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Minnesotans visited food shelves in record numbers in 2022

Plus: Minnesota homeowner insurance premiums are up; Minneapolis says it’s making progress in consent decree negotiations; bill would pre-register 16-year-olds to vote; Racket’s list of rules on how to conduct yourself in the Twin Cities; the four-week weather outlook.

food shelf

Kelly Smith of the Strib reports, “The number of Minnesotans seeking help from food shelves across the state ballooned in 2022 to a record high, with new data Wednesday showing that the need for food assistance exceeded preliminary projections. Minnesotans visited the state’s food shelves more than 5.5 million times in 2022, making about 400,000 more visits than predicted last fall, according to the data released by Hunger Solutions Minnesota. That’s nearly 2 million more visits to food shelves than in either 2021 or 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic began, an increase of more than 50%.”

This from Jon Collins at MPR, “Officials with the city of Minneapolis say they’re making progress in negotiations with the state that could lead to a consent decree governing the Minneapolis Police Department’s policies and practices.   A report last April by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights found that Minneapolis police had engaged in discrimination by race, and that there was little accountability for officer misconduct. It was the product of a state investigation started just days after George Floyd’s killing in May 2020. The state report found racial disparities in how Minneapolis police officers stopped, searched, arrested and cited Black residents. Investigators also found consistent use of racist, misogynist and other disrespectful language by officers and covert surveillance of Black activists and groups.”

At WCCO-TV Caroline Cummings says, “Minnesota homeowners insurance premiums have soared by nearly 400% in the last two decades as destructive weather events become more common, an industry official told a House panel Wednesday. In 1998, the average annual cost to have a home insured in Minnesota was $368, but that increased to $1,433 in 2019. That’s 14th highest rate in the county, said Mark Kulda, vice president of public affairs at the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, a trade association. ‘Back in 1998, the trend for homeowners increases was generally the increased cost of the homes. Now it seems to be more driven by the fact that the homes are getting struck by more weather’, he testified to lawmakers. ‘We are seeing a lot more storms and a lot more storm claims, which is why our premiums have gone up so high’. State data show Minnesota’s climate is getting warmer and wetter with more frequent and intense rains.”

For Sports Illustrated Chris Mannix writes, “With the NBA seeing unprecedented parity in the standings this year, many teams believe they are good. Championship good. The top five teams in the Eastern Conference are separated by six games. In the West, the fourth-seeded Clippers are just 3.5 games ahead of 12th-place Portland. A good week can position a team for home court advantage. A bad one could push them out of the playoffs. … The T-Wolves are in that Western Conference cluster where you can wake up in fifth place and go to bed in ninth. But they have been playing better of late.”

Stribber Kim Hyatt says, “After less than two hours of deliberation, a Hennepin County jury convicted a woman of first-degree murder for shooting her 6-year-old son nine times inside her car and hiding his body in the trunk, where it was later discovered by Orono police following a traffic stop.”

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Brian Bakst of MPR says, “Minnesota could join a growing roster of states to pre-register 16-year-olds so they’re prepared to vote upon turning 18. It’s one element of a voting and elections bill that took steps ahead in Minnesota’s Legislature this week. Rep. Emma Greenman, DFL-Minneapolis, said her bill ‘strengthens the freedom to vote by modernizing and expanding voter registration’. … In the House hearing, Rep. Pam Altendorf, R-Red Wing, questioned the idea of advance registration for those years from voting eligibility.”

This … from Racket. “What new rules of etiquette would help life in the Twin Cities go a little smoother? Now, we know what you’re thinking: ‘Well, of course New Yorkers need to be told how to behave. But we are Minnesotans, the most polite people in the U.S. We don’t need someone to teach us manners’. That’s where you’re wrong! … 10. If you are from Minneapolis, do not make jokes about St. Paul. What has St. Paul ever done to you anyway? And Edina is sitting right there. [Ed. note: Racket’s lone Minneapolis-born staffer strongly disagrees with this rule; he says the historic rivalry between the cities should be ‘honored and stoked’.] 11. Folks living in any ring of the suburbs should not claim to be Minneapolitans or St. Paulites. Just don’t. You’ll be exposed. 12. Debate the local-ness of celebs with great frequency and conviction. Prince, Bob Dylan, Josh Hartnett, and the Coen brothers are locals. Claim them without hesitation. Vince Vaughn, Jessica Biel, and Chris Pratt? Their Minnesota bona fides are the subjects of loud, passionate debate. (Never forget Vaughn’s very random star on the short-lived Minnesota Walk of Fame.) Don’t get silly and start saying Bon Iver or the Hold Steady are local, though.”

At BringMeTheNews Sven Sundgaard says, “This is perhaps one of the most risky times of year to try to make any predictions. It’s a naturally volatile time of year. We know March can be stormy and at some point in late February into early April the polar vortex is dealt a death blow (naturally as the arctic warms up with the return of sunshine) which can deliver a cold blast or a prolonged, ‘stuck’ cold pattern. That all depends on if the vortex fizzles out or is knocked off its axis like last year or in 2018. Those were both brutal Aprils filled with cold and snow. While the end of the stratospheric polar vortex (which develops and persists every winter but affects us differently each year) is called a ‘final warming,’ major disruptions to it or sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events that occur during what is still winter, don’t always happen. There’s lots of chatter and debate in the forecasting community about if one will occur in the second half of February. The models have gone literally back and forth.”

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