CBSN Minnesota’s Morning Update: May 4, 2021

Grab that coffee or tea and check the latest headlines. It’s Teacher Appreciation Day! So, we want to know about your favorite teachers. WCCO 4 News - May 4, 2021

Video Transcript

JASON DERUSHA: Let's do it. It's Tuesday. Hi, everyone. I'm Jason DeRusha. Welcome to the CBSN Minnesota Morning Update. Great to have you here. If you're watching live or watching on your own time, we're glad to bring you up to date with our daily digital kind of news update for you here from downtown Minneapolis where we have a nice view of all that's going on behind us this morning. A little sun out there it looks like.

Well, it's going to be a decently sunny day, windy again. Yesterday the wind was going more like 2025. I'm not a meteorologist. Riley sort of downplayed the wind but I believe 50 miles an hour, that's still pretty windy. You're going to feel it out there. It'll keep temperatures little cooler. Average 66, we're in the upper 50s. For the whole week really is gotten there. There's not that much difference one day to the next this week. Will be between 58 and 63 or so over the next several days. So, you know what can you do? There it is.

OK. Let's talk about this. Today is Teachers Appreciation Day. Hard to just have one day to appreciate our teachers. My sister Nicole Sandin is a middle school teacher in a suburb of Chicago. She's awesome. She's a science teacher. Just an awesome teacher. Not so good as a sister, you know whenever I call her she never answers or calls me back, but a really great teacher. Will give her that.

We want to hear about your favorite teacher. I was thinking about this, this morning because you have teachers at such different phases of life, right? And leave your comment on the Facebook page, we'll read through some in a couple of minutes. But, you know you have those teachers who helped you out in the -- in the elementary and middle school years.

Like I think back to Tom Kranich was my sixth grade teacher at a moment in my academic career where I was freaking out that I wasn't getting an A because of a student teacher. Well, I'm sure it was my own failing but I was blaming it on a student, a failing. It was like a B plus I had. But I was losing it. I was crying and he took me outside the school, sat me down on the stoop behind Terrace elementary school, and basically told me to get it together that there's more to life than grades and that I needed to chill out. That I would be fine. That I wasn't going to get a B. And it actually changed like the trajectory of how I approach school going forward. I still got A's. I still worked hard but I didn't get as good of grades as perhaps I would have if I wasn't so involved in activities. So anyway teachers those moments, you know, I mean this was sixth grade. I was 12, so 36 years ago and I still remember it. So anyway I had great teachers every step of the way, so I can't wait to hear your stories in just a minute.

Our photo on social media is raising questions about one of the jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin of murder. Here's the picture. Brandon Mitchell went to the match on Washington in August. And the shirt I think is maybe what's getting people's attention, right? It says get your knees off our necks. Which really became a rallying cry after the death of George Floyd. This is the juror questionnaire that Brandon Mitchell filled out and technically I think he told the truth on it, right? He was asked did you go-- did you protest George Floyd's death and did you go to a protest about police violence locally or nationally? And he said, no. He said he was at the match to promote voter rights and registration.

BRANDON MITCHELL: My answer was no because I had it on this particular matches for-- more so for voting, voter registration. Getting people out to get out and vote for the presidential election that was upcoming a couple of months afterward.

- And this was the only one that you attended?

BRANDON MITCHELL: Correct. This is the only thing I attended.

- You did not attend the protest for-- on behalf of George Floyd or anything like that?

BRANDON MITCHELL: No. I didn't. Did none of that.

- Specifically did he participate in--

JASON DERUSHA: University of St. Thomas law Professor Rachel Moran believes that Mitchell will at minimum be brought back in for questioning. In which the Judge Peter Cahill will have to decide whether Mitchell was being honest during jury selection, but also part of this is, you know did the-- did the defense attorneys do enough? And asking the right questions, or investigating him was it their fault? Was it-- was he being less than truthful?

So here was the questionnaire answer. He was asked about Black Lives Matter and he said Black Lives just want to be treated as equals and not killed or treated in an aggressive manner simply because they are Black. And that was discussed in his jury interview. Defense attorney Eric Nelson does have the right to start the process of bringing Mitchell back in for more questions. We'll see if that happens.

Governor Tim Walz is expected to detail more easing of COVID restrictions as more people get vaccinated. He's floated lifting more capacity limits on businesses and venues but, you know at least in terms of restaurants going to 100% capacity, probably doesn't help a lot of them. Because if you still need social distancing, you can't get more tables. And here's the latest on vaccines in Minnesota. 58 percent of Minnesotans, 16 and older have at least one shot. So that's good. The state fairgrounds today if you want to get a shot you can walk in. They're accepting walking appointments. So go to the fairgrounds, get your vaccine, and let's get things back to normal.

Speaking of the Fair, we just learned about a new State Fair event that's going to happen a little later this month. This was just announced this morning. It's called kickoff to summer at the Fair. It's a walk around event. So, you know we had the drive-through events, this when you can walk around leading up to Memorial Day. There will be food, brews, live music, shopping at the fairgrounds. So a lot of the great vendors out there and it'll be a lottery where you'll win the chance to buy a ticket. Sign up now through Thursday, 1,250 a person. We don't know exactly what the State Fair will look like this year, but the governor said it looks promising that it will be a normal Fair. So maybe no restrictions on attendance, which would be great if we could be there.

How about this group of high school seniors in Central Minnesota? They are joining forces for life after school. They had a signing day of their own at Osakis High School. Seven of the school's 69 seniors have committed to the National Guard. So a little more than 10% of the graduating class. Most years they have one or two join. First senior to join was Carson Bergquist who is the son of the school superintendent Randy Bergquist.

