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U.S. Supreme Court rules on Minnesota drunk-driving law

Plus: scientists working to help bats beat white-nose syndrome; St. Paul’s interim superintendent; Todd Axtell sworn in as St. Paul police chief; and more. 

U.S. Supreme Court building
REUTERS/Gary Cameron

A resolution to the case of the underwear-clad boater. The AP’s Sam Hananel (via the Star Tribune) reports: “The Supreme Court on Thursday placed new limits on state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests. … The justices ruled that police must obtain a search warrant before requiring drivers to take blood alcohol tests, but not breath tests, which the court considers less intrusive. … The ruling came in three cases in which drivers challenged so-called implied consent laws in Minnesota and North Dakota as violating the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.” 

We need bats. MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports on efforts to save them: “Three years after the fungus that leads to white nose was found growing in two major Minnesota bat caves, the disease is here. State conservation officials in March confirmed that several hundred bats found dead over the winter in northern Minnesota were infected. … There is no cure. Instead, researchers at Itasca and at more than a dozen sites across the state are focused now on trying to help bats survive by understanding the summer habitat they use to reproduce and raise their young. The data will help develop ways to manage the forest, hopefully, in time to protect the threatened bats. … Bats are voracious bug eaters crucial to Minnesota’s ecosystem. A single bat can devour 1,000 insects an hour.

Meet the new boss. The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges introduces St. Paul’s temporary superintendent: “The interim superintendent is ready to work with the school board on a new direction for St. Paul Public Schools, even if he’s not convinced major changes are needed. … John Thein, 66, who retired last year as superintendent of neighboring Roseville Area Schools, praised the St. Paul district several times during a 15-minute introduction to reporters Wednesday. … ‘I think it’s a great school district with wonderful staff, committed teachers and people who really care about kids,’ he said.”

Also assuming leadership in St. Paul today: the new police chief. The Pioneer Press’ Mara H. Gottfried writes: Todd Axtell was sworn in as St. Paul’s new police chief Thursday morning, pledging to work closely with the community. … ‘I assure you that we will do everything in our power to engage our communities at historic levels, we’re going to reduce gun violence, we’re going to diversify the department and we’re going to engage all of our communities,’ Axtell said. ‘That’s what the Axtell administration will be about.’”

In other news…

St. Paul loving this: “Local Honda commercial confuses Minneapolis and St. Paul [VIDEO]” [City Pages]

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In case stadium beer wasn’t expensive enough for you already: “Which Twin Cities stadium has the best craft beer selection?” [City Pages]

Well, it’s not like there are roads for delivery trucks: “Isle Royale trails getting makeover, with help from helicopter” [Pioneer Press]

We figured a Minneapolis-based coffee shop wouldn’t get much flak for taking a public anti-Trump stance. No such luck for a Florida shop with a pretty similar name, though. [MPR]

Photos from one of Minnesota’s lesser-known zoos. [Minnesota Prairie Roots]