The St. Paul City Council unanimously voted to approve the creation of a committee dedicated to researching reparations for descendants of slavery in order to engage in “racial healing.”
The resolution, which was approved during a Wednesday night meeting, names the new group the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission. The main goal of the committee is to “make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism in the City of Saint Paul.” Read More
A freshman member of the state House of Representatives is working to pass legislation that would end the COVID-19 emergency order levied by Gov. Tim Walz (D).
“Last week, as you may know, I again introduced a resolution to End Walz’ Emergency Powers,” Rep. Erik Mortensen (R-MN-55A) said in a Saturday press release. “The effort failed on a party-line vote which was disappointing given 6 Democrats had previously voted to end the peacetime emergency.” Read More
Gender Justice, a Minnesota-based gender equality organization, is fighting alongside a transgender athlete in a Ramsey County lawsuit against USA Powerlifting.
JayCee Cooper, a transgender powerlifting athlete from Minneapolis, is suing USA Powerlifting and USA Powerlifting Minnesota, with the help of Gender Justice and attorney Nicholas Kaster. Read More
State Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, introduced a bill Monday that would add Minnesota to a popular vote compact, securing the state’s electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote.
According to a press release from the Senate DFL, Wiger’s bill would add Minnesota to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. States that are a part of this agreement “pledge their states’ electoral votes to the presidential and vice presidential candidates who win the national popular vote as opposed to the popular vote in their particular state.” Read More
Minnesota State House Democrats recently filed a complaint against their Republican colleagues who raised concerns about changes to Minnesota’s election laws, urging them to “repent of their foolish statements.”
Concerns about the complaint were brought up by Republicans during a Thursday House session. Read More
The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday aiming to stop Gov. Tim Walz’s administration from adopting California’s vehicle emission standards.
MADA, which represents 350 franchised new car dealers with more than 20,000 employees, alleges Minnesota lacks the authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to regulate motor vehicle emissions. Read More
Former Sen. Scott Jensen said that Minnesotans are in an “abusive relationship” with Gov. Tim Walz during a recent livestream.
In a video explaining the checks in place against Gov. Walz’s emergency powers and why those powers have not been taken away, Jensen compared Minnesota’s situation to an “abusive relationship.” Read More
On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz asked the legislature to enact into law some of his executive orders to prepare for the end of his 11-month reign in a declared COVID-19 state of emergency.
Walz said they needed to work together to keep Minnesotans safe. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions starting Monday on restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues.
Walz cited improving COVID-19 numbers and a rollout of the vaccine in his decision. Read More
Lawmakers kicked off the 2021 legislative session at noon on Tuesday, one day before Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce loosening restrictions on indoor dining and other settings after an improvement in the state’s number of COVID-19 cases.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, told The Center Square in a phone interview one priority is to craft a new two-year state budget without raising taxes on gas, sales, or income. Read More
Details were released Monday regarding the search warrant executed at the family home of Dolal Idd, who was shot and killed by Minneapolis police last week during an attempted traffic stop.
Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson is also defending the conduct of his officers during the search after the family made accusations of mistreatment. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Monday signed a package of 20 criminal justice reform bills into law.
The bills, championed by the bipartisan Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, are intended to prioritize incarceration alternatives and grant law enforcement officers more discretion when issuing appearance tickets rather than making arrests; and restructure penalties for traffic offenses. Read More
Minnesota Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-Saint Paul, called an anti-lockdown protest outside of his home “terrorism.”
Anti-shutdown protesters held a demonstration Saturday outside of Mariani’s home, using a similar tactic as the left-leaning Sunrise Movement, which has endorsed several DFL lawmakers.
During the protest, attendees blocked the street with vehicles and chanted for the representative to come outside to meet them. Some of the protesters arrived with body armor and firearms, including handguns and rifles. Read More
Minnesota Sens. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, and Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz asking him to reopen bars and restaurants.
