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Walz to announce new guidelines for reopening middle, high schools in Minnesota

Plus: Dominion says it will sue MyPillow CEO Lindell; Minneapolis DFL to move forward with endorsements for city elections despite candidate concerns; Wisconsin governor to propose legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana; and more.

Empty classroom desks
Photo by Rubén Rodriguez on Unsplash

For MPR, Elizabeth Shockman and Mark Zdechlik write: “Gov. Tim Walz will announce new guidance on reopening Minnesota’s secondary schools for in-person learning on Wednesday. The updated rules come days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released COVID-19 protocols for schools, and nearly two months after Walz put out an amended road map to get the state’s youngest learners back to in-person classes. … Under current state guidance, middle and high school leaders must consult with local public health officials on county case rates of COVID-19 before choosing an in-person, distance or hybrid learning scenario for their students.”

In the Pioneer Press, Bill Salisbury writes: “Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz last month called for the state to spend $150 million to rebuild areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis that were damaged or destroyed in the civil unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody in May. A state House committee voted Tuesday to double down on Walz’s proposal. The House Capital Investment Committee passed a bill to provide $300 million — $100 million for St. Paul and $200 million for Minneapolis — to redevelop the small businesses and other private properties that were targets of the looting, arson and rioting last spring.”

A trio of reporters at The Daily Beast write, “MAGA diehard and pillow magnate Mike Lindell is the next target of a Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit over his wild claims about nonexistent election-fraud conspiracy, with the lead attorney representing Dominion telling The Daily Beast he expects to file the suit ‘imminently’. … On Tuesday afternoon, Lindell added that he still doesn’t believe Dominion will, ultimately, actually go through with litigation, and said he hasn’t been formally served with the lawsuit yet.”

In the Star Tribune, Liz Navratil says, “The Minneapolis DFL Party will move forward with virtual endorsements this year, even though Mayor Jacob Frey and 20 other candidates said they had concerns about the format and felt time would be better spent building consensus among party members. … The DFL has long dominated city politics, but arguments over how to change policing following George Floyd’s death have highlighted divisions within the local party and attracted national attention and campaign spending. That adds a new dynamic to this November’s race, when the mayor’s office, all 13 City Council seats and spots on the Board of Estimate and Taxation and Park and Recreation Board are all up for election.”

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At KMSP-TV Cody Matz says, “While few daily records have been broken with our cold snap here in Minnesota, the persistence of this cold leaves something to be desired. The Twin Cities has now seen over 225 hours with temperatures at or below zero so far in February ranking it fourth all time, dating back to 1872. … Not far from here in Lincoln, Nebraska they had the second coldest temperature ever record Tuesday morning at -31 degrees. Farther south in Oklahoma City, it was the coldest morning since 1899. Dallas dropped below zero for just the fifth time ever …”

The AP reports: “A Tennessee company that had been advertising for security guards to monitor the 2020 election in Minnesota and then backed away from the idea must follow certain provisions in the future as part of a settlement agreement approved Tuesday in federal court. The Minnesota chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the League of Women Voters sued Atlas Aegis LLC, alleging voter intimidation. … The agreement prohibits Atlas Aegis from deploying armed guards within 250 feet of any polling place or meeting locations of canvassing boards or presidential electors in Minnesota until 2025.”

At Finance & Commerce, Kelly Busche says, “Approximately $7 million in funding from the city of Minneapolis is available for commercial developments in an effort to stimulate the development of properties impacted by the summer’s civil unrest. Priority will also be given to applicants with projects in economically challenged areas or those sponsored by smaller developers. The funding is available as forgivable loans, which the city hopes will fill development financing gaps and accelerate projects in these communities.”

Says Erin Golden in the Star Tribune, “Cathe Lewis’ three children have spent the school year learning from home, steering clear of the potential COVID-19 health risks and schedule disruptions of in-person or hybrid instruction. Along the way, the family discovered something surprising: online learning was a good fit, especially for her son, a sixth-grader with autism. … Buoyed by nearly a year of experience with online learning, and facing a still-uncertain timeline for the pandemic’s end, some school leaders are pushing hard to launch their own online schools as soon as this fall.”

KSTP-TV’s Crystal Bui reports: “Gov. Tony Evers will propose to legalize recreational and medical marijuana as part of his 2021-2023 budget. Under the proposal, the governor’s office says Wisconsin would regulate and tax marijuana sales and join 15 other states, including neighboring Michigan and Illinois, in legalizing marijuana.”

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