If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may [see it online](. [Star Tribune]( Talkers TOP STORIES - Minnesota's projected budget shortfall flips to $1.6B surplus: Minnesota's financial outlook has dramatically improved one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, with state economists [projecting a surplus of $1.6 billion in the next two-year budget](.
- Many Minnesota seniors frustrated in pursuit of COVID-19 vaccine: Despite Gov. Tim Walz's announcement this week that 70% of Minnesota seniors will be vaccinated by the end of March, many seniors feel overwhelmed and [remain perplexed by the state's system for selecting who gets a shot, and when.](
- Minneapolis City Council approves plans to seek help from police, community groups for Chauvin trial: Minneapolis City Council Members on Friday [approved plans to seek assistance from both community groups and other police departments]( during the upcoming trial in George Floyd's death. The trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is expected to draw attention from around the world. City leaders have said they hope to avoid a repeat of the rioting that followed Floyd's death last year while also supporting residents who will be reliving painful memories as the trial unfolds.
- Third vaccine could raise question: Which shots are best? If cleared for emergency use, [the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would offer a one-dose option]( that could help speed vaccinations, tamp down a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 people in the U.S. and stay ahead of a mutating virus.
- Gunman kills police dog in Duluth during standoff: A gunman in a Duluth home [fatally shot a police dog]( during a standoff with law enforcement that began Thursday night and continued well into Friday morning, authorities said.
- U.S. launches first airstrike of Biden's presidency in Syria A U.S. airstrike in Syria targeted facilities belonging to a powerful Iranian-backed Iraqi armed group, killing one fighter and wounding several others, an Iraqi militia official said Friday, signaling [the first military action undertaken by U.S. President Joe Biden.]( Saudi Arabia's crown prince [likely approved an operation to kill or capture a U.S.-based journalist]( inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday that could escalate pressure on the Biden administration to hold the kingdom accountable for a murder that drew bipartisan and international outrage.
- U.S. House set to vote on virus relief bill, likely without minimum-wage hike: Democrats are ready to [push a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House]( on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden.
- 2 die in stabbing, triple shooting in south Minneapolis: [Two people died in separate homicides within a three-hour period]( Thursday afternoon and evening in south Minneapolis.
- At annual conservative gathering, the only litmus test is loyalty to Trump: Among GOP elected officials and operatives, intense disagreements rage over the future of their party. But no sign of dissent will be visible this weekend when conservatives gather for an annual conference that has long showcased Republicans' internal debates. [Instead, one theme will rule them all â fealty to Donald Trump.]( The former president plans to use Sunday, the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, for his first public speech since leaving the White House just over a month ago.
- Golden Valley startup selling fishing gear hooks $2.1M in investments: The rapid growth of Omnia Fishing, an e-commerce retailer of fishing gear and tackle, has [hooked the interest of anglers and funding from venture capital firms.]( WATCH THIS Just two guys having a light-saber duel in a snowstorm: A Denver woman says she looked out from her balcony during a recent snowstorm and noticed [two men having an old-fashioned light-saber fight in a nearby field](. Talk to us! Send feedback on this newsletter, questions, story tips, ideas or anything else to [firstname.lastname@example.org](. TRENDING - 30 essential Black musicians who defined Minnesota's sound: [These artists became Minnesota's musical ambassadors to the rest of the world](, or reshaped things here at home.
- Guy Fieri is the latest celebrity to bring a virtual restaurant to Minnesota: Joining an increasing roster of[celebrities who are getting into the ghost kitchen game](, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host Guy Fieri has launched a virtual restaurant. Operating out of the kitchens of two Minnesota Buca di Beppo restaurants, one in Maple Grove and the other in Burnsville, [Flavortown Kitchen's succinct menu is available strictly for delivery throughout the metro.](
- What happens to all the de-icing fluid sprayed on planes at MSP airport? De-icing is an important safety tool for airplanes during the winter season â a build-up of ice can prevent airplanes from performing properly. Given Minnesota's harsh climate, MSP is [one of the busiest airports in the country for de-icing operations.]( SPORTS ROUNDUP - The Timberwolves want to play fast, but why? The Wolves already play fast and have struggled doing it. Even if that's the way President Gersson Rosas wants them to play in the future, [it's hurting them in the present.](
- Kaprizov is already proving to be the best reason to watch Wild: Kirill Kaprizov is not just good. He may be transformative. He may be changing the way the Wild looks and plays, [writes Jim Souhan.](
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