No Fine for Travelers Who Brought Deadly Bushmeat to Minnesota

Customs officials at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport seized more than 100 pounds of deadly “bushmeat” from travelers during the last week of December alone. Despite its potential for “deadly effects” and outbreaks of disease, there will be no consequences for the culprits.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bushmeat refers to “raw or minimally processed meat that comes from wild animals in certain regions of the world including Africa” and may pose a risk of communicable disease.

“Bushmeat comes from a variety of wild animals, including bats, nonhuman primates (monkeys), cane rats (grasscutters), and duiker (antelope),” the CDC says.

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The University of Minnesota Admits the COVID-19 Vaccine Doesn’t Stop Transmission, Will ‘Probably’ Mandate Boosters Anyway

The University of Minnesota admitted in an email to its student body that the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission of the virus — yet the school says it will “probably” require more boosters for its students.

Public Health Officer Jakub Tolar sent an email to the student body answering some frequently asked questions about the virus earlier this month.

“I’m vaccinated, does that mean I can’t get COVID-19?” one question reads. “No,” the school responds, stressing that omicron remains “easily transmissible” even among the university’s fully-vaccinated population.

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Minnesota Launches $200 Vaccine Incentive Program

Families who get their child in the 5- to 11-year-old age group vaccinated for COVID-19 are eligible for a new round of $200 incentives, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday.

Families will receive one $200 VISA gift card per child who receives both doses between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, the news release said. Registration for the gift cards, which is possible following completion of the series, opens at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 and closes at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 28.

“In light of the Omicron variant, there is a new sense of urgency in our response, and we are doing whatever we can to encourage Minnesotans to get their vaccine and keep themselves and their communities safe,” Minnesota Department of Health Information Officer Doug Schultz told The Center Square in an emailed statement Thursday. “Getting as many eligible Minnesotans vaccinated as possible is critical to helping curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep Minnesota families safe.”

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Rochester Man Gets 10 Years for May 2020 Arson During the George Floyd Riots That Resulted in Man’s Death

A Rochester man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the May 2020 arson of a pawn shop that led to the death of a man. According to court documents, on May 28, 2020, in the riots that followed the death of George Floyd, Montez Terriel Lee, along with other unnamed individuals, broke into the Max It Pawn Shop on East Lake Street in Minneapolis.

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Citizens Begin Recall Effort for Hennepin County Sheriff Hutchinson

Citizens have begun a recall effort for Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson following his refusal to resign over his recent DUI conviction. Details surrounding the petition are circulating online and it will need 132,451 signatures in order to succeed.

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Republican Candidates Respond to St. Paul, Minneapolis Vaccine Mandate

Several Republican candidates responded to the recently announced COVID vaccine mandates in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The mandates will go into effect on Wednesday, requiring restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and any other place of “public accommodation” where food or drink is served to only allow vaccinated patrons inside.

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Minnesota Attorney General Ellison ‘Doing Bidding of Special Interest Groups’ Regarding Green Energy, Lawsuit Alleges

Attorney General Keith Ellison has been “doing the bidding of special interest groups” regarding green energy, a lawsuit alleges. The New House Republican Caucus shared on their Facebook page that the oral arguments were heard in the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday and a decision can be expected within 30 days.

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Hennepin County Jail Unable to Book Criminals with Warrants from Other Counties

Hennepin County Jail is reportedly refusing to book suspects with warrants from other counties. In audio from the local police scanner, obtained by Crime Watch Minneapolis, the dispatcher can be heard announcing that “for the next two weeks, Hennepin Jail is not taking anyone with just warrants from outside Hennepin County.”

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State Rep. Munson Responds to New Minnesota COVID Vaccine Incentives for Kids: ‘Bribery and Coercion’

State Representative Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) responded to Minnesota’s new COVID vaccine incentives for kids, calling it bribery and coercion. The State of Minnesota and Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that they will be giving every family of 5 to 11 year old children $200 for getting fully vaccinated in the months of January and February.

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Hennepin County: Get Vaccinated or ‘You Will be Terminated’

Timothy Chmielewski, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association Union President, announced a COVID vaccine mandate for his union’s employees on an internal email with a subject line that read, “You will be terminated.”

