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CDC guidelines now recommend indoor masking for most Twin Cities metro counties

Plus: air quality alert extended for entire state of Minnesota; state Rep. John Thompson agrees to apologize for calling colleague ‘racist’ on House floor; backers of effort to replace the Minneapolis Police Department file lawsuit against the city; and more.

Glenn Howatt writes in the Star Tribune: “Federal COVID-19 health guidelines recommend that vaccinated residents of most metro area counties should wear masks indoors, according to an update issued Friday afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that while vaccinated people are less likely to become infected with the corona­virus that causes COVID-19, they have the potential to spread the disease to others. In the seven-county metro area, all counties except Carver are seeing worrisome case transmission rates, in addition to 29 more counties statewide, based on per capita case rates and percentage of tests that are positive.”

Also in the Pioneer Press: “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has extended an air quality alert until noon Tuesday for the entire state, due to what authorities are calling an ‘unprecedented significant air quality event.’ Minnesota has been dealing with smoke from Canadian wildfires that has created some of the highest particulate readings on record in the state. An air quality alert for much of Minnesota was set to expire Friday afternoon, but it was extended through Tuesday and includes the whole state.”

Dave Orrick writes in the Pioneer Press: “Embattled state Rep. John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul, agreed Friday to apologize publicly for calling a colleague ‘racist’ on the House floor earlier this year. Thompson’s agreement to apologize to Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, on the House floor the next time the House is in session was unanimously approved by a bipartisan House panel Friday afternoon. The formal ethics complaint Lucero filed against Thompson earlier this summer will be dismissed. The ethics complaint, while a rare and serious matter in the House, is unrelated to a series of weighty controversies dogging Thompson, a firebrand freshman lawmaker whose activist tactics made him a lightning rod even before his election last year.”

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Jon Collins writes for MPR: “Supporters of an effort to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis. They’re alleging that the city doesn’t have the authority to attach an explanatory note to their ballot initiative and that the city’s language in the note is ‘misleading.’ The note mirrors some of the language in the ballot question and lists changes the amendment would make to the city’s charter, including eliminating a minimum staffing level for the police department and removing the police chief.”

KSTP-TV’s Rebecca Omastiak reports: “A 42-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder after a woman was found dead in Shakopee. Alexis Saborit, of Shakopee, has been charged with second-degree murder with intent but without premeditation. … Wednesday, the Shakopee Police Department responded to the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street on a report that a man was seen pushing a headless body out of vehicle at the intersection. When officers arrived at the intersection, they found the body lying next to a vehicle with a head nearby.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Family and friends will begin saying goodbye to a Red Lake Nation police officer this weekend. The FBI says a suicidal gunman shot and killed Ryan Bialke near Redby earlier this week. Bialke had served with the police department for six years. His wake is planned for Sunday followed by funeral services on Monday afternoon in Red Lake. Prosecutors charged David Donnell Jr. with murder. They say he apologized to investigators.”