Black Lives Matter plans another Mall of America protest

Photo by Elliot Malcolm
Black Lives Matter protestor Adja Gildersleve

In the PiPress, Nick Woltman saysBlack Lives Matter is heading back to the Mall of America. “For the second year in a row, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis is planning a demonstration at the Mall of America during the busy holiday shopping season. The group plans to gather in the Bloomington mall’s East Rotunda at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23, to protest the November fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, a 23-year-old black man, by Minneapolis police. … Susan Gaertner, an outside attorney for the Mall of America, said the planned protest ‘is clearly a violation of the law’ and will not be permitted, adding that the mall will clearly communicate this to Black Lives Matter.” Lawyers are already dropping the flags on their meters.

He with the Iowa mojo was in town. For the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger says, “Cruz’s Super Tuesday state tour is titled ‘Take-Off with Ted Cruz Country Christmas Tour’ and had a holiday feel in the hall. … Red Bartholomew, the man in the Santa suit, said he is a member of Overpasses for America and stands on highway overpasses with flags to share his belief in liberty, freedom and the Constitution. Cruz, he said, fits that bill. ‘He is, basically, a constitutionalist,’ he said.”

Nuke shut down. Says the AP: “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says one of the two reactors at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear plant shut down automatically after a problem developed in the unit’s turbine. NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said officials are looking into why the turbine went offline Thursday at the plant near Red Wing, Minn. After that happened, she said, fire alarms went off.”

You can go now. Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “An agreement has been reached that will allow a German-operated cargo ship to leave the Lake Superior port in Duluth, Minn., where it was detained for more than a month due to alleged environmental violations, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday. A Coast Guard spokesman, Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Yaw, said the oceangoing M/V Cornelia was making preparations to depart the port of Duluth. Yaw said he had no details of the agreement. Adele Yorde, a spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said the Cornelia should be ready to depart before noon Friday. The crew was working Thursday to resupply the ship with provisions.”

Well, it’s a step up from a Justin Bieber themed wedding. In the PiPress, Julio Ojeda-Zapata says, “Anthony Nygren proposed to his girlfriend of about of four years, Meg Thompson, in one of the nerdiest locales imaginable: at the Twin Cities’ Zombie Pub Crawl in 2014. On Thursday, for their nuptials, the couple went with a different geeky genre: ‘Star Wars.’ At the Minnesota Zoo IMAX theater, with an honor guard of ‘Star Wars’ costumers present, and immediately prior to a showing of the new film ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ the couple staged a fantastical union, with the bride’s dad as Han Solo walking her down the aisle, and Darth Vader himself as the officiant.”

It sounds like they’re holding the door open for her. At MPR, Elizabeth Baier says, “The embattled president of Rochester Community and Technical College announced her resignation in a letter to students, faculty and staff on Thursday. Leslie McClellon’s letter says she’s stepping down because the college community has been diverted from its mission by the focus on her presidency. … RCTC faculty, staff and students jointly demanded McClellon’s ouster in an open letter to the Minnesota State Colleges and University system. They cited concerns over tens of thousands of dollars spent on a centennial celebration amid a budget deficit and concerns the schools accreditation may be in jeopardy. Faculty union representative Darci Stanford said the academic staff welcomes the departure.”

The FBI SWAT team didn’t clean up after itself. For MPR Mukhtar Ibrahim says, “Adam Aded thought he’d done all he could to steer his son away from government scrutiny and from the lure of overseas extremists. Then an FBI SWAT team broke down his doors. … Aded said more than 30 law enforcement personnel came to the house, forcibly broke the doors and threw a smoke grenade inside the home. The smoke grenade left a dark burn on the house’s carpet, he said, adding that he spent about $500 to fix the back and front doors. When the SWAT team came, Aded said they handcuffed all the occupants in the house except for his 2-year-old son. The child, who has asthma, has been vomiting because of the smoke and hasn’t been sleeping well since Friday, he added.”

The best employment numbers since 2001. At the Business Journal, Jim Hammerand says, “The state’s unemployment rate dropped from 3.7 percent in October to 3.5 percent last month. The national unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent. The state has gained 32,130 jobs since November 2014, led by 12,839 new jobs in professional and business services. Government lost 3,398 jobs in that same time, the largest annual loss by any segment. Minnesota jobs increased by 1.1 percent in the past 12 months, about half the rate of the nationwide pace of 1.9 percent. ‘The state unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since March 2001,’ DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said.”

The ACLU goes wherever injustice takes it. For the International Business Times Adam Lidgett says, “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit challenging Minnesota’s ban of Medicaid coverage for transgender people for surgeries related to transitioning, the ACLU and the ACLU of Minnesota said on Thursday. According to the organization, Minnesota excludes transition-related surgery from medical coverage in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, a public insurance program for low-income Minnesota residents.”

Proceed (again) Sandpiper. Robb Jeffries of the Forum News Service says, “Now that the potential for a Minnesota Supreme Court showdown is out of the question, two proposed Enbridge oil pipelines will resume their trips through the regulatory approval journey. The state Public Utilities Commission voted Thursday to reinstate its awarding of a certificate of need to the Alberta-based pipeline company for the controversial Sandpiper project, and instructed government organizations to begin an environmental impact statement.”

In the Strib, Dave Shaffer puts it this way: “State regulators decided Thursday to take a deeper look at the environmental effects of crude oil pipelines planned across northern Minnesota. In procedural decisions on a pair of pipelines — one to deliver North Dakota crude oil, another to import Canadian crude — the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission set the stage for an expansive environmental analysis that supporters fear will delay the projects. ‘We already know it is going to be gigantic’, commission Chairwoman Beverly Jones Heydinger said of the planned environmental study.”

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