MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The cost of renting an apartment in the Minneapolis area continues to rise, even after a year of massive construction. The Star Tribune reports that a report from a company that tracks new and existing market-rate apartment buildings across the metro area shows a vacancy rate of 3.5 percent. That comes after more than 4,800 apartments hit the market in 2018, the most in a decade. The average rent at the end of the year was $1,219.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Two Minnesota lawmakers are proposing a bill that would reimburse school districts for feeding students healthy, local foods through farm-to-school initiatives. Winona Daily News reports that Republican Sen. Mike Goggin and Democratic Rep. Todd Lippert recently introduced the legislation that would also offer technical assistance to growers looking to sell produce to schools. Supporters say farm-to-school programs improve child nutrition and help them develop positive lifelong eating habits.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Two Minnesota lawmakers have reintroduced legislation aimed at reducing foster placements for black children and keeping more families together within the state's child protection system. Sen. Jeff Hayden has sponsored the Minnesota African-American Family Preservation Act, which would also establish better oversight when black children are moved to foster families. Hayden says there are too many examples of black children being raised in white foster homes and losing their cultural identity.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Prosecutors in the upcoming trial of a former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman want jurors to hear a 911 call the officer responded to shortly before the shooting. Prosecutors say in filings Friday that the call to check on the welfare of an elderly woman who appeared lost shows Mohamed Noor's "lack of investigative curiosity" because Noor and his partner never found her. Noor is scheduled to go on trial April 1 for the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

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