>>New PBS Documentary on Former MN Governor Jesse Ventura Airs Tuesday
(Minneapolis, MN) – “Jesse Ventura Shocks the World,” a documentary airing next Tuesday on Twin Cities P-B-S that marks 25 years since his inauguration as Minnesota governor, makes a clear connection to current-day presidential politics. Executive Producer Mary Lahammer says when Donald Trump first ran for president, he came to Minnesota to study strategy Ventura used to win the governor’s office, saying they “talked specifics and they talked about their playbooks.” Lahammer says he does think Trump’s eventual run for president was informed by Ventura. MNN’s Bill Werner dives deep in this weekend’s edition of Minnesota Matters.
>>Anderson To Step Down From MN Supreme Court
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson plans to step down from his position on the state’s highest court in May. Anderson informed Governor Walz of his intention to step down Thursday. Anderson will reach the state’s mandatory retirement age of 70 in October. He was appointed to the court in 2004 by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and is currently the court’s longest-serving member.
>>MDH Offers Free Smoking Cessation Program on “MN Quitter’s Day”
(St. Paul, MN) – Quit Partner, the free smoking cessation program offered through the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), is highlighting January 12 as “Minnesota Quitter’s Day.” MDH spokesman Mike Sheldon says the second Friday in January tends to be when most people are giving up on their New Year’s resolutions, including quitting commercial tobacco. Sheldon says, “We want to encourage people who are trying to quit smoking, vaping, and chewing to keep quitting and to remind them they have great resources, and free support available to them.” In addition to receiving free one-on-one support through phone coaching, emails, or text messages, Minnesotans who sign up for Quit Partner can also access free quit medications such as patches, gum, or lozenges.
>>Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Viral Racial Profiling Accusation
(Anoka County, MN) — The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an accusation that one of its detectives racially profiled a group of Palestinian-Americans on an airline flight. A social media post indicates the group was accused of suspicious behavior aboard a Delta Airlines flight on Monday. The group was met by authorities at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and was found to have done nothing wrong. The sheriff’s office released a statement saying all the data from Monday’s incident will be reviewed to ensure the employee’s conduct was consistent with the department’s policies and values.
>>MN Legislative Task Force on Child Protection Hears from Advocates
(St. Paul, MN) – Child protection advocates and mandated state reporters spoke in front of the Legislative Task Force on Child Protection Thursday to discuss training and state child welfare system operations. Ann Hill, Ombudsperson for African American Families says, while there have been some improvements, Minnesota isn’t off the hook. “African American and other children of color fare poorly and often far behind white children when you compare the critical areas of child wellbeing.” Hill says she believes that “with the state’s aging population every child must count.”
>>Child Pornography Investigation Leads to an Arrest
(Rochester, MN) — The Rochester Police Department has made an arrest in connection with a child pornography investigation that opened earlier this year. The investigation started when police received an Internet Crimes Against Children tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on January 3rd. 31-year-old Brandyn Kane of Rochester is in custody. More information is expected in the coming days.
>>MN DEED Funds Nearly $2.15M in Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grants
(St. Paul, MN) – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is funding nearly $2.15 million in Contamination Cleanup and Investigation grants to six communities statewide. Grant Program Manager Kristin Lukes says the program helps developers clean up inner-city properties that had a previous use, with the goal “to create jobs, create an increase in taxes, and really to promote private investment and community.” Lukes says this round of grants will go to Albert Lea, Maplewood, Minneapolis, Newport, St. Paul Port Authority, and Shoreview; leading to the investigation and/or cleanup of nearly 27 acres of land.
>>AHS Encourages Minnesotans to Protect Their Pets from the Cold
(Undated) – The first cold snap of the winter arrives in Minnesota this weekend and pet owners are encouraged to protect their animals. The Animal Humane Society’s Sarah Bhimani says dogs can get frostbite just like humans, as they’re “ particularly susceptible to frostbite on their paw pads, the tip of their tails, and the tips of their ears.” Dog owners could consider using booties to protect their pet’s paws. Bhimani says cats should not go outside in the bitter cold.
>>CVS To Close Pharmacies In Dozens Of Target Stores
(Minneapolis, MN) — CVS Health is shutting down dozens of pharmacies inside Target stores over the next few months. Officials with the pharmacy chain say the closings will start next month and will be completed by the end of April. CVS Health says they are trying to reduce store and pharmacy density with the move. Target sold its in-store pharmacies to CVS in 2015 for one point nine billion dollars.