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Maryland officials reviewing work of former medical examiner who testified at Chauvin trial

Plus: Vaccination rates lagging in parts of Greater Minnesota; the rift between Minneapolis mayor, council president; South St. Paul police want help capturing goat; and more.

The Associated Press reports: “Maryland officials said they will review all in-custody death reports during the tenure of the state’s former chief medical examiner after he testified that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was not responsible for George Floyd’s death. Dr. David Fowler, Maryland’s chief medical examiner from 2002 to 2019, was a key defense witness for Chauvin …. The announcement of the investigation came from Attorney General Brian Frosh and Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday, less than 24 hours after the attorney general’s office received a letter from D.C.’s former chief medical examiner Roger Mitchell, and signed by 431 doctors from around the country, saying Fowler’s conclusions were so far outside the bounds of accepted forensic practice that all his previous work could come into question.”

In the Star Tribune, Glenn Howatt writes: “COVID-19 vaccination rates are lagging in parts of Minnesota as the pace of new shots slows throughout the state, an early warning sign that achieving herd immunity could take longer in some places. … While the number of metro residents who’ve received at least one dose soared 56% since eligibility opened up, 15 of Minnesota’s 87 counties saw growth rates of less than 15%, according to a Star Tribune analysis of Minnesota Health Department data. As of last week, 2.4 million, or 55%, of eligible state residents had received at least one shot, while eight counties showed single-dose numbers below 40%. Benton and Itasca counties, both at 33%, were the lowest, state Health Department figures show.”

FOX 9 reports: “Hundreds of people filled the streets of Minneapolis on Saturday to remember the life of a young woman who police say was murdered this week. The vigil started small but grew quickly, until the large group lined the corner of 18th Avenue South and Lake Street to remember Yadhira Romero Martinez, whose body was discovered in a home less than a block away. …Minneapolis police said they are still investigating and can’t yet identify the female victim found at a home in the 3000 block of 18th Ave. South, only that they have arrested a suspect in his early 20s late Friday night, and he was found in another state.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Liz Navratil writes: “Mayor Jacob Frey and a small group of city staffers gathered inside a conference room in his City Hall office, waiting for a judge to read the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial. … Outside, in a grassy area near the Hennepin County Government Center, a handful of City Council members joined protesters …. Among them was City Council President Lisa Bender, whose working relationship with Frey has frayed in recent months. The political divisions that have complicated efforts to overhaul policing in Minneapolis were on full display last week.”

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Nick Ferraro writes for the Pioneer Press: “If all goes well, a goat on the loose in South St. Paul could end up with a cozy new home. South St. Paul police have reached out to Farmaste Animal Sanctuary and asked for help in capturing the animal, which has been seen on a hillside near the intersection of Concord Exchange and Camber Avenue for several months. … But now the concern is that the white-furred goat, which most likely is an escapee from one of the two nearby livestock markets, could get struck by a motorist, police said.”