Minnesota has recorded its second child death of the flu season. The Minnesota Department of Health says as of last week, Minnesota had 58 flu-related deaths, including two child deaths. The Star Tribune reports the overall number of deaths is below average at this point when compared with prior flu seasons. More than 640 people in Minnesota were hospitalized due to influenza in the first two weeks of February. That's the highest two-week count of the season. Minnesota already has reported a record 762 outbreaks of flu-like illnesses in schools. Flu activity remains widespread across Minnesota.
Minnesota officials are calling attention to a recent wave of fatal farm incidents – and they're urging farmers to take safety precautions when working in grain bins. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has declared this week "Grain Bin Safety Week," in light of several fatalities in Minnesota and across the country. Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap says many farmers are desperate to salvage their crops following a rough year weather-wise in 2019. He says wet conditions resulted in low-quality grain for storage. As a result, he says, a farmer might jump in to remove the clump – and can become trapped [...]
WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (St. Paul Pioneer Press) — Police say a resident of a state-run mental health group home has killed another resident in West St. Paul. Officers were called to the group home about 4 a.m. Monday on a report of a disturbance and found the victim was stabbed in the face. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A 38-year-old resident was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports a third resident and a staff member were also in the home at the time of the stabbing. Department of Human Services spokesman Christopher [...]
BEMIDJI, Minn. (KVLY-TV) — Authorities in northern Minnesota are searching for a suspect in a fatal shooting. Beltrami County sheriff's dispatchers got a call about a man who had been shot outside a residence Monday night. Police officers and sheriff's deputies arrived and found the body of a 20-year-old man. KVLY-TV reports the victim was found minutes after police were called to Sanford Hospital on a report of a 17-year-old male with a gunshot wound. His condition has not been released. Police are looking for a known suspect, an 18-year-old Bemidji man who is considered armed and dangerous.
MINNEAPOLIS (Star Tribune) — The girlfriend of a man found dead in a Minneapolis apartment is being held on possible charges in his death. The Star Tribune reports the man was fatally stabbed Saturday in the apartment he shared with the woman. Friends identify the victim as 39-year-old Joseph “Moochie" McRunnel. Police were called to the apartment for “unknown trouble." McRunnel was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died. Police say the 35-year-old woman was first taken to a detox facility and then booked into jail pending possible charges this week.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A trailer that contained equipment for a Twin Cities high school robotics team has been recovered after it was stolen early Sunday. The trailer belongs to the St. Paul Highland Park team. Dubbed the Automatons, they spent the first six weeks of the new year building a robot from scratch. The robot was not in the trailer when it was stolen. The trailer was headed to an impound lot Sunday afternoon but it’s unclear what equipment needs replacing. The theft comes just weeks before a major regional competition. An online campaign has raised $2,500 to help [...]
Injured Waseca police officer Arik Matson continues to progress and reached a couple more milestones this week, according to a CaringBridge update Friday. The update says Matson has been working with his physical therapists to get up and walking, and on Thursday had his "longest assisted walk to date - almost 50 feet!" The post noted he's still working on balance and strength, too, but is starting to be able to move his left arm and leg more. Matson's tracheostomy tube was also removed this week, and the update says his voice is getting stronger and he's able to speak more clearly at times. [...]
Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar is hoping her strong third-place finish in New Hampshire will provide enough momentum to be competitive in Nevada and the states that come next in the nominating contest. But the three-term Minnesota senator is starting from behind in Nevada after focusing almost all her time and campaign resources on New Hampshire and Iowa. That means consolidating establishment and moderate voters, picking up traction with black and Latino Democrats and introducing herself to most everyone else. Klobuchar said Tuesday that she's up to the challenge.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is seeking to overturn a state law that limits the number of voters that an individual can assist. Minnesota law prevents an individual from helping more than three registered voters fill out a ballot or submit an absentee ballot. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the ACLU says the law has a disproportionate impact on refugee communities. The lawsuit names Secretary of State Steve Simon as a defendant. Simon has urged the Legislature to repeal the limits; lawmakers are considering bills to lift the three-voter cap.
Target admits a onesie it carried in some stores misidentified the mascot for the largest university in its home state. The Minneapolis-based retail giant apologized to Minnesota Gophers fans for carrying a maroon onesie with the words “Minnesota Badgers,” the nickname of Big Ten rival Wisconsin. The fan website GopherHole.com tweeted a photo from a woman who noticed the onesies while shopping Sunday at a Target in Minneapolis. Target said “Color us red” and added, “As a Minnesota-based company, we know we are home to the Gophers.”