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Minneapolis officials move to reopen intersection where George Floyd was killed

Plus: U of M Regents approve free tuition plan for students whose families earn less than $50,000 a year; source says Buffalo police granted shooting suspect permit to purchase gun; Court of Appeals rules against delaying Chauvin trial; and more. 

MPR reports: “Minneapolis leaders said Friday they’re moving ahead with plans to reopen the intersection where George Floyd was killed while in police custody. They expect to reopen 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to vehicle traffic following the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-officer charged with murder in Floyd’s death. That trial is expected to be begin with jury selection starting March 8.”

In the Star Tribune, Ryan Faircloth reports: “Students whose families earn $50,000 per year or less will soon be able to attend the University of Minnesota’s five campuses without paying a penny for tuition. The U’s Board of Regents on Friday unanimously approved the creation of the tuition-free program for lower-income Minnesota students. Regents also approved dozens of other long-term priorities, which include reducing student debt and administrative costs and increasing the share of classes the university offers in online and hybrid formats over the next five years.”

KSTP-TV’s Joe Augustine reports: “The man charged with shooting five people inside a health clinic in Buffalo this week had legally obtained the handgun despite his documented mental illness, a law enforcement source has confirmed to 5 INVESTIGATES. Police say Gregory Ulrich walked into the Allina Health Clinic on Tuesday morning, pulled out a Smith and Wesson 9mm and fired off 11 shots, wounding four people and killing another — Lindsay Overbay.… A law enforcement source confirmed Ulrich was, in fact, granted a permit to purchase by the department.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Glenn Howatt reports: “Some Minnesota health care systems have begun COVID-19 vaccination outreach programs to communities that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. The efforts come as there is growing awareness that racial and ethnic minorities are being vaccinated at lower rates, based on reports from states that do collect that information.”

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FOX 9 reports: “The Minnesota Court of Appeals said Friday it will not step in and delay the upcoming murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin is scheduled to go to trial on March 8. State prosecutors, led by the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, had sought to delay the trial, citing public health risks the proceedings might create during a pandemic. They had argued the trial would be a super spreader event. Prosecutors had asked the appeals court to step in and delay the trial to the summer, when a single trial could be held with all four defendants charged in the case.”

Josh Verges writes in the Pioneer Press: “The University of Minnesota’s Block M logo may be coming soon to a beer bottle near you. The Board of Regents voted 7-5 Friday to end its prohibition on licensing the U’s trademarks and logos to alcohol manufacturers. The change in policy will allow the U to strike sponsorship deals that place alcohol ads inside football, basketball and hockey venues and place the U’s marks on beer cans sold on and off campus.”