Walz Compares Keeping Minnesota State Flag with ‘Saving the Confederate Battle Flag’

On a Twin Cities radio show earlier this week, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz dismissed Republican efforts to keep Minnesota’s current state flag.

“Minnesota is a diverse state, it continues to grow. This flag was crafted in the 1890s,” said Gov. Walz regarding Minnesota’s current flag. “It’s highly offensive to a large number of people, and there’s very little debate about that.”

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Minnesota’s Largest County Dedicates October to ‘Diversity’ with Lessons on ‘Dismantling Whiteness,’ ‘Respecting Pronouns’

Hennepin County holds an annual “Celebrating Diversity Month” for employees, which features “learning opportunities” on “dismantling whiteness” and “respecting pronouns.”

Some of the training sessions are hosted by explicitly left-wing organizations, such as OutFront Minnesota, whose training manager Hannah Edwards will be leading two sessions called “2SLGBTQIA+ 101.” Employees will learn “general terms relating to gender and sexuality, respecting pronouns, and how to be an ally to gender non-conforming people.”

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Minnesota Sheriff Announces New Initiative amid 378 Percent Increase in Opioid Deaths

Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt announced a new “Focus on Fentanyl” initiative Thursday aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of the dangers of fentanyl and connecting them with resources.

Witt, who said her own family has been impacted by the fentanyl crisis, plans to release a series of videos profiling Minnesotans who were killed by the highly potent synthetic opioid. The first video chronicles the life of Seth Carlson, a 17-year-old athlete from Bloomington who died of a fentanyl overdose in 2022.

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Hennepin County DA Moriarty Faces Criticism for Dismissing Rape Case During First Week in Office

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty is facing criticism after she dropped a rape charge involving a 14-year-old victim during her first week in office.

Moriarty was sworn in Jan. 3, replacing longtime county attorney Mike Freeman. She ran on a progressive platform of “restorative justice programs” and “alternatives to incarceration.”

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Watchdog Files Lawsuits in Minnesota over Voter Registration Duplicates, Finds Millions Lacking Required ID

With midterm elections a month away, an election integrity watchdog has filed multiple lawsuits in Minnesota over duplicate registered voters while also finding millions of voter registrations in New York missing personal identifying information.

Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative election law nonprofit, filed six lawsuits in Minnesota counties over 515 duplicate registrants. The lawsuits were filed in Nicollet, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Todd and Ramsey counties.

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Three Minnesota Counties Hit with Complaints for Hundreds of Duplicate Voter Registrations

The first three of several legal complaints have been filed against Minnesota county auditors who failed to remove duplicate voter registrations from the state system.

With the assistance of the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC), the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a nationwide election integrity nonprofit, filed complaints against Nicollet County, Hennepin County, and Dakota County this week for failing to comply with the law in removing duplicate names from the Minnesota Statewide Voter Registration Service (SVRS).

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Ohio Think Tank Joins Minnesotan’s Fight for Property Rights

The Columbus, OH-based Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday defending Minnesota widow Geraldine Tyler’s right to the profit from the forced sale of her home. 

Tyler’s one-bedroom Minneapolis condominium was taken and sold by Hennepin County after the elderly resident could no longer afford her real-estate taxes. She quickly moved out of the condo in 2010, determining she could not safely stay in light of rising violent crime. For five years she incurred tax debt on the original residence while paying rent on a new apartment. 

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Employee Who Retired Early ‘Furious’ After Minnesota County Scraps Vax Mandate

A Hennepin County sheriff’s detective who retired early because of the politicization of the COVID-19 vaccine is “furious” that the county has now dropped its vaccine mandate just five months later.

In an email to select employees last Tuesday, the county’s Human Resources COVID Response Team officially announced an end to weekly testing requirements for unvaccinated employees.

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Hennepin County: Get Vaccinated or ‘You Will be Terminated’

Timothy Chmielewski, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association Union President, announced a COVID vaccine mandate for his union’s employees on an internal email with a subject line that read, “You will be terminated.”

John Gilmore posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter, which was from Chmielewski. It is unclear if the mandate applies only to those within the sheriff’s office or if it is a county-wide requirement.

