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Interim Minneapolis police chief named after Arradondo announces retirement

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Interim Minneapolis police chief named after Arradondo announces retirement

A deputy chief will head the Minneapolis Police Department on an interim basis, Mayor Jacob Frey announced Tuesday, a day after Chief Medaria Arradondo said he would retire.

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman has been with the department for 27 years, most recently as the deputy chief in charge of professional standards, where she oversees administrative services, internal affairs, technology and support services, and training.

Undated courtesy photo of Amelia Huffman, Deputy Chief of Professional Standards for the Minneapolis Police Department. On Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, Huffman was announced as the interim police chief for the department by Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey. Huffman replaces Medaria Arradondo, 54, who announced Monday he would retire in January after 32 years at the department, calling it time for a new chief to lead. (Courtesy of the Minneapolis Police Department)

“Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman is the right leader to carry forward the work toward a more just and equitable system of safety in Minneapolis,” Frey said in statement.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity and stand ready to take on the role of Interim Police Chief for the Minneapolis Police Department at such an important time for our city,” Huffman said in the same statement. “The men and women of the Minneapolis police department have been tested over the course of the last several years. As a department, we must collectively recognize that rebuilding trust and enhancing public safety will require excellence in the line of duty as well as a willingness to embrace bold community safety and reform strategies. That is what the people of Minneapolis rightly expect and the direction my team and I will continue moving this department.”

The leadership change comes at a difficult time for the department, which was rocked by the killing of George Floyd by one of its officers, who was subsequently convicted of murder and manslaughter. Three other officers were also fired and charged in Floyd’s May 2020 death. They are expected to face trial early next year.

Frey will designate Huffman to her new role on Jan. 15. The city will undertake a national search for a permanent appointment.

Arradondo, the city’s first Black chief of police, served on the force for 32 years. He said Monday that Floyd’s death and the aftermath didn’t affect his decision to retire, asserting it was time for new leadership in the department.

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Students deliver thank you letters to healthcare workers in St. Louis County

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Students deliver thank you letters to healthcare workers in St. Louis County

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Elementary school students in St. Louis County are showing their appreciation for healthcare workers by writing them letters of gratitude.

“Amazing, superheroes, awesome, excellent” — That’s how fourth-graders from Rose Acres Elementary School in the Pattonville School District describe the healthcare workers inside SSM Health Depaul Hospital in Bridgeton. On Tuesday, they had a chance to show them how much they meant in person.

“Thank you very much,” Seth Lovell, the Chief Nursing Officer of SSM Health Depaul Hospital said while a student handed him a handwritten letter.

The students are learning how to write letters during their writing unit. Mixing that skill with kindness month, the students decided to write letters for healthcare workers in their community. They were able to bring that skill to life as they handed the letters personally to the healthcare heroes Tuesday afternoon.

“Their kindness challenge was to be appreciative and say thank you to people around them, and they took the initiative to think about the healthcare workers here at DePaul and how they ultimately help to keep us at school,” Grave Burgos, a fourth-grade teacher said.

Kayla Newsome was one of the more than a dozen fourth-graders who took the time to write a letter to the healthcare workers and deliver it Tuesday. “It felt good to help and give somebody something that will mean a lot to them,” Newsome said.

“We had a lot of different emotions coming from our caregivers here. Some were laughing at some of the jokes that were in the letters, and some were really moved by the gesture from those in our community especially those in our local schools,” Lovell said. “A lot of focus on health care workers and service workers were really front-loaded.”

“Getting to hand out the letters that they worked really hard on is something they are going to remember forever,” Kirstie Hummert, a fourth-grade teacher said.

It’s a lifelong memory made and a boost these heroes needed.

“We often refer to caregiver burnout as an equation, of stress and that divided by support. We’ve seen the stress maintain or get higher and I think some of the focus from the support perspective has dwindled,” Lovell said.

He said a kind gesture like this will mean a lot to those still on the front lines.

“All of the education and the academics is important but how they felt and they make others feel is really what’s important to us,” Mary Spitzmiller, one of the fourth-grade teachers said.

The CFO read one letter aloud Tuesday:

“Dear healthcare worker,

Thank you for sacrificing the time with your families to save our families. I appreciate you for keeping the community strong and healthy, I’m thankful for saving our lives when we need it. Thanks for caring for us when we need it most. Thank you for making a difference every single day, we appreciate the hard work you guys are doing for our families. You make the world a better place and its because you’re in it. Keep it up you’re doing great

Smiley face, Sincerely (student name).”

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‘Charlie Brown’ voice actor dies at 65

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‘Charlie Brown’ voice actor dies at 65

Peter Robbins, the original voice of Peanuts character Charlie Brown signs autographs at Comic Con in San Diego on Friday, July 25,2008
(AP Photo/Lisa Rose)

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KSWB) – California native Peter Robbins, the voice actor who brought Charlie Brown to life in the Peanuts cartoons from the 1960s, has died, his family told Nexstar’s KSWB. He was 65.

The voice actor’s family said he took his life last week.

Robbins started voicing Charlie Brown in 1963, at just 9-years-old, appearing in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” He adored the character so much, he had a tattoo of Charlie Brown and Snoopy on his arm.

1643173287 521 ‘Charlie Brown voice actor dies at 65
Peter Robbins, the voice actor who brought “Charlie Brown” to life, has died, his family told FOX 5. He was 65. (KSWB)

He also appeared in other TV series including “Get Smart” and “The Munsters.”

KSWB’s Phil Blauer followed Robbins’ ups and downs, from interviewing him in jail because of criminal threats he made against several people, including San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, to speaking with him when he was in rehab battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. 

The last time KSWB interviewed Robbins was in 2019, shortly after he was released from prison, speaking about his lifelong battle with mental illness.

“I would recommend to anybody that has bipolar disorder to take it seriously because your life can turn around in the span of a month like it did to me,” Robbins said during the interview. “I came out of prison and I’m a better person for it. I’m much more humble and grateful and thankful that I lived through the experience.”

Robbins’ loved ones are asking for privacy at this difficult time. They say they will hold a memorial service for him at a future date.

If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support at 1-800-273-8255. Starting on July 16, 2022, U.S. residents can also be connected to the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.

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O’Fallon councilwoman facing impeachment calls case waste of taxpayers’ money

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O’Fallon councilwoman facing impeachment calls case waste of taxpayers’ money

O’FALLON, Mo. — The O’Fallon, Missouri, City Council is set to vote Thursday on whether to impeach Councilwoman Katie Gatewood.

She talked exclusively with FOX 2’s You Paid For It investigator Elliott Davis about the case that she calls unfair and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Gatewood is accused of interfering with a former O’Fallon Police Chief by questioning his decisions. She’s also accused of lying to the Council about the identity of a whistleblower who was giving her information about the police department and chief.

Yesterday, Gatewood’s attorney filed suit in federal court asking a judge to block that Thursday.

The suit said the impeachment is a violation of Gatewood’s constitutional rights. So far, the impeachment effort has cost O’Fallon taxpayers $161,000.

The Council brought in a special attorney to handle the case for the city. Gatewood and her Attorney have also been trying to get three Councilmen thrown off the impeachment board, who they said are biased against Gatewood and have made a public statement as to their positions 

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