John Gilmore posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter, which was from Chmielewski. It is unclear if the mandate applies only to those within the sheriff’s office or if it is a county-wide requirement.

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State House Republicans Respond to Formal Announcement of Minnesota School Boards Association Withdrawal from National School Boards Association

Minnesota House Republicans responded to the formal announcement that the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) withdrew from the agreement with the national affiliate, the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

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McCarthy Vows to Remove Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee If Republicans Take Back House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA-23) vowed to remove a Minnesota congresswoman from her House Foreign Affairs Committee assignment if Republicans take back the lower chamber of Congress in 2022. 

“The Democrats have created a new thing where they’re picking and choosing who could be on committee. Never in the history have you had the majority tell the minority who could be on committee,” McCarthy told Breitbart. 

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Transgender Ideology Threatens Future of Sports, Warns Former University of Minnesota Swimmer

people in swimming pool

A former member of the women’s swimming and diving team at the University of Minnesota has sounded the alarm against the inclusion of biological men in women’s athletics.

On Dec. 19, Jenna Stocker published an article in National Review that called transgender athletes an “affront to the fairness of sports.”

“Nothing has threatened the future of sports more than transgender integration,” she said.

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Minnesota Man Sentenced to over Two Years in Prison for 2020 Arson

A Brooklyn Park man was sentenced to over two years in prison and over $30,000 restitution for his participation in the May 2020 riots and arson. According to the District of Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office, “Samuel Elliott Frey, 20, and co-defendant McKenzy Ann DeGidio Dunn, 21, joined other individuals who had gathered near the Great Health and Nutrition store located at 1360 University Avenue West, in St. Paul.”

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Hennepin County Attorney Launches Program ‘MN HEALS 2.0’ to Combat Crime

Michael Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the launch of a program ‘MN HEALS 2.0’ on Tuesday morning following several letters asking him to address the crime surge. “The crime rates experienced in our communities in 2021 have raised important questions and concerns about approaches to prevention, law enforcement and prosecutions,” Freeman said.

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Minnesota Doctors Call for More Mask Mandates

The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) has announced its support for renewed mask mandates in the Twin Cities.

In a statement released Thursday, the MMA said it “fully supports the decisions by Minneapolis and St. Paul to re-institute mandatory mask use while indoors” and urged “other communities to consider similar actions.”

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Former Sheriff Slams Walz for ‘Apathetic’ Response to Record Homicides

Former Sheriff Richard Stanek and Gov. Tom Wolf

In 1995, Minneapolis saw a record-setting 97 homicides. Operating by the strict definition of a homicide as an event where one person intentionally kills another, there were 97 homicides in the city last year.

The final homicide of 2021 occurred just hours before the new year as a 15-year-old boy was gunned down in north Minneapolis. No arrests have been made. The shooters are believed to have fired from a vehicle.

Some homicides, like the killing of Winston Smith in June, were justified and non-criminal. Technicalities aside, most share a concern about the high number of murders in 2021.

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Minnesota Worker Joins Lawsuit Challenging Biden Vaccine Mandate

A Minnesota resident is suing the Biden administration in a class action lawsuit regarding the president’s executive order mandating employees of federal contractors and subcontractors receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

New Civil Liberties Alliance announced Tuesday that it had sued President Joe Biden, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, the Office of Management and Budget, and other government agencies and officials in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, seeking to block the mandate.

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Mayor Frey Pleads with Minneapolis Schools to Stay Open so Kids Can’t Carjack

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is calling on local schools to remain open so that juveniles have far fewer opportunities to engage in carjackings and other crimes.

Frey made his plea at a Wednesday press conference with Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman on the city’s high violent crime rate.

“We’ve gotta keep the schools open. This is very clear to me,” he said. “Yes, we need to make sure we’re abiding by the necessary safety precautions. Yes, we need to make sure anyone from parents to teachers to students are protected in full from the dangers associated with a global pandemic, and we need to make sure the students are in the schools and that they’re able to learn.”

