Local/state briefs

Sanders to hold campaign rally in St. Paul on Monday night

ST. PAUL (AP) — Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders will campaign in rival Amy Klobuchar’s home state of Minnesota ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday primary.

The Vermont senator will appear at a get-out-the-vote rally at RiverCentre in St. Paul at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night. The rally will feature a concert by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Admission is free and the rally is open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and entrance to the event will be handled on a first come, first served basis.

While Klobuchar has been endorsed by of many of Minnesota’s most prominent Democrats, Sanders has the backing of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Attorney General Keith Ellison.

This will be Sanders’ third visit to Minneapolis since last August. He won Minnesota’s precinct caucuses in 2016, but Tuesday will mark the state’s first presidential primary since 1992.

Minneapolis teachers union opposes public schools redesign

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis teachers union has come out against a sweeping plan to reshape the public school system and says students, parents and educators should have a say in the design.

The union, which represents more than 3,000 teachers, is calling on the district to extend its timeline on the so-called comprehensive district design. District leaders drew up the five proposed plans with a nearly $20 million budget deficit in mind and a desire to keep students in the district, the Star Tribune reported.

The plans proposed by Superintendent Ed Graff would change the district’s makeup by cutting and relocating magnet schools and redrawing attendance boundaries, therefore shuffling thousands of students to new schools in an effort to address racial disparities.

Michelle Wiese, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, said Wednesday that while the union agrees the “status quo is not acceptable” it believes any plan created without opinions from key players will have “negative impacts on the trust in Minneapolis Public Schools.”

More than 150 union members cast votes, with 82% voting to oppose the plan.

Graff said Wednesday that the district is “disappointed that a small percentage of our total MFT membership is not supportive of the models we have developed.”

T-shirt sales raise $16,000 for officer hurt in shooting

WASECA (AP) — An effort to sell T-shirts for a Minnesota police officer injured in a shooting has raised nearly $16,000, supporters said.

Waseca Officer Arik Matson was shot in the head in an exchange of gunfire in January. A group of people representing various businesses on Wednesday presented Matson’s wife, Megan, with the money gained from the sale of about 1,200 T-shirts, the Alberta Lea Tribune reported.

Lori Nelson and her son, Trent, run 407Designz in Alden. Lori Nelson said that after her son designed the shirt, they posted it on Facebook, and the effort grew rapidly from there. The design includes the words “praying for Arik.”

Megan Matson said every penny counts toward her husband’s recovery and he is making steady progress.

“The prayers are definitely working through him,” she said, noting he has been in good spirits.

The suspect in the shooting, Tyler Janovsky, is charged with with three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer.

Weather service: Risk of Red River flooding down slightly

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The risk of spring flooding in the Red River Valley has been reduced slightly because of limited precipitation in the last few weeks, although National Weather Service forecasters said Thursday there’s still a lot of moisture in the system.

The latest outlook shows a 50 percent chance that the Red River in the Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, area will reach just under 35 feet, or 17 feet above flood stage. That could lead to some road and bridge closures, but most structures would not be threatened.

There’s a 5 percent chance the river could top 39 feet, down 5 percent from the last report. Fargo city leaders said earlier this week they would fill 250,000 sandbags in case that happens.

The weather service said precipitation totals since Sept. 1 remain at record highs in many areas along the Red River and the snowpack is at or above normal and could lead to a high runoff. However, the forecast no longer indicates a cooler and wetter late winter and early spring period.

Conditions could change quickly depending on the rate of thaw and spring rains, the report said.

“Thus March will likely remain a big risk factor, as it always is,” weather service meteorologist Greg Gust said.

Best Buy posts strong quarterly sales during holiday season

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co. reported strong fourth-quarter results as shoppers bought appliances, mobile phones and tablets during the holiday season.

The robust results, announced Thursday, beat Wall Street expectations, and came as many of its big box peers like Target and Walmart had wrestled with sales shortfalls.

Best Buy, which is facing increasing competition from Amazon, is holding its own after aggressively expanding its online operations, speeding up deliveries and making visits to its stores for customers a better experience. That effort was led by Hubert Joly until he stepped down in 2019 after seven years as CEO. Corie Barry took over the job in June.

The Richfield, Minnesota, company is also expanding into technology aimed at older customers. Last May, Best Buy acquired Critical Signal Technologies, a provider of personal emergency response systems and telehealth monitoring services for at-home seniors. In August, it bought the predictive health care technology business of BioSensics and hired its data science and engineering team. In 2018, it purchased Great Call, which provides emergency response devices for the aging.

The company introduced curbside pickup service that allows shoppers to pick up items without getting out of their car at 100 stores. It said it already accounts for 15% of store pickup units at those locations. It plans to expand that service to the majority of stores this fiscal year.

Like many retailers, Best Buy has been whipsawed by the U.S. trade wars with China and now, a new virus in China is also throwing a wrench in supply chains. Best Buy offered a profit outlook that factored in the impact of the virus but said the situation was too fluid to determine exact financial impacts from the disruption of its supply network.


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