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2 seated jurors dismissed in Chauvin trial

Plus: Local plea for substitute teachers gets national attention; zebra mussels found in Minnesota pet store aquarium plants; meet the family advocate for the Minnesota Parent Union; vaccine mix-up in Sauk Centre; and more.

A courtroom sketch of Judge Peter Cahill presiding over jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin.
A courtroom sketch of Judge Peter Cahill presiding over jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Going backward. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports: “The influence of extensive publicity again took center stage at the murder trial of fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Wednesday, with two seated jurors dismissed amid an announcement that the city has agreed to pay George Floyd’s survivors $27 million. The total number of jurors is down to seven after Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill removed two who said they had heard about a federal lawsuit settlement reached last week and admitted it affected their ability to assure Chauvin of his constitutional right to be presumed innocent during the course of the trial.”

Parental controls. MPR’s Elizabeth Shockman reports: “If there’s something that is not working for a Minnesota student or their family at their school, Mustafa Diriye wants to hear about it. … Diriye, who is bilingual, has signed on to become a family advocate for the newly founded Minnesota Parent Union. He spends his days fielding questions and complaints from families about Wi-Fi and technology, after-school programs, discipline disputes or attendance warning letters.”

Also going the wrong way. The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach, Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree report: “… the virus continues to pose a real and present threat, with about 55,000 new infections daily. Michigan has seen a rise in hospitalizations and positive test results. Minnesota’s numbers are creeping up, as are Maryland’s and New Jersey’s. Many places, including New York City and surrounding counties, are no longer seeing steady declines in cases, despite intensive vaccination efforts.”

A shortage of substitute teachers. The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss reports: “The national shortage of substitute teachers has come home to Jamie Millard and her husband, Randy, in Minneapolis. In callouts on social media for help, Millard turned to Twitter and Facebook to try to find a substitute for her husband, a seventh-grade science teacher at Susan B. Anthony Middle School in the Minneapolis Public Schools district. … Millard said in an email that she knows any substitute who takes over for her husband will have a tough job, having to handle both in-person students as well as those who are at home learning remotely.”

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Gimme my stimmy. KARE’s Erin McHugh reports:Wells Fargo customers on Wednesday morning reported issues accessing online banking, just as tens of millions of stimulus checks were expected to be added to customers’ accounts. Tracking website Downdetector claimed there were just over 9,000 reports of online and mobile banking outages just after 10:30 a.m. ET. A map of the outages showed cases were reported across the entire U.S.”

In other news…

Blarneyvision: “The St. Patrick’s Day drive-through parade is sold out, but here’s how you can watch it — and more events” [Pioneer Press]

Know your limit: “New Minnesota sunfish regulations in effect on 94 lakes” [Duluth News Tribune]

Ouch: “Patients receive saline shots instead of COVID-19 vaccine doses in Sauk Centre” [KMSP]

They’re everywhere: “Zebra mussels discovered on aquarium plants at Minnesota pet stores” [MPR]

Feeling blue: “Hennepin EMS overhauls uniforms to distinguish themselves from police, sparking internal backlash” [Star Tribune]

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