Police Tell Minnesota Citizens to ‘Be Prepared’ as Two Prisons Close

Citing financial woes The Minnesota Department of Corrections (MNDOC) will be closing two prisons.

Prisoners from the Togo and Willow River prisons will be transferred to other facilities and  100 employees will be laid off as a result of the move. These cuts come only a few weeks after 48 Department of Corrections Employees were let go in response to budget concerns resulting from the coronavirus. 

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Police Budgets Nationwide In Crisis After Covid, Activism Cut Funding in Half: Study

Nashville Police

Police Departments across the country are in crisis as calls to defund the police, rioting, and the Covid Crisis threaten to sap existing resources. 

A new study by the Police Executive Research Forum showed that almost half of the 258 departments surveyed are facing budget cuts. Portland City council approved a $15,000,000 dollar budget cut last month as the city struggled with riots. The Portland Police Department was forced to pay over $5,000,000 in overtime to deal with the unrest. 

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Ohio House Democrats Introduce Bill Aimed at Repealing House Bill 6

Ohio House Democrats introduced a new bill this week that would repeal House Bill (HB) 6, which bailed out nuclear power plants in the state. HB 6 was at the heart of the $60 million corruption scandal that led to state Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) being stripped of his House speakership position.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested Householder and four other people on July 21 for allegedly having “worked to corruptly ensure that HB 6 went into effect by defeating a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation,” according to the DOJ press release.

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Ohio Introduces New Coronavirus Guidelines as the State Sees the Number of COVID-19 Cases Go Over 90,000

Governor Mike DeWine has issued several new recommendations in the wake of an uptick in coronavirus cases.

The number of coronavirus cases in Ohio has recently gone over 90,000 and almost 3,500 people have died, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Thirteen Ohio counties are under the Level Three Public Health Emergency. Level Three means that a county has “very high expose and spread” of the coronavirus.

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Ohio House of Representatives Elect Bob Cupp as New Speaker of the House

Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has been selected to replace Larry Householder (R-Glenford) as Ohio’s new Speaker of the House.

After being charged with participating in a $60 million corruption scandal, Householder was removed in a 90-0 vote. Householder, who is accused of being part of a “racketeering conspiracy involving a 2019 nuclear power plant bailout bill” faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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Anoka County Sheriff Will Not Enforce Mask Mandate

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Department said this week it will not be enforcing Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s face covering executive order.

Intended to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, Executive Order 20-81 makes it mandatory for Minnesotans to wear masks while in most public spaces.

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Minnesota Raises Smoking Age to 21

Minnesotans must be 21 years of age or older to purchase tobacco products starting Saturday, according to twincities.com.

The new law puts the state in line with a similar federal law that raised the legal age to purchase tobacco to in December. E-cigarettes and vapes are included in the law, as well as cigars, chewing tobacco and cigarettes.

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Second Stimulus Check Likely to Exceed $1200 for Many

President Trump hinted that the second round of stimulus payments could be higher than the original $1200. The new GOP plan has updated the definition of “dependents” allowing many to receive an additional $500 dollars per person in their families. 

During an interview in Texas yesterday, President Trump spoke on the second stimulus package, saying “we want to take care of people that don’t have jobs,” Noting that “we have to do it smart but we want.. (to be) very generous.” When asked by a reporter if $1200 would be enough the president responded ” We’re going to see it may go higher than that actually.” He went on to praise the economy saying “We just had tremendous job numbers” and “great retail sales numbers.”

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Ohio’s Elyria Residents Mourn as Apparent Murder-Suicide Claims Five

The City of Elyria is in mourning after what’s being called a ‘murder-suicide’ claimed the lives of five people yesterday. Police conducted a health and wellness inspection of the home where they discovered the scene. The bodies of at least three children were among the dead. 

Police are investigating an apparent-murder suicide that claimed the lives of five Elyria residents. Police arrived yesterday morning at the Willow Park Road home to conduct a health and wellness inspection. Upon arriving they discovered the bodies, including at least three children aged between six and twelve.

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Ohio Regulators Ban, Then Un-Ban ‘Controversial’ COVID Drug

The Ohio Pharmacy Board (OPB) implemented – then quickly reversed – a ban on the use of hydroxychloroquine Thursday. The move followed a revocation of the emergency use authorization by the FDA earlier this month. Previously, President Trump said the decades-old drug could be used as a preventative treatment for a deadly symptom of the disease that causes the lungs to lose function.

As of today, a new rule is set to go into effect regarding the drug, hydroxychloroquine. The OPB published a memo on the rule change stating “in general, the rule prohibits the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”

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Gov. DeWine Calls on Regulators to Enact a ‘Last Call’ Emergency Law

  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine asked the Ohio Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) to enact an emergency law instituting a 10p.m. “last call” for bars and restaurants across the state. At a press conference today The Governor said that the emergency law would allow for patrons to place a final drink…

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Michigan’s Economic Rebound Programs See Millions in New Funds

Forty-one million dollars in taxpayer-funded relief have been approved to bolster Michigan’s flagging economy. A Detroit-based automotive supplies company will receive a two million dollar grant to aid in it’s expansion. This money comes as businesses across the state struggle to deal with the new stresses of the COVID economy and various programs try to fight the downturn.

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved two community upkeep and revitalization initiatives and made changes to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program. These changes reportedly allow “the use of $41.9 million in federal CDBG CARES Act funding.”

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Ohio Teachers Union Calls for Online Classes as Schools Deal with Covid

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) called for remote learning in counties more heavily affected by the coronavirus.

The teachers union, which represents over a hundred thousand teachers, made the demand in a press release Tuesday urging the state to “enact stronger measures to keep students and educators safe.”

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Trump Administration to Send Federal Agents to Cleveland

Federal agents will be sent to Cleveland as part of “Operation Legend.” The operation, named after four-year-old Legend Taliferro who was killed in Kansas City, was created to help combat the uptick in violence in the wake of the George Floyd Protests. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams stressed that there will not be “Federal Troops” in the city.

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Mysterious Seeds Arriving Across the U.S. and U.K.

Unidentified seeds, seemingly from China, have arrived unsolicited across the country. Agricultural officials are asking residents not to plant these seeds. Stating that they may be from invasive, destructive, or otherwise dangerous plants. Officials in at least 27 states have reported unsolicited packages of seeds delivered to residents. Similar packages have begun arriving throughout the U.K.

Jane Rupp, a Better Business Bureau representative, believes that these shipments could be part of a brushing scam, where online sellers ship large quantities of cheap merchandise to increase their overall ratings and visibility by creating fake reviews in the recipients name, reports Fox. Similar cases were reported in late 2019 with Americans receiving unordered, low cost, and even empty packages.

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Ohio Will Host First 2020 Presidential Debate in September

The first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will occur in Ohio on September 29. Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic will be co-hosting the event at their shared health campus.

The debate was originally slated to be held at the University of Notre Dame, however, the university was forced to withdraw from hosting the event, citing coronavirus concerns. 

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty for Serial Killer

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentences of convicted serial killer Michael Madison last week. Madison, who was convicted of murdering three women after confessing to killing one, claimed that he did not recall killing the two others. The 2013 conviction was not without controversy however, as the defense took issue with several aspects of the prosecution including psychiatric reports, jury selection, and even the constitutionality of the death penalty.

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