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High levels of coronavirus detected in Minnesota wastewater

Plus: county jails face shortage of corrections officers; Proctor rocked by football team misconduct allegations; payments will begin to former Minnesota School of Business and Globe University students; and more.

Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert

Yeah, there’s a lotta coronavirus out there. KARE’s Kent Erdahl reports: “Weeks into Minnesota’s latest COVID-19 surge, troubling signs are emerging about the spread of the delta variant in schools and in community wastewater. … Yes, wastewater. … ‘In terms of measuring the virus in wastewater, we’re not seeing a downturn,’ said Dr. Tim Schacker, vice dean of research for the University of Minnesota Medical School. ‘It has not come down at all. In fact, it’s at the highest level we’ve ever seen it.’

It’s not all glamor. The Star Tribune’s Erin Adler reports:County jails in the Twin Cities metro area and around the state are struggling with a staffing crunch with rising job vacancies and fewer applications from people wanting to be corrections officers. … The short staffing is forcing the jails to re-evaluate their operations as they shuffle inmates to other facilities and put programming for inmates, from GED classes to anger management sessions, on hold. Meanwhile, county officials and jail administrators are trying to find new ways to recruit and hire corrections officers to stem the problem amid an economy where many businesses need staff.”

Tough few weeks in Proctor. Also in the Star Tribune, Jana Hollingsworth reports: “PROCTOR, Minn. – In this small, tight-knit northern Minnesota town bisected by railroad tracks, most everyone has a connection to its schools — and one another. Residents turn out for hockey games, a popular summer festival celebrating the city’s rich railroad history and Friday night football under the lights. … But when allegations of student misconduct involving the school’s football team surfaced last week, the typically chatty town of 3,000 locked down, many residents afraid to speak publicly about their fears and worries.”

Electrifying! KMSP’s Jordan Smith reports: “Five Midwestern states signed on to an agreement Thursday aimed at providing more places for electric vehicles to recharge. … The project is called the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition (REV Midwest) and the governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have agreed to forge a network of charging stations in the region. … Additionally, governors hope the agreement will create jobs, expand economic opportunity, promote energy independence, improve public health and result in cleaner air and water. ”

Those degrees are finally starting to pay off. The Pioneer Press’ Christopher Magan reports:Nearly 4,000 former students who attended the now-defunct Minnesota School of Business and Globe University will finally start receiving restitution payments. … Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Thursday that 920 students who were defrauded by the college and 3,000 who were issued illegal loans will receive part of about $39 million set aside for restitution. … A federal bankruptcy court approved the settlements first agreed to in March in a case that dates back to 2014, when the state filed a lawsuit against the schools.”

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