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Decision on charges in death of Jamar Clark expected Wednesday

Plus: Real ID measure passes in House; millions requested to fix state parks; big craft beer festival coming to Minneapolis; and more.

Jamar Clark
Credit: Kenya McKnight
Jamar Clark

Says WCCO, “Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will announce his decision Wednesday morning on whether to file charges against the two Minneapolis Police officers involved in the shooting death of Jamar Clark, sources tell WCCO.”

A $2.7 billion hangar queen. At KARE-TV Boyd Huppert says, “It all started with such promise. Military band, bottle breaking across a hull and proud Minnesotans at the christening of the Navy’s new nuclear powered attack submarine named for the North Star state. Two-and-half years later, the USS Minnesota remains docked as federal investigators explore possible charges connected to deficient parts. … This week the publication Navy Times documented the USS Minnesota debacle in an article headlined, “How shoddy parts disabled a $2.7 billion submarine.” The article cites ‘a defective elbow pipe used to funnel steam from the reactor to the sub’s propulsion turbines and generators.’  Further, the article states there is evidence of ‘jury-rigged welding’ that may have been done to make the job seem acceptable.” As far as I know no F-35 is named for our fine state.

Living in sin may cost you.  For WCCO-TV Pat Kessler says, “A Minnesota House Committee approved Tuesday a bill that could dramatically change the way some divorced spouses pay alimony. The proposed law could end permanent spousal maintenance if your ex moves in with a romantic partner. … a bill by Rep. Peggy Scott would allow a court to modify or terminate spousal maintenance if the ex is cohabitating with another person, and was awarded alimony under different circumstances.” 

The latest on the DHS estate lien flap. In the Pioneer Press, David Montgomery says, “Lawmakers from both parties banded together Tuesday to help Minnesotans hit by estate liens from the Department of Human Services. The department has long recouped the cost of care for elderly or disabled Minnesotans over 55 on Medicaid by placing claims against their estates. But since 2014, these liens haven’t affected only people in nursing homes. They’ve applied to tens of thousands of otherwise healthy adults over 55 receiving Medicaid care for routine medical expenses. … Under a slate of bills unanimously approved by a House committee Tuesday, all that would go away. Not only would DHS be barred from placing estate liens for routine Medicaid expenses, but anyone who incurred those expenses since 2014 would have their liens canceled.”

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The wish list for state park repairs is … really long. Another Forum News Service story says, “The DNR is seeking $72.5 million in its state bonding request to the Minnesota Legislature, $33 million of it to fix recreational facilities and other aging buildings across the state. … other bonding requests include:

  • $1 million for state scientific and natural areas to acquire key parcels and to develop about 200 acres of existing scientific and natural areas, including signage, fencing, removal of existing infrastructure and providing basic parking facilities. There are 163 SNAs in the state, which protect some of the rarest habitats and species in the state.

  • $2 million for reforestation on 12,500 acres of various state-owned lands, including purchasing native tree seeds and seedlings, planting, seeding, site preparation and protecting seedlings from animal browse.”

As usual, already better than average. For the Strib, Allison Sherry reports, “Minnesota already has in place about half of the recommendations the White House has asked Gov. Mark Dayton to adopt, state officials said. … White House officials asked all 50 governors to get state policies in place to help the federal government combat the rise in opioid addiction.”

Speaking of staying in step with the feds, the AP says, “An administrative law judge holds hearings Thursday on proposed revisions to Minnesota’s rules against degradation of its waters. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been working on the changes for nearly a decade. It says they provide a balanced approach for protecting water quality and sustainable economic development. It says the proposals are meant to better align the state’s rules with federal policies, and that they don’t expand the scope of the current rules or create new regulatory authority.”

Says Don Davis for the Forum News Service, “Tears flowed as Elle Williams recounted her experience with “revenge porn.” ‘My testimony will never fully allow you to feel the fear I am feeling,’ the 21-year-old Prior Lake woman Tuesday told the Minnesota House public safety committee while urging lawmakers to outlaw the practice. Williams said that two years ago, her then-24-year-old boyfriend took a video of their first sexual encounter. Two weeks ago, after they broke up, he sent her a text message saying he planned to post that video to the Internet, she said. ‘It was, and is, so very terrifying to me,’ she said. With tears flowing down her face, and admitting she was scared to be talking about the topic in public, Williams concluded with: “Please do the right thing and take action.”

Progress! An AP story says, “The Minnesota House has overwhelmingly approved a bill that sets in motion necessary upgrades to Minnesota driver’s licenses. The measure was approved in a 125-to-2 vote Tuesday night. Republican Representative Dennis Smith of Maple Grove says the bill would launch a study on how to comply with the federal Real ID Act. Upgraded licenses will be necessary to board domestic flights by October 2020.”

Has your ignition interlock been installed? WCCO-TV reminds you, “Just a few years after a swell of breweries put Minnesota on the beer map, the state is getting its own craft beer festival. On Saturday, April 23 the Minneapolis Convention Center is hosting the inaugural Minnesota Craft Beer Festival. The festival, presented by national beer magazine Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, will featured over 220 beers from over 80 breweries, local and national.” That’ll do wonders for my coaster collection.

GOP Rep. Tim Miller is in Sally Jo Sorensen’s crosshairs. On her Bluestem Prairie blog she writes, “We posted yesterday in CCA’s maximum fanboy undergoes miraculous transformation on criminal justice reform about Representative Tim Miller’s remarkable conversion this month from tweeting that criminal justice reform was crazy to telling TPT Almanac that he’s all for reform.”

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As we prepare for baseball season, ESPN slots the Twins in as Major League Baseball’s … 21st best team. Says Christina Kahrl, “The Twins have premier young talent that really should come into its own, with erstwhile right fielder Miguel Sano likely to contend for the league lead in homers in his first full season and dynamite center fielder Byron Buxton with a shot at Rookie of the Year honors. … mediocrity is what many expect to see more of this year, placing a big burden on the kids and [Byung Ho] Park to put it together quickly. Seeing Joe Mauer go back to hitting like Joe Mauer would certainly help; they haven’t seen him deliver on his franchise-player rep (and contract) since 2013.” She might want to wait and see if Byron can hit a curve ball.