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


Minneapolis cop charged in chase that killed innocent driver

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide for a crash in July that killed an innocent motorist while the officer was pursuing a stolen vehicle. Authorities say Officer Brian Cummings was driving nearly 80 mph in Minneapolis with his siren and lights activated when his squad car slammed into a different vehicle, killing 40-year-old Leneal Frazier. Frazier was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, whose cellphone video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck in 2020 was viewed worldwide and helped launch a global protest movement against racial injustice. The Frazier family and their attorneys welcomed the charges, saying no innocent civilian should ever die because of unwarranted high-speed chases.


COVID-19 cases rising faster on reservations in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State health officials say Native Americans have contracted COVID-19 at two to three times the rate of white Minnesotans over the past month. The director of the Center for American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota, Mary Owen, says there are large pockets of unvaccinated people in the 18 to 49 age range in Minnesota’s tribal communities and across the country. Owen attributes that in part to access to vaccines. Owen says that’s especially concerning because Native Americans have high rates of health disparities that put them at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness, such as diabetes,


Minneapolis cop gets nearly 5 years in killing of 911 caller

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman after she called 911 to report a possible rape behind her home has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison. The 57 months that the judge gave Mohamed Noor on Thursday was the maximum term possible for manslaughter under the state's sentencing guidelines but is far shorter than the 12 1/2 years he received for a third-degree murder conviction that the state Supreme Court overturned. Noor was convicted of both charges in the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, but the high court later ruled that the third-degree murder statute didn't fit the facts of the case. With good behavior, Noor could be freed by next summer.


Aromatherapy spray linked to US deaths faces recall

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials may have solved the mystery of how four people in different states came down with a serious tropical disease, even though none had traveled internationally. The four people may have been infected by an aromatherapy spray imported from India. Two of them died. One was a child. The others were from Kansas, Minnesota and Texas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that its scientists found the same type of bacteria that causes the disease in an aromatherapy spray found in the Georgia patient’s home. The spray was made in India. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Walmart issued a recall Friday for 3,900 bottles of the spray.


2nd man charged in crash that killed woman in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A second suspect has been charged in the death of a bystander who was struck and killed by one of two vehicles whose drivers were involved in an exchange of gunfire in downtown Minneapolis. Eighteen-year-old Autumn Rose Merrick was riding a scooter near Target Field when she was struck and killed while standing on a street corner Oct. 6. A passenger in one of the vehicles, 33-year-old Marvel Williams, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and illegal possessing a firearm. An arrest warrant has been issued for a second man, Christopher Walker of Minneapolis, who is accused of being one of the drivers. Walker is facing the same charges.


Teachers ask for virus protocols after student, staff deaths

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Members of Minnesota’s teachers union are calling on on school leaders to do more to protect students and staff after the state Department of Health reported the first student death from COVID-19 this school year. Health officials said the student and two staff members died last week. That increased the total number of school fatalities since the start of the pandemic to two students and 13 school employees, including five workers this year. Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said district leaders should not ignore virus protocols and asked parents to make sure their teens are vaccinated. The trendline seems to be moving in the right direction. Cases of the coronavirus in Minnesota pre-K-12 schools have dropped by nearly 70% since mid-September.


Mohamed Noor and what led to the ex-officer's resentencing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor is set to be resentenced for the July 2017 killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, whom he shot in an alley after she called 911 to report hearing a possible rape happening behind her home. Noor was convicted of third-degree murder in the dual U.S.-Australia national's death, but the state Supreme Court overturned that conviction because it said the charge didn’t fit the case. Noor remains convicted of manslaughter and is scheduled to be resentenced on that charge on Thursday. He faces a prison term of 41 to 57 months behind bars, and experts say he could be placed on supervised release soon under Minnesota rules.


Strong economic growth continues in rural parts of 10 states

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new monthly survey of bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states suggests strong economic growth continues in the region. The overall economic index for the region improved in October to 66.1 from September’s already-strong 62.5 reading. Any score above 50 suggests growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the area is benefitting from solid grain prices, continued low interest rates and growing agricultural exports. Goss said demand for workers is high but businesses are having trouble finding people to hire. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
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