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Walz has $ 4.1M in campaign cash; Jensen and Gazelka lead the GOP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Campaign finance reports show Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has $ 4.1 million in the bank for his reelection campaign. Meanwhile, Dr. Scott Jensen and Sen. Paul Gazelka are the money leaders among candidates seeking the Republican endorsement for Governor. The reports show Jensen – a former state Senator who’s running as a COVID-19 skeptic – ended the first quarter with over $ 774,000 in cash on hand. Gazelka is a former Senate majority leader running on a law-and-order platform. He finished the reporting period with over $ 406,000 in the bank. Minnesota Republicans hold their state convention next month to endorse candidates for Governor and other statewide offices.


Stillwater Prison guard faces Meth smuggling charges

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Prosecutors have charged a Prison guard with smuggling methamphetamine to an inmate. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday that 24-year-old Faith Rose Gratz faces one count of methamphetamine possession with intent to sell and one count of possession of 50 grams or more. Both charges are felonies. According to a criminal complaint, Investigators discovered the scheme after they confiscated a cellphone from an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater this month. They learned Gratz had given the inmate the phone and messages on it included the two of them laying out delivery plans. Police and Prison Investigators caught her with about 233 grams of methamphetamine in her truck when she drove up to the Prison on April 8.


Divided Minnesota Legislature will return with much undone

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Deeply divided Minnesota Legislature Returns from its Easter-Passover break Tuesday. Lawmakers have just five weeks left to decide what to do with the state’s $ 9.25 billion budget surplus plus $ 1 billion in unspent federal pandemic relief. There’s been little meeting of the Minds between the House Democratic and Senate Republican majorities. They have yet to translate their handful of bipartisan successes to bigger deals on taxes, spending and policy. There is no constitutional requirement that the Legislature pass anything this session, given that it approved a budget last year. Any Untouched Surplus will stay in the bank for next year.


State officials looking to launch Prison tattoo program

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – State corrections officials are looking to launch a Prison tattoo program in hopes of curbing bloodborne diseases as inmates ink themselves with homemade tools. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Corrections Department is searching for an experienced tattoo artist to oversee tattoo studios in state prisons. The aim is to slow the spread of diseases like hepatitis C that can spread when inmates try to tattoo themselves or each other with unsterilized tools like electric Motors and ballpoint pens and share contaminated needles. Corrections Spokesman Nick Kimball says as of January anywhere from 1,200 to 3,500 of the Prison system’s 7,511 people were infected with hepatitis C. He says treatment can cost between $ 20,000 and $ 75,000.


Minneapolis schools drop COVID mask Mandate

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minneapolis school district is dropping its mask Mandate next week. The Star Tribune reported the district will end the Mandate on Monday. The district will also end contact tracing work and Quarantine time for unvaccinated adults and students exposed to COVID-19 will shrink from 10 days to five. The Quarantine period will still last 10 days for those who test positive for the disease. The St. Paul school board voted April 12 to lift that district’s mask Mandate on Monday.


Roseville schools Settle two federal discrimination lawsuits

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Roseville School District has settled two federal lawsuits accusing a former second-grade teacher of discriminating against Black students. The lawsuits accused Geraldine Cook of making the Black students in her class sit apart from their peers in 2019. She allegedly grabbed a girl’s arm, tearing her shirt, and choked a boy after he gargled water and made him walk to the principal’s office with his hands behind his back. Cook taught at Harambee Elementary, a year-round racial integration school. She resigned in December 2019. The Mothers of the girl whose shirt was torn and the boy who was choked Filed the lawsuits. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Thursday that the district settled the cases privately.


Authorities release video of Deputy shooting in NW Minnesota

NAYTAHWAUSH, Minn. (AP) – Authorities have released a dashcam video showing a sheriff’s deputy in northwestern Minnesota shooting and wounding a woman. Minnesota Public Radio reports state Investigators have been reviewing the March 13 incident near Naytahwaush in Mahnomen County. Sheriff Josh Guenther says they released the video in response to social media posts accusing Deputy Dakota Czerny of attempted Murder. The incident began when Czerny forced a vehicle off the road during a pursuit. The video shows Czerny handcuffing someone outside the vehicle. Another person standing next to the vehicle, later identified as Shequoya Basswood, appears to point a handgun at the Deputy, who tells her to drop the gun and then shoots her. Basswood was hit several times but survived.


Motorcyclist Accused of hitting boy charged with felonies

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Prosecutors have charged a motorcyclist Accused of driving around a stopped school bus and hitting a 10-year-old boy with two felonies. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Thursday that 18-year-old Terrence Jacquise Mather-Lymon of Minneapolis faces one count of operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent continent and causing substantial bodily harm. According to the criminal complaint, Mather-Lymon told detectives he didn’t have a driver’s license and was riding a motorcycle for the first time when he drove around a school bus and hit the boy in Edina on Monday. The bus had activated its red stop lights and the stop arm was down. The boy suffered abrasions to his head and a broken leg that required surgery.


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