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Carjackings up 38% in Minneapolis in 2021

Plus: progress on massive clean-up of St. Louis River estuary near Duluth; Census finds many smaller towns in Minnesota losing population; KARE 11’s Boyd Huppert diagnosed with multiple myeloma; and more.

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Zoe Jackson of the Star Tribune says, “More than 440 carjackings in Minneapolis have been reported in 2021, a 38% increase compared to last year, according to city statistics. Most recently among them, several carjackings occurred over a period of hours on Friday in south Minneapolis, joining a slew of cities where these incidents have been on the rise in recent months, the crimes largely committed by juveniles. Victims were robbed and held at gunpoint by multiple suspects in six carjackings in an area bounded by Hiawatha Avenue, Interstate 35W, Hwy. 62 and I-94, according to police.”

This from Dan Kraker at MPR, “Minnesota is one big step closer to completing a massive clean-up effort of the St. Louis River estuary near Duluth. This month the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources finished a three-year, $18 million project restoring 230 acres of coastal wetland habitat at Kingsbury Bay and Grassy Point, where the St. Louis River widens before it reaches Lake Superior. It was one of the agency’s largest-ever habitat restoration projects.”

Says Hunter Woodall for the Star Tribune, “Three of Minnesota’s leading Democrats oppose the Minneapolis ballot question that could replace the city’s Police Department with a new public safety agency, but they aren’t campaigning against it. More than a year after George Floyd died at the hands  of Minneapolis police, the divide over Question 2 has torn through established partisan political lines. With polls closing Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Gov. Tim Walz have made their opposition clear but appear to be staying away from actively campaigning to defeat the measure.”

An AP story by Mohamed Ibrahim and Amy Forliti says, “Marques Armstrong had just got out of the shower one morning this fall when he heard gunshots that seemed to come from his Minneapolis backyard. … It was a depressingly routine occurrence on the city’s predominantly Black north side that reaffirmed Armstrong’s staunch opposition to a proposal on Tuesday’s ballot to replace the city’s police department — and a required minimum number of officers — with a new Department of Public Safety. … Many people of color who live in the city’s highest-crime areas say they fear a steep drop in the number of police officers will leave them more vulnerable amid a dramatic spike in violent crime.

Ingrid Harbo for the Forum News Service reports, “While larger cities in northwest Minnesota — East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls, for example — continued to grow, many smaller towns lost population between 2010 and 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. In East Grand Forks, the population increased by 575 in the past decade, to 9,176, for a gain of 6.7%. Thief River Falls rose by 176 to 8,743, a gain of 2.1%. Crookston declined by 409 residents, to 7,482, a decrease of 5.2%. Meanwhile, a number of small Minnesota towns in the region saw notable population decreases in the past decade, including Baudette (-12.7%), Clearbrook (-10.4%), Argyle (-14.9%), Stephen (-10%) and Oslo (-27.6%), according to the Census Bureau.”

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Brittney Ermon reports for KSTP-TV: “With the holiday season coming up, local food banks are searching for volunteers to help meet the growing demand. At Loaves and Fishes — a volunteer-based nonprofit that provides meals to Minnesotans in need — officials said they’re facing a staffing shortage, which has a domino effect on the people the group serves. … Officials said the lack of staff puts more pressure on volunteers and extends wait times for a meal.”

Says Joe Nelson at Bring Me The News, “Everything worked out the way it was supposed to for Minnesotans to see the brilliant display of the northern lights. Everything except for the northern lights, that is. …  Turns out Minnesota got skunked. So did Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and pretty much everywhere else in the U.S. where there was a chance to see the light show thanks to a huge solar flare that had sent particles from a coronal mass ejection (CME) on the sun hurtling towards earth.”

KARE 11 reports: “Few people in this world can share a story quite like KARE 11’s Boyd Huppert. In two decades at KARE 11, Boyd has won nearly every award imaginable, including multiple regional Emmy awards, and local and national Edward R. Murrow awards. … But now, the great storyteller has his own story to tell. … Boyd spoke with longtime friend, and KARE 11 anchor, Randy Shaver, to share his recent diagnosis of multiple myeloma.”

CNN Reports: “Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, is set to go on trial Monday on homicide charges, in a case that will test the distinction between self-defense and vigilante killings. Jury selection is set to begin Monday morning for Rittenhouse, now 18, who is accused of fatally shooting Anthony M. Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27.”

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