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Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips Introduces Resolution to Deem January 6 ‘Democracy Day’

Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN-03) introduced a resolution to deem January 6 “Democracy Day.” The resolution is also supported by Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), saying that she is an “original cosponsor.”

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Hennepin County Commissioners Call for Resignation of Sheriff Hutchinson over DUI Conviction

Five Hennepin County Commissioners have joined the call for the resignation of Sheriff Dave Hutchinson following his DUI conviction. Angela Conley, Chris LaTondresse, Marion Greene, Jeffrey Lunde, and Irene Fernando all have issued statements asking him to step down from his position as sheriff.

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Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association and a Group of Minnesota Mayors Call for Accountability, More Prosecution of Criminals

The Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association as well as a group of mayors within the county wrote letters to the Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman asking for accountability and more prosecution of criminals.

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Minneapolis Mayor Says Violent Juvenile Crime Increasing During Pandemic

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) says schools must stay open despite the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in order to keep youth residents from committing violent crimes. 

“We’ve gotta keep the schools open. This is very clear to me,” Frey reportedly said. “Yes, we need to make sure we’re abiding by the necessary safety precautions. Yes, we need to make sure anyone from parents to teachers to students are protected in full from the dangers associated with a global pandemic, and we need to make sure the students are in the schools and that they’re able to learn.”

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Minnesota Democratic Legislators Make Statements on One Year Anniversary of January 6

Several Minnesota Democrat legislators made statements on the one year anniversary of January 6, 2021, where several protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during the certification of the 2020 presidential election. All the remarks held a common theme, calling out the event as “insurrection” and an “attack on democracy.”

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Minnesota Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Election Integrity Case

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in an important case that could change how cities and counties conduct future statewide elections.

The case, Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) v. Ramsey and Olmsted Counties, seeks to ensure that counties are following state law vis-à-vis absentee ballot boards and the appointment of election judges.

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Minnesota’s Health Care Industry Experiencing Record-High Number of Vacancies

The health care industry in Minnesota is experiencing a record-high number of job vacancies.

That’s according to a bulletin sent Monday by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The figures included in the report come from DEED’s job vacancy survey, which was conducted in the second quarter of 2021 — before many vaccine mandates took effect.

Although staffing shortages have long been common in the health care industry, the problem has significantly worsened as the COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on.

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Doctor Says Minnesota Medical Board Seeks Records of Patients Given Ivermectin

Dr. Scott Jensen, a veteran Minnesota family physician locked in a protracted dispute with state regulators over COVID-19, is raising alarm that the state medical board is now seeking the records of his patients who were prescribed Ivermectin.

Jensen, who has faced five licensing investigations in 17 months, told Just the News the latest request is “crossing a line” and invades the medical privacy of patients.

“If the Board of Medical Practice gets documentation for me … I think there’s a lot of folks out there that are concerned that their health privacy would not have been protected, and that indeed they can be identified,” he said in an interview.

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Recovered Carjacked Vehicle Processing Backed Up Five to Six Weeks, Police Say

The processing for recovered carjacked vehicles is backed up five to six weeks, the police say. Carjackings are happening across the Twin Cities, spilling out into the suburbs. In Golden Valley, Minnesota they experienced five carjackings in a span of 24 hours last weekend.

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Minnesota Arsonist Who Attacked Target Headquarters During Nicollet Mall Riot Sentenced to 100 Months in Prison

Hands in handcuffs

Victor Devon Edwards, 34, of St. Paul traveled to Minneapolis during the Nicollet Mall riot in August 2020 where he was caught on video looting and committing arson. Earlier this week he was sentenced to 100 months behind bars.

The Nicollet riot occurred after online rumors spread that police had killed a black person outside the mall. In reality, a fleeing murder suspect actually killed himself — but this didn’t stop the looters who smashed, grabbed and burned their way through luxury stores and other buildings in what has since been praised in a local outlet as a “mini-rebellion of the alienated dispossessed.”

While the majority of rioters seem to have evaded punishment, one trio has been put under the law enforcement microscope for their roles in the chaos. Edwards is one of these men and was recently convicted and sentenced for causing just over $941,000 of  damage to the Target headquarters in addition to looting and burning other buildings.

