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Minneapolis Public Schools to lift mask mandate

Plus: Walz pushes for budget plan; suspect in decades-old Iron Range murder case indicted; Minnesota expected to see highs in the 70s next week; and more.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This from KMSP-TV, “Minneapolis Public Schools says it will lift its mask mandate starting Monday, April 18, as the district revises its COVID-19 rules amid changes to CDC guidance and low cases. The district will no longer require masks for all schools and transportation but says students and staff can continue to wear masks at their preference. Along with dropping the mask mandate, the district says it is also discontinuing its contact tracing program.”

The Star Tribune’s Briana Bierschbach writes, “With legislators back home for the Easter/Passover break this week, [Gov. Tim] Walz is using his bully pulpit to increase pressure to pass parts of his plan. He said legislators in both parties are talking to their communities about the session. ‘They’re out there listening to their folks, and I think they’re hearing it.’” Projects such as the veterans home in Hastings have bipartisan support, but major negotiations haven’t started yet on a package of construction projects in a bonding bill, which could give a boost to all 201 state legislators in this midterm election year.”

Another MPR story, this from Brian Bakst says, “About 2,200 Republican state convention delegates who will vote one month from Thursday in Rochester on an endorsement are the main focus of seven major contenders vying for the chance to face DFL Gov. Tim Walz in November. By most accounts, none of the candidates has locked down anywhere near the 60 percent support to win the endorsement on the first ballot. ‘It will be a free for all come May 14th,’ said state Sen. Paul Gazelka, the former majority leader and second-place finisher in a February straw ballot at precinct caucuses.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Christa Lawler reports: “The suspect in an decades-old Iron Range murder case has been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder by a grand jury in Hibbing, charges that carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison if found guilty. Michael Carbo Jr., 54, is accused of sexually assaulting and strangling Nancy Daugherty, a Chisholm woman who had planned to move to the Twin Cities to study to become a paramedic in the summer of 1986. The day she was scheduled to leave, she was found nude in her bed with a pillow over her face. The new charges are in addition to second-degree murder charges in July 2020, more than 34 years after Daugherty, 38, was found dead.”

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MPR also reports: “On Thursday, the city of Minneapolis agreed to settle lawsuits in the amount of $1.8 million with two women who were injured by police officers during protests following the 2020 police killing of George Floyd. According to court documents, on May 27, 2020, Ana Gelhaye was live streaming a protest outside the Third Precinct. “The City responded by shooting Gelhaye in her right eye, causing a severe and permanent injury to that eye,” said the complaint. She will receive $900,000.”

The Fargo Forum’s Mike McFeely says, “Longtime Minnesota DFL state legislator Kent Eken will not seek reelection this fall, he told The Forum. One of the few rural DFLers remaining in the legislature, he’s represented District 4 in the state Senate since 2013. He represented District 2A in the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2013. Eken lived Twin Valley for much of his time in the legislature. He recently moved to a lake home south of Audubon in Becker County, but he remained in a new version of District 4.”

At MPR, Paul Huttner says, “You knew how this would end, Minnesota. And now it looks like we could go from wind-driven snow to 70s and even possibly 80s in less than a week. … Forecast models are responding to the change. NOAA’s GFS model is cranking out highs in the 70s across our region by next Saturday, April 23.”

Also for KMSP-TV, Rose Schmidt and Samantha Hoang Long report, “Snow flurries, wind gusts over 50 mph and temperatures in the 30s aren’t ‘brutal’ enough to stop Olivia Rodrigo fans from lining up to get a spot in the front. Fans couldn’t be ‘happier’ for the Grammy-winning pop star’s general admission show at the Armory in Minneapolis Thursday night. ‘Good 4 u’ if you got tickets to the sold-out show, but don’t be ‘SOUR’ if you didn’t.”