Fact-Checkers Rate Viral Video Alleging Whitmer Used Health Officials to Block Poll Challengers As ‘Partly False’

Fact-checkers have ruled a viral video “partly false” after it alleged that Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent health officials to bar poll challengers. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) was present during ballot counting at TCF Center on Wednesday.

It is reported that Whitmer sent MDHHS because the 40,000 square foot building was at capacity for COVID-19 restrictions. In the video, the woman stood alone on the second floor of the building. On camera, MDHHS officials were removing and barring entry to poll challengers.

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Commentary: Government Can’t Count Ballots, So How Can It Possibly Manage a Pandemic or Our Health Care?

Elections are a nasty business, but sometimes they can be clarifying.

We don’t yet know who won the US presidential election, and we may not for days or weeks to come. This stems largely from the ineptitude Americans witnessed on Election Tuesday.

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CDC Report Indicates Masks May Increase Chance of Infection with COVID or Other Respiratory Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last month in which the nearly 71 percent of individuals infected with COVID-19 reported “always” wearing their mask. This opposed to the 4 percent of infected individuals who “never” wore masks.
The number of individuals infected with COVID-19 positively correlated with the consistency of mask-wearing. The report didn’t address the possible correlation between face mask hygiene and COVID-19 infection, such as proper handling and disposal of masks. It also didn’t differentiate the respondents’ mask types.

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Commentary: Trump Is Now One with Countless Essential Workers

Joe Biden has redefined mask wearing. It is now the thinking man’s patriotism, what every “scientific” and “refined” mind naturally does.

Biden, the media, and the progressive party all blame the now ill Trump for becoming infected. They accuse the president of becoming sick because he was selfish. You see, he was not always wearing a mask, or not always isolating in social-distancing fashion, or not always staying inside except for essential expeditionary trips.

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Outbreak in the NFL: Three Tennessee Titans Players, Five Personnel Test Positive for COVID-19

The Tennessee Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4.

The outbreak threatened to jeopardize the Titans’ game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers and posed the first significant in-season test to the league’s coronavirus protocols.

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Metro Nashville Coronavirus Task Force Chair Dr. Alex Jahangir on July 2: ‘Saturday I Got A Call . . . 30 People Confirmed That Have Tested Positive . . . So This Was Atypical, Right?’

As The Tennessee Star reported on Monday, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference he was turning the city back to Phase Two from Phase Three, shutting all bars down for 14 days, temporarily shutting down all entertainment and event venues, and reducing restaurant capacity from to 75 percent to 50 percent due to “record numbers” of COVID-19 cases traceable back to bars and restaurants.

Mayor Cooper did not provide any specific details to substantiate his assertion of “record numbers.”

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Governor Walz Sets First-Ever Standards for ‘Really Good Chance’ of Lifting Emergency Executive Orders

In an interview with The Star Tribune, Governor Tim Walz set the first standards for possibly lifting Minnesota’s emergency executive orders. His statement didn’t promise total relinquishment of his executive powers.
According to Walz, under 20 percent community spread and 4 percent test positivity rate would give Minnesota “a really good chance of doing most things.” The governor balked when questioned whether some of the restrictions were too harsh. Walz stated that his state has endured COVID-19 better than many states.

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UMN Football Back in Play After Big Ten Rescinds Month-Old Decision to Cancel Fall Season

University of Minnesota (UMN) fall football is back in play after The Big Ten rescinded its decision to postpone the season until spring.

The Big Ten Conference canceled fall sports last month “due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The announcement caused widespread backlash within the football community.

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Minnesota Department of Health: Even Kids Who Test Negative Must Quarantine If Exposed

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) stated Monday in a press release that even children who test negative for the coronavirus must quarantine if exposed. The MDH’s “COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents and Families” explains these standards.

“Getting tested does not shorten the time that they must stay home. Your child must stay home for 14 days (quarantine) from the last contact they had with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, even if the child tests negative,” states the guide.

