>>Law enforcement groups blasting chief prosecutor for murder charges against state trooper in Ricky Cobb shooting
(Minneapolis, MN) — Groups representing law enforcement are sharply criticizing Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty for bringing murder charges against the state trooper who fatally shot Ricky Cobb the Second as he started to drive away during a traffic stop last summer on I-94 in north Minneapolis. Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association General Counsel Imran Ali says Moriarty has “a history and ties” to the Defund the Police movement and “has it flipped” by charging the trooper. “Both troopers were dragged,” he says. “Both of ’em suffered some sort of harm, and one of ’em used force…. We could have had both troopers in this case deceased.” County Attorney Moriarty says the troopers didn’t follow their training, “that shooting someone is unlikely to stop them from driving the car away.” Ali responds the law allows an officer to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they or someone else is at risk of death or great bodily harm.
>>Two Firefighters Hospitalized from Minneapolis Fire
(Minneapolis, MN) — Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries after an explosion blew them off their feet during a fire this morning (WED) in south Minneapolis. Crews found a large pile of debris on fire between two residential buildings, extending into one of the structures and burning on all floors and through the roof. Crews extinguished the outdoor fire and entered both buildings to conduct searches. No other injuries were reported, and both buildings have been deemed uninhabitable.
>>Nationwide veterinarian shortage reaches crisis
(Undated) — The nationwide shortage of veterinarians is being called an urgent crisis. U-of-M College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Laura Molgaard says there continues to be strong demand for vet services, most acutely in rural areas where there’s a need for veterinarians who can serve a large variety of species, including large animals. Molgaard says the vet shortage is a complicated problem, but there are potential solutions including recruitment, admissions, education, fund-raising for scholarships, and advocating for loan repayment programs.
>>Central Minnesota Grocery Workers Reject Contract
(Undated) — Workers at grocery stores in Brainerd, Baxter, Crosby, and Pequot Lakes have rejected their latest contract offer. Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 rejected the offer from Quisberg’s and Miner’s grocery stores after a four-day strike from December 22nd through Christmas Day. They accused the grocery stores of unfair labor practices for interrogation, surveillance, intimidation and bargaining in bad faith.
>>MN Felon Sentenced to Over 24 Years in Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession
(Minneapolis, MN) — A northern Minnesota man, 37-year-old Justin Cutbank, has been sentenced to over 24 years in prison for illegally possessing a firearm following a domestic assault. Court documents say on November 19th, 2020, Leech Lake Tribal Police responded to a report of Cutbank physically assaulting a woman, holding her at gunpoint and threatening to kill her before fleeing into the woods. After hours of negotiations, Cutbank was arrested. The next day, officers found a .22-caliber rifle in the woods with no serial number, a knife, and the victim’s phone. Cutbank, with multiple prior felony convictions, was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
>>Gov. Walz Joins Minneapolis Home Care Worker to Highlight New Legislation
(Minneapolis, MN) — Governor Tim Walz joined Minneapolis home care worker Felicia Johnson today (Wednesday) to showcase the critical work they do. It comes after home care workers received a 25-percent pay increase January 1st, thanks to legislation signed by Walz in 2023. The contract covers over 20,000 workers across the state, with a minimum wage increase from $15.25 to $19 an hour, and an additional increase to $20 per hour in 2025.