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Worthington contractor solicited fake IDs for underage slaughterhouse workers

Plus: Minneapolis considers ordinance over demonstrators near Planned Parenthood; state officials say more COVID rapid tests are available; federal roads and bridges money comes home; and more.

For the Strib, Christopher Vondracek says, “Court documents filed in Nebraska reveal that a Worthington, Minn., manager of a sanitation contractor solicited fake identification documents that obscured the age of children illegally hired to clean slaughterhouses in the Midwest. U.S. Department of Labor prosecutors say that the Kieler, Wis.-based company Packers Sanitation Services Inc. (PSSI) employed more than 30 minors — including six children in the southwestern Minnesota towns of Worthington and Marshall — to work at two JBS-owned packing facilities and an independent turkey plant. People younger than 18 can legally work in the United States, but not in slaughterhouses, which are deemed “hazardous” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.”

For KARE-TV Allasondra Doyle says, “Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced Tuesday that more than $20 million worth of grants will be awarded to 34 cities, townships and counties around Minnesota. The grant money will be used to pay for rehabilitating housing and commercial buildings and updating public infrastructure in smaller communities across the state. The Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grants will be administered by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and are part of the Community Development Block Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).”

At KSTP-TV Jay Kolls says, “The city of Minneapolis is considering a new ordinance to keep demonstrators — who call themselves ‘sidewalk counselors’ — from ‘disrupting access’ to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Uptown. Planned Parenthood employees and volunteers told a City Council committee that there has been a small increase of threats, harassment and even assaults at the clinic on Lagoon Avenue. The proposed ordinance would not allow demonstrators to stand in the driveway entrance where they often hand out information regarding options women might consider instead of an abortion.”

Also at KSTP, Krystal Frasier says, “Minnesota leaders announced another batch of free COVID-19 rapid tests will soon be available for all households. Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan say there are four additional free at-home rapid tests for all households in the state ahead of Thanksgiving. CLICK HERE to order the tests, or call 1-833-431-2053 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., as well as Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.”

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For Politico Olivia Beavers and Jordain Carney report, “House GOP campaigns chief Tom Emmer on Tuesday prevailed in a fierce race for the No. 3 leadership post in a majority that Republicans are one midterm election victory from formally claiming, despite facing opposition over this month’s narrower-than-expected victories. The Minnesotan defeated Republican Study Committee Chair Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana) on the second ballot after edging Chief Deputy Whip Drew Ferguson (R-Georgia) by one vote during the first round of secret balloting in the battle to be majority whip in the next Congress. It caps off months of bitter jockeying for the House GOP’s highest open leadership role in years.”

At the Pioneer Press, Bill Salisbury writes, “Minnesota will receive almost $2.6 billion in federal funding over the next year for more than 140 infrastructure projects scattered across the state, the White House announced Tuesday. Most of that money will go for roads, bridges, transit, Internet connections and other public works projects funded by the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed into law last year. Now that grant money is arriving. Almost 90 percent of that funding — more than $2.3 billion — is designated for transportation projects.”

At MPR News, Paul Huttner says, “Snowfall totals along the North Shore exceed a foot in some locations. In Cook County, areas near Hovland picked up a total of 14 inches of snowfall so far this week. The Duluth National Weather Service office has recorded 5.2 inches of snow, with radars still pumping snow bands into the region Tuesday afternoon.”

Another MPR News story says, “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday it’s identified a suspected case of chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease, in a wild white-tailed deer near Bemidji. Officials say it’s the first time a wild deer in that area is suspected of having the disease. Last year, CWD was found in a farmed deer herd in Beltrami County.”

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