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Gov Walz’s Sixth Extension of COVID Peacetime Emergency Follows Legislation’s Heated, Divided Vote

Governor Tim Walz extended Minnesota’s COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency for the sixth time after a heated, divided vote in the special legislative session. 
Walz stated in a press release that the coronavirus is still a danger to Minnesotans.

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Commentary: America’s Clown Conference

The latest act in the clown show that is the Big Ten Conference’s postponement of football this fall occurred on Thursday afternoon when Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer green-lighted high school football in the state.
Twitter erupted into paroxysms of hope, and the Internet haruspices crouched down to read the chicken entrails. Might the decision of this control-freak governor, who a little more than a week earlier had expressed glee that the Big Ten was scrubbing football for the fall, augur a reversal of opinion among decision makers in the Upper Midwest and thus a possible revocation of the conference suspension of fall sports?

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Commentary: Trump Takes on the Real Pandemic of ‘Critical Race Theory’

At long last, the president tackles the “critical race theory” infecting the federal workforce.
To be a freedom-loving individual in the year 2020, and to have a proper understanding of modern history and current events, is to be terrifyingly aware of just how much the liberty, prosperity, and stability of America and the free world depend on one thing and one thing alone—namely, the continued physical and intellectual health of a certain preternaturally brave, brilliant, and energetic 74-year-old named Donald Trump.

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Coalition Argues Taxpayer Dollars Should Fund Students, Not Institutions

More than 60 organizations in the U.S. have created a movement – “Yes. Every kid” – promoting policies and funding at a national and local level that focus on the needs of families and students over institutions.

At a time when tens of millions of students face nearly six months without consistent schooling, and while many schools are not reopening, the coalition argues that tax and other dollars should be sent directly to families to determine which educational opportunities are best for them.

“Families have already paid for the ability to access public education” through tax dollars, the coalition says. “Any additional funds should be provided directly to families via grants, stipends, rebates, or other mechanisms designed to help cover the schooling, courses, devices, connectivity, tutoring, socialization, extracurricular activities, and other forms of learning that have been left to parents to pay for.”

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Sen. Gazelka Challenges Gov. Walz on COVID Measures and Meetings: ‘There is No Longer an Emergency’

Senator Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) continues to challenge Governor Tim Walz’s emergency executive powers, even after their private meeting Thursday. The two disagree about the necessity of Minnesota’s continued state of emergency.

Their meeting marked the 175th day of Walz’s orders.

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Sen. Gazelka Challenges Gov. Walz on COVID Measures and Meetings: ‘There is No Longer an Emergency’

Senator Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) continues to challenge Governor Tim Walz’s emergency executive powers, even after their private meeting Thursday. The two disagree about the necessity of Minnesota’s continued state of emergency.

Their meeting marked the 175th day of Walz’s orders.

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U.S. COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Birx: Minnesotans Haven’t Done Enough to Decrease Spread

U.S. Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stated in a visit to Minnesota on Sunday that Minnesotans haven’t done enough to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The visit is part of a cross-country tour to gauge how well states are adhering to coronavirus guidelines.
Birx commended the measures instituted by the state. However, she said that Minnesotans needed to do more – especially in rural areas.

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U.S. COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Birx: Minnesotans Haven’t Done Enough to Decrease Spread

U.S. Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stated in a visit to Minnesota on Sunday that Minnesotans haven’t done enough to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The visit is part of a cross-country tour to gauge how well states are adhering to coronavirus guidelines.
Birx commended the measures instituted by the state. However, she said that Minnesotans needed to do more – especially in rural areas.

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Coronavirus Worries Force Election Officials to Get Creative

The coronavirus has upended everyday life in ways big and small. What happens when those disruptions overlap with voting? Thousands of state and local election officials across the U.S are sharing ideas and making accommodations to try to ensure that voters and polling places are safe amid an unprecedented pandemic.

Some are finding ways to expand access to voter registration and ballot request forms. Others are testing new products, installing special equipment or scouting outdoor voting locations.

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Trump: Convention Speech Locale is White House or Gettysburg

President Donald Trump said Monday that his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination will be held at either the White House or the Gettysburg battlefield.

