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

AP-US-GEORGE-FLOYD-OFFICER-TAX-EVASION

Chauvin, ex-wife plead not guilty to tax evasion charges

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge has entered not guilty pleas on tax evasion charges on behalf of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, and for the officer’s ex-wife. Washington County District Judge Sheridan Hawley also set the next court date in the case for Jan. 21. A trial date has not been set. Chauvin appeared via Zoom for the brief hearing from the state’s maximum security prison at Oak Park Heights, where he’s serving a 22 1/2 year sentence for his conviction in April for second-degree murder in the May 2020 death of Floyd.

THREE KILLED

3 killed, 1 injured in central Minnesota highway crash

BACKUS, Minn. (AP) — The State Patrol says three people have died in a highway crash in central Minnesota. Officials say a GMC Yukon was northbound on Highway 371 in Cass County about 11 p.m. Thursday when a Chevy minivan failed to stop at an intersection between Hackensack and Backus and collided with the SUV. The driver and passenger in the SUV were killed as was the driver of the minivan. Another passenger in the SUV was injured. The State Patrol identified the SUV driver who died as 55-year-old Jeffrey Wertish of Ellendale. The passenger who was killed is 59-year-old Robert Nelson of Carver. The driver of the minivan who died is identified as 34-year-old Lenny Steffen of Backus.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA-LABOR

How will vaccine mandate will impact tight labor market?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Some Minnesota employers are concerned about how a new federal vaccine requirement for workers will affect an already tight labor market. New regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandate that companies with more than 100 employees require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested for the virus weekly and wear masks on the job. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce executive Vicki Stute says the emergency temporary standards will create additional economic uncertainty for companies, as well as the economy as a whole.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA

Minnesota schools to assist in effort to inoculate children

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health and education officials have joined in an effort with 16 schools to assist in administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children over the next few days before many more doses are expected to arrive in Minnesota next week. State officials are expecting Minnesota to receive more than 250,000 children doses next week that will go to more than 1,000 providers across the state. The first portion of the limited supply of child doses were administered Wednesday at a community vaccination clinic at the Mall of America in Bloomington. More than 3.3 million Minnesotans have been fully inoculated as of Tuesday.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA-INCARCERATED

Hodgepodge of vaccine rules for county jails in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Employees at Minnesota state prisons are required to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing. But, only two Minnesota counties, Hennepin and Ramsey, have a similar requirement for their jails. Unlike state prisons, which are operated by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, jails are under the authority of county sheriffs, who set their own policies. State health officials say that as of Oct. 22, there have been 1,358 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among people incarcerated or detained in Minnesota jails, and 661 cases among jail staff since the start of the pandemic

AP-US-CLIMATE-SOLAR-RESTORING-THE-LANDSCAPE

Bees, sheep, crops: Solar developers tout multiple benefits

MONTICELLO, Minnesota (AP) — Solar is a renewable energy source that can help wean the world off fossil fuels that produce climate-warming gases. But it also could benefit the environment and economy in ways not as well known. As panels spread across the landscape, the grounds around them can be used for native grasses and flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Some solar farms are being used to graze sheep. And scientists are growing tomatoes, peppers and other crops beneath the panels. Advocates say such beneficial uses can lower resistance from critics who say solar panels waste farmland and look unattractive.

DAUNTE WRIGHT-OFFICER

Judge: Behavior errors on table at ex-cop's homicide trial

A judge says attorneys for a former suburban Minneapolis police officer on trial for fatally shooting a Black motorist can call a witness at trial to testify about behavior errors. Defendant Kim Potter said she meant to use a Taser instead of a handgun when she shot and killed Daunte Wright after he was stopped in April for a traffic violation. Defense attorneys have said they plan to call forensic and police psychologist Laurence Miller to discuss “slip and capture errors,” which they believe caused Potter to mistakenly fire her handgun at Wright instead of her Taser. Prosecutors had filed a motion to exclude or limit Miller’s testimony, arguing that it was “not relevant and would not be helpful to the jury.”

ELECTION 2021-MINNEAPOLIS MAYOR

Frey wins 2nd term as Minneapolis mayor after bitter race

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis voters have reelected Mayor Jacob Frey after a bitter race that focused on calls for changes to policing and racial justice. More than a dozen candidates ran to be mayor, including many who took issue with the way the Democratic incumbent has handled changes to the police department since one of its officers killed George Floyd last year. Frey positioned himself as an opponent of an effort to eliminate the police department and of the most vocal liberals who were seeking a symbolic victory in Floyd’s city. The results were announced Wednesday after Frey didn’t get enough votes in the first found Tuesday night to win outright under the city’s ranked-choice voting system.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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