A Colorado-based travel company has agreed to refund more than $650,000 to several hundred Minnesota music students after COVID-19 scuttled their trip to Europe last spring. Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that Voyageurs International agreed to a settlement calling for the company to pay $664,835 in refunds to 344 students. Ellison's office said the company charged between $6,345 and $9,010 for its 2020 “Ambassadors of Music” tour. COVID-19 forced the company to cancel the trip but Ellison said the company refused to issue full refunds and kept $1,900 in cancellation fees from each student. Ellison's office launched an investigation, prompting the [...]
Gov. Tim Walz has sharply criticized the federal government for the sudden uncertainty over whether states would receive increased shipments of coronavirus vaccines from the national stockpile. The Democratic governor accused the Trump administration of “lying” earlier this week about speeding up supply. Walz said he and six other governors recently sought permission to tap their second doses to speed up the pace. He said federal officials agreed this week there was no need to keep them in reserve. Walz now says the government doesn't have any strategic supply of second doses to release. The government attributed the anger to confusion [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Some Minneapolis City Council members are preparing a new plan that seeks to replace the city’s police department in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Phillipe Cunningham, Steve Fletcher and Jeremy Schroeder are working on a proposal to create a new public safety department that removes the police department as a standalone department from the city charter. The three are still working on their plan and expect to release it by the end of January. Several council members tried and failed to eliminate the police department last year. Their proposal to form a new public safety unit was [...]
WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a Willmar man they say was killed by a stray bullet while he was working in his garage. Willmar police said in a statement that 41-year-old David Delfosse was in his garage Friday night when he collapsed in front of family members. Emergency responders provided medical care before Delfosse was transferred to a local hospital. He was pronounced dead of a bullet wound to the chest. The Star Tribune reports that officers found a bullet hole in the garage that indicated the shot came from outside Delfosse's property. Police on Saturday [...]
Minnesota health officials are confirming 1,364 new cases of COVID-19 and 40 additional deaths due to complications from the virus. The COVID Tracking Project reports that the state’s death count is the 22nd highest in the country overall and the 28th highest per capita at about 107 deaths per 100,000 people. State officials said 24 of the newly-reported deaths occurred in long-term care facilities. A total of 77 deaths were reported over the weekend, when reported numbers typically drop. Sunday’s update increased the number of positive tests to 446,280 and the number of deaths to 5,927 since the start of the [...]
Gov. Tim Walz has extended Minnesota's peacetime state of emergency by another 30 days so he can continue to use executive orders to direct the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. With the Legislature in session, the governor no longer needs to call special sessions to give lawmakers a chance to rescind those extensions. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told the Executive Council Wednesday that Minnesota has now recorded 440,354 coronavirus cases, averaging about 10,000 new cases per week, with 5,774 deaths, averaging about 40 per day. Health officials on Wednesday reported 1,505 new cases and 50 new deaths
Minnesota has launched a dashboard to provide more information on the status of the state’s vaccination efforts. The website includes data on the number of doses promised to the state, doses shipped to providers and doses administered. The dashboard will be updated daily, though the figures lag by a few days because providers have time to submit data. The website shows that over 144,000 people had received at least one dose of vaccine from Minnesota providers as of Saturday, including nearly 7,400 who had already had their second dose. Minnesota on Tuesday reported 1,335 new cases and 13 more deaths.
A former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee to the neck of George Floyd for several minutes will be tried separately from three other former officers accused of his death. Court documents filed Tuesday show Derek Chauvin will stand trial alone in March due to the coronavirus pandemic while the others will be tried together in the summer. The judge wrote that it would be impossible to comply with social distancing made necessary by the coronavirus if all four defendants were tried at the same time. Chauvin, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after the [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis police officer who criticized the department in a magazine article after the death of George Floyd has been reprimanded for speaking to the media without seeking permission. Disciplinary records made public Friday show Colleen Ryan received a letter of reprimand on Dec. 2. Records show Ryan admitted she was interviewed as an anonymous source in a June 10 article in GQ magazine. In the article, she described the department as having a “toxic” culture. Her name was released Friday under a court order that's part of an ongoing human rights investigation into the department.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say the mother and father of a 3-year-old found dead in a St. Paul residence Sunday have been arrested on suspicion of the girl’s murder. It’s the city's first homicide of the year. Police say the father called the police department’s non-emergency number early Sunday morning and said something about needing a crisis officer before hanging up. Police tried calling back but received no answer and sent officers to the residence in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. Police arrived at about 2:30 a.m. when the father told them his daughter was on the back porch. Officers [...]