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MSP airport, Metro Transit drop mask mandates after federal ruling

Plus: Mississippi River listed as one of “most endangered” in U.S.; FBI investigating threat to Minneapolis City Council members; Hy-Vee scraps plans for stores in several metro-area cities; and more.

Various N95 masks shown at a 3M laboratory in Maplewood.
Various N95 masks shown at a 3M laboratory in Maplewood.
REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Alex Chhith writes in the Star Tribune: “Travelers no longer have to wear face masks at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport or while riding Metro Transit trains and buses. The action comes after a federal judge in Florida struck down the federal mask requirement on airplanes, trains, buses and other public transportation on Monday, less than a week after the CDC had extended it through May 3.”

Says Kirsti Marohn for MPR, “Citing threats from pollution and climate change, a new report lists the Mississippi River — from its headwaters in northern Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico — as one of the most endangered rivers in the United States. Every year, the environmental advocacy group American Rivers publishes a list of the 10 U.S. rivers it considers most at risk.  … The group’s 2020 report included a portion of the upper Mississippi from Minnesota to Missouri. This year, American Rivers has listed the river’s entire length.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the 10-year-old boy who was fatally shot inside a downtown Minneapolis apartment last week. … On Monday, the examiner’s office identified the boy as Amare Rashaun Mayberry-Campbell of Andover and determined he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. … The preliminary investigation indicates the victim and another juvenile family member were alone and unsupervised inside the apartment when the shooting occurred.”

Nick Ferraro writes in the Pioneer Press: “Hy-Vee has scrapped plans for stores in West St. Paul, Farmington and three other metro-area cities, saying the sites do not fit into a new company strategy that centers around building larger stores and putting more distance between future locations. As a result, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based grocery store chain said Monday, its land in West St. Paul, Farmington, Blaine, Maple Grove and Chaska will go up for sale. Hy-Vee did not give a timetable for selling them.”

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KSTP-TV’s Jay Kolls reports: “A threat directed at Minneapolis City Council members has prompted an FBI investigation, law enforcement confirmed Monday.  5 EYEWITNESS NEWS obtained a copy of a threatening email that was sent to all 13 members of the Minneapolis City Council just after midnight Easter Sunday. FBI spokesperson, Cyndi Barrington, confirmed the federal agency is investigating the troubling email in cooperation with the Minneapolis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

In the Star Tribune, Jeremy Olson says, “COVID-19 cases in Minnesota’s hospital intensive care units are nearing pandemic lows even as coronavirus infections are nudging upward. Minnesota reported 23 COVID-19 ICU hospitalizations on Friday, which is well below the peak of 369 on Dec. 15 and is the lowest total since mid-July. … Health officials hope that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to follow a trend of declining severity and ICU admissions that began in mid-December when the severe delta variant of the coronavirus was replaced by a faster-spreading but milder omicron variant.”

In the Pioneer Press, Dave Orrick and Frederick Melo write: “A plan to install a land bridge over Interstate 94 in St. Paul came under fire recently from some state Senate Republicans, sending waves of concern through supporters of the ambitious project. But the part of the “Reconnect Rondo” project under attack — some $6 million in funds to merely begin the designing process — is likely safe. The funds, a combination of state and federal dollars, are already inked in state law, the result of a bipartisan agreement last year to approve a state budget. The appropriation was approved by the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Tim Walz.”

Nicole Norfleet writes in the Star Tribune: “Target Corp., the biggest employer in downtown Minneapolis with 8,500 staff members, won’t require them to come back to its headquarters full-time. The company is permanently embracing a hybrid style that lets teams and individuals decide when to work at home and when to be in the office.”

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