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Police arrest 23 in Hennepin County sex trafficking operation

Plus: House moves to bolster Minnesota’s abortion refuge status; demand for food shelves high; snow totals hit double digits for fifth consecutive month; and more.

For KSTP-TV Cory Knudsen reports, “Around two dozen people were arrested last week in a sex trafficking operation in Hennepin County, local law enforcement leaders announced Monday. Monday afternoon, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said a total of 23 men were arrested on March 15 and 16 and a 24th man is under investigation. According to Hodges, the men all responded to an advertisement that showed pictures of an undercover officer seeking prostitution services from a sex worker. All the men arrested were booked at the Bloomington Police Department and were released pending charges.”

At the AP Steve Karnowski tells us, “Minnesota is moving to fortify its status as a refuge for patients from restrictive states who travel to the state to seek abortions — and to protect providers who serve them. The state House on Monday passed a bill by a 68-62 vote to prohibit enforcement in Minnesota of laws, subpoenas, judgements or extradition requests from other states against people who get, perform or assist with abortions in Minnesota.”

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For KMSP-TV Cody Matz says, “Another month and another milestone reached here in the Twin Cities. With an additional half-inch or so of snow early on in the weekend, the metro has now topped 10 inches of snow accumulation this month. This marks the fifth consecutive month that snow totals have been in the double digits (10 inches or more) and that is the first time in history, dating back to 1884, this has occurred.”

Says Dana Thiede at KARE-TV, “A bike share program is leaving the city of Minneapolis, but wants to leave a little something behind to maintain the mission.  The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote Monday whether to accept a gift from Lyft Bikes and Scooters LLC and Nice Ride Minnesota that would officially transfer ownership of 244 lightweight locking stations so residents could secure their two-wheelers.”

In The Wall Street Journal, Dominique Mossbergen says, “A rare and often deadly fungus is spreading rapidly across the U.S., federal researchers said, raising pressure to find new treatments for severe fungal disease.  Candida auris, a fungus discovered about 15 years ago in Japan, infected at least 2,377 people in the U.S. in 2022, up from 53 in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Its swift spread into most states and more than 40 countries has prompted the CDC and World Health Organization to label it a growing threat to public health. Candida auris has a mortality rate of up to 60% and is particularly risky for people who are older or have compromised immune systems, the CDC said.”

Stribber Kelly Smith says, “The phone lines constantly ring at the ICA Food Shelf in Minnetonka, as a growing number of Twin Cities residents seek help. But for ICA and other food shelves across Minnesota, the need is only expected to climb. The state recorded a record number of food shelf visits last year, but nonprofits are bracing for even higher numbers as COVID-19 federal aid payments subside. This month, food shelves and churches from Two Harbors to Tracy are calling for extra help as they restock ahead of the anticipated spike in demand.”

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For BringMeTheNews Adam Uren says, “All-inclusive vacations are something we would typically associate with the Caribbean or the Baja Coast, but there’s one in Minnesota that’s been deemed worthy of national attention. National travel site The Points Guy has compiled a list of the 16 best all-inclusive resorts in the United States, and includes Fair Hills Resort southwest of Detroit Lakes among its picks.”