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Minnesota drug overdose deaths up 27% in 2020

Plus: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on police reform; Best Buy launches membership program; St. Louis County to declare “Year of Dylan”; and more.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million Americans died in 2018, including 67,367 from drug overdoses.
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A dark year. KARE’s John Croman reports: “The number of Minnesotans who died from drug overdoses rose sharply in 2020, despite a concerted effort to recognize those deaths as public health crisis. … According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) a total of 1,008 people died from drug overdoses statewide in 2020, compared to 792 in 2019. That amounts to a 27% year-over-year increase.

Wide ranging interview with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on what he’s doing to change the Minneapolis Police Department. At Sahan Journal, Becky Z. Dernbach reports: “Mayor Frey makes the case that major changes within the Minneapolis Police Department are already well underway. And he agreed to a detailed interview with Sahan Journal to review his record and discuss the future of policing—in the run-up to a Minneapolis mayoral election this fall. … Some changes he can’t discuss, some are works in progress, and some can’t move forward without a change in state law. Some don’t go as far as council members would like. But he provided a lengthy list of policy changes, and pledged to enact more. ‘At no point in our city’s history have so many been made,’ he told Sahan Journal.”

Best Buy going subscriptions. The Star Tribune’s Catherine Roberts reports: “Best Buy has started to offer $200 yearly memberships to customers in the Twin Cities in return for benefits such as free or discounted Geek Squad services. … Best Buy Beta is a pilot program that started a month ago in Iowa, and parts of Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. It is now available in the Twin Cities.”

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May he stay forever young. The Duluth News Tribune’s Brady Slater reports: “The St. Louis County Board will celebrate Bob Dylan and his upcoming 80th birthday at its meeting in Duluth on Tuesday. … Commissioners will proclaim the ‘Year of Dylan’ set to begin on Dylan’s birthday, May 24, and lasting until the iconic troubadour’s 81st birthday in 2022.”

Congrats! WCCO reports: “After hitting eight home runs and leading all qualified hitters in batting average in April, Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton has been named MLB’s American League Player of the Month. … Buxton batted .426 in April with eight doubles and 14 RBIs along with the aforementioned homers. He had a league-leading .897 slugging percentage and a 1.363 on-base plus slugging.”