Hennepin, Ramsey counties see ‘considerable’ population declines in 2021

Shannon Prather and Mary Jo Webster write in the Star Tribune: Minnesota’s two largest urban counties saw striking population declines in 2021 after a decade of growth, according to new US census data, likely due to COVID-19 pandemic disruptions which upended college plans and accelerated retirements. Hennepin County’s population, which includes Minneapolis, dropped by nearly 13,900 last year and Ramsey County, which includes St. Paul, declined by 8,200 people, according to new census estimates released Thursday. In contrast, five suburban counties – Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Washington and Scott – experienced modest population growth ranging from 1,300 in Carver County to 4,100 in Washington County.

Nina Raemont writes for the Pioneer Press: “A new survey highlights the foodservice and hospitality industry’s tumultuous journey to economic recovery. Since the start of the pandemic, shutdowns and limitations contributed to the loss of up to 249 days worth of revenue for some businesses, according to a new survey conducted by Hospitality Minnesota, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Explore Minnesota Tourism. This has resulted in a projected total loss of over $ 15 billion in state revenue for the hospitality and tourism industry. ”

Jeremy Olson writes in the Star Tribune: “Minnesota might have finally reached a fresh positive pandemic milestone – the first day since Aug. 15 that no one from the state died of COVID-19. Wednesday’s pandemic update from the Minnesota Department of Health showed zero COVID-19 deaths reported so far on March 12. That could change, given delays in reporting and verifying COVID-19 deaths, but it nonetheless is the latest sign that Minnesota has emerged from its fifth pandemic wave . ”

The AP writes; “Felony murder occurs when someone causes a death while committing a felony. When combined with aiding and abetting, anyone involved in the felony that led to the person’s death can be convicted of murder. … Legislation authored by Democratic Rep. Dave Pinto, of St. Paul, a Ramsey County prosecutor, would limit felony murder charges to people who committed the killing and those who directly aided them, as well as those who act with reckless disregard for human life. Pinto said his bill would limit liability to those who committed the crime – not those who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. ”

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WCCO-TV reports: “A section of Interstate 35W in the Twin Cities was reduced to three lanes Wednesday following the collapse of part of a cement retaining wall. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says the right lane and shoulder of northbound 35W, just east of Highway 280, is closed until further notice until the wall can be repaired. The affected area is near St. Anthony, just northeast of Minneapolis. ”

Also in the Star TribuneKelly Smith writes: “Three Boys & Girls Clubs affiliates and St. Paul-based Planned Parenthood are among six Minnesota nonprofits getting surprise grants totaling more than $ 48 million from MacKenzie Scott, the billionaire philanthropist announced Wednesday. Grants The grants are part of nearly $ 3.9 billion that Scott has given to 465 nonprofits, nationally and internationally, since last summer. For each of the Minnesota organizations, it’s the largest one-time donation they’ve ever received. ”

Tim Harlow writes in the Star Tribune: “Two years of motoring misery are ahead for drivers on Hwy. 10 in Anoka as the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the city of Anoka begin an overhaul of one of the most congested and crash-prone segments of road in the metro area. Starting Monday, the highway will be squeezed to one lane in each direction between Thurston Avenue on Anoka’s west side and the Hwy. 47 / Ferry Street interchange .. ”

Joe Mazan reports for KSTP-TV: “A Minnesota World War II veteran received a high honor Wednesday. Arnold Zahratka, 96-years-old, of Montgomery, Minnesota was given the Legion of Honor medal by the French government. Zahratka fought the Germans while serving in France.The award is the highest distinction France gives those who have achieved remarkable deeds for their country. … Zahratka was married for 73 years and says the secret to living a long life is to drink a lot of scotch. ”

Elena Schneider writes for Politico: “Members of the Democratic National Committee are circulating a draft proposal to require states – including Iowa – to apply to keep or gain early-state status in future presidential racesas the party considers upending its nominating calendar. ”

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