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Hy-Vee Shoppers Who Want to Defund the Police Angry When Store Debuts Its Own Armed Security

Hy-Vee shoppers who want to defund the police are upset that the popular Midwestern grocery chain has introduced armed security guards amidst rising crime.

Hy-Vee operates 285 stores in the Midwest, several of which are located in Minneapolis — where the City Council has allocated funds away from the police and into the Health Department to fund “civilian violence interrupters,” per MPR. However, Hy-Vee customers who support such efforts to defund the police are unhappy with how the grocery store has chosen to protect itself amidst a growing trend of mass thefts from big box retailers.

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Minnesota Attorney General Candidate Jim Schultz: ‘Minnesota Crippled by Crime, Elected Officials Failed Us’

In an exclusive interview with The Minnesota Sun, candidate for Attorney General Jim Schultz said that over the past three years, Minnesota’s elected officials have “failed us.” Scultz, a graduate from Harvard Law, went on to say that he believes Minnesota has become “crippled by crime.”

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Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Decry ‘Troubling Trend’ as ‘Prosecutorial Policies are Failing to Hold Criminals Accountable’

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association wrote a letter to the Hennepin and Ramsey County attorneys addressing their failure to prosecute some felony crimes. They wrote that they are “especially concerned” that “prosecutorial policies are failing to hold criminals accountable for their actions.”

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A Record Number of Minnesotans Moved to Other States This Year

New Census Bureau population data show that Minnesota’s population grew by just 225 people in 2021. One particularly alarming aspect of this was a loss of 13,453 residents to other states. This was our state’s biggest net loss of domestic migrants to other states in at least 30 years.

As Figure 1 shows, until 2001 Minnesota received more residents from other states each year than it lost to them. Since then, in all except for two years, 2017 and 2018, our state has seen more residents leave than have chosen to come here from elsewhere in the United States. The loss of residents in 2021 might be especially large, but it is not a new development.

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Kendall Qualls Steps Down from TakeCharge, Hinting at Run for Minnesota Governor

Republican Kendall Qualls announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as president of TakeCharge, a nonprofit he founded earlier this year, prompting speculation that he will be running for governor of Minnesota.

Qualls first gained notoriety in 2020 during his unsuccessful bid against Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District. A few months later, he launched TakeCharge, which has focused on inspiring a “new movement in the black community to return it to its cultural roots of faith, family and education.”

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Two Minnesota Colleges Requiring Booster Shots for Spring Semester

Two Minnesota colleges have joined a handful of schools across the country who will require students to receive a COVID-19 booster shot in order to attend spring semester classes.

“News about the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is undoubtedly on all of our minds, particularly as we spend more time indoors and in close proximity with loved ones over the winter break. While we don’t yet know how this new variant might impact our community, we are paying close attention to its development and will be ready to adjust plans on campus if needed,” Carleton College said on its website. 

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Rural Areas of Minnesota Have Highest Wage Increases, Job Vacancy Rates, Report Says

The population continues to decrease in rural Minnesota. Additionally, rural Minnesota continues to experience the highest increase in wages along with the highest job vacancy rates, according to a report released Monday by the Center for Rural Policy and Development.

Marnie Werner, CRPD vice president, research, and Kelly Asche, CRPD research associate, wrote the nonprofit policy research organization’s “The State of Rural” 2021 update.

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Minnesota Mother, Wife of January 6 Defendants Speaks Out: ‘I Can’t Believe Our Government Is Doing This’

Rosemarie Westbury’s life was turned upside down on April 9. Armored vehicles carrying federal agents equipped with fully-automatic rifles and battering rams were looking for her son.

It was 6:30 in the morning and Rosemarie was on her way to work as the sole breadwinner of the family. Her 62-year-old husband, Robert, has had eight strokes.

She received a terrifying call from one of her sons: the FBI was at their door.

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Minnesota County Executives’ Days of Working from Sunny California May Be Over

California may not be what it used to be, but it still looks tempting in the middle of a Minnesota winter. So tempting two of Hennepin County’s highest paid public employees made the Golden State their home base for working remotely during–and now–after the pandemic.