The president’s initial hopes for the event to be a four-day promotion for his reelection bid have been steadily constrained by the coronavirus pandemic, culminating in his decision last month to cancel nearly all of the in-person proceedings. In recent weeks, President Trump and his aides have looked for alternatives that would allow him to recreate at least some of the pomp of the event.

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Players Unite in Push to Save College Season, Create Union

Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds saw the tweets from Trevor Lawrence and other college football players pushing for the opportunity to play this season despite the pandemic.

Reynolds, one of the organizers behind a players’ rights movement in the Big Ten, didn’t like the way some on social media seemed to be pitting Lawrence’s message against the efforts of #BigTenUnited and #WeAreUnited.

“There was a lot of division,” Reynolds told AP early Monday morning.

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The Status of the Coronavirus Vaccine Continues to Advance Rapidly

Researchers, governments and pharmaceutical companies worldwide have been working rapidly to develop an effective vaccine against coronavirus, which has infected over 4.5 million and killed over 150,000 people in the United States alone.

Testing has advanced quickly and there’s optimism that a vaccine will be developed before 2021. But there are also concerns that a vaccine won’t be sufficiently stockpiled or efficiently distributed. There’s additional worry that the growing distrust in vaccines will result in large numbers refusing the injection, making it less beneficial.

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Wealthy Donors Pour Millions into Fight over Mail-In Voting

Deep-pocketed and often anonymous donors are pouring over $100 million into an intensifying dispute about whether it should be easier to vote by mail, a fight that could determine President Donald Trump’s fate in the November election.

In the battleground of Wisconsin, cash-strapped cities have received $6.3 million from an organization with ties to left-wing philanthropy to help expand vote by mail. Meanwhile, a well-funded conservative group best known for its focus on judicial appointments is spending heavily to fight cases related to mail-in balloting procedures in court.

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New Durable-Goods Orders Rise Again in June

New orders for durable goods posted a second consecutive month of rebound in June, rising 7.3 percent following a gain of 15.1 percent in May. The two gains followed drops of 18.3 percent in April and 16.7 percent in March. If transportation equipment is excluded, new orders for durable goods increased 3.3 percent in June following a 3.6 percent rise in May. Durable-goods orders had been holding above the $200 billion level since May 2011 before posting sharp declines in March and April (see first chart). New orders for June are back above the $200 billion threshold, totaling $206.9 billion, but are still 21.9 percent below June 2019.

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Democrats Seek Coronavirus Aid Bill Provision to Limit Federal Agents from Patrolling Cities

Senate Democrats are planning to insert a provision in the coronavirus relief bill that would place restrictions on the Trump administration’s ability to send federal agents to help quell protests in cities across the country.

The provision would require federal agents to identify themselves, use marked vehicles and stay on federal property rather than patrol city streets, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday, according to NBC News. Local officials including mayors and governors would need to approve the use of federal agents patrolling streets.

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Movie Theater Owners to Studios: Release the Blockbusters!

by Jack Coyle   NEW YORK, New York (AP) — A long time ago in a pre-COVID universe far, far away, blockbusters opened around the globe simultaneously or nearly so. In 1975, “Jaws” set the blueprint. Concentrate marketing. Open wide. Pack them in. Since then, Hollywood has turned opening weekends into…

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Commentary: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Dr. Carl Sagan was one of the premier scientists when it came to trying to bridge the gap of hard science with general public understanding. In the process, his personal enthusiasm for the wonder of science became evident to all. He also understood that science could be hijacked and that the highest standards of evidence were required when fantastic claims were being made.

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Judge Theodore Chuang Rules Women Can Get Abortion Pill Without Doctor Visit

A federal judge agreed Monday to suspend a rule that requires women during the COVID-19 pandemic to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain an abortion pill.

U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang, an Obama appointee based in Maryland, concluded that the “in-person requirements” for patients seeking medication abortion care impose a “substantial obstacle” to abortion patients and are likely unconstitutional under the circumstances of the pandemic.

