- Walz reopening Minnesota restaurants, bars and theaters: Gov. Tim Walz announced the limited reopening of bars, restaurants and other venues on Wednesday, which have been closed for in-person services since late November to slow the spread of COVID-19. Also among the adjustments, youth and adult organized sports will be able to resume games on Jan. 14 with spectators, but must follow capacity limits for indoor or outdoor venues. Minnesota has received 396,350 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and administered 81,167 shots against an infectious disease that has caused at least 5,528 deaths in the state, according to an update Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health. Additional vaccinations are tallied separately at federal facilities in the state such as the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and Cass Lake Indian Health Services.
- A big night for Democrats in Georgia: Democrat Raphael Warnock won one of Georgia's two Senate runoffs Wednesday, becoming the first Black senator in his state's history and putting the Senate majority within the party's reach. Fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff held a small lead over GOP Sen. David Perdue as of Wednesday morning, though it was too early to call the race.Here are eight takeaways from last night's runoff elections in Georgia.
- Congress set to confirm Biden's victory over Trump: President Donald Trump's extraordinary effort to overturn the presidential election is going before Congress as lawmakers convene for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden. In a last-gasp effort that is all but certain to fail, the president's Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to object to the election results. Trump on Wednesday tightened the screws on his most loyal soldier, trying to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to use powers he does not have to overturn the will of voters in a desperate and futile bid to undo Biden's victory in the November election. Pence said Wednesday that he does not have the power to discard electoral votes that will make Biden the next president on Jan. 20. Several thousand protesters cheered Trump and his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress' vote.
- Minnesota Republicans in Congress silent ahead of certification vote: Republicans in Minnesota's congressional delegation remained silent about their plans Tuesday as a historic vote approached to certify President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the Electoral College.
- Good Samaritan helps Minnesota state trooper arrest suspect after traffic stop assault: As a 6-foot-4, 300-pound security guard, Vincent Williams didn't hesitate to help when he saw a Minnesota state trooper struggling with a driver who crashed his car Sunday night in Brooklyn Center. Williams, 30, of Fridley, helped the trooper detain the suspect, Matthew William Cleve, 38, of Zimmerman, who faces three felony charges related to the incident.
- Feds allege Twin Cities woman stole more than $74K while working for Postal Service: A Twin Cities woman has been charged with stealing stole more than $74,000 while working for the U.S. Postal Service starting about two months after she filed for bankruptcy.
- Biden to name judge Merrick Garland as attorney general: President-elect Biden has selected Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge who in 2016 was snubbed by Republicans for a seat on the Supreme Court, as his attorney general, two people familiar with the selection process said Wednesday.
- KARE photographer says he was fired after company car stolen: Ben Garvin, the award-winning Twin Cities photographer, said he was fired from KARE after a company car was stolen off the street in front of his house.
- UnitedHealth Group to buy health tech firm Change in $13B deal: UnitedHealth Group Inc. is buying Change Healthcare, a health technology firm based in Nashville, in a $13 billion deal that is among the largest by the Minnetonka-based company. UnitedHealth said Wednesday it will fold the company into Optum, its health information and technology business.
The best way to slice a bell pepper: Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai shares this kitchen hack to quickly cut up a bell pepper.
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- "The Queen's Gambit" is inspiring women to play chess: "The Queen's Gambit," about a troubled chess prodigy named Beth who is navigating the male-dominated tournament world, is a hit on Netflix. That has ignited interest in the game, including among women and girls.
- Homemade graham crackers should be your next pandemic baking project: Forget the sourdough and banana bread, homemade graham crackers are the pandemic panacea.
- Emma Thompson's 7 best movie roles: The animating force behind Thompson's work on screen is usually, "I wonder if I can pull that off?" She pulls it off spectacularly in these seven movies.
- Is Kirk Cousins really the problem? The QB has been up and down, but data suggests on the whole he has been well above average for the Vikings.
- Gophers newcomer Robbins standing tall in Big Ten so far: In recent Gophers history, there haven't been many true 7-footers, certainly not ones that have made an immediate impact like Liam Robbins, who was just named Oscar Robertson national player of the week.
- Fans will be allowed at Minnesota high school, youth sports: Up to 150 fans are expected to be permitted at games in gyms and arenas, with up to 250 at outdoor events.
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WORTH A CLICK
The last two northern white rhinos on Earth: "What will we lose when Najin and Fatu die?" asks Sam Anderson, writing in the New York Times Magazine.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Jan. 6, 2017: The Tombolo is part of the 1.6-mile Lakewalk section of the Superior Hiking Trail north of Grand Marais. This is the only section of the trail that runs along the shoreline of Lake Superior outside of the Duluth Lake Walk. (Photo: Brian Peterson/Star Tribune)