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Hurricane Ian could bring two NFL teams to Minneapolis

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NFL insider Ian Rapoport says if Hurricane Ian forces a change in venue, the Bucs and Chiefs will definitely play Sunday in Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS — UPDATE: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Thursday that the game would be played in Tampa after the city was spared the worst of the storm. Our original article continues below:

As Hurricane Ian collides with the western coast of Florida, at least one NFL insider says if a huge Sunday night matchup can’t be played in Tampa Bay it will unfold thousands of miles to the north in Minneapolis. 

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted on Wednesday that NFL executive Jeff Miller told reporters on a conference call there has been no change to the scheduled game between the Bucs and Chiefs. Rapoport says the league is in discussions with Florida authorities, but added if Hurricane Ian does force a change in venue, the game will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Earlier reports from multiple sources had indicated Minnesota was a candidate to host along with New Orleans, but Miller’s conference call makes it definitive that U.S. Bank Stadium is the alternative host. 

There won’t be a scheduling conflict as the Minnesota Vikings will be in London Sunday taking on the New Orleans Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Hurricane Ian has already interrupted the Bucs’ weekly routine. The team left Tuesday to use the Miami Dolphins facility for the week. 

A question many people are asking is “Why don’t they just move the game to Miami, since they’re already practicing there?”

ESPN’s NFL reporter Jeff Darlington cited league sources as saying that if the game has to be moved, the Bucs and Chiefs would play at a neutral site in the Midwest.

Darlington explained that if Tampa is hit hard by the hurricane, the NFL doesn’t want to risk using state resources to host a game when they could be better used to help in the aftermath of the hurricane.

The primetime quarterback matchup between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes would be quite the draw for U.S. Bank Stadium, if the plan moves forward. Although it’s not yet clear how ticketing would work, Kansas City would have a clear geographic advantage.

Rosie Rosenstiel, the general manager of Maxwell’s American Pub near U.S. Bank Stadium, said he’s excited by the prospect of an extra game in downtown Minneapolis.

“It’s exciting to have two future Hall of Famers here that aren’t wearing a Vikings jersey or green and gold,” Rosenstiel said. “We’ll be open and ready to go. Hopefully, we’ll get a lot of Kansas City people driving on up here, and a lot of local people showing off how good Minnesota is for football fans.” 

RELATED: Hurricane Ian reaches Cuba as Cat 3, expected to hit Florida as Cat 4 storm

Plans remain fluid as organizers wait to see what Hurricane Ian’s impact will be when it reaches Florida. 

On Monday, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady addressed the issue on his podcast, saying, “It’s suited for all of us to stay adapted to the situation. I don’t think anyone is really prepared for this. I know I’ve been preparing all morning trying to get my stuff outside and put it inside. Try to get all the stuff in the ground level up a little bit higher up right here on the bay. 

“They’re talking about pretty high storm surges and it’s a scary thing, I will say that. It’s a scary thing when it really hits your doorstep.” 

RELATED: Vikings offense with O’Connell still a work in progress

Watch the latest coverage from the KARE11 Sunrise in our YouTube playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries





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Walz won’t say if Harris campaign is vetting him as running mate

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Gov. Tim Walz said he won’t discuss details of phone conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris.

MINNEAPOLIS — Governor Tim Walz Tuesday wouldn’t say whether he’s being vetted by Vice President Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign as a possible running mate.

Gov. Walz told reporters he spoke to the Vice President Harris Sunday afternoon, shortly after President Biden dropped out of the race and threw his support to Harris.

“What I’ll say is I talked to the Vice President Sunday afternoon early,” Walz explained. “She made it clear that she was going to earn the support of folks. She was going to continue to run and continue an agenda that was going to help the middle class. And I said I’ll be there to do whatever I can to help. And that’s where we’re at, at this point, it seems.”

While Walz hasn’t dismissed the idea of joining the Harris ticket, he definitely downplayed the notion of being on the short list of potential running mates.

“I’m not going to talk about the specifics that were in on that. At this point in time, we’re just going to leave it at that.”

Walz has been mentioned as a Veep candidate alongside Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, and four other Democrat governors, including Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, Roy Cooper of Virginia, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, and Andy Beshear of Kentucky.

