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Minnesota has worst rate of COVID-19 infections in the nation

Plus: Minneapolis Ward 2 council race recount scheduled for Friday; man charged after threatening to kill TSA employee at MSP; “Spoonbridge and Cherry” losing its cherry; and more.

Healthcare personnel working in a coronavirus disease intensive care unit.
Healthcare personnel working in a coronavirus disease intensive care unit.
Courtesy of Intermountain Health/Handout via REUTERS

Christopher Magan reports in the Pioneer Press: “Minnesota added 5,266 new coronavirus cases Monday and now has the worst rate of COVID-19 infections in the nation. In the last week, Minnesota reported more than 27,600 new cases, or roughly 476 infections for every 100,000 residents. That means Minnesota’s current rate of infections is nearly three times the national average, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. …  COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota hit another record for the year on Monday as the state’s fourth wave intensifies.”

The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil says: “Minneapolis officials will begin a recount Friday morning in a City Council race decided by just 19 votes. At 9 a.m., election workers will begin inspecting ballots cast in the contest to represent the Second Ward on the city’s east side, which includes the Cedar-Riverside and University of Minnesota neighborhoods. Democratic Socialist Robin Wonsley Worlobah won the race with a final-round tally of 4,056 votes, defeating DFL candidate Yusra Arab, who received 4,037.”

Josh Verges writes in the Pioneer Press: “The Hmong College Prep Academy school board has rejected a request by its outgoing superintendent for a severance payment beyond what her contract requires. Christianna Hang, who founded the St. Paul charter school in 2004, wrote a letter to the board last month saying she was resigning as superintendent after the school lost $4.3 million with an illegal hedge fund investment in 2019-20. The board accepted her resignation at its next meeting. At a subsequent meeting Friday, the board briefly discussed Hang’s request for severance, then voted unanimously to reject her proposal and make no counteroffer.”

For KSTP-TV, Josh Skluzacek reports, “A Minneapolis man has been charged after he threatened to kill a TSA employee and tried to assault the employee and law enforcement. Frank Towers, 44, is charged with fourth-degree assault and threats of violence. A criminal complaint states airport police were in the Skyway checkpoint area of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Friday morning. The officers then saw a man, later identified as Towers, yelling that he was going to kill a Transportation Security Administration employee and swinging a stanchion line post before throwing it at them.Officers told the man to stop and move away but he  replied that he ‘did not have to stop… it’s a free country.’”

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KARE-TV reports: “A student at North High School in North St. Paul is facing charges after allegedly bringing a loaded gun to school last week and assaulting school staff. According to a news release from North St. Paul police, school officials received a tip on Nov. 9 that the student ‘likely’ had a gun on school grounds. The release says when the student was removed from class and questioned about the weapon, the student ‘immediately began violently assaulting’ school employees and the school resource officer.”

Matt Sepic reports for MPR: “A federal appeals court on Monday allowed a Minneapolis woman to move forward with her lawsuit against a Minneapolis police officer who shot and wounded her dogs in 2017. Officer Michael Mays fired at the animals while responding to a false burglar alarm. Video from Jennifer Livingston’s security camera shows her 60-pound pit bull Ciroc walking toward Mays as if to greet the officer. Mays then shoots the dog in the face before shooting Livingston’s other dog Rocko. Both animals survived but suffered severe injuries. Rocko is trained as a service animal and alerts Livingston when she is about to have a seizure. Ciroc is trained to aid Livingston’s daughter, who suffers from panic attacks.”

Says Adam Rogan for the Racine Journal Times, “Is it legal for 17-year-olds to walk around with AR-15s? It appears so. That was a question at hand Monday morning in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial in the Kenosha County Courthouse. Judge Bruce Schroeder’s answer to that question is, essentially, yes. That it is legal for teenagers to open-carry most long guns, but not handguns, down the street. As such, the charge of possession of a firearm by a minor was dismissed Monday before attorneys made closing arguments in the case.”

FOX 9 reports: “The well-known ‘Spoonbridge and Cherry’ fountain at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will lose its cherry for part of the winter as it undergoes restoration. The Walker Art Center says the cherry will be unbolted and lifted from its base Tuesday morning. From there, the 1,200-pound ball of aluminum will be taken to New York for a fresh coat of paint. Due to the harsh Minnesota winter, the art center says the cherry needs a re-painting about once every ten years to keep it ‘red crisp and glossy.’”

People.com reports: “In another double elimination, Olympic gymnast Suni Lee and actress Melora Hardin were sent home following Monday’s semifinal round of competition, leaving the remaining four contestants — JoJo SiwaIman ShumpertCody Rigsby and Amanda Kloots — still in the running to win the mirrorball trophy in next week’s season 30 finale.”

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