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Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT

September 15, 2021 - 7:25 PM


More than 200 Minnesota ICU beds in use due to COVID-19

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across Minnesota has climbed to more than 200 for the first time this year, fueling concerns from health officials about shrinking capacity at hospitals statewide. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters on Wednesday that 718 patients are hospitalized due to COVID-19 including 208 in intensive care. Malcolm said Minnesota hospitals were “very full” of patients with other critical conditions even before virus cases began increasing. As of Monday, more than 3.3 million Minnesotans 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.


Ex-cop's murder conviction reversed in 911 caller's death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed the third-degree murder conviction of a former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a woman who had called 911 to report a possible rape behind her home. Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. But he appealed the murder conviction, saying the charge was meant for cases in which a defendant’s actions are not directed at a particular person. The court's ruling Wednesday could give Derek Chauvin grounds to appeal his third-degree murder conviction in George Floyd’s death, but that would have little tangible impact since Chauvin was also convicted of the more serious count of second-degree murder.


Lawyer asks judge to toss new charge in Daunte Wright case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a new manslaughter charge against the former suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright. Former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter says she mistakenly drew her gun instead of her stun gun as Wright was trying to drive away from officers. Prosecutors charged her with second-degree manslaughter. The first-degree manslaughter count was added earlier this month after Attorney General Keith Ellison's office took over the case. Her attorneys filed a motion Wednesday seeking to dismiss the new charge, saying she wasn't aware the weapon she held was a gun and she was justified in using force to stop Wright because he had created a dangerous situation.


Few answers in deaths of 4 Minnesotans found in Wisconsin

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) — Investigators are reviewing bridge and highway cameras as they try to figure out who killed four Minnesota residents whose bodies were found in an SUV abandoned in Wisconsin. Family members say the two men and two women had been together at a St. Paul, Minnesota, bar on Saturday night. A farmer discovered the bodies in the SUV in his Dunn County field Sunday. The field is about 60 miles east of St. Paul. Authorities say all four had suffered gunshot wounds. Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd says there are no preliminary indications that the homicides involved drugs or organized criminal activity.


Man accused in road rage killing 'too violent' to make court

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The initial court appearance for a Chicago man accused of fatally shooting a motorist on a Twin Cities highway in an apparent road rage incident was postponed after authorities said the defendant was too agitated to proceed. Shortly before the virtual hearing was scheduled to start in Minneapolis Wednesday for Jamal L. Smith and other defendants, prosecutor Judith Cole told public defense attorney Shauna Kieffer that Smith “was too violent” to appear. The Star Tribune reports that Judge David Moreno granted Kieffer’s request for a one-day delay. The 33-year-old Smith is accused of shooting 56-year-old Jay Boughton in the head on July 6. Boughton, of Crystal, was driving his son home from a baseball game on Highway 169.


Supreme Court fast tracks Minneapolis ballot issue on police

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to take up a dispute over whether Minneapolis residents will decide a ballot question on the future of policing in the city where George Floyd died. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea put the case on the fast track, ordering all sides to file papers by 5 p.m. Her order followed a ruling by a Hennepin County judge Tuesday that the ballot language was “unreasonable and misleading.” The lower court ruling allows election officials to use existing ballots when early voting starts Friday. But it prohibits election officials from counting any votes cast on the issue.


Minnesota judge rejects attempt to force school mask mandate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota judge has rejected a request by concerned parents to force a statewide mask mandate in all schools. Judge Thomas Gilligan said the court was “gravely concerned” about COVID-19 risks for children, but that the court lacks the legal authority to order Gov. Tim Walz to issue the directive that the parents sought. Minnesota Public Radio reports the longshot legal challenge was unique in that it sought to force the governor to declare a peacetime emergency and follow it with a mandate. In other states, governors who’ve tried to prevent schools from requiring masks have been blocked by courts.


House Democrats oust embattled lawmaker from caucus

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota House Democrats have voted to expel Rep. John Thompson from their caucus following allegations of domestic violence and questions about his residency. House leaders Tuesday night issued a statement saying that “Thompson’s actions, credible reports of abuse and misconduct, and his failure to take responsibility remain unacceptable for a member of the Minnesota House.” Top Democrats called for the St. Paul freshman legislator to resign this summer amid news stories about past police reports that alleged Thompson was physically violent with women long before he was elected. Questions were also raised about whether Thompson lives in his district after he presented a Wisconsin license during a traffic stop.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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