The political calculus for the Harris Campaign includes electoral college strategy, geographical balance, name recognition, the ability of her vice-presidential candidate to provide a counterbalance to former President Trump’s running mate, Sen. JD Vance of Ohio.

Walz’s work as a Biden surrogate on the campaign trail, and chair of the Democratic Governors Association, has raised Walz’s national profile. And he’s scored points with progressives with the legislative successes he’s had in this state.

At the same time, he’s taken hit from Republicans over the response to the riots after the murder of George Floyd, and for the massive Feeding Our Future fraud scandal that robbed a federal nutrition program operated under the auspices of the Minnesota Department of Education.

RELATED: Trump, Vance plan weekend stop in Minnesota

Walz said he’s excited about enthusiasm the Harris campaign has injected into the Democrat cause.

“Look, President Biden has been an incredible president, best in my lifetime,” Walz remarked. “But we were struggling to get a message out. Now we’ve got that opportunity and there was an explosion of it. I’m looking forward to the next 104 days, and I think for all of us it feels like there’s a burst of new energy.”

Harris made history March 14 when she visited Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, making her the highest-ranking government leader to ever visit an abortion clinic. She spent that stop thanking Minnesota providers and leaders for their efforts to preserve abortion access for women in this state, as well as those traveling here from places where it was now barred.

Walz said the surge of excitement around Harris’s entry into the race reminds him of the reaction she received when she made a surprise stop the same day at a softball practice Saint Paul Central High School.

“To watch the word filter down, when the young women who were practicing softball said, ‘Oh my God, it’s the Vice President!’ and to see them gather around and hear her talk about, ‘Look, you can do anything you want. I’m the Vice President of the United States,’ was for me, energizing.”



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7-year-old injured in dog attack in Brooklyn Park

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According to police, the attack happened on the 7500 block of Janelle Avenue North. Police say the girl sustained “superficial” injuries from the attack.

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — A 7-year-old girl was injured after being attacked by a dog Tuesday in Brooklyn Park.

According to police, the incident happened on the 7500 block of Janelle Avenue North. Police say the girl sustained “superficial” injuries from the attack.

While attempting to contain the dog, police say it tried attacking a boy. Officers then killed the dog, according to a release.

It’s the second dog attack reported in Brooklyn Park over the past five days after officers responded to a call on Friday, July 19 where two dogs were actively attacking a 3-year-old. The child was transported to a nearby hospital, and was last said to be in “critical” condition. Several officers fired their weapons at the dogs, killing one and injuring the other, according to a release.



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Answers sought after Minneapolis man hit by car, ‘left for dead’, then had backpack stolen

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“They fled the scene and left him for dead,” Andy Meissner, Carl Vargas’ brother, said.

MINNEAPOLIS — Many intersections don’t mean much to most people – except for Victoria Nichols and Andy Meissner. The intersection of Third Avenue South and South Seventh Street now holds a negative connotation after their nephew and brother was hit by a car and left behind in the early hours of July 14.

“My brother Carl was riding his motorcycle home,” Meissner said.

Carl Vargas was riding his motorcycle along Third Avenue South, crossing Seventh where he had a green light. Surveillance video obtained by the family and shown to KARE 11 shows a black Camaro speed through the intersection, hitting Carl, skidding to a stop halfway down the next block.

“What it was at first was anger, was probably what it was,” Meissner said. “Obviously at the whole situation and the fact that these guys did what they did.”

“They fled the scene and left him for dead,” Meissner added.

MPD says this is an active and open investigation, but Nichols and Meissner say they feel left in the dark.

“We’re waiting to hear back about what it being done, but still, it feels like not enough is being done,” he said.

It’s why they’ve spent days asking buildings nearby for that surveillance video.

“There’s several camera angles that we have,” Nichols said.

“The only car that comes after the Camaro,” she said, showing KARE 11 the video. “Of which the two suspects enter in, and then continue down Seventh Street.”

To make matters worse, while Carl is lying on the ground in pain, surveillance video shows a random person come up and takes his bag.

“Made it impossible for first responders to even identify Carl,” Meissner said. “We didn’t find out, pretty much, until Monday.”

Carl is still at the hospital, resting and recovering. Until the people who did this are found, Nichols and Meissner say they won’t stop.

“Trying to get justice for Carl,” Nichols said. “That’s really our bottom line, that’s really the end game here.”

The family is asking for any help or information. To donate, click here.



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