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Twin Cities metro population to hit 4 million by 2050

Plus: Fairview, Allina to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees; indoor masking now recommended in more than half of Minnesota counties; state officials respond to hunger strike by detainees at Minnesota Sex Offender Program facility; and more.

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

A Star Tribune story by Jeff Hargarten says, “Fast-forward three decades into the future: what will the Twin Cities look like? New projections describe a metro area population that will be larger, more diverse and older than today, a continuation of prior trends that have been transforming Minnesota as a whole. That’s based on the newest Metropolitan Council regional forecast, which predicts the seven-county metro area will reach 4 million people by 2050 – a jump of more than 800,000 residents from now. … Populations of color are expected to be the main driver of growth over the next three decades. Black, Asian and Latino populations in the metro are already rapidly growing, and are expected to more than double by 2050, with people of color eventually comprising about 44% of Twin Cities’ residents – a jump from about a quarter nonwhite currently, according to recent American Community Survey estimates.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Fairview Health Services and Allina Health are the latest Minnesota institutions to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees. Fairview is setting an Oct. 31 deadline for all employees and providers across all campuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine or an accommodation; the flu shot will also be required as a condition of employment. … Fairview’s vaccine requirements will extend to all providers, employees, students, volunteers, vendors and contractors who work with the health system. … Allina Health confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it is implementing a vaccine mandate as well, in response to the surge in cases fueled by the delta variant. … Employees will be required to get a vaccine by Oct. 1.”

Jay Gabler writes for the Current: “First Avenue announced Monday that ‘effective immediately, all concerts and events at First Avenue and associated venues will require either proof of a full course of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the prior 72 hours.’ The policy applies to shows at First Avenue’s Mainroom and 7th St Entry, the Palace Theatre, the Fitzgerald Theater, the Fine Line and the Turf Club. The announcement came as part of a cascade of music-world reactions to a surge in coronavirus infections and illnesses fueled by the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant. National artists like Japanese Breakfast are announcing vaccination requirements for their tours, and local artists such as Monica LaPlante are urging caution.”

In the Pioneer Press, Christopher Magan writes: “Masks are now recommended for everyone visiting indoor public spaces in more than half of Minnesota’s 87 counties including the entire seven-county Twin Cities metro. There are 45 Minnesota counties having what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers substantial enough or high levels of community transmission of the coronavirus that masks are recommended. There are just eight counties with transmission rates that are considered low and the rest have moderate rates. …Wearing masks is only a recommendation — for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Minnesota would likely need to declare a new state of emergency to once again mandate masks.”

For the Forum News Service, Dana Ferguson writes: “The Minnesota Department of Human Services heads agreed to expand restorative justice opportunities and incorporate more advocate perspectives at a Moose Lake Sex Offender Program facility as part of a deal to end a two-week hunger strike among detainees. Nancy Johnston, executive director of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, on Monday told a joint legislative panel that Department of Human Services leaders had accepted five of 17 requests from the hunger strikers, family members and others aiming to end the state’s sex offender program. Detainees at the facility engaged in a hunger strike for two weeks last month in an effort to highlight low release rates at the Moose Lake detention center.”

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For MPR, Mark Zdechlich writes: “According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, so far this year there have been nearly one-third more traffic fatalities in Minnesota compared to the previous year. Speed, officials say, is the biggest factor in deadly crashes and fatal crashes resulting from speeding, which are up more than 40 percent over last year. Mike Hanson the director of the Office of Traffic Safety said excessive speeding is a problem all over Minnesota .… Public safety officials say the pandemic-related reduction in traffic allowed for more opportunities to speed on relatively open roads. But Hanson says there’s more to it. He thinks self-centered, dangerous driving is part of a broader breakdown of civil society.”

FOX 9 reports: “The trial for the former Brooklyn Center police officer charged in the death of Daunte Wright has been moved up a week, according to multiple sources. Kim Potter’s lawyer confirmed to FOX 9 the trial will now start on Nov. 30. It had originally been scheduled for Dec. 6, but there were concerns the proceedings may run into the Christmas holiday. Potter is charged with second-degree manslaughter.”

At KSTP-TV Jessica Miles reports, “During this hot and dry summer, water is a hot commodity. At B&J Evergreen, the thousands of Christmas trees planted are thirsting for more. … [owner Trent Johnson said] he’s lost many of the seedlings he planted in April. ‘Where we have planted new seedlings, we are probably at about a 25% loss, but that’s better than a 100% loss,’ he said. Christmas trees take about eight to 10 years to mature and go to market, so any potential shortage won’t be seen for several years.”

A New York Times story by Kashmir Hill says, “Mena Yousif wore dark clothing to the protest, with white sneakers and a blue hijab that she could pull over her face, perfect gear during a pandemic. Jose Felan, stocky and tall, wore a baseball cap and a gray T-shirt that showed off a distinctive tattoo on his forearm: ‘Mena,’,with a crown above the ‘a.’ … It was three days after George Floyd had been killed by a white police officer; the couple was part of a growing protest movement that would send people into the streets across America to express their anger, frustration and pain over Mr. Floyd’s death. … Around 6 p.m., as captured on surveillance footage, he and Ms. Yousif entered a Goodwill next door and made their way into a back storage room where Mr. Felan allegedly took one of the diesel fuel canisters out of his bag, poured its contents onto a stack of cardboard boxes, and set them on fire. … The surveillance footage from that day set off a nearly yearlong, international manhunt for the couple, involving multiple federal agencies and Mexican police. The pursuit also involved a facial recognition system made by a Chinese company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. government.”

At Newsweek Daniel Villarreal reports, “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has said that is losing ‘about a million dollars a week’ since he pulled his ads from the Fox News network. ‘They’re disgusting, what they’ve done to our country,’ Lindell said of the network while speaking on War Room, a show on Real America’s Voice, a right-leaning media network. The show is hosted by Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist under Republican President Donald Trump.”