In their letter, the two senators urge Gov. Walz to reopen bars, restaurants, and other “vital economic engines” by January 11. The letter also asks Walz to let businesses know of his plan by Jan. 4 so they have time to prepare. Read More
Let Them Play MN, a nonprofit, issued a press release outlining its concerns regarding the newest guidelines for youth sports.
A guidance released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Dec. 28 requires all youth sports players to wear masks during practices and, when the time comes, during games. A few exceptions exist, including wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming and diving. Read More
State officials are now seeking additional penalties against Larvita McFarquhar, a defiant restaurant owner in Lynd, Minnesota, who is being fined $250 per day for remaining open.
A Ramsey County judge ordered McFarquhar to close her restaurant earlier this month and comply with Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders. But she refused and was found in contempt of court, which comes with a $250 daily fine for non-compliance. Read More
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican, was the only member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to vote against a measure to increase COVID-19 stimulus checks to $2,000.
All of Minnesota’s Democratic members of Congress voted in favor of the proposal, which passed the U.S. House Monday in a vote of 275-134. Read More
The Minnesota Department of Health released guidance for youth and adult sports Dec. 28, announcing that games and scrimmages will be able to take place starting on Jan. 14, in addition to practices being allowed beginning on Jan. 4.
Masks will be required at all times for players during both practices and games, with very few exceptions. According to the guidelines, “People are not permitted to remove their face coverings during activities that involve a high level of exertion.” Read More
Minnesota’s newly proposed social studies standards for public schools place significant emphasis on race, gender, climate change and LGBT issues.
Under the first draft of the proposed standards, students will be asked to “develop a respectful awareness about how ideas and norms about gender have changed over time,” accept that “some forms of slavery continued even after emancipation” and learn how the “fight for social justice” continues today.
Students will also be asked to “analyze how resistance movements in the U.S. have organized and responded to oppression,” and “imagine and work toward an equitable and caring future” in keeping with the social justice model. Read More
Henry Sibley High School recently set aside “Of Mice and Men” and “Montana 1948” from its curriculum after receiving complaints from parents.
Henry Sibley High School, which will have its name changed to drop the name of Minnesota’s first governor, has put a “pause” on the use of multiple books. The school board sent out a letter to parents explaining why the books were set aside. Read More
State Rep.-elect Erik Mortensen (R-Shakopee) has promoted a “bill” calling for the suspension of Gov. Tim Walz’s pay until Minnesotans are back to work.
Mortensen, who was elected in November to the Minnesota House, posted a “bill” on Facebook calling for the suspension of Gov. Walz’s pay. The bill calls for Walz’s pay to be suspended until his COVID-19 emergency orders restricting businesses are revoked. Read More
The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a petition that will ease regulatory burdens on lawyers by doubling the amount of on-demand continuing legal education (CLE) credits that are accepted.
Every three years, attorneys in Minnesota need to finish 45 credit hours of CLE courses to maintain their licenses but previously capped on-demand credit hours at 15, although some lawyers argue they are more convenient, relevant, affordable and numerous than in-person CLEs. Read More
Three Minnesota restaurants are facing liquor license suspensions after opening for on-premises dining against the governor’s executive orders.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division has let Cornerstone Café in Monticello, The Interchange in Albert Lea and The Pour House in Clarks Grove know of its intention to revoke their liquor licenses for 60 days for violating Gov. Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99. Last week, agents of the DPS saw patrons in each of these establishments consuming alcohol indoors. Read More
A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis to a charge of conspiring to provide material support to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald and National Security Division Assistant Attorney General John Demers announced last week the plea by Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, to one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources, namely property, services and weapons, to Hamas. Read More
The director of St. Olaf College’s Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community echoed a call for the school to “repent” of systemic racism.
Deanna Thompson wrote an article for the Minnesota school’s blog entitled “Uncomfortable Grace: Drawing on St. Olaf’s Lutheran Identity to Guide Our Path to Anti-Racism,” in which she argued that “racism is embedded deep within institutions across the United States, including St. Olaf College.” Read More
Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office yesterday filed lawsuits against two restaurants that have been open for dine-in despite the governor’s executive orders. Cornerstone Café in Monticello and Cork in Anoka are Ellison’s latest projects.
