'SNL' performance, Southwest Airlines seat policy, new Minnesota laws effective Jan 1: This week's top stories

Surprise performance by Julia Stiles on "Saturday Night Live." Southwest Airlines celebrated for seat policy. New laws taking effect on Jan. 1 in Minnesota. Here are the top stories from Dec. 9-15. 

1. Julia Stiles performs 'Save the Last Dance' routine in surprise 'SNL' cameo

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Adam Driver, Olivia Rodrigo" Episode 1851 -- Pictured: (l-r) Anchor Colin Jost, Chloe Fineman, surprise guest Julia Stiles, and anchor Michael Che during Weekend Update on Saturday, December 9, 2023 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NB

Julia Stiles, 42, made a surprise appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and re-created her iconic routine from her 2001 film "Save the Last Dance." 

The actress made her cameo appearance during the "Weekend Update" desk segment with cast member Chloe Fineman, who she shared "intimate gift ideas" for the holidays. 

To watch the performance, click here

2. Southwest Airlines celebrated for policy to give a full row to 'passengers of size' for free

File photo Southwest Airlines. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Southwest Airlines is being celebrated by some on social media for their seat policy. 

The airline offers free additional seats to larger passengers who "encroach" past the armrest. Passengers who purchase a ticket can speak with an agent at the gate to see if they need a second or third seat, which is complimentary, according to their policy. 

To learn more, click here

3. New laws taking effect in Minnesota on Jan. 1, 2024

The Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. (FOX 9)

It’s almost time to ring in the New Year, and there are a few laws in Minnesota that are going into effect along with it. 

During the 2023 legislative sessions, several new laws were passed and signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz. While many went into effect throughout the year, some new laws go into effect in Minnesota on Jan. 1, 2024. 

Some of the laws include earned sick and safe time, closing the gender and racial pay gap, minimum wage increases and the "red flag" law. 

To see the full list, click here.  

4. 8 arrested after rush-hour protest on I-94 brings traffic to a halt in Minneapolis


A protest Monday evening during rush hour brought traffic to a halt in Minneapolis along Interstate 94 at the Lowry Tunnel.

Cameras show the trouble began with a convoy on I-394 around 5 p.m. As the vehicles slowly rolled onto the highway, traffic quickly backed up. It appears the vehicles moved to I-94 where traffic crawled to a stop in the Lowry Tunnel.

Minnesota State Patrol said eight people were arrested during the protest for offenses ranging from obstructing the legal process to fleeing police.

5. Departing Bemidji postal worker documents overwhelming package volume

Long, unpaid hours and a toxic work environment are crushing employees at the Bemidji post office, according to a longtime carrier who quit last week. 

With his help, FOX 9 got a rare peek inside the Bemidji office to see the conditions for workers this holiday season.

The worker broke policy by documenting the package overload inside the office, and he quit before he got fired for it. He says half of Bemidji’s 16 carriers have quit, and staffing was already a problem.

To read more, click here

6. Fatal St. Paul police shooting: Bodycam footage released

The St. Paul Police Department released bodycam footage from the police shooting in which an officer was injured, and the suspect was struck in the head and later died.

The footage is from Officer Michael Tschida's bodycam and in-car camera while responding to a violation of an order for protection call, which resulted in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Brandon Daleshaun Keys.

To read more about the incident, click here

7. Loring Park cashier found impaled with golf club in deadly attack at grocery store

Police arrested a man after a well-known cashier was found impaled with a golf club in a brutal attack at a Loring Park grocery store Friday afternoon. 

The Minneapolis Police Department said just before 1 p.m., officers responded to a stabbing at Oak Grove Grocery and found a 66-year-old man with a "golf club impaled through his torso" behind the counter. 

After a six-hour standoff, the suspect was arrested and later charged

8. Marvin Haynes' conviction vacated in 2004 Minneapolis flower shop murder

A judge has vacated the first-degree murder conviction for Marvin Haynes, who was sentenced to life in prison for a 2004 murder at a Minneapolis flower shop. 

Hennepin County Judge William Koch on Monday morning signed an order vacating Haynes' conviction in the slaying of Randy Harry Sherer at Jerry's Flower Shop. Haynes, who was 16 at the time of the 2004 crime, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2005.

9. How to get an Uber or Lyft is changing at MSP Terminal 1

File photo Uber and Lyft logos. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The Uber and Lyft pick-up area at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has changed locations, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) announced Monday. 

MAC says it has moved the pick-up area at Terminal 1 down one level to double the amount of vehicle space. 

No changes were announced to rideshare pick-up at Terminal 2. 

10. Why is it snowing around Burnsville?

If you are driving on Interstate 35 near Burnsville on Monday morning, you probably noticed the snow falling. For the rest of the metro, there's nothing brewing. Why is this? 

Well, as Cody Matz explains, it has to do with the snow-making machines at Buck Hill and perfect weather conditions. 

To learn more about how this mini snowstorm occurred, click here