COVID-19 vaccine distribution will begin expanding in Olmsted County

Availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for the general public is still weeks out as the last of the first group of priority recipients are expected to gain access to the vaccine in Olmsted County by the end of the week.

The Minnesota Department of Health is coordinating the release and distribution of the vaccine, and is making sure the first group, which includes health care workers who deal directly with COVID-19 patients, emergency room and urgent care staff, and long-term care facility staff members all have access to the vaccine first.

The second group of health care workers to receive vaccinations includes assisted-living staff, dialysis staff, ophthalmologists, dental staff, school nurses and other medical staff not included in the first group.

Read the full story by John Molseed here.

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Frustration grows among Rochester Public Schools parents over school board's decision and transparency

A screen capture of the virtual RPS School Board Meeting on January 5, 2021. (Post Bulletin screen capture)
A screen capture of the virtual RPS School Board Meeting on January 5, 2021. (Post Bulletin screen capture)

The plan to return some of Rochester’s students to the classroom is not good enough in the eyes of many.

A growing segment of parents is upset with the school district’s handling of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That discontent has been amplified in the time leading up to and since the school board, on Tuesday, approved its latest plan for getting students back in the classroom. Parents have expressed frustration with both the decision itself and their feeling that there seem to be few ways for the public to connect with the district's leadership.

“We chose Rochester to settle down with our family partially due to the fantastic schools here,” Erin Jensen, a mother of three elementary students, said in a letter to the school board. “RPS should be leading the way with getting these kids back into school, not lurking in the shadows of other districts that value the importance and recognize the safety of in-person learning.”

Read the full story by Jordan Shearer here.

It's a go - Popeyes is officially coming to Rochester

The signs were correct — a Popeyes chicken restaurant is officially cooking in Northwest Rochester.

On Monday, I wrote a column that looked at a Med City real estate deal and followed the clues to conclude that the Popeyes fast food chain might be coming to Rochester. However, I had no official confirmation.

The Florida-based company cleared up that ambiguity Thursday morning with a short email response to my inquiries

Read the full story by Jeff Kiger here.

5 cases of virus variant found in Minnesota


Five people in the metro area have the variant strain of COVID-19, the state department of health announced Saturday.

The new variant strain was first discovered in the United Kingdom in September and has already been found in eight U.S. states.

On Saturday, the Minnesota Department of Health said that five people in four metro counties have tested positive for the strain. Four of the cases were identified through the department of health laboratories and one through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health department did not specify which metro counties the variant strain has been found in.

Read the full story here.

For Minnesota's members of Congress, Capitol riot brought fear, anger, reflection

Smoke billows in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, Jan. 6, after a mob stormed the building. REUTERS / Stephanie Keith
Smoke billows in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, Jan. 6, after a mob stormed the building. REUTERS / Stephanie Keith

In the halls of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, lawmakers convened to fulfill one of their most important — though typically mundane — constitutional duties: certifying the presidential election results.

The joint session came on the heels of months of accusations from President Donald Trump and his campaign, claiming the 2020 election to be rigged and President-elect Joe Biden's win as illegitimate. The claims have been investigated and results litigated in courts throughout the country, and there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

As members of the U.S. House and Senate were debating whether to give the final OK to Arizona's state tally, they were interrupted: A mass of Trump's supporters had breached the Capitol, breaking windows and chanting, some of them armed, with the goal of disrupting Congress' proceedings. Trump advertised the protest for weeks ahead of time, and spoke to the crowd that morning.

Read the full story by Sarah Mearhoff here.