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Workers who plow and maintain runways at MSP airport vote to authorize strike

Plus: second person in Minnesota tests positive for omicron variant; St. Paul school board expected to make critical ethnic studies a graduation requirement; Edina mayor says city ‘under attack’ from criminals; and more.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Deanna Weniger writes for the Pioneer Press: “Union members who plow and maintain the runways, streets and walkways of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport voted Sunday to authorize a strike, according to a news release from the Teamsters Local 320. … Labor negotiations hit an impasse with the Metropolitan Airports Commission over the weekend, and the union voted to authorize a strike by a 95 percent margin. Under state law, the soonest members could strike would be Jan. 20, but the two groups are expected to resume mediation Dec. 28.”

This from WCCO-TV, “A second person in Minnesota has tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Health said the case was confirmed Friday through its variant surveillance program. MDH said the person, an adult, developed mild symptoms on Nov. 30 and has since recovered. They had traveled within the U.S. but not overseas. The person had been vaccinated.”

An AP story says, “Minnesota lakes have lost nearly two weeks of lake ice over the past 50 years as climate change diminishes the state’s winters, officials from Minnesota’s natural resources and pollution control agencies said Friday. According to newly released data from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources, the state has lost an average of 10 to 14 days of lake ice over the past 50 years — a change officials say is hurting local economies, the environment and the Minnesota way of life.”

Josh Verges writes in the Pioneer Press: “The St. Paul school board is expected Tuesday to make critical ethnic studies a required course for high school graduation, starting with the class of 2025. The proposed update to the district’s graduation requirements would drop a second semester of human geography in favor of the new course, which the district spent over two years developing at the urging of student leaders and school board members.”

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In the Duluth News Tribune, Kelly Boldan says, “Three weekly newspapers in west central Minnesota and four others in the state have been sold to CherryRoad Media, according to multiple media reports. CherryRoad Media announced Tuesday that it will acquire the Granite Falls Advocate-Tribune, Montevideo American News and Redwood Falls Gazette in west central Minnesota and four others papers in Minnesota — the Crookston Times, the Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch, the St. James Plaindealer and the Tri-County News in Cottonwood. … CherryRoad Media is headquartered in Morris Plains, New Jersey.”

A FOX 9 story says, “Edina Mayor Jim Hovland, in an email to residents, says ‘we need to be both on offense and defense,’ in response to recent crimes that include car thefts and a violent carjacking attempt in the Lunds and Byerly’s parking lot at 50th and France. ‘Our town, and our neighboring towns, have had their security and serenity under attack from mobile criminals who are coming into Edina and other nearby communities to steal private property and in some cases injuring people who resist or assist a victim,’ Hovland wrote. … Thursday night, Edina police said they responded to an attempted carjacking that was thwarted by good Samaritans.”

The AP reports: “A bipartisan bill introduced in the state Assembly would give the University of Wisconsin System authority over tuition reciprocity with Minnesota. The legislation would also let UW campuses keep additional revenue from students paying Minnesota tuition rates, revenue that is currently deposited into Wisconsin’s state budget. The reciprocity agreements between Wisconsin and Minnesota have been in place since the 1970s and have allowed students to attend colleges in their neighboring states while paying in-state tuition.”

Another FOX 9 story says, “In the wake of the most devastating tornado in the history of the state of Kentucky, Minnesotans are being called in to help. … On Saturday morning, the Minnesota and Dakotas division of the American Red Cross got the news that volunteers from the region would be needed in Kentucky. Once they arrive, they are expected to stay there to help for about two weeks.”