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Minneapolis, St. Paul close school buildings; snow totals could reach 10 inches in Twin Cities

Plus: C.H. Robinson’s chief executive is out; the most diverse set of state lawmakers ever is sworn into office; Southwest Airlines offers bonus miles to customers affected by holiday meltdown; and more.

A woman walking her dog in the snow.
MinnPost photo by Peyton Sitz

For the Pioneer Press, Molly Guthrey and Nick Woltman report, “A slow-moving winter storm settled over the Twin Cities on Tuesday, closing schools, snarling traffic and canceling flights. The storm is also giving many students across the metro a snow day on Wednesday — including Anoka-Hennepin and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan. St. Paul Public Schools are opting for an e-learning day (with varsity practices and games held or canceled on a case-by-case basis). Expect two to five more inches of snow to fall by Wednesday evening, the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service reported on Wednesday morning.”

At MPR News, Sven Sundgaard says, “Additional snow will fall Wednesday into Wednesday night making for some impressive totals, especially in southwest Minnesota. … Behind the storm system temperatures cool down but we won’t see an arctic blast like a couple weeks ago. Temperatures will be just slightly below normal Thursday into the weekend.”

At KARE -TV Alexandra Simon says, “From 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. [Tuesday], the Minnesota State Patrol reported 70 vehicle crashes, including four with injuries, 472 vehicle spinouts and 6 jackknifed semis. Fortunately, none of the crashes were serious or fatal, according to a social post from the State Patrol.”

Patrick Kennedy of the Strib says, “C.H. Robinson’s chief executive, Bob Biesterfeld, resigned on Saturday in what the company called an ‘involuntary termination by the company without cause’ in a federal filing. The company’s board chair, Scott Anderson, is now interim CEO, the company said on Tuesday. The Eden Prairie-based company offered no reason for the abrupt transition with its public announcement Tuesday morning. The logistics and freight giant has retained Russell Reynolds, a leading national executive search firm, to find a permanent replacement. … The company’s fall has been bumpy as the supply chain disruption of the pandemic settles into a new normal. C.H. Robinson announced in November it would lay off 650 workers, or 3.6% of its workforce, after sagging third quarter results.”

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For Sahan Journal, Jaida Grey Eagle, Becky Z. Dernbach and Hibah Ansari report, “The 2023 Minnesota Legislature was sworn in Tuesday, sweeping in the state’s most diverse set of lawmakers ever. The House and Senate convened at 12 p.m., swearing in many new legislators who were elected last November. At least 35 out of 201 legislators identify as people of color, according to a Sahan Journal count verified by DFL and Republican party leaders. There were 27 lawmakers of color in the 2022 session. The Senate also made history by swearing in its first Black women senators. Democrats Erin Maye QuadeZaynab Mohamed, and Clare Oumou Verbeten won their elections last November by easy margins, becoming the first Black women elected to the Minnesota Senate in 164 years of statehood.”

A CNN story by Pete Muntean and Gregory Wallace says, “Southwest Airlines is offering a new appeasement to some customers after last week’s glut of cancellations while the misplaced baggage fiasco could grind on for days longer. On Tuesday, Southwest informed some passengers affected by its Christmas travel meltdown that they would receive 25,000 frequent flyer bonus points as a ‘gesture of goodwill.’ In an email from the airline to passengers that was obtained by CNN, Southwest CEO Bob Jordan wrote that ‘no amount of apologies can undo your experience.’ He said the 25,000 gift points are worth about $300, and the airline told CNN the offer is in addition to reimbursements and refunds.”

This, from Danny Spewak at KARE-TV, “Persistent mail delivery issues in Minnesota have prompted action from the state’s congressional leaders. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Angie Craig both sent letters to U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy late last week, demanding answers about delayed service. Klobuchar cited ‘significant’ issues in the Duluth and Twin Cities areas, while Craig said some constituents reported not receiving mail for two weeks.”

For KIMT-TV Mike Bunge says, “Radon testing in newly bought homes has dropped 39% in two years. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says the number of home radon tests completed during real estate sales in 2022 was down 39% from 2020, even though home sales did not decline.  MDH says reduced testing means fewer home buyers are identifying and reducing this cancer-causing hazard. ‘Unfortunately, we have seen a decline in radon testing reported to us during home sales’, says Dan Tranter, supervisor of the MDH Indoor Air Program.  ‘Radon professionals have also told us about a decline in their services. During the hot housing market in the last couple of years, some home buyers were skipping home inspections and radon tests.’”

For KFGO radio Ryan Janke reports, “The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is using a $10 million grant to help federal prison inmates prepare for and find work after their release.   DEED spokesman Jeremiah Carter said the program is available to inmates being released from prisons in Duluth, Sandstone, Rochester and Waseca.”

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