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Frey announces new public safety plan for Minneapolis

Plus: COVID-19 models predict sharp decline in spread of virus in Minnesota; 10 Minnesota arts groups to share $7 million in grant funding; home prices hit another new high in Twin Cities; and more.

Mayor Jacob Frey
Mayor Jacob Frey
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

The AP’s Amy Forliti writes: “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a sweeping set of public safety proposals Monday that he said would make all neighborhoods in the city safe, while increasing transparency and holding police officers accountable. The proposals are months in the making, Frey said, but were announced Monday after a particularly violent weekend during which a 9-year-old girl was shot in the head while jumping on a trampoline in a North Minneapolis neighborhood. The girl was the second child to be critically injured by gun violence in the last two weeks. ‘Right now, our children’s futures are at stake. Our children’s lives are being cut short,’ Frey said, adding: ‘This moment must mark a turning point.’”

Says Jeremy Olson for the Star Tribune, “Three major COVID-19 models predict sharp declines in viral spread in Minnesota in late May — with Mayo Clinic forecasting a drop from 900 new infections per day to 563 by Memorial Day weekend. The forecasts come amid a decline to 5.7% in the positivity rate of diagnostic testing in the state and a drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota from a peak of 699 on April 14 to 423 on Sunday. The models forecast a decline to what will likely be a stable level of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19, rather than an end to the pandemic, said Dr. Sean Dowdy, Mayo’s deputy chief value officer and a co-creator of the health system’s model.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Jenna Ross writes: “Ten Minnesota arts groups are getting surprise grants of $500,000 or more as part of a new program meant to grow organizations rooted in communities of color. The grants, to be announced Tuesday, launch the regional, $12.7 million phase of a national Ford Foundation initiative that last year recognized St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre as one of ‘America’s Cultural Treasures.’ …The McKnight Foundation is partnering with Ford and others to provide $7 million in new funding for Black, Indigenous, Latin and Asian American-led organizations working in theater and visual arts, music and the spoken word. … The 10 organizations — which also include Ananya Dance Theatre, Indigenous Roots, Juxtaposition Arts, Mizna, Pangea World Theater, the Somali Museum, Theater Mu, TruArtSpeaks and the American Indian Community Housing Organization Arts Program — have budgets ranging from $100,000 to $2.2 million a year.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Officials in Freeborn County say about 40,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled when 28 cars on a Union Pacific Railroad train derailed in Albert Lea over the weekend. Another 20,000 gallons was contained in two cars that left the tracks, but have been transferred to storage tanks. Officials said three tankers that held liquid propane gas were derailed, but not breached, and Union Pacific is working to remove them. … There were no injuries reported as a result of the derailment. The cause is being investigated.”

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For KMSP-TV Theo Keith says,The Minnesota House and Senate both voted to expand the state’s medical-marijuana program Monday, allowing users to smoke it in addition to other uses.  The provision is part of the 520-page Health and Human Services conference committee report.  According to the medical marijuana program, medical users can now take cannabis in liquid form, pill form, vaporized or by smoking.”

The Forum News Service reports: “A man accused of nearly running over seven children with his SUV took his own life in a federal courtroom Monday after a jury found him guilty of at least one charge connected to the crime. Emergency crews responded after 2 p.m. Monday to the U.S. District Courthouse on a report of a man who cut his own throat. The U.S. Marshals Service confirmed the action happened as a guilty verdict was being read in a trial. The jury had been escorted out of the courtroom before the defendant cut his throat, a witness told Forum News Service.”

For the Star Tribune, Jim Buchta writes: “Home buyers in the Twin Cities last month had far more options than they did last year, but buyers still outpaced sellers in many parts of the 16-county metro, pushing prices to new highs. The Minneapolis Area Realtors’ monthly sales report released Monday also shows that new property listings during April were up nearly 22% compared with last year. That gain was primarily the result of the pandemic-related pause in buying and selling last year.”

At MPR a story by Emma Jacobs says, “With just over 3 percent of Canadians fully inoculated against COVID-19, a growing number of America’s northern border states and communities have stepped up to offer excess vaccines to Canadians. … The cross-border vaccine offers have come after frustrations grew in Canada over the pace of arrival of the large numbers of doses the Canadian government has ordered. Even as provinces ramp up vaccinations this month, several remain under severe public health restrictions enacted to overcome a variant-driven wave of COVID-19 infections that has strained hospitals. As vaccine demand slips in the U.S., some Canadians have jumped at the chance to put America’s surplus doses to use.”

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