5 things to know today: Guard activated, Shooting details, Breached guidelines, Renter harassment, Vaccine development
1. National Guard moves to Minneapolis as protests over George Floyd's death continue
Miles away from the sites of looting and vandalism in St. Paul, thousands gathered for a peaceful demonstration downtown Thursday evening, May 28.
For a third day, demonstrators convened near the site where George Floyd was held down by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck as he said he couldn't breathe. Thousands marched through the streets and called for the prosecution of four police officers on the scene during the incident. After about four hours, protesters were met with stun grenades and tear gas from police after some demonstrators threw objects at officers around 9 p.m. Thursday.
State and federal investigators and prosecutors said work on parallel investigations into the death were ongoing and they asked for additional information from witnesses to help fill out the framework of what happened. They urged those calling for quick answers to remain calm and give them time.
2. Details emerge in incident that claimed the life of a Grand Forks police officer and civilian woman
The Grand Forks Police Department has confirmed that Officer Cody Holte, 29, has died from injuries sustained in a shootout in Grand Forks. Grand Forks County Sheriff's Cpl. Ron Nord, who was also injured by gunfire, remains in stable condition.
Meanwhile, condolences and support for Holte, Nord and all peace officers and their families poured in as Holte's name was released as the officer who died in the Wednesday, May 27, incident in Grand Forks.
"Officer Cody Holte spent his entire adult life protecting and serving the citizens of Grand Forks as a member of the Grand Forks Police Department and previously the state of North Dakota with North Dakota National Guard," Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown said in a statement emailed to the media shortly after Thursday's press conference. "In these roles, he was a highly respected colleague, a beloved friend and a courageous member of the law enforcement community. Above all, Cody was a son, a brother, a husband and a father. He is missed."
Read more from Forum News Service's Hannah Shirley
3. Moorhead nursing home breached coronavirus guidelines, putting residents in 'immediate jeopardy,' health officials say
A Moorhead nursing home that's had at least three residents die from COVID-19 violated several protocols in preventing the spread of the illness, including failing to alert staff when an infected resident was sent to a Fargo dialysis center, according to a Minnesota Department of Health report.
The 64-page report released Wednesday, May 27, details multiple instances of staff and residents at the Moorhead Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center not following coronavirus prevention guidelines last month, putting all 43 facility residents, staff and personnel from outside entities at risk.
Along with the three deaths, almost half of the residents tested positive for the virus and seven were hospitalized, according to the report.
Read more from The Forum's April Baumgarten
4. North Dakotans asked to report sexual harassment by landlords, rental staff as coronavirus crisis persists
A federal prosecutor in North Dakota is seeking the public's help after reports surfaced around the country of landlords and rental property staff sexually harassing tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley this week called on anyone who has witnessed or experienced such illegal activity to report it to the U.S. Department of Justice. Officials have heard of instances of landlords, property managers and other rental workers exploiting individuals by harassing them, including with sexual misconduct.
“Anybody thinking that this is an opportunity for them to somehow exploit another human being or somehow leverage someone’s economic suffering needs to think about that twice,” Wrigley told The Forum.
Wrigley’s office has not received any such reports, and most landlords in the state have worked with tenants who cannot pay rent, he said. Wrigley said he wants tenants to know they have rights.
5. Aldevron to provide genetic material for experimental COVID-19 vaccine
A Fargo biotechnology company will manufacture genetic material for an experimental vaccine to protect against infection from the coronavirus in a partnership with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The manufacturing partnership, which involves Aldevron and two other biotechnology firms, was announced Thursday, May 28, and involves first-phase clinical studies that will begin later this year.
The experimental COVID-19 vaccine uses a harmless, adeno-associated virus to create a vehicle to insert genetic material into the body, serving as a vaccine.
Aldevron’s role in the project will be to manufacture what’s called plasmid DNA. The tiny, circular snippets of genetic material are combined with bacteria, grown in controlled conditions to massively replicate the DNA, which then is removed from the bacteria and purified in a series of steps.