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Minnesota keeps eighth U.S. House seat for next decade

Plus: on rural vaccine hesitancy; student fires gun at Plymouth Middle School, no injuries; downtown Minneapolis security measures winding down; and more.

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U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
That sound you hear is every Minnesotan breathing a collective sigh of relief. The Star Tribune’s Briana Bierschbach and Patrick Condon report:The state of Minnesota narrowly held onto its eight congressional seats, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday, a near-miss to the state’s clout in Washington. … Minnesota has grown more slowly than many other states, and has been on the edge of losing one of its seats in the U.S. House for decades; the last time it happened was after the 1960 population count.”

On vaccine hesitancy. MPR’s Kirsti Marohn reports: “Elaine and Florian Fautsch could have gotten their COVID-19 vaccines a couple of months ago. … The Sauk Rapids couple is in their 80s, so they were among the first groups to be eligible, because people their age are at the highest risk of serious illness or death from the virus. … They took the COVID-19 threat seriously. But they also weren’t venturing out of the house much during the pandemic, so they didn’t feel a sense of urgency to get the shot. … That hesitation to get vaccinated is common in rural Minnesota. As of April 20, just 32 percent of eligible residents in Benton County, where the Fautsches live, had received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health. It’s one of the lowest percentages of any Minnesota county, well below the statewide number of 53 percent.”

A scary situation that turned out okay. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh and Mara Klecker report:A student fired gunshots Monday morning inside Plymouth Middle School, and no injuries were reported, police said. … The sixth-grade boy took the gun from his home and took it to school, his father told the Star Tribune. … A school resource officer apprehended the student, who fired the shots about 8:45 a.m. in a hall outside a bathroom, police and the district superintendent said during a media briefing late Monday morning. A gun was recovered, said Police Chief Erik Fadden.”

Minneapolis getting back to normal? KSTP reports: “Starting this week, those in Minneapolis should see an easing of security measures downtown. … More plywood boards that were placed over windows are expected to come down, and security will ease at the Hennepin County Government Center where former officer Derek Chauvin’s trial was held. … This week, more members of the National Guard are expected to return home. … Meanwhile, at the Hennepin County Government Center, no registration will be needed to enter the building and fencing gates, doors and the surrounding skyway will re-open.”

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