>>State Health Dept. urging Minnesotans to get updated COVID vaccine

(St. Paul, MN) — The FDA announced approval of the updated COVID-19 vaccines Monday, the CDC issued formal vaccine recommendations Tuesday, and today (WED), Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham is voicing her support. Cunningham says, “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 remains one of the best tools in our toolbox to fight COVID-19 and keep Minnesotans safe. The newly authorized, updated vaccines are an even more effective tool, targeting the variants we know are in our communities right now.” The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get the updated vaccine. Updated Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will be available later this week.

>>Suicides up in Minnesota

(St. Paul, MN) — After reporting a slight dip during the pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Health says there’s an increase in suicides statewide at 835 in 2022. Doctor Steven Loos (loose), chief clinical officer at the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center says the key to preventing suicide is to know the warning signs. “We know that suicidality is really common in our community,” he says. “It’s tied closely to depression. That’s gonna be our first risk factor. Other warning signs include saying goodbye to family and friends, giving away belongings, and talking extensively about death. This is National Suicide Prevention Week.

>>Law enforcement groups launch petition drive for special legislative session on school resource officers

(Anoka, MN) — Leading law enforcement organizations have launched a petition drive as they continue pushing Governor Tim Walz to call a special session to fix what they call an unclear new state law, about when school-based officers can use certain restraint holds on students to stop altercations. House Speaker Melissa Hortman in a letter to city officials in the Anoka-Hennepin School District — where school resource officers have been pulled from some schools — says the legislature did *not* change the law which says officers will *not* face civil or criminal penalties if they comply with current statute which allows reasonable use of force to prevent bodily harm or death, and also in certain other circumstances. Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Executive Director Jeff Potts responds there’s a lot of nuance to Minnesota law. “The law enforcement community, which really is the experts,… I have confidence that our police chiefs and sheriffs are interpreting the law correctly, and that’s why they have such big concerns,” he says.

>>Top analyst: Mankato East High School fight increases pressure for special session on school resource officers’ use-of-force

(Undated) — Hamline University analyst David Schultz says a fight inside Mankato East High School that injured a student puts increased pressure on Governor Tim Walz to call a special session on new law dealing with use-of-force by on-site school officers. Schultz says, “I don’t want to quite say it was for the Republicans or for the police a[n] ‘I told you so’ — but in many ways it was an ‘I told you so’ event, where they can say that, if you don’t change the law, something bad’s gonna happen. This is the something bad that happened.” Local law enforcement has pulled on-site officers (school resource officers) from some schools — Mankato East among them — warning the new law is unclear about when officers can use certain restraint holds on students. They say officers could be sued or even criminally charged for not doing enough — or doing too much — to stop fights. House Democratic leaders say the new law is clear that reasonable force is still allowed to prevent bodily harm or death.

>>DPS Releases Labor Day DWI Enforcement Campaign Statistics

(St. Paul, MN) — One-thousand-140 people were arrested for impaired driving during law enforcement’s Labor Day crackdown. The highest blood alcohol level recorded was 0.44, a life-threatening amount, caught by the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office. The most DWI arrests during the campaign in the Twin Cities metro area were in Golden Valley with 84 arrests and in Greater Minnesota it was Duluth with 23 arrests. DPS says as of this year, law enforcement across the state has arrested 19, 305 drivers for DWI, compared to 18,223 this time last year.

>>Man Arrested in Connection to 7-Year-Old Brother’s Death

(Eden Prairie, MN) — A 28-year-old man is in custody today (WED) in connection with the death of his 7-year-old brother earlier this week. Eden Prairie Police responded to a call of a man “in crisis” Tuesday night, where they found a 7-year-old boy unresponsive. The boy was taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The victim’s older brother was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder after a medical evaluation and remains in custody. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the victim’s identity and cause of death at a later time.

>>Cass Lake Lodge Destroyed by Fire

(Cass Lake, MN) — The Cass Lake Lodge, a popular summertime retreat in central Minnesota is a total loss after a fire. The lodge posted on Facebook saying the fire started sometime overnight into early this (WED) morning. No one was injured.

>>First meeting of A-G Ellison’s advisory group on “worker misclassification”

(St. Paul, MN) — Attorney General Keith Ellison today (Wed) held the first meeting with his new Advisory Task Force on Worker Misclassification, a group looking into Minnesota workers being improperly classified as independent contractors. Ellison says, “This is a key issue because misclassification denies employees access to critical benefits and protections they are entitled to: overtime, minimum wage, family and medical leave.” The task force plans to make initial policy recommendations in December, in time for the 2024 legislative session.




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