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Vikings practice facility will become vaccination site for Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Plus: data show teen suicide was down in Minnesota amid pandemic; police officer credibility problems jeopardize legal cases; Twin Cities blues singer Big John Dickerson dies; and more.

Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine
Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Getting toward the vaccination goal. The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson reports:Some 13,400 Minnesotans will take the field at the Minnesota Vikings’ practice facility in Eagan for a Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine beginning Friday. … The Vikings partnered with the state’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program to provide the massive indoor practice field at their three-year-old headquarters just south of just south of Interstate 494 and Dodd Road. … Health care workers and adults 65 years of age or older are eligible to participate in the event that is part of the state’s initial shipments of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shots. The event is expected to last through Tuesday.”

A surprise finding. The Pioneer Press’s Bob Shaw reports:The COVID-19 pandemic may have been a factor in an 18 percent drop in suicides among children and young adults in Minnesota in 2020 compared to the previous year. … The state Department of Health released data Wednesday for 2020, showing an unexpected decrease in suicides among young people. … The department released suicide totals for people 24 and younger, and expects to release similar statistics later for older people. In Minnesota, children under age 15 generally have low rates of suicide — but they fell even further in 2020 to seven suicides statewide.”

When cops lie. KSTP’s Joe Augustine and Ryan Raiche report: “Only five people know exactly what happened in the seconds before Terrance Franklin was killed in a basement in South Minneapolis. All five are police officers. … Court documents and internal police records in that case, as well as dozens of other cases reviewed by 5 INVESTIGATES, reveal a troubling reality for a department desperately trying to restore the community’s trust after the death of George Floyd: There are officers still in uniform today whose damaged credibility could make them a liability not only in the court of public opinion but also the court of law.

Twin Cities blues legend Big John Dickerson has died. The Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenschneider reports: “Big John Dickerson was so effective and experienced as a showman and singer, he could make himself look good even when having a bad moment on stage, one of his longtime bandmates said. … ‘Sometimes if he forgot the words to a song, he’d just make them up,’ remembered bassist Donnell ‘Papa D’ Woodson, ‘and the audience singing along would think he knew the words better than they did.’  … Dickerson, 87, died Tuesday in his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio, where he started and ended his nearly six-decade singing career. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s, Woodson said.  … Through 40-some years of performing in Twin Cities venues such as Famous Dave’s, Wilebski’s and Blues Alley, Dickerson landed in both the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame. His groups included Blue Chamber, Down Right Tight and the Big John Dickerson Show.”

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In other news…

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Minnesota’s own:Paige Bueckers, UConn: The Huskies’ freshman basketball star is ludicrously great.” [Slate]

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