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Hennepin County Attorney Launches Program ‘MN HEALS 2.0’ to Combat Crime

Michael Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the launch of a program ‘MN HEALS 2.0’ on Tuesday morning following several letters asking him to address the crime surge. “The crime rates experienced in our communities in 2021 have raised important questions and concerns about approaches to prevention, law enforcement and prosecutions,” Freeman said.

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Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Decry ‘Troubling Trend’ as ‘Prosecutorial Policies are Failing to Hold Criminals Accountable’

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association wrote a letter to the Hennepin and Ramsey County attorneys addressing their failure to prosecute some felony crimes. They wrote that they are “especially concerned” that “prosecutorial policies are failing to hold criminals accountable for their actions.”

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Minnesota GOP Calls on Sheriff to Resign, Police-Reform Democrats Silent

Dave Hutchinson

The Republican Party of Minnesota has called on Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson to resign after he drunkenly crashed his county-owned vehicle outside of Alexandria earlier this month.

“As Hennepin County faces serious challenges with violent crime, residents need a sheriff who is laser-focused on public safety. Sheriff Hutchinson should step down and focus on his health so residents can have a top law enforcement officer better able to focus on fighting crime,” the party said in a statement.

Hutchinson rolled his vehicle off the road while traveling home to Minneapolis from a sheriffs’ conference. After the accident, his urine revealed a blood alcohol content of .13 — nearly twice the legal limit of .08.

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Independent Candidate from Minneapolis Announces Run for Hennepin County Sheriff

An independent from Minneapolis has announced his run for Hennepin County Sheriff. Jai Hanson, a police officer, is hoping to make positive changes in Hennepin County and specifically in Minneapolis. Hanson is not seeking an endorsement from any political parties because he wants to be a true independent. He said he wants to be “part of the solution” and make policing about people rather than politics.

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Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin County $3.7 Million

Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin

Hennepin County spent $3.7 million on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, according to documents obtained by The Center Square via the Freedom of Information Act.

Securing the Hennepin County courthouse was the second-largest expense – $773,412 paying for barbed wire, razor fencing, barricades, and boarding up windows. The most significant expense was employee overtime costing $1.1 million.

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Minnesota County Will Now Pay People up to $100 to Get Vaccinated

by Rose Williams   Hennepin County is giving out $50 Visa gift cards as an incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccine. According to a press release, the county is offering $50 per dose between July 1 and August 15. Anyone who receives both doses in that time frame at county-sponsored vaccine events is eligible to get $100 in Visa gift cards. There appear to be six vaccine events scheduled at various locations in the county, at which attendees who receive the vaccine will be awarded a $50 gift card. The gift card is also available for those who visit the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic to get their shot. By offering these incentives, leaders in the county hope to “raise the overall vaccination rate in our county and the state, while closing the vaccination gap within communities and neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19.” The county is committed to addressing “vaccine disparities” that exist for certain races and neighborhoods in the county, a press release states. While 65% of Hennepin County residents have received at least one dose, 19 zip-code areas have a vaccination rate under 60%, and five zip-code areas in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center are under 50%. “Hennepin County is offering COVID-19…

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Backlog of DMV Appointments for Minneapolis’ Hennepin County Extends into August

Inside DMV, people standing in line

Residents of Hennepin County should not expect to renew their licenses, get a Real ID, or transfer a vehicle title anytime soon, as DMV branches across the county are experiencing long wait times for appointment bookings.

A calendar of available times for each branch and appointment type reveals that some branches don’t have open appointments until August.

For residents who go to the Ridgedale DMV branch, the earliest opening is currently August 2 for all services, including Real ID, enhanced license, state ID, vehicle title transfer, and license plate tab appointments.

On April 26, a source close to Alpha News scheduled an appointment at the Ridgedale DMV intending to update a home address on his driver’s license, and the earliest availability at the time was July 12.

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92-Year-Old Sues Hennepin County After It Kept $25,000 of Home Equity After Foreclosure

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A 92-year-old is fighting in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals for $25,000 of lost equity in her former Minneapolis condo after Hennepin County seized and sold it to settle a $15,000 tax debt and kept the difference.

Geraldine Tyler moved out of her Minneapolis condo in 2010 because of rising crime but couldn’t pay both her condo’s property taxes and rent on her new apartment.

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Minnesota Taxpayers to Foot $11.7 Million Bill to Rebuild Hennepin County After May Riots

At least one Republican is irked at how Gov. Tim Walz will spend a majority of the state’s disaster relief fund on what she contends isn’t a natural emergency.

