominion and your smear campaign against the company.’ Lindell also must preserve all communications with any member of the Trump campaign, in addition to communications with Rudy Giuliani, Powell, Jenna Ellis and Lin Wood. Lindell told Axios, ‘I want Dominion to put up their lawsuit because we have 100% evidence that China and other countries used their machines to steal the election.’

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The AP reports: “A federal judge has ordered a Florida company accused of selling counterfeit N95 face masks with 3M’s name on them to stop using the Minnesota company’s trademarks and representing itself as a distributor or authorized retailer for 3M. Maplewood-based 3M Co. sued Nationwide Source Inc. in late December, accusing the company of selling more than 10,000 of the counterfeit respirators to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. …U. S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright on Friday granted 3M’s request for a preliminary injunction.”

Reg Chapman reports for WCCO-TV: “Hundreds gathered Monday outside St. Paul Central High School to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was an opportunity to be heard and to demand justice for lives taken by law enforcement. With the sound of Dr. King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech in the background, people from all walks of life gathered to honor the man, his message and his hopes for our country.”

The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports, “A speeding car skidded on an icy south Minneapolis street, went airborne and nose-dived onto two unoccupied vehicles parked behind a home, authorities said. The crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. near E. 42nd Street and S. Oakland Avenue. Police were notified about 6 hours later, went to the scene immediately and saw a nearly vertical Nissan on top of a car and a pickup truck in a garage driveway. The driver fled and remains at large, police said.”

Joe Nelson at BringMeTheNews says, “Former University of St. Thomas baseball star Tom Kelly Jr., the son of former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly, died Saturday at the age of 42. … Kelly was found unresponsive in a hotel room Saturday. He was on a golf trip in Scottsdale, Arizona, the newspaper reports.”

For KELO-TV Nick Lowery reports, “Entrepreneurs across South Dakota are already taking steps to claim a share of the state’s soon-to-be-legal marijuana market, but legislators and regulators are off to a slow start in crafting laws and rules to govern the controversial new industry.  The sale, possession and use of recreational and medicinal marijuana are set to become legal in South Dakota for the first time on July 1. But when the 2021 South Dakota legislative session started on Jan. 12, only one bill regarding marijuana had been filed.… Any recreational marijuana bills that legislators pass could be negated by a lawsuit seeking to declare the recreational marijuana vote result as unconstitutional.”

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