Minnesota police departments can’t make body cam footage private

MinnPost photo by Bill Kelley

No authority, for the moment. Says Brian Bakst of the AP: “Minnesota police departments lost their bid Monday to classify most body-camera footage as private. The commissioner for the Department of Administration rejected a request to temporarily wall off the data until state lawmakers pass body-camera regulations. A coalition of police departments had sought the data lockdown to avoid having to release footage they say could infringe on privacy of people officers interact with.”

Does shuffleboard have a pro league? If it does they too might get a check from Minnesota. Says Pat Kessler at WCCO-TV, “The Ryder Cup is among the most watched sporting events in the world. It’s broadcast to 160 countries over five days, with at least 500 million viewers. Governor Mark Dayton says he’ll ask the Legislature next year for Ryder Cup funding to cover traffic costs, law enforcement overtime pay and showcase Minnesota. ‘It’s just a huge event nationally and internationally. Worldwide, probably second only to the Super Bowl in terms of national and international attention so it’s a very big deal and a great honor for Minnesota,’ Dayton said.” Just like the NFL. Only bigger!

What took them so long? For the Strib, Lisa Brock writes, “Might Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’ reality television franchise already be too over the top to make a good subject for a parody? Apparently not, according to ‘The Realish Housewives of Edina: A Parody,’ currently running at New Century Theatre. … As the host, Adan Varela presides over his bevy of ‘housewives’ like a piranha scenting blood. Over the course of 90 minutes, he steers the ladies through reminiscences and re-enactments of the highs and lows of living the beautiful life at 50th and France. One of the more hilarious segments involves the women attending a fundraiser for the victims of ‘Kurain,’ which is variously identified as a country, a hurricane and a serial killer.’ 

Sleep easy tonight. The soybeans are coming in just fine. The AP says, “Minnesota’s soybean harvest is 34 percent complete, 10 days ahead of last year and five days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition is rated 79 percent good to excellent. Farmers are starting to harvest corn for grain throughout Minnesota. Sixty-seven percent of the state’s corn acreage was mature, 10 days ahead of last year and two days ahead of average.”

Hail the locavores! At WCCO-TV, Angela Davis says, “As part of National Farm to School Month, Minnesota encouraging more farms and schools to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to the cafeteria. The state is even offering grant money to get things started. … The state has $500,000 set aside for the farm-to-school grant program this year. And the Center for Prevention of Blue Cross Blue Shield is offering an additional $125,000 in funding.”

In precious Second Amendment rights news, Dave Chanen of the Strib says, “A small BB gun found in a felon’s car is considered a firearm and will keep him in prison for several more years, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday. Since 1977, the state’s two appellate courts have defined a BB gun as a firearm for various crimes, such as drive-by shootings and other acts of violence.”

It seems he’s well enough to schmooze. The AP says, “The Dalai Lama plans a private audience with members of Minnesota’s Tibetan community on Wednesday in the same city where he has been receiving medical attention since last week. The 80-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader has been at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for what his representatives have called a routine checkup. He canceled his U.S. appearances for October after Mayo doctors advised him to rest.”

The for-profit college thing has been such a big hit religious leaders are concerned about for-profit prisons. On The Uptake, Mike Mcintee says, “Religious leaders are wary that Minnesota is going to start paying corporations again to imprison people — a disproportionate number of them minorities. Doing so, says Rev. Grant Stevensen of ISAIAH is comparable to ‘government sponsored human trafficking.’ The group held a prayer vigil before the first meeting of Minnesota’s Prison Population Task Force which is discussing solutions to Minnesota’s prison overpopulation problem. Minnesota is using county jails to house more than 500 inmates because the state prisons are full. One possible solution ISAIAH is against is re-opening a long-shuttered prison in Appleton, Minnesota owned by the for-profit Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).”

Given the amount of corporate espionage and reverse engineering that goes on in the auto industry what are the chances VW is alone in this scam? Matt Sepic of MPR says, “Volkswagen is facing a mountain of litigation and possible criminal penalties after the company admitted its engineers programmed 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide to cheat on emissions tests. In the U.S., that affects 482,000 VW owners, including many in Minnesota. The owners are demanding answers.”

For some cold water … or clouds … on the state’s solar initiative, check out Tom Steward at Watchdog.com. “First year results from a Twin Cities solar power demonstration project show Minnesota’s moody meteorology makes the sun a relatively unpredictable source of electrical generation, but the fluctuation doesn’t appear to faze the state’s booming solar industry. A state mandate requires investor-owned utilities to generate 1.5 percent of electrical power from solar by 2020, one way or another. … GRE recorded ideal weather conditions — clear, sunny days from sun-up to sunset — just 10 percent of the time. Surprisingly, none of the perfect days came during typically sunnier, summer months.”

Muskie monsters! MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports, “For 37 years, the DNR has stocked Pelican [Lake] with small muskie, helping turn the lake into a kind of muskie paradise. A cousin of the northern pike, the muskellunge has a passionate following among anglers. Muskie grow slowly, but 48-inch catches are not uncommon and Pelican has a reputation as a trophy lake. Majkrzak and other lake homeowners, however, say it’s gone too far. The stocked muskie grow into monsters that eat all the food and damage the walleye fishery, he says. Many of his neighbors agree.”

Also at MPR, Riham Feshir says the drones are getting the call. “The Minnesota Department of Transportation could soon fly drones over and under bridges to gather close-up imagery of structural flaws during its annual inspection period. MnDOT started a two-phase study this summer to determine if unmanned aerial vehicles could do the job cost-effectively. The first phase found the technology was able to gather the same data as traditional methods of inspections from the ground using trucks, ladders and lifts.”

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