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Forest Service to reduce entry permits for Boundary Waters

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service plans to reduce the number of entry permits for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness next year, citing damage to natural resources, crowding and congestion. The Forest Service didn’t say how many permits would be eliminated, nor which entry points into the million-acre wilderness would be impacted. Superior National Forest spokeswoman Joanna Gilkeson says the reduction will be spread across the entire wilderness, with a focus on more popular entry points and lakes where visitors have complained over the years about resource damage and an inability to find campsites. Nearly 166,000 people visited the BWCA in 2020, a 16 percent jump from the previous year and the most in at least a decade.


Mostly white jury seated for trial in Daunte Wright’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A mostly white jury has been seated for the trial of a white, former Minnesota police officer who claims she mixed up her gun and Taser when she shot and killed Black motorist Daunte Wright. Kim Potter is charged with manslaughter in Wright’s death in April in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb. Nine of the 12 jurors likely to deliberate are white, with one black member and two who are Asian. That’s in line with the demographics of the county where the shooting happened, but notably less diverse than the jury that convicted former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death. One legal expert said racial makeup is important, but jurors’ attitudes toward police and policing are even more crucial. 


EXPLAINER: Who are the jurors for trial of Kim Potter?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The jurors who will hear testimony in former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter’s trial in the death of Daunte Wright are a mostly white group, with two people who identify as Asian and one as Black. And they include a medical editor, IT workers, a former special education teacher, a college student in the midst of finals and a Navy veteran who engages in medieval weapon play for fun. Attorneys questioned them closely for their views on police and protests. Some were seated after they said they were baffled at how Potter could have mistakenly drawn her gun rather than her Taser, as she has claimed, but said they could set it aside and consider evidence fairly.


Woman charged in 2nd shooting death; bail set at $1 million

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A St. Cloud woman accused in the killing of a woman whose body was discovered on June 3 has now been charged in the shooting death of a woman who was found dead on June 3. A grand jury on Thursday indicted 33-year-old Angela Renee Jones for first- and second-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Janesa Harris. Harris was found dead of a gunshot wound inside a St. Cloud apartment on June 2. The next day police discovered the body of 25-year-old Keisa Lange, of Litchfield, along the side of a road. Jones is charged with aiding and abetting murder in that case. Police said there were “notable similarities” between the two killings. Lange also died of a gunshot wound.


EXPLAINER: What is ex-cop charged with in Wright death?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors will try to prove that a white suburban Minneapolis police officer, Kim Potter, committed manslaughter when she fatally shot Daunte Wright, a Black man, during an attempted arrest in April. Potter, who resigned two days after the shooting, says she meant to use her Taser but accidentally grabbed her gun instead when she killed the 20-year-old Black man in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. Potter is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter. The more serious charge requires prosecutors to prove that she acted recklessly, while the lesser charge requires them to establish that she acted with culpable negligence. 


3rd federal team to assist Minnesota hospitals with COVID-19

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A third federal medical team will arrive in Minnesota to support hospitals dealing with the high number of coronavirus patients. Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that 14 doctors, nurses, and hospital staff from the federal Department of Health and Human Services will support COVID-19 treatment and patient care at M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. The team will arrive on Friday and deploy for at least two weeks, with the option to extend. The governor said he asked President Joe Biden for more help dealing with COVID-19 when Biden visited Minnesota earlier this week. Two emergency staffing teams from HHS are already assisting Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and St. Cloud Hospital. 


‘The fire that’s here’: US is still battling delta variant

While all eyes are on the new and little-understood omicron variant, the delta form of the coronavirus isn’t finished wreaking havoc in the U.S., sending record numbers of patients to the hospital in some states, especially in the Midwest and New England. The U.S. recorded its first known omicron infection on Wednesday, in a fully vaccinated person who had returned to California from South Africa, where the variant was first identified just over a week ago. For now, the extra-contagious delta variant accounts for practically all cases in the U.S. and continues to inflict misery at a time when many hospitals are struggling with shortages of nurses and a backlog of patients. And now the fear is that omicron will foist more patients, and perhaps sicker ones, onto hospitals.


Omicron coronavirus variant found in multiple US states

NEW YORK (AP) — The omicron variant of COVID-19 has been discovered in at least five states, showing yet again how mutations of the virus can circumnavigate the globe with speed and ease. Just a day after the first known U.S. case was found in California, tests showed Thursday the omicron variant had infected at least five people in the New York City metropolitan area, plus a man from Minnesota who had attended an anime convention in Manhattan in late November. Officials reported another case in a Colorado woman who had recently traveled to southern Africa. The variant was also confirmed in an unvaccinated Hawaii resident with no recent travel history.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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