Michael Rossman takes home $189,000 in salary as Chief Hennepin County Human Resources Officer supervising 70 employees from his Palm Springs pad, while Chad Helton gets paid $184,000 to lead over 500 employees of the Hennepin County Library system out of Los Angeles.

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Minnesota Gives Non-White Patients Preferential Access to Life-Saving COVID Treatment

Minnesota says healthcare providers should provide non-white patients with preferential access to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). This isn’t a conspiracy theory; it’s written in a state document and apparently upheld by local hospitals.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says in a document titled “Ethical Framework for Allocation of Monoclonal Antibodies during the COVID-19 Pandemic” that “race and ethnicity alone, apart from other underlying health conditions, may be considered in determining eligibility for mAbs [monoclonal antibodies].”

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Commentary: Falling Unemployment Rate Is Entirely Due to Minnesotans Leaving the Labor Force

man in yellow hardhat and work jacket

‘Minnesota job growth outpaces US, unemployment at 3.3%‘– Duluth News Tribune

‘Jobless rate in Minn. hits pre-pandemic level‘ – MPR News

‘Minnesota jobless rate falls to 3.3%, lowest since pre-pandemic‘ – Fox 9

‘Minnesota Unemployment Rate Fell in November‘– Twin Cities Business

(Center of the American Experiment) — These were some of the headlines in Minnesota’s media covering the monthly jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They paint a pretty rosy picture. So what was the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reporting with this headline: ‘Minnesota unemployment rate continues to drop, but labor force concerns grow‘?

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Minnesota Pedophile Sentenced to 24 Years in Jail

A Minnesota pedophile was convicted and sentenced to 24 years in jail after he produced child pornography. According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Minnesota, Russell James Anderson-Baldwin, 39, created sexually explicit videos of minors using social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and messaging apps.

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Exclusive: Interview with Lisa Hanson About Her Christmas Behind Bars for Violating Minnesota Gov. Walz’s COVID-19 Indoor Service Ban

In an exclusive interview, the Hayward woman held for a 90-day sentence in the Freeborn County Jail after her conviction for violating Gov. Timothy J. Walz’s executive order banning indoor restaurant service told The Minnesota Sun she about her Christmas behind bars.

“Merry Christmas! I am doing well by the grace of our Lord,” said Melissa “Lisa” Hanson, whose Interchange Wine and Coffee Bistro was an institution here for the years before the state charged here for violating the Walz orders, followed by the city’s decision to shut down her restaurant and let her lease expire at the end of the year.

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Several Straw Polls Inconclusive Regarding Minnesota Republican Gubernatorial Candidate

Several recently conducted straw polls regarding a Republican gubernatorial candidate for the 2022 election have been inconclusive. One poll, conducted by delegates for the party, had State Senator Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) in the lead. Another poll conducted by the Minnesota Family Council after a gubernatorial debate, favored business owner and doctor, Dr. Neil Shah.

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Incoming Minneapolis Council Member Says He’ll Pursue Voting Rights for Non-Citizens

Jason Chavez will assume his seat as a member of the Minneapolis City Council in less than two weeks. He said he’ll use his power to pursue voting rights for non-citizens.

Even though the Minnesota Constitution is clear that all voters in state and local elections must have “been a citizen of the United States for three months,” Chavez told Axios that he’s already in the process of exploring a way to allow non-citizens to vote. Minneapolis alone is home to about 30,000 non-citizens, Axios reports.

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Former Minnesota Congressional Candidate Kendall Qualls Announces Documentary to Be Released in 2022

Kendall Qualls and his organization Take Charge have announced that they will be releasing a documentary in 2022, called “I Am A Victor!” Qualls ran for Congress in 2020, against Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN-03). Qualls told The Minnesota Sun that he “never wanted to be involved and never had been involved” in the political scene before.

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Tests Positive for COVID-19

Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday via Twitter that he and other members of his family have tested positive for COVID-19.

Gus, who is vaccinated, had “some sniffles” over the weekend, tested negative for COVID-19 with a rapid test and then tested positive, the governor said in a video message on Twitter.

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