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Drought conditions now widespread in Minnesota

Plus: MN Supreme Court wants review of cameras in courtrooms; Minneapolis installs parklets near George Floyd Square; childhood respiratory virus spiking; and more.

Sweet corn
REUTERS/Mike Blake
Minnesota’s dry spell continues. MPR’s Nicole Mitchell reports: “Recent rains have not been enough to turn around Minnesota’s worsening drought conditions. Despite chances for rain through the weekend, including a severe weather risk Thursday, the expected rainfall is unlikely to turn the situation around. … All of Minnesota is under at least ‘abnormally dry’ conditions, which is no change. However, the area in moderate drought or higher blossomed from 56 to 75 percent, and severe drought jumped from 5 to 14 percent in the past week.

Justice in focus. Also from WCCO: “The Minnesota Supreme Court says it’s time to consider whether audio and video coverage of criminal proceedings should be expanded to accommodate broader public access. … On Thursday, the court issued an order directing the Advisory committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure to consider if the current requirements should be modified or expanded in the state. The court says audio and video coverage has been a critical component of public access during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it provided increased transparency and accessibility during restrictions brought on by the pandemic.”

The latest on George Floyd Square. WCCO reports:Minneapolis city officials say three parklets have been installed in the area of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue as part of an effort to support local businesses and ‘add color and vibrancy’ to the streetscape. … On Thursday, announced the installation of the new parklets, which are built into the right-of-way with seating, plantings and other amenities. They are positioned next to the curb — often in a parking spot or loading zone — and are an extension of the sidewalk.”

Missing our masks. KARE’s Deevon Rahming reports:Children’s Minnesota says they’re seeing an unusual summertime spike in a respiratory virus that can make kids really sick. … ‘We’re seeing more kids with common respiratory illnesses, the usual cold viruses and also RSV,’ said Dr. Robert Sicoli, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Children’s Minnesota. … What’s typically deemed a winter viral infection, Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is on the rise this summer landing many infants and young children in the hospital. Doctors say this is partly due to COVID protocols easing up.”

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