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U.S. to reopen land border with Canada for nonessential travel

Plus: St. Paul Mayor Carter says he will vote ‘yes’ on rent measure; Target to invest $100 million in Black-led organizations; Eurasian eagle owl named Gladys goes missing from the Minnesota Zoo; and more.

A sign along Highway 61 near Grand Portage showing the distance in miles to the Canadian border.
A sign along Highway 61 near Grand Portage showing the distance in miles to the Canadian border.

The AP reports:The U.S. will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic. The new rules, to be announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel starting in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country. By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the U.S., like truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated.”

Theo Keith reports for FOX 9: “A federal judge is allowing Minnesota health systems’ COVID-19 employee vaccine mandates to remain in effect, saying dozens of health care workers who sued hadn’t met a high legal bar to block them. U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel made an unusually quick decision from the bench after returning from a 10-minute recess Tuesday afternoon. She appeared skeptical of the claims made by attorneys for the 188 health care workers throughout the two-and-a-half-hour hearing. The judge did not dismiss the case outright, but she ordered that the health care workers can’t remain anonymous as the case continues. ”

In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “Breaking his silence on the issue, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Tuesday announced that he will vote ‘yes’ on a ballot question that would impose some of the strictest limits in the nation on annual rent increases for residential tenants. Though he also signaled some hesitation to fully embrace the proposal as written. … Pressed by the media in recent weeks, the mayor previously indicated through his campaign spokespeople that he was still studying the Nov. 2 ballot question. … The St. Paul ballot initiative would cap residential rent increases in St. Paul at 3 percent annually. ”

Nicole Norfleet of the Star Tribune reports, “Target Corp. will invest $100 million in Black-led organizations through 2025 as it continues to realign its philanthropic priorities. The investment, which will include non-profits and programs that work to elevate Black voices, will be made through the Minneapolis-based retail chain and its foundation ‘to help fuel economic prosperity in Black communities across the country,’ according to a Target blog post Tuesday. It is the latest in the retailer’s financial commitment to Black organizations and businesses since the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd last year.”

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For MPR, Tim Pugmire reports: “A court-appointed redistricting panel has begun holding a series of public hearings to gather advice on redrawing political boundaries to reflect 2020 census data. The first of 10 scheduled hearings was Monday at Woodbury City Hall. The panel is also accepting written testimony. ‘This participation is truly democracy in action,’ said Appeals Court Judge Louise Bjorkman, the presiding judge of the redistricting panel. The panel of five judges will establish new redistricting plans if the Legislature and governor cannot reach agreement by the statutory deadline of Feb. 15, 2022. The courts have ended up drawing maps for several decades in Minnesota.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Paul Walsh writes: “A 29-year-old man has been charged with fatally shooting a woman in a resort cabin near Nisswa, Minn., in what appears to be a case of him believing he was targeting his former girlfriend. Cameron J. Moser, of Brainerd, was charged Monday in Crow Wing County District Court with second-degree intentional murder in connection with the gunfire late Thursday night at the Cozy Bay Resort on Lake Edward that killed 46-year-old Bethany Bernatsky. Moser remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail ahead of an Oct. 20 court appearance.”

A KMSP-TV story says, “The Minnesota Zoo is searching its grounds and alerting neighbors in Apple Valley that its Eurasian eagle owl, named Gladys, is missing. According to the zoo, Gladys flew off to a tree during a routine training session earlier this month and didn’t return. Staff have been tracking Gladys around the zoo and believe she is likely to be within the 485-acre, forested zoo grounds.”

The Star Tribune’s Shannon Prather writes: “As park usage surges in Minnesota and nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic and residents turn to alternative transportation including walking and biking, Ramsey County leaders are re-examining ordinances that govern parks, looking at everything from hours to smoking to drone usage and the penalties for breaking the rules. Though it’s unlikely they’ll go as far as their counterparts overseas — where parks more commonly stay open around the clock — officials say the ‘dawn-to-dusk’ rule may no longer make sense.”

MPR’s Paul Huttner says, “A strong solar storm hit the earth late Monday night into Tuesday morning. The resulting interaction with earth’s magnetosphere generated one of the best northern lights displays in many years. Clouds hung over parts of eastern Minnesota overnight. But the aurora was visible in several locations west and north of the Twin Cities area. … Northern lights were reported in at least 12 states, according to spaceweather.com. Check out the aurora gallery here.

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