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Metro schools move to e-learning, Walz alerts National Guard

Plus: COVID-19 linked to cardiovascular events; what’s closed due to weather; MPD Chief Brian O’Hara expanding number of command positions; local governments have to ask the legislature for permission to put sales tax hikes to voters; and more.

A snow plower clearing the sidewalks in front of Union Depot.
A snow plower clearing the sidewalks in front of Union Depot.
MinnPost photo by Peyton Sitz

This from KMSP-TV, “A high-impact, multi-day winter storm that could dump more than a foot of snow across the Twin Cities metro and beyond has prompted numerous school districts to cancel school or switch to e-learning days. … St. Paul Public Schools on Tuesday said it will hold an e-learning day on Wednesday and Thursday. It will also have a snow day on Friday to allow families to clean up after the storm, the district said … Minneapolis Public Schools on Tuesday said it will be closing school buildings and holding e-learning days for all students for the remainder of the week, from Wednesday, Feb. 22, through Friday, Feb. 24.”

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At KARE-TV Dana Thiede says, “Acting on a request from the head of the Minnesota National Guard, Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday issued emergency executive orders that allow a number of state agencies to coordinate and deal with this week’s winter storm.  While holding a press conference on affordable child care, Walz took questions on preparations for the approaching storm, which has the potential to drop nearly two feet of snow on areas of southern Minnesota. … The governor confirmed he issued the emergency executive orders to the National Guard, MnDOT and the State Patrol after a request from Maj. General Shawn Manke. The orders allow the agencies to start coordinating things like highway rescue plans in advance, so they’re ready to respond jointly if things get serious.”

Bring Me the News is keeping a list of businesses and services closed due to the weather.

A story by Beth Mole at Ars Technica says, “A bout of COVID-19 is known to increase a person’s long-term risks of having a major cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. But being fully vaccinated or even partially vaccinated appears to bring that risk down, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. … Overall, the researchers found that being vaccinated—fully or partially—was linked to fewer cardiac events in the six months following a case of COVID-19.

This from Stribber Liz Sawyer, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara is moving to reorganize his front office by expanding the number of command positions, a change he says will lead to increased accountability as the force prepares for monitorship under a federal consent decree. As part of the restructuring, O’Hara would appoint a second assistant chief of police and reclassify the chief of staff job — historically held by a sworn officer — as a civilian administrative role. Those are meant to be part of a larger shakeup that would fundamentally rework MPD’s executive leadership team.”

An Axios story by Torey Van Oot says, “Billions of dollars in proposed local sales tax hikes could be headed to ballots across Minnesota in coming elections — if the Legislature signs off on the requests. The big picture: Dozens of local governments want to ask voters to approve adding increases of a half-percent or more to pay for community centers, parks, police stations and other projects. Yes, but: They need permission from the Legislature to put the measures on the ballot.”

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