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WEDNESDAY NEWS BRIEFS
October 21, 2020, 10:25 am

Thousands of workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will get a raise next year. The Metropolitan Airports Commission voted yesterday to increase the hourly pay by increments. The wage will eventually be 15 dollars per hour by the summer of 2022. The pay increase will cover airport workers, from baggage handlers to food preparers.
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Seven homeless people who were pushed out of their tent camps are suing Hennepin County and Minneapolis officials. The lawsuit contends that the evictions from city parks violated the constitutional rights of the homeless. Plaintiffs also claim some campers were not given eviction notices. They are seeking an end to any more clearing of encampments.
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Authorities say a man accused of causing a deadly four-vehicle crash that killed a two-year-old in Coon Rapids last fall was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Pedro Flores of Blaine has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide, criminal vehicular operation and drunken driving. The collision happened in November of 2019 on Main Street, which was covered with snow and ice. A toddler was killed in the crash and several of the child’s family members were injured. Investigators say Flores was traveling 55 miles per hour, which was too fast for the conditions.
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Office vacancy rates in downtown St. Paul are better in 2020 than the previous year, despite the pandemic. That is according to a report released yesterday by the Greater St. Paul Building Owners and Managers Association. Vacancy rates for all seven-point-four million square feet of competitive office space fell to 18-point-six percent, down from 21-point-two percent last year. The results of the report was a breath of fresh air, considering business shutdowns and restrictions linked to COVID-19 have turned several downtown areas in the nation into ghost towns as office workers continue to work from home.



TUESDAY BEMIDJI BRIEFS
October 20, 2020, 10:36 am

A hint of winter is on its way to the Twin Cities. The National Weather Service is expecting very cold weather along with snow showers this week. The best chance for snow is today, with the forecast calling for one-to-three inches of accumulation in the Twin Cities metro and up to four inches from St. Cloud to Duluth.
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U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is stumping for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Minnesota. The Massachusetts lawmaker and former presidential candidate made campaign stops over the weekend in Brooklyn Park and Northfield.
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A Waseca police officer who is recovering from a serious shooting was expected to return home on Monday. Officer Arik Matson has been spending time at an out-of-state rehab facility. He was critically wounded in January when he was shot in the head by a suspect while responding to a call.
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City officials are somewhat concerned that residents may be caught off guard when street sweeping startsb in St. Paul and in Minneapolis. Both cities will post temporary No Parking signs at least 24 hours before curb-to-curb cleaning takes place. The signs are designed to warn drivers to move their vehicles. But with people spending more time at home due to COVID-19 restrictions they aren’t moving their cars as much.
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Registration is now open for a free Thanksgiving meal at a St. Paul mission. The offer is being made by Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities. Those in need can sign up online or by calling until November 14th.



MAYO BREACH
October 8, 2020, 10:20 am

A former Mayo Clinic employee is accused of inappropriately accessing the health records of over 16-hundred patients. Mayo announced the breach Monday, but said the former employee didn’t access any financial information. Mayo isn’t recommending the affected patients take any action due to the breach.



NO FANS FOR VIKINGS GAMES
October 8, 2020, 10:20 am

The Vikings next home game will be played without fans at U.S. Bank Stadium. The first two games at the stadium were also played with no spectators. The Vikes organization plans to again host 250 family members of team staffers to test for game day entry and exit protocols during the October 18th game against the Falcons. Possible attendance for the November 8th home game against the Lions has not been announced.



TWO KILLED IN CRASH
October 8, 2020, 10:20 am

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office identified two people killed in a two-car crash in Fergus Falls last week. The sheriff’s office says husband and wife Steven and Diane Christianson were broadsided by a car running from sheriff’s deputies last Friday. Cody Frietag was wanted on outstanding warrants and was taken to the hospital in non-life-threatening condition.



FIRE DANGER
October 7, 2020, 10:49 am

Strong winds and dry conditions today are increasing the risk of fires being able to ignite and spread quickly in parts of Minnesota. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning until 7 p.m. Weather experts say MANY areas will be impacted most by gusty winds. The addition of decreasing humidity levels will cause the rapid spread of any fires that develop.



ATHLETE FAMILIES FILE SUIT
October 7, 2020, 10:49 am

Four families of Minnesota high school athletes are suing the State High School League over what they call arbitrary spectator restrictions. The lawsuit claims the High School League’s restrictions are more strict than the Minnesota Department of Health’s limits for events, such as a ban on all spectators for girls’ volleyball games. The families say they do not want to mandate that anyone watch their games if they don’t feel safe. They’re asking that the High School League’s restrictions conform with the health department’s guidelines.



ONLINE DRIVER TESTS OFFERED
October 7, 2020, 10:49 am

Starting Thursday, prospective drivers in Minnesota will be able to take their road knowledge tests online and skip a trip to their local Department of Vehicle Services office. Aspiring motorists will need to apply online to take the class D knowledge test and a parent or guardian with a valid driver’s license must proctor the exam. Applicants will still have to take a road test in person before they can be issued a license.



WATCH FOR FARM EQUIPMENT DURING HARVEST SEASON
October 6, 2020, 10:29 am

Motorists traveling on Minnesota highways this fall are reminded to be aware of large, slow-moving farm equipment transporting crops to markets. Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The machines also make wide turns and sometimes cross over the center line. They also can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All of these factors require all drivers to exercise extra caution during harvest season.



FORMER LT GOV PASSES
October 6, 2020, 10:29 am

Former Minnesota Lieutenant Governor and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Sandy Keith has died. A family friend says Keith died in his sleep at his Rochester home early Saturday. Keith was 93-years old. He served as a Marine in the Korean War and was a state Senator with the DFL Party. He served as lieutenant governor from 1963 to 1967 and was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1989. He served as chief justice from 1990 to 1998.



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