CARSON BERGQUIST: And I pushed my other friends to join, you know I went to high school with them and, you know it's good we go up every month to drill and it's just good to know somebody there. You can go and ask many questions.

RANDY BERGQUIST: I couldn't be more proud of these students. Osakis has its roots in military tradition.

JASON DERUSHA: Man, I love that, right? And the idea of having friends who can be there with you and go through it together, pretty cool for this group of young men. Two of the seniors are going to miss their high school graduation because they're leaving early for basic training. And every student that John Lauritsen spoke with, said they also plan to go to college and having the National Guard, foot the bill for school, played a major role in their decision. Congratulations to all of these future National Guard soldiers.

A former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and his wife Melinda are ending their 27 year marriage. You're always a little sad to hear about a marriage breaking apart but also no one knows what was going on in their marriage, right? So perhaps this new path will be a path to happiness for both of them. They both announced this in a joint statement. The Gates have said they don't believe they can grow together as a couple anymore, but they'll still work together through their foundation to fight poverty and inequity. They have three children and the Gates are among the richest people on Earth. Net worth of more than $100 billion. They've given $50 billion to charities over the years. So pretty amazing. So good luck to them.

Tomorrow Facebook's oversight board expected to announce whether or not they will indefinitely suspend former President Trump from Facebook and Instagram. Remember the president was banned from those platforms after the deadly riot at the US Capitol. In February the board confirmed it received an appeal on behalf of former President Trump seeking to reinstate his accounts. So we'll see what they decide tomorrow.

More Minnesotans itching to get back out on the water as the weather warms up. And I saw so many people posting on Instagram that they were out on Lake Minnetonka over the weekend but state officials want to remind people that the water is still only about 50 degrees. So if you fall over, or get in a crash, that would be a major shock to your body.

- The water's only 50. So if you end up in the water, 50 degrees is a shock to the system. So we don't want anyone to drown or get hurt, so those life jackets are important.

JASON DERUSHA: Yeah. Life jacket's part of it. Also they remind you to have your registration tags up to date and the key thing is to avoid drinking, if you're driving a boat. OK. Boating on our Minnesota lakes, that's cool. This is cooler. UK commandos flying over the sea with new jet pack technology. The British Royal Navy and the Royal Marines tested out a jet suit developed by the company gravity industries and gravity says this sucker can fly 18 miles an hour and look at it cuddle up to this. Up to this-- I would call this a frigate-- freighter. It's Navy ship. Wow. Can climb 12-- 12,000 feet the air. That is significant. Well, how about that? Wow. Very, very cool.

If you are a Star Wars fan you know what today is, it's national Star Wars Day, May 4. May the 4th be with you. It's a date for Star Wars fans to celebrate all things pertaining to that Galaxy far far away. We know May the Force Be With You from the first movie in 1977. And what happened is a lot of Star Wars fans were not able to pronounce force and they just kept saying forth. And so it's May 4. And so that's how-- that's how this all started. Is that lie? Maybe a lie. It's possible, that's a lie.

To celebrate how you-- how you wish, here's what Mendy did. They posted this yesterday. Slow down patients you must have. Up on the highway message boards. They doubled down in their Facebook post. Adventure excitement, excessive speed. A Jedi craves not these things. Very nice. Pretty good, right? Patients, you must have. So enjoy all the Star Wars jokes today.

And here's the best thing about a day that celebrates something that people love. Many of you will be tempted to post on Facebook or Twitter, how you've never seen any of these movies, how you don't like this Star Wars movies and what I would invite you to do is not that. Don't do that. Don't. It's stupid like no one cares. All right. You don't like it. So what? Keep scrolling. It's no big deal. Let people have their fun. If you love Star Wars, today's your day. If you don't, know but literally it does anyone care? Literally no one cares. We're happy for you. All right.

What is our topic today? Teachers. We care about you teachers. We love you. Teachers are like Star Wars jokes. Don't you think? I do. Let's see some of your favorite memories. Here's Jackie Martin. My second grade teacher Ms. Wipf let me bring my tonsils for show and tell after they were removed. Oh, I love that. That's a great teacher. Thanks for sharing that Jackie. Paul Krunchten, many excellent teachers. How about a shout out to moms and dads home schooling too? OK, Paul. Paul, it's teacher day though.

So I'm home schooling day, I mean for sure if you are home schooling your kids you are their teacher and we salute you. Joanne, my favorite teacher was my father. He taught eighth grade English and taught all four of his kids too. That's school. Thanks, Joanne. We think if you're the kid of a teacher, it's like you're part of the family business, right? Like when you see your teacher out at the grocery store it's always like, what? My teacher exists in the universe? It's very strange.

My husband, Pete's sixth grade teacher Mrs. Malone taught him Morse code. Wow. And she also taught for soldiers during World War II. That's cool. Thanks, Angie. I appreciate that. Warren, Mrs. Gholl at Saint Paul Jackson Elementary such great elementary teacher, so patient. Yeah. Elementary school teachers. What do you -- what do you think is the hardest grade to teach? I feel like middle school like those kids, like I was not my best version of myself in sixth or seventh grade. But like oh, the Sequoia elementary school kids too. Marsha, my favorite teacher was my biology teacher Rick Smith in 1983. He made learning fun. Thanks, Marsha.

Thanks, everybody. I love hearing about teachers. They have such an impact on our lives. And so it's great to celebrate them today and every day for sure. That's the morning update from CBSN Minnesota. I hope you have a great day. We'll see you back here tomorrow.