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Majority of Minnesota Parents Say They Are Comfortable Sending Children Back to School in Fall

A survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Education found that the majority of parents would feel comfortable sending their children back to school this fall.

Between June 15 and July 6, the agency collected more than 130,000 responses to the informal survey, which was offered in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali. A total of 64 percent of respondents said they would feel comfortable sending their children back to school in September. Of that 64 percent, 94 percent said they would send their children back to school full time.

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Walz Expected to Call Another Special Session to Extend Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to call another special session by the end of the week in order to extend his peacetime emergency powers.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) alerted members and staff in a Monday email about the likely special session.

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Slow Processing, Lost Markets Mean New Challenges for Livestock Farmers

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many sectors of the economy and livestock farming is one of them.

Closures of public spaces such as schools, restaurants, bars, and hotels mean decreased demand for meat products. In addition, outbreaks of coronavirus-caused illness at meatpacking plants caused some large operations to shut down temporarily, swamping small mom-and-pop operations that are now booked into spring 2021.

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Republicans Say Gov. Walz Has Failed to Provide Legal Justification for Coronavirus Shutdown

Republican lawmakers who sued Gov. Tim Walz said Friday that he has failed to provide legal justification for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are winning on this issue, and Gov. Walz knows it,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal), one of 13 Republican lawmakers who joined a lawsuit against Walz over his use of emergency powers during the pandemic.

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Nine More Lawmakers Join Lawsuit Against Gov. Walz Over Use of Emergency Powers

Nine more Republican lawmakers have joined a lawsuit against Gov. Tim Walz regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Group Calls on Commissioner Malcolm to Resign for Failing to Address Long-Term Care Crisis

One of Minnesota’s most influential pro-life organizations has called on Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm to resign for failing to address the crisis in the state’s long-term care facilities.

As of Tuesday, COVID-19 fatalities among nursing-home residents accounted for 79 percent of Minnesota’s 1,217 total deaths. Under the threat of a legislative subpoena, Malcolm revealed in a 74-page letter to lawmakers that dozens of long-term care facilities have allowed COVID-19 patients to return to a congregate-care setting after being discharged from the hospital.

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Minnesota Hasn’t Used $6.9 Million Facility It Bought to Store Deceased Coronavirus Patients

Due to a projected surge in coronavirus fatalities, the state of Minnesota spent $6.9 million to acquire a warehouse for the “temporary storage of human remains,” but the facility has so far gone unused.

“What’s contemplated by the purchase is to buy a building where we can properly handle with dignity and respect and safety the bodies of Minnesotans who may fall victim to the coronavirus,” Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly said during a press conference in early May.

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Students Sue Harvard Citing ‘Subpar Online Learning Options’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

On Wednesday, students sued Harvard University for not refunding tuition and fees after the coronavirus pandemic forced classes online.

This makes Harvard at least the fourth Ivy League school to be targeted for failing to reimburse educational costs, following Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. The school is facing a $5 million federal class-action lawsuit.  Students chose to pursue legal action as a result of not having “received the benefit of in-person instruction or equivalent access to university facilities and services.” 

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Minnesota to ‘Allow’ Churches to Reopen After Faith Leaders Defy Governor’s Orders

Gov. Tim Walz announced Saturday that he would lift his restrictions on religious services and allow all places of worship to open for larger groups beginning Wednesday.

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Minnesota State Fair Canceled for First Time in More Than 70 Years

The general manager of the Minnesota State Fair announced Friday morning that the annual gathering will be canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been working hard and doing our very best with preparations for the 2020 State Fair. The picture was cloudy in March, but things have cleared up considerably since then. Right now is the time of year when things need to really take off if we’re going to have a fair, but we can see that we’re out of runway and can’t get off the ground. There will be no State Fair this year,” General Manager Jerry Hammer said in a statement.

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Business Groups Call Walz’s Plan for Outdoor Dining Only ‘Disastrous Setback’

Minnesota business leaders have said they were blindsided by Gov. Tim Walz’s announcement that bars and restaurants will be allowed to resume only outdoor dining on June 1.