Ellison’s office issued a statement that says these restaurants have been running in “open violation” of Gov. Tim Walz’ orders, putting the “community at risk by violating ban on on-premises dining intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.” Read More
In a “dangerous video” released Thursday, two state lawmakers called for a full audit of the death certificates for Minnesota’s 4,723 COVID-19 deaths.
“When people live in fear, they make irrational decisions and they look at the world through a different lens. Their life is based on fear instead of living their life to their full potential,” said state Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, who obtained some of the “raw files” of COVID-19 death certificates from the Minnesota Department of Health. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennesse- I am often sent songs to review to see if I want to feature the song(s) and/or artist in my column. When I heard Lilly Winwood’s song “Few More Records” I knew this singer/songwriter was talented. But surely this Nashville girl wasn’t related to the Brit rocker, Steve Winwood.
It turns out, surely, she is. Lilly Winwood is the 25-year-old daughter of famed rock and roller, Steve Winwood. Read More
Minnesota’s new unemployment claims last week dropped by 9,254 from the week ending Dec. 5, according to Department of Labor statistics released Thursday morning.
Unemployment claims in the state continue to drop despite the ongoing prohibitions of indoor gatherings imposed by Gov. Tim Walz to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On Wednesday, Walz announced he was extending his lockdown orders through the holiday season. Read More
Restrictions on bars, restaurants and other small businesses are set to expire Friday, but Gov. Tim Walz has twice delayed an announcement on what will come next.
The announcement was initially expected to take place last Friday, Dec. 11, but was moved to Monday. His office then moved the announcement from Monday to Wednesday. Read More
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety suspended the liquor license of Boardwalk Bar & Grill, a restaurant in East Grand Forks that reopened last week in violation of the governor’s coronavirus mandates.
The Polk County District Court granted Attorney General Keith Ellison’s motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to prevent the restaurant from remaining open. The business also was issued a cease and desist order by the Minnesota Department of Health. Read More
by Anthony Gockowski More than 150 businesses plan to reopen this week in defiance of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s coronavirus shutdown. The businesses have organized as the Reopen Minnesota Coalition. This group has created a Facebook page and GoFundMe to raise awareness and money for business owners who will likely face legal consequences… Read More
The Minneapolis City Council voted to cut $8 million from the Police Department (MPD) in their 2021 budget. However, the Council also also added a caveat to allow for additional future police recruitment, likely dodging a veto from Mayor Jacob Frey.
In a 7-6 vote Wednesday night, the council’s decision doesn’t change the number of officers in 2021, but sets a higher target number for replacing officers who are currently out on leave for post-traumatic stress disorders or other reasons with the council’s authorization. Read More
Data from the Federal Election Commission show that 90.8 percent of the top 100 donations to political candidates and committees from University of Minnesota employees and affiliates went to Democrats, according to a recent report by Minnesota Business Daily.
The analysis found that UMN employees and affiliates donated $201,383 to political candidates and committees. Of that amount, $182,919 went to Democrats. Another $11,125 went to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party. Read More
Michael Anthony Forcia, the man who organized the destruction of Minnesota’s Christopher Columbus statue, never faced trial and will not go to jail.
Forcia once faced a first-degree criminal property damage charge, which has now been suspended, and his trial was replaced with a virtual Zoom-based hearing. Instead of going to jail, he will have to perform 100 hours of community service and write a letter acknowledging that he destroyed the statue, according to Fox 9. Read More
Lawmakers announced an apparent $216 million stimulus deal with Gov. Tim Walz, House Democrats and Senate Republicans.
The Legislature plans to take up the bill in a special session Monday. Read More
It’s been 19 days after the second forced closure of many businesses of 2020, and hospitality businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy if aid doesn’t come soon.
