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Family of Philando Castile asks for federal investigation into death

Plus: fate of downtown Minneapolis Macy’s unclear; Judge approves plan to sell some of Prince’s property; state offers scholarships to address teacher shortage; and more.

Diamond Reynolds weeps at a rally outside the Governor's Residence after she recounts the incidents that led to the fatal shooting of her boyfriend, Philando Castile, by St. Anthony police officers.
REUTERS/Eric Miller

Taking it up the ladder. The AP says, “The family of a black man fatally shot by a suburban Minneapolis police officer is seeking a federal investigation into his July death, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press on Thursday. An attorney for Philando Castile’s family asked the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an independent investigation, saying the family believes criminal charges should be filed and that Castile was racially profiled. In the letter dated Aug. 2, attorney Glenda Hatchett tells U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that ‘we do not believe that local law enforcement authorities will provide a fair and impartial review.’”

Odds are they won’t all survive. Says Martin Moylan for MPR, “Macy’s announced Thursday that it plans to close about 100 stores next year, but the retailer isn’t saying which ones will be shut down. Local commercial real estate firms say they haven’t heard how the 11 Minnesota stores may fare. Past remarks by Macy’s officials suggest  the downtown Minneapolis store would likely survive, said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. ‘They considered it one of their four legacy  stores along with San Francisco, Chicago and New York’, he said. ‘So, that was good company to be in. But beyond that, I really haven’t heard anything about sales performance or what they’re thinking.’”

Well, if you guys aren’t going to kick anything into the pot why should we? P.J. Johnson for WCYB-TV out east reports, “Since 1974, the Minnesota Twins have been sending players to Elizabethton to play in the Appalachian League. … Minnesota wants Elizabethton to renovate the field and they even offered to pay a third of the estimated $1.8 million price tag. However, when the city of Elizabethton released its 2016-17 budget, there was no money for renovation.  And at Thursday’s city council meeting, a letter was presented. It’s from Dave St. Peter, the president of the Minnesota Twins. In the letter, he says Minnesota is withdrawing its offer to pay one-third of the cost. St. Peter goes on to say, he wants to see what the city council comes up with, and have a better understanding of the project before committing any money.” What century are those people living in? Not funding a stadium?!

Beyond parody: From WCCO-TV: “Ice cream is the food of the gods. There, we said it! And although advances in modern refrigeration ensure that we can enjoy this delectable treat 365 days a year, summertime is always the optimal season for ice cream pleasing. Natalie Nyhus reached out to our viewers and online readers for their picks for the Best Ice Cream in Minnesota, and she has narrowed them down to these four options.” I’ll check again, maybe it’s an I-Team investigation.

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For the Forum News Service , Mike Nowatzki tells us, “The number of abortions performed in North Dakota last year dropped to the lowest level in at least 35 years, which the director of the state’s lone abortion clinic attributes to better availability and insurance coverage of contraceptives. The Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo performed 1,166 abortions last year, down from 1,264 in 2014, according to the state Department of Health, which began tracking abortion statistics in 1981. The previous low was 1,182 abortions in 2013, while the high was 3,076 in 1982.”

Also from NoDak and the Forum folks, Archie Ingersoll writes, “Mayor Tim Mahoney and Commissioner Tony Gehrig disagree over whether city leaders should have given FedEx a 10-year property tax exemption worth $618,000. But the two agree on one thing: If a business doesn’t need a tax incentive, they shouldn’t get it. … Last month, the Fargo City Commission voted 3-2 to grant a tax incentive for a new FedEx facility. And Gehrig was one of the commissioners opposed to the deal, saying it wasn’t needed after a FedEx official told commissioners the facility would move here regardless.” But hey, if you’ve got $600k lying around doing nothing … .

Who would you, savvy GOP voter, write a check to? Brian Bakst at MPR says, “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose awkward relationship has been one of the 2016 campaign’s story lines, are due in Minnesota on the same day for fundraising events. Trump has a high-dollar fundraiser in the state scheduled for Aug. 19. But it’s not yet known if there will be a public rally associated with it. An invitation obtained by MPR News shows Ryan is also touching down in Minnesota that evening to raise money for 8th Congressional District GOP candidate Stewart Mills. A separate invite, also obtained by MPR News, says Ryan will host a fundraiser for Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen on Thursday morning.”

Speaking of check books, Matt Sepic at MPR says this: “A Carver County judge on Thursday gave the trust overseeing Prince’s assets approval to sell some of the late pop star’s real estate. Prince’s Paisley Park complex is not on the list of 15 properties estate managers want to liquidate. Most of the properties are in Prince’s home town of Chanhassen and include homes, vacant lots, and a small commercial building estimated to be worth $22 million. The priciest is a 156-acre plot on the shores of Lakes Ann and Lucy that the Carver County assessor’s  office values at $13.7 million.”

Ok, so let’s get rolling. Dan Kraker at MPR says, “After a year of layoffs and mine closures in northeast Minnesota that occurred while the U.S. steel industry grappled with a historic downturn, the Iron Range celebrated a piece of good news Thursday. Gov. Mark Dayton and other state leaders were on hand as Cliffs Natural Resources broke ground on a $65 million expansion at its United Taconite plant in Forbes. The upgrades will allow Cliffs to produce a new specialty iron ore pellet it calls the ‘Mustang’ pellet, which will supply North America’s largest steel blast furnace at the Indiana Harbor facility outside Chicago, operated by the steelmaker Arcelor Mittal.”

The Real ID thing just never quits. At KSTP-TV Josh Rosenthal says, “It’s a debate that’s raged in Minnesota for nearly a decade, but until recently, a lack of REAL ID Act compliance by the state of Minnesota had little consequence. Now, more and more military families are finding out their driver’s licenses don’t have the needed security features to get them on military bases to visit loved ones.”

It’s called an incentive. Taylor Nachtigal at the Rochester Post-Bulletin says, “There’s a teacher shortage in Minnesota, and the state is hoping a little help with student loans will encourage them to stay in areas that are struggling to keep teachers. The Legislature is offering scholarships to teachers with degrees in areas like early childhood special education, elementary education and other specialized instruction areas often struggling to recruit and retain teachers. … The plan, according to Megan FitzGibbon, manager of state scholarship programs for the Office of Higher Education, is to award a few more than 1,000 scholarships. She estimates the awards will total about $1 million.”