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Juneteenth celebrated across the Twin Cities

Plus: metro regains vitality as pandemic wanes; family remembers man whose remains were recently discovered in Minneapolis; US Bank Stadium looks to host 2024 olympic swimming trials; and more;

Kristi Belcamino writes in the Pioneer Press: “For St. Paul resident Laverne McCartney Knighton, seeing old friends and sitting down to some soul food outside Allianz Field was just her first stop on a day spent celebrating Juneteenth across the Twin Cities.… President Joe Biden on Thursday signed the bill creating the Juneteenth National Independence Day. On Friday, Gov. Tim Walz proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth Freedom Day in Minnesota. … The 2021 Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Allianz Field was one of several celebrations held across the Twin Cities to mark the holiday.”

And Babs Santos reports for FOX 9: “Juneteenth, the holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in America, which just became a federal holiday this week, was recognized on Saturday with a ceremony across the Twin Cities metro. Ceremony to mark the holiday were held in Minneapolis and St. Paul, along with several other metro cities — aside from commemorations across the country. In St. Paul’s predominately Black Rondo neighborhood, the holiday was marked with a ceremony including St. Paul Mayor Carter and Governor Tim Walz.”

Katie Galioto writes in the Star Tribune: “The Twin Cities are regaining their vibrancy, as the pandemic wanes and people resume urban rituals that suddenly feel extraordinary. Thanks to high vaccination rates, summer weather and the lifting of Minneapolis and St. Paul mask mandates, June has marked a reanimation of Minnesota’s metropolitan core after more than a year of COVID-induced inactivity. The signs of revival are everywhere — a whiff of fried food at Como Town amusement park, a melody floating from Lowertown Sounds live concerts, a line of cars once again circling the North Loop in futile search of street parking.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Libor Jany reports: “As Minneapolis struggles to develop a new approach to public safety amid intense scrutiny of its Police Department, it faces a depressingly familiar problem: how to curb surging violence as the weather warms. As of Thursday, the city had 273 gunshot victims and 43 homicides so far this year, mostly by gunfire. Overnight Friday, five more people were shot and wounded in Dinkytown. … According to the most recent police statistics, the number of people shot citywide went up nearly 90% compared with the first half of last year, while homicides jumped from 22 to 40 in that same period. This year has seen violent crime arrests drop by about a third, with about 400 so far, compared with about 600 at this time last year.”

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FOX 9’s Mary McGuire reports: “24 hours after dismembered body parts were identified by authorities, family members are reeling after learning 36-year-old Adam Johnson was murdered. Behind the gruesome and shocking headlines is a man that JoJo, who requested to be identified as such to protect her privacy and safety, says was a valuable part of her family.… She shared a young son with Adam Johnson, the 36-year-old man police have identified after discovering several severed body parts on Thursday morning in northeast Minneapolis. Jojo says Johnson was a father of three and had struggled with mental health issues, and recently, homelessness.”

In the Star Tribune, Rochelle Olson writes: “The path to the Paris Olympics pool in 2024 may lead through the eastern end zone at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. … In recent years, the swimming trials in Omaha have expanded beyond a low-key event into a two-week moneymaker that attracts 2,000 swimmers, sells out 14,000 seats nightly and gets wall-to-wall television coverage. Thirsty for revenue, USA Swimming saw growth potential and courted other cities. MNSE, a new nonprofit trying to attract major sporting events to Minnesota, eagerly entered the competition, became a finalist and was invited to Omaha.”