- Two years after escaping her captor, Jayme Closs is doing well, her family says: Two years after Jayme Closs escaped following 88 days of captivity in a northwest Wisconsin cabin, her family gives an upbeat report on her progress and what's keeping her busy.
- House prepares to charge Trump with inciting insurrection: A House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove President Donald Trump from office was blocked Monday by Republicans. With just days left in Trump's presidency, the House also is preparing to impeach Trump this week. The president would face a single charge — "incitement of insurrection" — over the riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a draft of the articles obtained by The Associated Press.
- Records reveal identities of Trump supporters who stormed U.S. Capitol: The Associated Press reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless amid the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee. The evidence gives lie to claims that the violence was perpetrated by left-wing antifa thugs rather than supporters of the president, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, members of the military and adherents of the QAnon. Only days later is the extent of the danger from one of the darkest episodes in American democracy coming into focus. The sinister nature of the assault has become evident, betraying the crowd as a force determined to occupy the inner sanctums of Congress and run down leaders — Trump's vice president and the Democratic House speaker among them. In his first interview since pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who has since resigned his post, said House and Senate security officials were reluctant to take formal steps to put the D.C. National Guard on call even as police intelligence suggested that the crowd Trump had invited to Washington probably would be much larger than earlier demonstrations.
- Restaurants, bars and other venues reopen with restrictions in Minnesota: Bars, restaurants and other venues will reopen with restrictions on Monday amid continued declines in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in Minnesota. Gov. Tim Walz announced the dial-back in the state's pandemic response on Wednesday, noting that Minnesota's COVID-19 case rate has fallen below "pre-surge levels" and that bars and restaurants can operate at minimal risk if customers comply with rules that prevent viral transmission. Minnesota health officials have confirmed five cases of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the Twin Cities area. Although officials aren't surprised by the discovery and don't believe it will lead to more serious cases, it raises the potential for the virus to spread even more rapidly. More than 140,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota, where state health leaders will begin discussion Monday on how to get the next wave of shots to the elderly and essential front-line workers.
- Midwest governors share ideas, frustrations in battle with COVID-19: Every couple of weeks, Gov. Tim Walz gets on a call to strategize about COVID-19 and even vent a little with six other people who can commiserate over the trials of leading a state though a global pandemic. As the coronavirus has ravaged the nation, a bipartisan group of Midwest governors has provided a sounding board for one another's policies and has shared how regulations, testing or vaccination strategies are playing out.
- Minnesota child abuse reports plunge during pandemic, worrying authorities: Reports of child abuse and neglect in Minnesota have dropped sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, which has eased strain on the child welfare system while spurring fears that problems are going unnoticed while children are away from school.
- Biden chooses veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director: Burns, a well-known figure in diplomatic circles around the world, is President-elect Joe Biden's choice to lead the CIA, a selection likely to be embraced by the rank and file at the nation's premier spy agency.
- Parents arrested after 3-year-old killed in St. Paul: A 3-year-old girl was killed early Sunday in a St. Paul apartment and police said they have arrested the parents while continuing to figure out how the child died.
- St. Paul matriarch, 99, and family survive COVID-19 scare: Juanita Moran didn't have the classic signs of COVID-19. The petite 99-year-old had been in good health until early November, when she started sleeping all day and eating only a few bites. Her seven children, who had been taking shifts caring for her around the clock for more than a year, were heartbroken when a hospice nurse surmised that she likely had only days to live — and surprised when she tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Adding to their worries, nine of Moran's children and their spouses confirmed one after another that they, too, had caught the potentially deadly virus. Now, two months later, family members are grateful that all have safely recovered — something of a miracle, in their eyes — and want to warn others to take the virus seriously, even as the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has declined since peaking late last year.
Tiger sneaks up on monkey in a treetop: This video from Periyar Tiger Reserve in southern India, is full of suspense as the tiger ascends the tree and draws closer to its intended prey, but the monkey proves to be a cunning foe.
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- Golden Fig founder has the golden touch at St. Paul specialty foods shop: Laurie Crowell's foray into local and seasonal specialty foods wasn't intentional, but 25 years later she's one of its fiercest advocates.
- $2.15M Minneapolis home on a hill has "good karma" and a beautiful skyline view: This historic home in Lowry Hill has been lovingly renovated to restore its luster.
- How Twin Cities theaters are connecting with audiences online: When theater companies scheduled shows for spring 2021, it seemed like a worst-case scenario that they would be shuttered for up to a year due to the pandemic. But here we are, with those productions postponed again until it's safe to gather in theaters. The good news is that many companies are finding ways to connect with audiences outside of their artistic homes.
- Everson Griffen slams Kirk Cousins, suggests Zimmer didn't want the QB: Former Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen re-opened questions about the Vikings' 2018 offseason quarterback search over the weekend, tweeting – then deleting and apologizing – a negative opinion about Kirk Cousins and suggesting Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer never wanted Cousins on the Vikings in the first place.
- Surviving the "pain cave," Jessie Diggins wins first Tour de Ski title for U.S.: The Afton native captured the overall title with a second-place finish in Sunday's final stage. To grab the prize, though, she had to make certain her mind was as strong as her legs.
- Wild taking new look into revamped season, realigned divisions: The NHL will kick off a streamlined schedule with four updated divisions to get back in action during the middle of a pandemic. These tweaks will add a unique twist to the Wild's 20th anniversary season.
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WORTH A CLICK
Inside the siege at the U.S. Capitol: The Washington Post offers perhaps the most complete account of last week's chaos at the Capitol, and reveals how a quick-thinking Capitol Police officer tricked several dozen rioters into chasing him up a flight of stairs and away from the Senate chamber, almost certainly avoiding more bloodshed.
Congratulations to Chris San Agustin! Chris was randomly selected from among the many readers who correctly answered that Merrick Garland is President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for attorney general. Chris wins a $15 gift card. Be sure to read Talkers on Friday for another trivia question!
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Jan. 11, 1971: Telephone operators Mary Barden, left, and Elaine Mobley practice handling long-distance calls at a training console similar to those Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. planned to install in the Twin Cities area by 1973. The consoles would allow operators to assist customers who dial person-to-person, credit card, collect and other long-distance calls from their home, business or coin phones. (Photo: Star Tribune)