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Biden administration looks to limit ‘no-knock’ warrants in wake of Amir Locke killing

Plus: students set to walk out of class at several Twin Cities schools; restaurant vaccine mandates could be lifted sooner than expected in Minneapolis, St. Paul; Sculpture Gardens’ Cherry to return to Spoonbridge next week; and more.

Body camera footage from a Minneapolis police officer taken during the serving of a no-knock warrant Thursday morning.
Body camera footage from a Minneapolis police officer taken during the serving of a no-knock warrant Thursday morning.
Screen shot/City of Minneapolis

The AP’s Colleen Long and Michael Balsamo write: “The Biden administration is considering expanding a policy that limits the use of “no-knock” warrants by certain federal agents. … White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that President Joe Biden was looking at whether to further limit federal agents’ use of the tactic after a local SWAT team in Minneapolis fatally shot Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man.”

In the Star Tribune, Alex Chhith writes: “Student activists are set to walk out of classes Tuesday at several Minneapolis and St. Paul schools, joining protests calling for justice in the death of Amir Locke by a Minneapolis police officer. Twin Cities advocacy group MN Teen Activists organized the walkout and called for others across the state to join in, according to the group’s social media pages. Leaders are planning a noon rally at St. Paul Central High School and a march to the governor’s residence on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The list of schools with students participating in the walkout include Central High and Capitol Hill Magnet School in St. Paul; and Southwest, Roosevelt and Washburn high schools in Minneapolis.”

FOX 9’s Babs Santos reports: “As the omicron surge continues to fall off, COVID-19 vaccine mandates put in place for restaurants could be lifted sooner than expected in the Twin Cities. The restrictions in both cities, requiring restaurants and other venues to check customers for vaccination or a recent negative test, went into effect in mid-January. … The mandate in St. Paul was set to expire at the end of the month. However, FOX 9 has learned the city is planning to end it much sooner. … In Minneapolis, Mayor Frey says he hopes to lift Minneapolis’ vaccine mandate for dine-in restaurants as soon as evidence supports the decision. The end of the week is a possibility, but he wants to review data with the experts.”

In the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges writes: “St. Paul voters soon will be asked to support a series of property tax increases to cover two years of preschool for children from low-income families. A coalition now called SPARK — St. Paul All Ready for Kindergarten — is finalizing the language on a petition to put the question on city ballots this November. If it passes, St. Paul would become the first city in the state to publicly fund preschool and child care for 3- and 4-year-olds.”

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At MPR, Tim Pugmire says, “A Minnesota Senate committee advanced legislation Monday to help attract more people to become police officers in Minnesota and address the local staffing shortages many departments are facing. Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, the bill’s author, is proposing a $1 million appropriation this year for marketing and advertising efforts. She said many people in law enforcement are feeling unappreciated.”

WCCO-TV reports, “Police in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center say two people were shot in separate incidents along Interstate 94 Monday afternoon. Minneapolis police say the first shooting happened at about 1:15 p.m. on the interstate near 49th Avenue North. The Minnesota State Patrol responded to the call that an occupant of a vehicle had been shot in the leg. They were taken to an area hospital. Brooklyn Center police say the second shooting happened on the interstate near 57th Avenue North at about 2:20 p.m.”

MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports: “In the past few weeks, several wild ducks killed by hunters in the southeastern United States have tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza. Cases have also been confirmed in eastern Canada. Despite the fact that those cases are far from Minnesota, a state official said they are an early warning for Minnesota poultry producers ahead of the spring waterfowl migration. … For many in the poultry industry, this scenario is uncomfortably similar to 2015, when about 9 million birds in Minnesota and 50 million across the country where killed by the virus, or euthanized in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.”

WCCO-TV reports: “The most iconic piece of fruit in the Twin Cities is slated to return to its perch atop a giant spoon next week. The Walker Art Center announced Monday that the freshly restored 1,200-pound cherry of Spoonbridge and Cherry is coming back to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on Feb. 18. Since November, the sculpture has been but a giant spoon, as its fountain fruit was sent to Fine Art Finishes in New York to re-painted.

The AP reports, “A northeastern Wisconsin couple have claimed half of a $632.6 million Powerball jackpot won last month, the Wisconsin Lottery announced Monday. Tammy and Cliff Webster, who live in Oneida, near Green Bay, won roughly $316 million of the jackpot from the Jan. 5 drawing. The other winning ticket was sold in California. The total jackpot was the seventh largest in Powerball’s history. The Websters, who are members of the Oneida Nation, are taking the cash option of $225 million instead of annual payments, according to the lottery. After state and local taxes, they will take home nearly $154 million.”