For JD Fratzke of Purpose Driven Restaurant Group in St. Paul, it’s the second time he’s been laid off this year. Read More
The Minneapolis City Council has voted to divert millions of dollars from the 2021 police budget.
The vote was taken as carjackings are up 537% year-to-date, according to the Star Tribune. Read More
A St. Anthony resident claims to have received a letter in the mail on Monday that chastised her for her Christmas lights display.
The letter states that the “twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of the division that runs through our country” and that such displays can have a “harmful impact.” Read More
A consulting firm co-owned by Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband received more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds while taking millions from Omar’s campaign.
Records show that E Street Group received $134,800 from the Paycheck Protection Program and $500,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Omar’s campaign has paid the firm $2.78 million since July 2019, according to Federal Election Commission records. Between July 23 and Sept. 30, E Street Group received $1.1 million from Omar’s campaign for expenses related to advertising, digital consulting, video production and editing, travel and more. Read More
A group of agitators dressed in black-bloc attire and carrying makeshift shields crashed a pro-Trump demonstration outside the Minnesota governor’s residence Saturday.
Activists with Hold the Line Minnesota have been holding “Stop the Steal” protests outside Gov. Tim Walz’s home every weekend since Nov. 3, part of a national movement to draw attention to alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election. Read More
A local health agency has suspended the food service license of a Lynd, Minnesota, restaurant owner after she opened her café for in-person service in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s orders.
Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS) sent a letter last week to Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Haven’s Garden, warning her that a scheduled open-mic night would violate the state’s COVID-19 regulations. Read More
Previously unseen costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns are coming to light.
Drug overdose deaths increased 31% during the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019, according to new data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Read More
Gyms and fitness centers shuttered through Dec. 18 by Gov. Tim Walz claim the state’s own data doesn’t justify the mandate.
From June through Nov. 14, state data reported gyms accounted for 47 COVID-19 outbreaks, making up roughly 7.7% of the states’ 603 total outbreaks during that time. Read More
More than half of Minnesota renters surveyed recently by the U.S. Census Bureau say they’re either “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to face eviction in the next two months.
This data comes by way of the bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey, which regularly collects information about American households. The bureau cautions that data collected by these surveys are considered “experimental” and “sample sizes may be small and the standard errors may be large.” Read More
After prohibiting private gatherings over the Thanksgiving weekend, Gov. Tim Walz said Minnesotans can expect to see “very similar” restrictions around Christmas.
“I went from John Lithgow in Footloose to the Grinch,” Walz said during a Monday press conference when asked if people should start thinking about canceling their Christmas plans. Read More
The Minneapolis Board of Education hopes its new ethnic studies requirement will help students develop “skills to become agents of change” and create a learning environment “that leads to action.”
Starting with the class of 2025, all Minneapolis students “must earn a passing grade in an ethnic studies course,” according to a resolution passed by the school board earlier this month. Read More
Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting called Gov. Tim Walz’s restrictions on private gatherings a “big government overstep” earlier this month.
“To start to tell you how many people you can have in your residence, I don’t necessarily think that that is any place for the government to tell people,” Empting told KVRR in a Nov. 11 interview. Read More
A local health agency is threatening to strip a Lynd, Minnesota, restaurant owner of her food service license for proceeding with an open-mic night event on Friday.
Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Haven’s Garden, has already been threatened by the Attorney General’s Office and her local sheriff with thousands of dollars in fines, up to a year in jail and a lawsuit, Alpha News reported. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that a bipartisan pandemic relief package may materialize as soon as next week to provide assistance to businesses hurt by the shutdown meant to slow the spread of the virus
Walz said during a tour of a Brooklyn Park warehouse facility where he was helping to package emergency food boxes that he and lawmakers are “pretty close” to an agreement on a relief package, the Star Tribune reported. The Democratic governor and Minnesota House Republicans unveiled separate relief initiatives on Tuesday to provide economic assistance to small businesses, workers and families struggling amid the pandemic. Read More