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Minneapolis police to no longer pull over motorists for minor traffic violations

Plus: Mayo researchers report ‘pronounced reduction’ in effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine; Minneapolis political strategist indicted for sex trafficking; Minnesota Council on Disability to boycott State Fair over lack of mask, vaccine mandates; and more.


Libor Jany writes for the Star Tribune: “Minneapolis police will no longer pull over motorists for minor traffic violations like expired tabs or having an air freshener dangling from their rearview mirror, Chief Medaria Arradondo said in an internal memo on Thursday. … ‘MPD will no longer be conducting traffic stops solely for these offenses: expired tabs, an item dangling from a mirror, or not having a working license plate light,’ Arradondo wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Star Tribune. ‘The City Attorney’s Office will stop prosecuting tickets for driving after suspension when the only basis for the suspension was a failure to pay fines or fees and there was no accident or other egregious driving behavior that would impact public safety.’”

At MPR, David Montgomery reports, “Newly released data from the 2020 U.S. census shows the bulk of Minnesota’s population growth over the past decade took place in the Twin Cities metro. The seven counties in the core metro grew by 11 percent over the past decade, adding more than 300,000 people. A collection of exurban counties on the metro’s fringe grew by 9 percent. The entire rest of the state grew by a total of 2.6 percent — less than 10 percent of the state’s total growth.… The growth in Minnesota’s metro population has been paralleled by a growth in Minnesotans of color. Ten years ago, 83 percent of Minnesotans were white. Now that’s down to just over 76 percent, with Black, Hispanic and Asian Minnesotans all making up a bigger share of the state’s population than 10 years ago.”

Jeremy Olson reports in the Star Tribune: “Mayo Clinic researchers are reporting a ‘pronounced reduction’ this summer in the effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at preventing coronavirus infections, but still a high level of protection against severe illnesses and hospitalizations. Examining records for 25,000 vaccinated and unvaccinated Mayo patients in Minnesota, the researchers reported 76% effectiveness in the Pfizer vaccine protecting them from infection this year, but only 42% effectiveness in July amid the emergence of a more transmissible delta variant. The comparable effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine declined from 86% to 76%.”

WCCO-TV reports: “The Minnesota Council on Disability says it will not attend the Minnesota State Fair this year because fair officials ‘have not stepped up to require masks, vaccines or crowd limits.’ ‘By not creating a safe place for all Minnesotans to gather,’ the council wrote in an open letter, ‘MCD’s presence at the State Fair this year would reinforce the message to society that the lives of people with disabilities are less important.’ As of Thursday, fair officials have set no crowd limits. Masks aren’t required but are encouraged, as are vaccines.”

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Also in the the Star Tribune, Paul Walsh reports, “A Minneapolis businessman and Republican strategist recruited six minors to engage in sex for money over several months last year in the Twin Cities, according to a federal indictment. Anton J. ‘Tony’ Lazzaro was arrested Thursday by FBI agents on charges of conspiring with others to recruit and solicit the minors to engage in commercial sex acts. … The indictment ordered Lazzaro to forfeit numerous items to the federal government, including ‘real property’ at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, a 2010 Ferrari convertible, $371,240 seized from the hotel, numerous cellphones and laptop computers, a computer tablet and a GPS tracker.”

At WCCO-TV, Susan Elizabeth-Littlefield reports, “Amidst the pandemic, one of Minnesota’s largest employers is permanently changing how and where its employees can work. 3M is unrolling a one-of-a-kind plan to permanently give employees more work-life balance. The new plan will affect most of their 90,000 workers. … 3M has been offering flexibility, but with this model the employee can come up with their own workflow. The new model means employees will tell their supervisors if they want to be remote or hybrid, and they will come up with a personalized plan.”

For FOX 9, Allie Johnson says, “The Perseid meteor shower is peaking right now, considered the best meteor shower of the year. The Perseid meteor shower can be seen from mid-July to late-August. At its peak, you could see more than 40 meteors an hour if you’re far away from light pollution. …  NASA says the night of Aug. 12-13 is another good time to see the Perseids because the crescent moon will set early so the skies will be dark for the peak viewing hours, from midnight to dawn. The Perseids are best viewed during the predawn hours, in a dark location away from city lights.

The AP reports: “MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell says he was attacked in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Wednesday night. Lindell told attendees Thursday morning at an election fraud symposium that he’s hosting in the city that he was attacked at his hotel, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported. Lindell said he was in pain and he wants everyone to know about the evil in the world. He didn’t go into details about the incident.”

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