A Minnesota semi-truck driver was arrested after leading Iowa State Troopers on a high speed chase through West Central Iowa this morning. Iowa State Patrol Trooper Ryan Devault said the chase began on Interstate 80 in Adair County. "The semi driver took an evasive action around our trooper then continued on to the interstate at a higher rate of speed than the trooper originally had him at. It became apparent at that point and time the driver was trying to elude law enforcement." The chase reached speeds of 90 miles an hour at times and ended some 40 miles away near [...]
"Governor, you need to give us a chance. We really need to be given a chance to open up our places to capacity." ...says Tony Chesak with the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, as Governor Tim Walz prepares to announce (noon) that he's relaxing COVID restrictions. It's likely that Walz will schedule re-opening in phases based on vaccination progress, with Minnesota totally open sometime this summer -- some speculate by the 4th of July. But it's also likely the governor will keep the peacetime emergency declaration in place so Minnesota can continue receiving federal funds for vaccination sites -- and in case [...]
Former U-S Attorney for Minnesota Tom Heffelfinger says the defense's request for Derek Chauvin to get a new trial is not surprising. "I don't know whether they will succeed in reversing the case, and I don't know that they will succeed at this time, but I do think individually and cumulatively these are motions that are based on fact." Attorney Eric Nelson cited prosecutorial and judicial misconduct as two of the reasons for the request. Nelson is also requesting a hearing to impeach the verdict based "on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct." Chauvin was convicted last month on three [...]
Influential Republican says recreational marijuana bill has better chance of passing due to tax relief measure
An influential Republican says a measure he put on a House bill to legalize recreational marijuana increases the possibility of it being signed into law this year. It requires all extra tax revenue from legalized cannabis sales go into a tax relief account, and Farmington Representative Pat Garofalo says: "It's a really strong movement in a direction that I think conservatives like -- that we're not really interested in seeing marijuana legalized for the purposes of growing government and spending more money." -- but instead lowering taxes. Garofalo says if they continue to improve the bill there could be a strong [...]
Those seeking drivers licenses who don't show up for their knowledge- or road-test appointments would be charged a 20-dollar penalty -- Minnesota House and Senate negotiators gave thumbs-up Wednesday for inclusion in a state budget bill. Waseca Republican John Petersburg: "I'm aware of people that have done multiple appointments in different stations around the area and then, when it came to that day, picked the one they wanted and left the others kinda hanging." But Mankato Democrat Luke Frederick contends the state should cut some slack to those with legitimate reasons for not keeping their road-test or knowledge-test appointments. Officials estimate [...]
"Don't click the link." That's the new warning from the Postal Service as fake text messages are being sent. They contain a link claiming to be from the government. It's called a "smishing" scam, where people are lured into giving their sensitive and personal information. The Postal Service assures it won't send texts or emails to customers unless they request to track a package. And even then, it will never contain a link.
Lawmakers heard from both sides today (Tues) as Democrats and Republicans wrangle over employee leave and sick-time proposals in a major state budget bill. Randy Ulseth, C-E-O of Welia Health in Mora, opposes mandatory paid leave for essential workers: "Just missed the cutoff threshold to qualify for federal financial assistance. I have estimated that the 80 hours of retroactive benefit going back to March of 2020 will cost my organization over half-a-million dollars." But Daniel Swenson-Klatt, owner of Butter Bakery Cafe in Minneapolis, supports a related provision to give employees earned sick and safe time. Swenson-Klatt says his business having it, [...]
A juror in the Derek Chauvin murder trial attended the March on Washington anniversary last summer, and some are questioning his motives for serving on the trial. Hamline University political analyst David Schultz doesn't believe the judge in the case will call juror Brandon Mitchell back into court: "I suspect this is something that might go on appeal. I think if this were in the middle of the trial it's more likely but at this point, it really becomes an appealable issue." It's expected Chauvin's Attorney Eric Nelson will include this matter as one of many bases for an appeal.
Minnesota Senate Republicans have made the first of what will likely be many offers to be traded with House Democrats, as lawmakers work toward wrapping up the state budget by May 17th. Among the Senate G-O-P's initial "gives": spend 200 million dollars of federal money for COVID front-line worker bonuses, and delay new vehicle emission standards for two years, instead of not having them at all. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is also asking House Democrats to support canceling all of Governor Tim Walz COVID emergency orders, including the mask mandate. "That doesn't mean people can't wear their mask. It doesn't [...]
Governor Tim Walz says he hopes to announce Thursday relaxed COVID restrictions in Minnesota: "Thursday's announcement should go a long ways, I think, to moving things forward." Republicans say *all* restrictions should be lifted, the governor should relinquish his COVID emergency powers, and Minnesota should completely re-open. House Deputy Minority Leader Anne Neu Brindley: "Red and blue states have lifted, or scheduled to lift, all of their remaining COVID restrictions." Trying to bring more pressure on the governor, some Republicans have hinted, unless Walz relinquishes COVID emergency powers, there might not be agreement on the budget -- requiring stopgap measures to [...]