Sen. Julie Rosen, R- Fairmont, disagreed with the decision to spend $11.7 million to rebuild Hennepin County after May riots and noted Republicans have blamed Walz for the $500 million damage done in the Twin Cities for not activating the National Guard sooner in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

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Minneapolis and Hennepin County Absentee Ballot Boards Ignore Party Balance Law

It was not enough to allow the city to burn. Then it wasn’t enough to emasculate city law enforcement. Now the Minneapolis City Council is corrupting the absentee ballot count by stacking ballot boards with handpicked staff rather than following state law that requires regular ballot boards to include people from the major political parties. Hennepin County, the most populous in the state, is doing it, too.

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Hennepin County Board Passes Resolution Declaring Racism a ‘Public Health Crisis’

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday declaring racism a “public health crisis.”

Commissioners Angela Conley and Irene Fernando introduced the resolution, which passed in a vote of 6-1.

“Ultimately this resolution is about the health and well-being of Hennepin County residents who have borne the brunt of racial discrimination and racial inequity through various different systems,” Conley said in a press release after the resolution passed.

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Judge Threatens to Move Trial Out of Minneapolis If Public Officials Don’t Stop Speaking Out About Floyd Case

A Minnesota judge on Monday warned that he’s likely to move the trials of four former police officers charged in George Floyd’s death out of Minneapolis if public officials, attorneys and family members don’t stop speaking out about the case.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped short of issuing a gag order against attorneys on both sides, but he said he likely will if public statements continue that make it hard to find an impartial jury. Cahill said that would also make him likely to grant a change-of-venue motion if one is filed, as he anticipates.

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Two Hennepin County Commissioners Voted to Remove Medical Examiner Because of Floyd Autopsy Results

Two members of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday in favor of removing the county’s medical examiner because they didn’t like the results of his autopsy in the case of George Floyd.

Chief Medical Examiner Andrew Baker released a 20-page autopsy report last week with the permission of Floyd’s family and concluded that Floyd’s heart stopped while being restrained by officers. The report revealed that Floyd tested positive for the coronavirus, had fentanyl and meth in his blood, and had a number of underlying health conditions.

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Officer Charged in Floyd’s Death Makes First Court Appearance, Held on $1 Million Bail

A judge on Monday kept bail at $1 million for a former Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree murder in George Floyd’s death.

Derek Chauvin, 44, said almost nothing during an 11-minute hearing in which he appeared before Hennepin County Judge Denise Reilly on closed-circuit television from the state’s maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights.

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Charge Upgraded to Second-Degree Murder in Floyd Case, Three Other Officers Charged

Prosecutors charged a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck with a new more serious charge of second-degree murder on Wednesday, and for the first time leveled charges against three other officers at the scene, according to criminal complaints.

The updated criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin says the officer’s actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death.

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‘Majority’ of Those Arrested in Riots Are from Minnesota, Public Safety Commissioner Confirms

As of Monday afternoon, the “majority” of those arrested in the Twin Cities for rioting, violating curfew, looting or other similar charges had Minnesota addresses.

“That would be accurate,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington confirmed during a Monday press conference. During a previous briefing, he said he didn’t “have any credible evidence of any specific group being here in Minnesota.”

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Hennepin County Commissioners Call for ‘Immediate Arrest’ of All Officers in George Floyd Case

Two members of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners asked the county attorney Thursday to “immediately arrest and press charges against the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd.”

All four officers involved in the tragic Monday night incident have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, including Derek Chauvin, the officer who was recorded pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed Floyd.

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Minnesota Legislature Will Meet on As Needed Basis for Next 30 Days, Bars and Restaurants Ordered Shut

The Minnesota Legislature will be meeting on an “on-call” basis for the next 30 days, leaders announced Monday morning.

During that time, much of their legislative work will focus on responding to the coronavirus outbreak, which reached 54 confirmed cases in the state as of Monday afternoon.

“Over the next few weeks, the Minnesota Legislature will continue to work, but by alternative means. We expect to operate efficiently and safely to aid Minnesotans with COVID-19 preparedness and response, and to continue our work to address other pressing needs of the state,” leaders of both the House and Senate said in a joint statement.

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