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Trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter set to begin

Plus: Hennepin County judge rules in major school segregation lawsuit; one-quarter of Minnesota’s 5- to 11-year-olds now vaccinated; noted Twin Cities chef Jack Riebel dies; and more.

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Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

WCCO-TV reports: “The trial for former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter is set to begin Wednesday morning for the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright. …The hearing will be live-streamed. …. Earlier this year, Potter, 49, was charged with first-degree and second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s April 11 death in Brooklyn Center. The white former officer – she resigned two days after the shooting – has said she meant to use her Taser on the 20-year-old Wright after he tried to drive away from a traffic stop as officers tried to arrest him, but that she grabbed her handgun instead. Her body camera recorded the shooting.”

The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges writes: “The plaintiffs in a major school segregation lawsuit have failed to persuade a judge that racial and socioeconomic imbalances in Twin Cities area school enrollment amount to a violation of Minnesota’s constitution. Hennepin County District Judge Susan Robiner this week denied the plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment in Cruz-Guzman v. State of Minnesota. However, Robiner asked the state Court of Appeals for an immediate review of her decision, writing that she had little legal precedent to work from, that the case is important, and that there’s a fair chance the appellate court will overturn her order.”

This from KSTP-TV,One-quarter of Minnesota’s 5- to 11-year-olds got vaccinated in the first month they were able to, Gov. Tim Walz’s office said Tuesday. According to the state, 128,000 Minnesota kids in that age range have received at least one dose. That percentage ranks best in the Midwest and sixth in the nation, Walz’s office says. … According to Tuesday’s Minnesota Department of Health update, the state has also now surpassed 8 million total vaccine doses administered.”

Alex Derosier writes for the Forum News Service: “Minnesota moved another step closer this week to unlocking roughly $300 million from a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and the three major U.S. drug distributors in connection to the nation’s opioid painkiller addiction crisis. Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Monday that the state had reached an agreement with Minnesota counties and cities on how to distribute the state’s share of a pending $26 billion national settlement agreement.…Municipal governments will receive 75% of the settlement funds while the state will receive 25% to help pay for opioid addiction treatment and prevention.”

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In the Star Tribune, Tony Kennedy says, “Testing for deer disease in the Brainerd lakes area will continue for several more hunting seasons because a whitetail recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The lab report, arriving near the end of this season, nullified the Department of Natural Resources’ plan to drop CWD testing and other special management tactics for the area. The DNR said Monday the disease showed up in just one of 1,234 hunter-harvested deer tested in the Brainerd area this season.”

At Bring Me The News Joe Nelson says, “A 42-year-old Minneapolis woman has not been seen or heard from since Dec. 1, according to a flyer being shared widely on social media.  Christine Beeson was last seen Dec. 1 in Minneapolis ‘with the intentions of heading to Bayfield, WI for a visit’ before she was due to return to Minneapolis for a flight out of town on Dec. 12.  The missing person flyer says Beeson ‘never made it to Bayfield’, though she was last known to be driving a white 2008 Volkswagen EOS convertible with Minnesota license plate 336-WAC. … Beeson played for the UW-Eau Claire women’s ice hockey team the early 2000s. Her LinkedIn confirms that she played hockey there after graduating from Totino-Grace in the late 1990s.”

KSTP-TV’s Tom Hauser reports: “Five of the six Republican candidates for Minnesota governor debated in Wayzata Tuesday night. Not surprisingly, all five candidates were united in their opposition to how Democratic Governor Tim Walz has handled the pandemic. All five of the candidates say they’ve had COVID and three of the five say they got vaccinated either before or after contracting the virus. …Two of the candidates are doctors, including former state Senator Scott Jensen and dermatologist Neil Shah. Shah says he got COVID after vaccination and Jensen says he’s relying on antibodies from his COVID infection to protect him. He says he will not get vaccinated.”

Also in the Pioneer Press, Jess Flemming writes: “John Percy Riebel, aka ‘Chef Jack,’ whose culinary career spanned 40 years in the Twin Cities and culminated with the reopening of St. Paul’s most storied restaurant, The Lexington, died Monday morning at the age of 55. Riebel was diagnosed with cancer of the neuroendocrine system in June 2019. It’s the cancer both Steve Jobs and Aretha Franklin died from, and there is no cure. The chef, who was a finalist for a James Beard award during his tenure as the chef and co-owner of Butcher and the Boar in Minneapolis, left a legacy of mentorship and camaraderie among the culinary community.”

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