Biden to nominate Denis McDonough for Veterans Affairs

Stillwater’s own. WCCO reports: “President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Denis McDonough, who was President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. … The sprawling agency has presented organizational challenges for both parties over the years. Biden is continuing to stockpile his incoming administration with prominent members of the Obama’s team. Biden plans to make the formal announcement Friday, along with several other Cabinet nominations.”

Minneapolis Council adopts budget. MPR’s Brandt Williams reports: “The Minneapolis City Council voted 13-0 to adopt a budget that contains a controversial plan to take nearly $8 million from the Police Department to pay for crime prevention programs and initiatives in other departments, but with a key last-minute change to police staffing levels from an earlier version. … The series of cuts and transfers, called “Safety for All” by its authors, was added to the budget earlier this week. It represents a small part of the department’s $179 million budget.”

Another encampment broken up. KMSP reports: “The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board disbanded an encampment at The Mall Thursday morning. … The Parks Department said eight people were displaced from the area along the Greenway after written notices Nov. 30 and Dec. 7. According to a release from the department, all of the residents were ‘offered shelter assistance by Hennepin County,’ but the offers were declined. The temporary encampment permit for that area expired Oct. 22. … According to the city, the location is not a safe place for an encampment. It reports fires on Sept. 28, Nov. 3 and Dec. 1, a fatal overdose and the fact that the tents are in a plow wake zone, where snow from the street is pushed during plowing operations, as reasons the area is uninhabitable during the winter.”

Minnesota is involved. KSTP reports: “Federal regulators on Wednesday sued to force a breakup of Facebook as 48 states and districts accused the company in a separate lawsuit of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors. … The landmark antitrust lawsuits, announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James, mark the second major government offensive this year against seemingly untouchable tech behemoths. The Justice Department sued Google in October for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising — the government’s most significant attempt to buttress competition since its historic case against Microsoft two decades ago. Amazon and Apple also have been under investigation in Congress and by federal authorities for alleged anticompetitive conduct.”

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In other news…

They did it all for the Nook: “After overwhelming response to plea for help, St. Paul restaurant gives back” [KMSP]

After pleading guilty: “Savage Man Gets 6 Years In Prison For Burning Courthouse During Unrest” [WCCO]

Former employee suspected: “Arrest made after fourth burglary this year at same metro restaurant” [KARE]

Not a great year for mall businesses: “Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks considering sale or bankruptcy” [Star Tribune]

Woke-ee Dokee Brothers: “Minnesota’s Okee Dokee Brothers withdraw from all-white Grammy Awards list” [Star Tribune]

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Hawaii Is Offering Free Round-Trip Flights To Remote Workers

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Since the coronavirus hit the U.S., roughly 40% of U.S. employees now work from home. If you’re one of them, you may be fantasizing about trading your boring apartment walls and modest desk for tropical air and sandy beaches. A new program known as Movers and Shakas is offering just […]