Nearly 1.2 million Minnesotans have applied for ‘hero’ pay, almost double the number lawmakers anticipated

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Dana Ferguson writes in the Forum News Service. “Nearly1.2 million front-line workers applied to the state for bonus checks before a Friday deadline, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry leaders stated. They said that 1,199,512 workers were eligible to apply if they had remained on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is nearly twice the number of workers that state lawmakers thought were eligible for the payments. Now, state officials will go through all the applications and determine which applicants meet the criteria. The state will then send a check. The total available pool is $500 million. This amount will be split equally among all eligible applicants. Initial estimates by lawmakers were that each worker would be paid approximately $750. However, with the larger applicant pool, workers may see checks closer to $400.

Michelle Wiley reports on MPR: Our Justice, Pro-Choice Minnesota, and Robin Wonsley from Minneapolis City Council have launched a campaign for direct funding for abortion access. Minnesota was left an isolated state in the midst of other states that have restrictive abortion laws and limited services after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. Patients are forced to travel far and fast for appointments because of restrictions in abortion access in several states. This means that patients are forced to book last-minute flights, which can be costly, sometimes hundreds, even thousands, and drive hundreds of miles. These groups followed the lead of New York City, Chicago, and Portland in donating money to abortion funds.

Randy Furst writes for the Star TribuneA Hennepin County District Judge has denied a motion to dismiss a huge Chinese internet retailer as a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought forward by a University of Minnesota student. She claims that Richard Liu, the CEO of the company, raped her. Judge Edward T. Wahl also said that the student could not seek punitive damages from the retailer JD.com. Wahl ruled Friday that Jingyao Liu, a student not related to Richard Liu, can pursue punitive damages against the defendant. Wahl’s decision opens the door to an Oct. 3 trial, in which Richard Liu and JD.com will stand trial. This is a company with an e-commerce site that boasts more than 400,000,000 customers. It has been compared often to Amazon.

Kristi Marohn reports on MPR: “St. The Tuesday vote by Louis County commissioners on choosing a new provider of health care for county jail inmates will take place on Tuesday. The board will approve a contract with St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth to expand mental and medical services within the jail. Since 2012, St. Louis County has been a client of Sartell-based MEnD Correctional Care. Several Minnesota counties recently switched to MEnD from other providers. This is partly due to Dr. Todd Leonard’s suspension of his medical license by the state medical board. Leonard was implicated in the death Hardel Sherrell, 27, at the Beltrami County jail. Sherrell, who fell ill in Beltrami County jail in 2018, died. His pleas for help were ignored both by the medical staff and jail.

FOX 9’s Babs Santes reports that although drought conditions aren’t so severe on Minnesota farms this year, some areas of the state are still experiencing hardship from Mother Nature. The metro is the most dry, with a narrow stripe of severe to moderate drought running along the Minnesota River Valley. Some farmers in that region are anticipating a 50% drop in yields for the second year in a row. Fran Miron, a Washington County farmer, says that he has never experienced two droughts on 250 acres.

A Bring Me The News story says that ” A former Twin Cities Police Chief claims his son suffered a traumatic brain injury during an attack in downtown Minneapolis Friday night. Scott Nadeau was a high-ranking police officer in the Twin Cities for the past 30+ years. He has also been the Maplewood police chief and interim chief Golden Valley police chief. Nadeau posted a viral Facebook message on Saturday saying that his son, 24, was robbed and beat by an unknown assailant in a downtown bar.

This is Tom Hauser, KSTP-TV. “There was very little fuss when the Minnesota State Legislature quietly adopted a new law allowing THC to be intoxicating in edible products such as gummies and beverages. The law went into effect on July 1st, but there was a lot of excitement. … The law was passed even though some Republican legislators claim that they believed they were passing technical amendments to the cannabis law, and not legalizing THC intoxication levels. The law prohibits sales to anyone under 21 years old, and packaging cannot be targeted at children. There are no regulations regarding who can sell products. Enforcement is up to the cities and counties.

Related. Caroline Cummings reports on WCCO-TV. “Gummies, chews and oils will soon be made available to patients who are certified in Minnesota to use cannabis for a medical condition. This will increase the options for the state program that has grown over the past several years. Gummies will be available at state dispensaries beginning Aug. 1. A single serving of gummies should not exceed 10 mg or 100 mg. The ratios of CBD to THC may vary. This is the equivalent of twice the THC found in hemp-based food and beverages that are allowed under a new state law which legalized edibles for the general population.

Maury Glover of FOX 9 reports: “For almost a decade Larry McKenzie was the boys’ basketball coach for Minneapolis North High School. Coach McKenzie has decided to retire after two consecutive state championships, and finishing second in two other. McKenzie was the first Minnesota State Basketball coach to win four consecutive state championships. He is also the first Minnesota State High School coach to win multiple titles with two different schools. McKenzie, now 65, says he would rather spend more time with his family, including four grandchildren.

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