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Minnesota hospitals, nursing homes hold off on mandating employee vaccinations

Plus: Derek Chauvin to be sentenced this week; much of Minnesota gets welcome rainfall; police say St. Cloud man randomly shot and killed by passerby; and more.

Pfizer vaccine
An EMT preparing a Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus disease vaccination dose.
REUTERS/Faith Ninivaggi

Joe Carlson writes in the Star Tribune: “Hospitals and nursing homes around Minnesota are not mandating that employees get the COVID-19 vaccine — yet. Following a closely watched legal battle over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff at a Houston health system — a battle that the hospital won — no hospital or nursing home in Minnesota has imposed a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on its workers, people in the industry say. Though vaccine mandates appear legal, trade groups representing hospitals and nursing homes in the state are not urging their members to implement them now. The Minnesota Department of Health hasn’t taken a position.”

KARE 11’s Charmain Nero reports: “George Floyd’s murder prompted outcry across the country, with many people taking to the streets demanding justice. Now, more than two months after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted, people following the case are preparing for his sentencing Friday afternoon. ‘What’s been happening in the last two months is that both lawyers have written memos about what they think the sentencing should be,’ said former Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty. Moriarty said Chauvin’s attorney recently filed a motion seeking a lesser sentence – even as low as probation – while prosecutors filed a motion seeking a 30-year sentence. … Recently, Judge Cahill ruled there were four aggravating factors in Floyd’s murder that would allow for Chauvin to face more time behind bars.”

Says Dan Kraker for MPR: “Farmers and gardeners were among those rejoicing as a wide swath of Minnesota saw much-needed rain on Sunday. But meteorologists say the state will need to see more rounds of steady rain to climb out of its current rainfall deficit. … [Meteorologist Lee] Britt said Sunday’s rain will help ease drought conditions and fire danger, but he said it’s not nearly enough to make up the deficit. ‘In order for us to get out of the drought, we would need 3 to 6 inches of rainfall. So while this rainfall will help, it’s not going to push us out of the drought we’ve seen,’ he said.”

In the Star Tribune, Liz Sawyer writes: “Public defenders like Sarah Ellsworth grimace as juvenile clients, some as young as 10, are escorted into Minnesota courtrooms while shackled. … ‘It breaks my heart,’ said Ellsworth, managing attorney of the 10th Judicial District’s juvenile division. ‘A lot of these kids are doing stuff we’ve all done and just didn’t get caught for.’ Criminal justice reformers and child welfare advocates have long sought to bar the indiscriminate shackling of youth — a common but unevenly enforced practice across Minnesota. This spring, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers drafted a bill that could spell the end of what critics consider an archaic and dehumanizing control method in court.

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David Griswold reports for KARE-TV: “For the first time in more than a year, traffic is flowing through 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. The intersection, known as George Floyd Square, became a growing memorial honoring Floyd and others who have lost their lives at the hands of police. City officials confirmed Sunday that the intersection is once again open to traffic.”

Kristi Belcamino writes in the Pioneer Press: “A man standing in the doorway of a St. Cloud residence early Sunday morning was apparently randomly shot and killed by a man passing by the home, according to police. At about 6:15 a.m., a man standing in the doorway of a home in the 2600 block of Island View Drive was shot by someone outside the home. He was taken to the hospital where he later died. Nearly an hour later, police received reports that a man was walking in the 1200 block of 4th Avenue South with a handgun. Officers arrived and arrested the man with the gun without incident, according to the press release issued by the St. Cloud police department. … Detectives say it appears the shooting was random and that Beckman had no connection with either the victim or the neighborhood.”

Also from the PiPress’ Belcamino: “A fire broke out at the Conway Community Center, leaving organizers scrambling to find a new place to host scheduled free youth sports camps and food distribution for those in need. The East Side center is owned by the city but is managed by The Sanneh Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to Twin Cities youth. According to a Facebook post, founder and CEO Tony Sanneh received a 4 a.m. phone call telling him that the center was on fire. The foundation will not be able to use the center for two to four weeks and is working to find alternatives, he wrote.”

This from an AP story: A man sought in the killings of his father and two other people in a small Oregon city forced a woman to drive him more than 2,000 miles to Wisconsin, where he surrendered to police, authorities said Sunday. Police said Oen Evan Nicholson approached Laura Johnson, 34, after she returned to her parking spot during her lunch break on Friday in Springfield, Oregon, and forced her to drive him in her car. Authorities were notified Sunday morning that Nicholson had surrendered to police peacefully in Milwaukee but did not release details about how he gave himself up. Johnson was not hurt and was returning to Oregon, Springfield police said in a statement.”

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