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MONDAY MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS

Governor Tim Walz is acknowledging hospital workers statewide. He tweeted a special thank on Thanksgiving Day to those on the front lines at medical facilities. Walz added that he was grateful for the sacrifices that Minnesotans are making on the holidays to keep their relatives, neighbors and frontline workers safe. He also expressed condolences to those who lost loved ones during the pandemic to the virus or other causes.
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The Duluth Police Department is facing a tough recruiting chore with an expected rash of retirements. Police Chief Mike Tusken says he’s looking to replace more than one-fifth of his 158 officers in the next three years. He adds that his police force will lose hundreds of years of experience, but it’s also an opportunity for people to come in with new ideas and perspectives. Police departments across the country are preparing for a wave of officers to step down as they reach their 50s and are able to access their pensions.
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The world’s largest furniture retailer is making a huge financial contribution to aid the mental health of Minnesota students who are struggling to cope during the pandemic. Ikea U. S. Community Foundation donated one-point-two million dollars to the state’s School-Linked Mental Health Program, run by the Department of Human Services. The initiative consists of 58 mental health providers who meet directly with children, families, and teachers to provide assessments and treatment as well as training.
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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is spreading holiday cheer. He surprised a military family from Golden Valley last week by providing them with brand new Sleep Number 360 beds and Vikings gear. Cousins mentioned virtually that John Guenther will soon be deployed to the Middle East and that he and his family are making several sacrifices as a result of his service to the military. The Vikings signal caller teamed up with Sleep Number and Blue Star Families to conduct the surprise.