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GOP candidate Jensen calls for ‘civil disobedience’ in opposing vaccine mandates, masking policies

Plus: prominent Twin Cities synagogue closes after threat; Hennepin County spending $20 million on new and expanding mental health services; officials celebrate completion of I-35W construction project in Minneapolis; and more.

Stephen Montemoyer writes in the Star Tribune: “Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen is calling for ‘civil disobedience’ among Minnesotans and businesses in the state, asking them to ignore vaccine and mask guidance intended to stem the spread of COVID-19. Jensen, a Chaska family physician and former state senator, released a YouTube video Friday announcing that he was drafting language for a proposed bill to make Minnesota a ‘health freedom sanctuary state’ after President Joe Biden said he would use his executive powers to sidestep GOP governors resisting his call for new federal vaccine requirements.”

For KARE 11, Dana Thiede reports: “ A prominent Twin Cities synagogue is closed Friday after being targeted by a threat posted on a national website. St. Louis Park police say they were informed of the threat involving Beth El Synagogue … Thursday. It was originally posted on the national website for the Anti-Defamation League, and specifically referenced Beth El. Authorities believe the threat originated in the Twin Cities. Police say the not-yet-identified sender of the message indicated people could be harmed at a religious service set to occur Friday evening.”

MPR News reports: “The 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be marked at events across Minnesota on Saturday. The state’s official 9/11 Day of Remembrance will take place on the Minnesota Capitol grounds in St. Paul. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a reading of names of Minnesotans who died in the Sept. 11 attacks or during the subsequent global war on terrorism. The reading will be interspersed with moments of silence and the tolling of church bells. Elected and military leaders, along with relatives of people who died on Sept. 11 or in the war on terror, will speak during a ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. There will be musical tributes, a wreath-laying and a military flyover.”

KSTP-TV’s Callan Gray reports: “Hennepin County is in the process of implementing an increase in mental health services. The County Commission approved $20 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support nearly a dozen new and expanding programs.The Commission approved on Tuesday expanding school-based mental health programs, developing and expanding culturally specific mental health services, launching a juvenile behavioral health initiative to reduce involvement in the justice system, expanding family home visiting to support families and child development and create a family-based recovery pilot program to create an in-home treatment option for families dealing with substance use disorders.

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Also for KSTP-TV, Tommy Wiita reports: “The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting 69 new positive COVID-19 cases that are linked to the Minnesota State Fair Friday.  According to a spokesperson, the cases relate to people who said they attended the fair during the period in which they were most likely exposed and infected. MDH expects the number of cases to climb in the coming days, since the fair just ended on Monday. In total, 1,301,584 people visited the state fairgrounds from Aug. 26 through Labor Day.”

Also for the Star Tribune, Matt McKinney writes: “It’s finally done. The state’s four-year, $239 million reconstruction of Interstate 35W in south Minneapolis was pronounced finished Friday by Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Speaking at a press gathering within earshot of the fully opened freeway, Kelliher was joined by numerous politicians, including Gov. Tim Walz, who joked that he was happy to see the project completed within his lifetime.”