Minnesota could see 2,000 refugee arrivals under federal

For MPR News, Tom Crann and Megan Burks write that while the federal refugee cap is eight times higher than it was under the Trump administration, “some are criticizing the Biden administration for refusing to raise the cap on how many refugees the country accepts, and for admitting far fewer than that cap allows. The United States can resettle 125,000 people this fiscal year, which began on Saturday. Last year, it used less than a fifth of its slots.” State refugee coordinator Rachele King told Crann, “We are planning — through the traditional refugee admissions program — really to see building back to what we had seen, you know, over our history, which is closer to about 2,000 arrivals per year to the state.”

For the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo reports, “In a decision blamed on outdated machinery too pricey to maintain, the storied WestRock recycled paper plant off Vandalia Street and University Avenue on the western edge of St. Paul will lay off 130 of its 360 workers, ending the production of corrugated paper at the location. A separate unit at the site dedicated to the production of coated recycled board will remain in operation.”

This from Stribber Sharyn Jackson, “When James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee, the La Belle Vie trailblazer, announced in August his intentions to open a Spanish restaurant in Minneapolis’ North Loop in 2023, details were hazy. Now, the picture is becoming clearer, with news of a new hotel opening in Minneapolis next year. Salt Hotels, which operates boutique lodging in several cities, mostly on the East Coast, will launch the West Hotel in a development on the corner of 2nd Avenue N. and N. 1st Street.”

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At KARE-TV Danny Spewak says, “Hemp-based THC products have been legal in Minnesota for a little more than three months now, but employers across the state are still struggling to adjust to the brand-new law. Lauryn Schothorst, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce director of workforce management policy, said the lack of clear guidance has left many businesses scrambling to review their policies like drug testing. … There are a number of ambiguities for employers to consider, namely the fact that an employee might test positive for THC after consuming a legal hemp-based product like a gummy or THC-infused seltzer.

This also in the Strib. Says Nadine Manske, “Red Wing students will be able to attend Minnesota State College Southeast tuition-free — earning up to a two-year degree at the local college — thanks to a donation announced Thursday by school leaders. The Red Wing College Promise program, which is a gift from the Jones Family Foundation, will cover all tuition and some expenses beyond what students are able to receive from financial aid. It’s the latest move in a push at colleges across Minnesota to make higher education more affordable.”

Another KARE-TV story, this by Eva Andersen, says, “Nora J.S. Reichardt has been reporting at Des Moines’ Local 5 News since July of 2021, under a different name. After gradually coming into her identity as a transgender woman over the course of several years, the 24-year-old Hanover native began a medical transition process in September 2021. A year later, she is publicly re-introducing herself to the community and sharing her transition experience.

Jon Collins of MPR News reports, “The judge overseeing the trial of two former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s death expressed skepticism Thursday about the concept of “excited delirium” at a hearing Thursday. It’s a controversial concept that is widely taught to first responders, including police officers. … Defense attorneys had argued Floyd’s ‘excited delirium’ justified the force officers used to subdue Floyd. On Thursday, however, during the pre-trial hearing for officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill told attorneys that he believes the concept of excited delirium has been ‘debunked’ and that it’s not a ‘medical term.’”

For Twin Cities Business Dan Niepow writes, “The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is jumping back into the health insurance business. On Thursday, the chamber announced that it’s partnering with Minnetonka-based insurer Medica to offer health insurance plans for small- and mid-sized businesses. Known as ChamberHealth by Medica, the offering is available to chamber members only, and it’s limited to companies in select industries: manufacturing, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific and technical services.”

Eder Campuzano of the Strib reports, “Voters in Hawley, Minn., will decide whether to grant their school district’s request for a new middle school. In Canby, in the southwest corner of the state, district officials say they need $8 million to update the high school gym. And in Eden Prairie, district officials want to make sure they can keep up with ongoing expenses. All told, voters in 21 Minnesota school districts will weigh in on about $616 million in funding measures Nov. 8.”