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MINNESOTA VIRUS OUTBREAK
Walz promises expansion of COVID testing and vaccine incentives
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz has said his administration will soon announce expanded COVID-19 testing options and launch new incentives to get teens vaccinated. Minnesota Public Radio reports that Walz made the remarks Thursday during a visit to a Duluth testing site. The governor said the administration planned to “massively expand” the testing capacity statewide. Meanwhile, state health officials are looking for donations of unique services, products and experiences to offer to young people aged 12 to 17 who get vaccinated. The incentives will extend to children aged 5 to 11 if they are approved for injections. Walz said he expects this age group to become eligible by the last week of October or the first week of November.
Minnesota Zoo’s lost Eurasian owl dies of injuries
APPLE VALLEY, Minnesota (AP) – An Eurasian owl that escaped from the Minnesota Zoo was found injured and later died. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that a neighbor found the injured owl Gladys by the side of the road near the zoo. She passed away the moment the zoo’s medical team arrived at her. It was not clear when the owl was found. The cause of death has not yet been determined. Gladys escaped during a flight exercise at the zoo amphitheater on October 1. She was seen around the zoo, but zoo workers were unable to lure her towards them with food or other items. The zoo’s animal care team raised Gladys from a chick by hand and worked with her on a daily basis.
Former Minneapolis officer seeks 41 months for death of 911 caller
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Lawyers for the former Minneapolis cop who shot dead a woman who called 911 to report a possible rape behind her home are asking their client to be sentenced to 41 months on a lesser charge. Mohamed Noor was initially convicted of third degree murder and manslaughter on the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017. He was sentenced to 12 and a half years for murder – but the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed his conviction for murder last month. Noor will be sentenced on October 21 for manslaughter. State directives allow between 41 and 57 months for this charge. It’s unclear what prosecutors will be looking for. The alleged sentence is four years.
Ex-cop who killed Daunte Wright exposes possible defense
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A former Minneapolis suburban policewoman who said she intended to use a Taser instead of a handgun when she shot Daunte Wright down in April exposes her potential defenses. The trial of former Brooklyn Center agent Kim Potter is scheduled to begin on November 30. Potter’s attorneys said in documents released Thursday that they could claim Wright’s death was an innocent accident or an innocent mistake. They can also argue that Potter’s perceived use of a Taser was reasonable. Potter is white and Wright was black. She shot the 20-year-old woman dead during a traffic stop. The defense is also asking that the charges of first degree and second degree manslaughter be dismissed.
Modified guns appear at more crime scenes in Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Authorities say handguns and rifles that have been modified to fully automatic weapons that can fire up to 1,200 rounds per minute have been implicated in a series of shootings in Minneapolis and have shown up on more of crime scenes. Police data shows the city’s ShotSpotter Network recorded 78 auto-fire activations of 935 rounds in total, up from five 42-round activations at the same time last year. It is not known how many converted weapons are on the city streets, but authorities say they have been tracking incidents involving them.
CRASH-CLAY COUNTY SCHOOL BUS
4 students injured in school bus crash in northwest Minnesota
MOORHEAD, Minnesota (AP) – Four children were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after the school bus they were in crashed with a van in Clay County, northwestern Minnesota. Sheriff Mark Empting said the crash happened around 7:30 a.m. Thursday in rural Clay County. Empting said the preliminary investigation shows the driver of the van may not have caved in, but the investigation is ongoing. The school bus was equipped with a camera, which will be used in the investigation. The bus was carrying students from the Ada-Borup school district.
CONDEMNED WOMAN – DEPORTATION
Walz calls on ICE to stop deportation of woman who begged for pardon
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz calls on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to stop deportation proceedings for a woman he says will be in grave danger if returned to her home Native Ethiopia. Amreya Shefa was convicted of manslaughter for fatally stabbing her husband in 2013 in an act she called self-defense after saying he had held her in her home and repeatedly raped her . Shefa asked for a pardon, which Walz supported, but it was not granted. Now Walz is calling on ICE to “administratively close” the removal process while authorities review his requests for non-immigrant status for victims of crime. An ICE spokesperson declined to comment.
Lawyer: photo company that closed its doors in collaboration with clients
BISMARCK, ND (AP) – An attorney for a North Dakota photography company that abruptly went out of business and left many wedding couples in limbo says the company is making efforts to publish photos and images. It is not clear whether clients who have prepaid for unfinished work will be reimbursed. Two state agencies are investigating the shutdown of Glasser Images last week and the owner of the business faces multiple lawsuits. Fargo’s attorney, Tim O’Keeffe, said photos and videos are secure and “kept safe” on hard drives, but sending them to clients is a “logistical challenge” and could take weeks. Glasser Images photographed weddings in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Colorado without charging for travel expenses, according to the company’s website.
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