Mankato-Public Safety responded to the report of a structure fire at 11:36 a.m., Thursday at 407 Elm Dr. Crews extinguished the fire, which was found inside the building. No one was home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The structure is considered a total loss.
Governor Tim Walz says he appreciates Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka saying the Minnesota Senate will hold hearings to discuss possible police reform measures: "I would just caution about things being perfunctory and checking a box, rather than having an honest conversation about things that might work." Gazelka promised hearings within two weeks, but stressed the state budget must come first. When asked whether additional police reforms are necessary, Gazelka said "absolutely not" -- pointing to measures the legislature already passed after the death of George Floyd. Democratic Representative Cedric Frazier from New Hope says "anything short of passing [...]
It's a day off (FRI) in the Derek Chauvin trial before closing arguments are set to begin on Monday at 9am. Former U-S Attorney for Minnesota Tom Heffelgfinger says he's not surprised that Chauvin opted not to take the stand. "In this particular case, that's probably a wise decision because the evidence against him is quite strong and the cross-examination of the prosecution has been quite good throughout." Heffelfinger says Chauvin testifying would potentially be "a high-risk venture with rewards that may not warrant taking that risk."
Scammers are seizing on the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines a way to steal personal information. Bao Vang with the Better Business Bureau says a popular new scam is to offer a vaccine passport app that may be fraudulent. "If you receive an invitation to download a vaccine passport app, be sure to do your research to ensure it is a legitimate site, before entering your personal information." Vang says also be skeptical of anything claiming to be a vaccine app from the federal government because as of now there is no such federal vaccine passport in place.
The cloudy and wet conditions across Minnesota this month have helped ease drought conditions in the state. One month ago, all of the state -- 100 percent -- was considered abnormally dry. More than 40 percent of Minnesota was considered in a moderate drought or greater. The latest figures from the government released today show 44 percent of the state is abnormally dry with only 11 percent in a drought.
(Hutchinson, MN) -- A police officer in Hutchinson, Minnesota, is hospitalized after being dragged at what's described as a high rate of speed during a traffic stop yesterday. The officer is reported in stable condition this morning. The officer had pulled over a man who was a suspect in an assault on a Menard's Home Improvement store employee. Police say the employee told the man he had to wear a mask before the assault. The officer had pulled the suspect over when the suspect took off with the officer hanging on the window. The suspect was stopped and arrested. He's [...]
For the fifth straight night, people protested the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center. Protesters remained in the streets after the curfew went into effect Thursday night, but no dispersal order was given by police. Reports say most protesters went home about an hour-and-a-half after the curfew started.
The Minnesota Department of Health says almost one-thousand residents died from excessive alcohol use in 2020. Those numbers came from preliminary data on preventable deaths from alcohol use, which they released yesterday. Health officials say 171 more Minnesotans died from this cause than those who died in 2019. They believe the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected what they call an already "decades-long trend" of increasing alcohol-attributed deaths. MDH notes a task force has recommended several precautions, such as increasing alcohol prices and regulating of alcohol vendors, in order to prevent these tragedies.
More coronavirus cases and related deaths have been reported in Minnesota. Yesterday, health officials listed two-thousand-736 new cases and 11 additional deaths. With those numbers introduced, the state's totals show over 549-thousand infections and about 69-hundred-89 deaths overall. About two-million-162-thousand-665 people have received their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine so far.
Speaking to press Thursday, Daunte Wright's family says they were heartened by charges against former police officer Kim Potter as it's a sign of progress. She faces a count of manslaughter, which could result in up to 10 years in prison. During her first hearing yesterday, Potter was ordered to be back in court on May 17th. Alongside the Wright family, Attorney Ben Crump said Minneapolis is "ground zero" for change as protests continue for Wright and George Floyd.