Under new guidelines announced Wednesday, bars and restaurants can reopen for outdoor dining on June 1 and must limit seating to no more than 50 people. Salons, barbershops, and other personal care services can reopen June 1, but must limit capacity to 25 percent of the building’s maximum occupancy. Like bars and restaurants, appointments are required and no walk-ins are allowed.

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Republicans Criticize ‘Alarming’ Interpretation of Executive Authority in Letter to Walz and Ellison

The Senate Republican Caucus expressed concern over the governor’s “alarming” interpretation of executive authority in a letter sent this week to Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison.

“Your interpretation of the scope of the Governor’s authority under Minnesota Statutes, section 12.45, is incorrect and inconsistent with legislative intent and with a more measured reading of the law. Most importantly, it is an infringement on the Legislature’s fundamental and exclusive authority to define and prescribe the punishment for a crime,” states the letter.

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Mayor Calls on Walz to Immediately Reopen Greater Minnesota Businesses

A mayor in Greater Minnesota called for immediately reopening businesses in his region in a letter sent Monday to Gov. Tim Walz.

Cambridge Mayor James Godfrey pointed to the “significant difference” in the spread of the coronavirus in rural Minnesota compared to the Metro area. Cambridge is located in Isanti County, which had just 20 confirmed cases and zero deaths as of Wednesday.

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Bonfire Restaurants Latest COVID Casualty, Announces Permanent Closure of All Locations

Bonfire Restaurants announced Friday that it will permanently close all five of its Minnesota locations because of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement that its locations in Blaine, Eagan, Mankato, Savage, and Woodbury will not be reopening.

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Keith Ellison Sues Minnesota Restaurant Owner Who Planned to Open Early, Threatens $150,000 in Fines

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Sunday night that his office has sued a Minnesota restaurant owner who planned to reopen for business Monday.

Kris Schiffler, owner of Shady’s Bar and Grill, planned on reopening his six locations for dine-in business Monday, two weeks earlier than the June 1 reopening date set by the state. He told one local outlet that he received a call from Ellison’s office Friday threatening $25,000 in fines per location, which would amount to $150,000 in total.

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Commentary: COVID-19 Proves America Needs Economic Nationalism

by Spencer P. Morrison   Reports of a deadly new virus began trickling out of China in December. The infection spread rapidly. By March 12, the World Health Organization deemed COVID-19 a global pandemic. The next day President Trump declared COVID-19 a “national emergency” that would require the “full power…

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Minnesota to Spend $6.9 Million on Warehouse Facility for Storing Dead Bodies

The state of Minnesota plans to spend $6.9 million to acquire a warehouse facility for the “temporary storage of human remains.”

The funds will come from the COVID-19 Minnesota Fund and was recommended for approval by Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans.

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Republicans Move to Suspend Walz’s Six-Figure Salary Until Shutdown Ends

A Republican lawmaker put forward an amendment Thursday that would suspend Gov. Tim Walz’s salary during the course of his peacetime emergency declaration.

The move is the latest escalation in a battle between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over the best course of action in addressing the coronavirus pandemic. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) announced last weekend that he would block a public works bill from being passed until Walz agreed to relinquish his emergency powers.

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Star Tribune Accepts $150,000 Grant from Facebook

The Star Tribune accepted $150,000 in grant money from Facebook, the tech giant revealed Thursday.

According to a press release from Facebook, the company awarded $10.3 million to 144 local U.S. newsrooms as part of a “COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program.” Another $5.4 million was awarded to 59 North American newsrooms that participated in Facebook’s “Local News Accelerator” program, including The Star Tribune.

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Minnesota Churches, Business Owners File Second Lawsuit Against Walz’s ‘Draconian’ Shutdown Orders

A second lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Gov. Tim Walz on behalf of multiple Minnesota churches and small business owners.

The complaint asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to strike down Walz’s emergency executive orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic as unconstitutional under the First, Fifth, and 14th Amendments.

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