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Minnesota regulators sign off on rate increase for Xcel customers

Plus: 4-8 inches of snow expected for metro; Daunte Wright’s girlfriend testifies at Potter trial; FOX 9 journalist foils St. Louis Park carjacking; and more.

Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash

The AP reports: “Minnesota regulators have signed off on higher electric and natural gas prices for Xcel Energy residential customers. The state Public Service Commission issued a news release Thursday saying the utility had asked to increase electric rates by 9.4% and natural gas rates by 4.9%. The commission said it has approved an interim electric rate increase of 6.4% and an interim natural gas rate increase of 3.9%. All told, the interim increases will translate to $5.54 more a month for average electric customers and 60 cents more a month for average gas customers.”

KARE-TV says: “A Winter Storm Warning has now expanded to include most of the metro for Friday into Saturday morning. Widespread accumulating snow is in the forecast from the Twin Cities into southern Minnesota. The heaviest snow will likely fall south of the Twin Cities. However, expect heavy snow throughout the afternoon with 4″-8″ for the metro, with the lower amounts in the northwest metro and the most in the southeast metro.”

In the Star Tribune, Jeremy Olson writes: “Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday urged more COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of the holidays to confront a pandemic wave that is pushing hospitals beyond capacity and causing more infection in schools and communities. State leaders acknowledged that vaccination appointments are becoming scarce, partly because of a shortage of health care providers to administer shots, but they urged people to be persistent and get their shots to reduce the risks of severe illness and hospitalization.”

The AP story by Amy Forliti and Steve Karnowski says, “The woman who was riding with Daunte Wright when he was pulled over by police tearfully testified on Thursday about the chaos right after an officer shot him, saying she screamed at Wright trying to get a response but that he ‘wasn’t answering me and he was just gasping.’ … Alayna Albrecht-Payton, who was Wright’s girlfriend, testified. ‘I didn’t know what to do.’”

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In the Pioneer Press, Mara H. Gottfried writes: “St. Paul’s police and firefighter unions asked a judge at a hearing Thursday to put a vaccine mandate for city employees on hold until they can negotiate an agreement with city leaders. Three labor organizations have filed lawsuits against the city of St. Paul claiming an unfair labor practice. They are seeking a temporary restraining order to halt the mandate from being put in place as scheduled at the end of this month. … Ramsey County District Court Judge Robert Awsumb said he expects to make a decision in the next week to 10 days.”

Also in the Star Tribune, this from Stephen Montemayor, “A business lawyer and political newcomer is the latest in a field of GOP candidates to make violent crime a key pillar of their 2022 pitches to unseat Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Jim Schultz launched his maiden bid for public office on Thursday with a video announcement steeped in the criminal justice debates that have swirled in the state for much of the past two years.”

FOX 9 reports: “FOX 9 journalists at a grocery store in St. Louis Park to cover a previous robbery encountered an attempted carjacking on Thursday afternoon. …  as our crews were shooting video at the store at about 3:15 p.m., they witnessed three young men attempt to violently carjack a man in a Mercedes SUV. In a video from our photographer’s GoPro, a suspect appears to have entered through the backseat and is seen swinging at the victim behind the driver’s wheel with an object that looked like a gun or possibly a power drill. Our photographer yells and honks his horn and the suspects eventually run away.”

This from Benji Stawski at The Points Guy: “If you’re the type of traveler who usually books the lowest fare possible, listen up. Delta just added several major restrictions that might make you think twice about booking its basic economy fares. Overnight, the Atlanta-based carrier discreetly added a note to its website that basic economy fares will no longer earn award miles in the SkyMiles program or earn credit toward Medallion elite status. The change is effective for tickets purchased on or after Dec. 9, 2021, for flights departing on or after Jan. 1, 2022.”