Thursday, January 28

Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. CDT


Apparent noose found in Black Minnesota firefighter’s locker

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — City officials in Bloomington, Minnesota, have asked the FBI to investigate after a piece of rope resembling a noose was found in a Black firefighter’s locker. Officials of the Minneapolis suburb said in a news release Saturday that the rope was tied into what appears to be a crude noose and was discovered at a Bloomington fire station on June 15. The discovery was reported to Bloomington Fire Department leaders on Tuesday. The fire chief says such acts that “embody hate, intimidation, and aggression will not be tolerated.” Mayor Tim Busse says he’s  “disgusted, angry, and embarrassed by this cowardly act.” 


Plan advances to allow dismantling Minneapolis Police Dept.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis City Council has unanimously advanced a plan that could one day do away with the city’s police department, following unrest over the killing of George Floyd. The council voted Friday in favor of amending the city charter to replace the current department with a “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention” that would prioritize a “holistic” and “public-health oriented” approach. Several obstacles remain for the proposal to make it onto the November ballot. Critics of the plan, including Mayor Jacob Frey and the officers’ union, say it’s short on specifics for what would replace the police department.


Judge rejects cameras for ex-cops’ hearings in Floyd death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has rejected allowing cameras in the court for pretrial proceedings of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. News media organizations and defense attorneys had requested the audio and visual recordings. But Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejected the request Friday, noting the prosecution had objected. Minnesota rules allow the judge, prosecutors or defense attorneys to veto camera coverage during trial proceedings. The judge will rule later on whether cameras will be allowed at trial. Floyd died May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee against the handcuffed Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Three other officers are charged with aiding and abetting. All four are due in court for a hearing Monday.


US police registry would fail without changes in states

HOUSTON (AP) — Without major changes in almost every state, a national police misconduct database like what the White House and Congress have proposed after George Floyd’s death would fail to account for thousands of problem officers. The outlook for a policing bill is newly uncertain after Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a Republican proposal from moving forward. The House approved a far-reaching police overhaul from Democrats on Thursday, but it has almost zero chance of becoming law. Any eventual registry that emerges would depend on states reporting into it. But states and police departments track misconduct very differently. And some states currently don’t track it at all.


Mother reunited with missing baby, police look for father

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police say a baby reported missing after her father assaulted her mother in St. Paul has been reunited with the woman and was not harmed. Authorities said Friday the father is still on the run. The 21-year-old man is accused of taking off with the 7-month-old girl after attacking her mother at a home in St. Paul Thursday. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension issued an alert for help in finding the baby and her father. Police say a man dropped off the baby at an urgent care facility in Minnetonka about 6 p.m. Thursday. 


Walz approves $841M in federal COVID aid to cities, counties

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz has approved plans to distribute $841 million in federal coronavirus aid to cities and counties across Minnesota. He also approved $12 million for food banks and food shelves that have seen a surge in demand. The money comes from the $2.1 billion that Minnesota received under a sweeping federal economic rescue law known as the CARES Act. The state will distribute the $841 million to local governments starting next week according to a set of formulas that lawmakers agreed to during last week’s special session, under a deal that later fell apart. Walz followed the original agreement.


Honeywell closing Coon Rapids plant in August

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — Honeywell International says it will close its plant in Coon Rapids in August and eliminate dozens of jobs. The company says it’s consolidating the plant’s work into other U.S. operations. The Coon Rapids plant employed 212, but the company says some employees have retired, transferred or found other jobs since it told them of the plans to close last year. Honeywell spokesman Scott Sayres did not have an exact number of employees affected, but said it’s less than 200. The Coon Rapids location primarily makes sensors used in GPS devices for the aerospace industry. 


Mayo Clinic ends COVID-19 pay cuts as business bounces back

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Mayo Clinic is ending pay cuts that the Rochester-based health system imposed to deal with a patient downturn caused by the coronavirus. The Star Tribune reports Mayo plans to restore pay and return furloughed workers this summer. In April, Mayo announced plans to cut pay to more than 20,000 people and seek furloughs when elective surgeries were halted in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 patients. The clinic was projecting a possible $3 billion loss in 2020. But Mayo says patient volumes reached 80 to 90% of normal by mid-June, which was a quicker-than-expected recovery. Mayo Clinic’s chief executive Dr. Gianrico Farrugia said in a statement the health system is “very pleased to be able to restore pay and end furloughs early.”

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