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Minnesota healthcare workers sue to block vaccination mandate

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Nearly 200 health workers in Minnesota are suing their employers to block an outstanding requirement that they be vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk being made redundant. The lawsuit was filed in federal court Monday night against federal officials and some 20 providers who operate hospitals and clinics across Minnesota. He argues that the lack of alternatives to vaccination violates the constitutional rights of these employees, which range from doctors and nurses to technicians. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction to prohibit any dismissal or any action to put unvaccinated health workers on unpaid leave while the case unfolds.


Minnesota coronavirus cases top 700K; Intensive care cases drop to 197

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Minnesota has passed 700,000, while the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care in Minnesota hospitals has fallen below 200 for the first time in two weeks. The Minnesota Department of Health reported 6,203 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 706,158 laboratory-confirmed cases. The state also recorded 11 new deaths to bring the state’s cumulative toll to 8,109. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has fallen to 196, with a total of 767 people hospitalized amid the surge in cases caused by the delta variant.


Judge dismisses charges in genital mutilation case

DETROIT (AP) – A judge has dismissed a new set of charges in the government’s genital mutilation investigation against girls from a Muslim sect. The judge said Detroit prosecutors were vindictive after major losses in courtrooms. This is yet another blow to the government, which broke new ground in 2017 when it accused a Detroit-area doctor of performing genital mutilation in a suburban clinic. The law was later declared unconstitutional by Detroit Federal Judge Bernard Friedman. He said genital mutilation is a matter for states, not Congress. This time, the judge dismissed the conspiracy and other charges against four people, including two doctors.


Police: husband tells dispatchers that he killed his wife

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – St. Paul Police said they arrested a man after calling Ramsey County dispatchers to report he had killed his wife. The emergency communications center received the call at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday from the 46-year-old man who said he had shot and killed his wife. Police found him outside the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center. He was taken into police custody without incident and detained on suspicion of manslaughter. As investigators took the suspect into custody, officers attended the man’s home and found his wife, a woman in her 40s, dead.


Minnesota Expands Home Heating Assistance Program Eligibility

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – Minnesota is increasing the number of households eligible for its energy assistance program. The changes announced by the Commerce Department make more than 600,000 Minnesota households eligible for the program. In the previous program year, which ends Friday, about 116,000 Minnesota households applied and qualified. The Energy Assistance Program helps households pay their current and overdue heating bills, including repairing and replacing failed heating systems. It can also help with water and sewer bills. Minnesota’s cold weather rule goes into effect Friday, 15 days earlier than before. The rule protects registered customers against power or gas failure.


Buyer emerges for Minnesota’s never-used backup mortuary

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – The state of Minnesota is set to sell a refrigerated warehouse it bought at the start of the pandemic as a potential relief mortuary. At the time, the Walz administration feared that the morgues would be inundated with victims. The state paid nearly $ 5.48 million for the facility, which could have held 5,100 bodies, but never needed it. Now, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the board of directors of the St. Paul Port Authority is preparing to vote Tuesday on removing the warehouse from state hands for $ 5.65 million. The Port Authority hopes to find a buyer who will bring jobs to the city.


A jury convicted R. Kelly; will his music suffer consequences?

NEW YORK (AP) – A criminal conviction may be able to do to R. Kelly’s music what years of allegations could not do. A federal jury in New York on Monday convicted the R&B superstar of sex trafficking after having long managed to avoid the professional consequences of reports he allegedly abused young women and children. Jem Aswad is Variety’s associate editor and says anyone who was going to listen to R. Kelly before is not going to stop now. But #MeToo founder Tarana Burke says younger generations know what he’s been up to. She hopes that they and the people around them take this into account before playing her music.


Derailed Amtrak train went just below the speed limit

JOPLIN, Mont. (AP) – An Amtrak train that derailed in countryside Montana over the weekend was passing just below the speed limit at around 75 mph when it derailed along a gradual curve. US investigators also said on Monday that the crash could have ejected some passengers. Three people died. National Transportation Safety Board investigators are studying video of the train and another locomotive that traveled the same track just over an hour earlier. The train derailed before a switch on the line, where a set of tracks transformed into two. This section of track had been inspected two days previously.

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