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After Trump decision, Dayton vows to honor Minnesota’s climate change commitments

Plus: Judge orders Chaska to pay damages for woman fatally shot by police; Woodbury woman admits to beating and starving nanny; ‘sex’ appears on Wisconsin water tower; and more.

Thanks, we’ll go our own way. After President Donald Trump’s decision to drop out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Josephine Marcotty of the Star Ttribune writes, “No matter the Paris Climate Agreement, Minnesota officials said Thursday that the state’s march to reducing greenhouse gas emissions will go on. … Trump’s controversial decision to pull the United States out of the global climate deal struck last year won’t change what has been slow and steady progress, state environmental officials said Thursday. The president’s decision does, however, put future climate change leadership squarely in the hands of state and local governments rather than in Washington, D.C.”

A couple pricey police actions. Says Kelly Smith of the Strib, “A judge has ordered the city of Chaska to pay $1.75 million to the family and attorney of a woman fatally shot by a police officer in 2014. A year after the shooting, the family of Dawn Pfister, 34, of Elkhorn, Wis., sued the city and officer Brady Juell in federal court, seeking more than $5 million. … Now, more than two years later, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson ordered May 23 that the city and the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust pay $1 million to Pfister’s mother, father and two children … .”

Then, Libor Jany of the Strib tells us this: “A man has sued former Minneapolis police officer Christopher Reiter for kicking him in the face during a May 2016 arrest that was captured on video and led to Reiter being charged with felony assault. The suit said Reiter’s kick left Mohamed Osman with a broken jaw, broken teeth and a brain injury after he and three other officers ordered him out of his car at gunpoint while responding to a domestic assault report in south Minneapolis.” 

Oh, and remember this one? Maureen McMullen in a Duluth News Tribune item says, “A Woodbury woman accused of subjecting a Chinese woman she hired as a nanny to slave-like conditions has pleaded guilty in federal court to furthering forced labor. Lili Huang admitted to withholding the 58-year-old woman’s passport, along with a litany of abusive tactics including beatings, starving the woman and threatening her with a knife. Woodbury police arrested Huang last year after a woman who was found wandering and crying told officers Huang thwarted her efforts to escape the abuse by traveling back home to China.”

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On Wisconsin! CNN ran with this. “A water tower in Sussex, Wisconsin is turning a lot of heads. It has the word ‘sex’ painted on it. Contractor Jesse Sheets says they were painting over the name ‘Sussex’ and had to stop after the first three letters were covered. He says most residents seem to be getting a kick out of it. ‘We kind of like the honks when they go by and a little bit of the road traffic,’ said Sheets.” What would Ted Cruz do?

Don’t tell me Best Buy is working for the Russians, too. At MPR, Martin Moylan reports, “Best Buy says a California-based privacy rights group is mistaken in suspecting there’s any investigative relationship between the FBI and the retailer. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued the U.S. Department of Justice, saying it wants information about alleged Best Buy-FBI cooperation. The issue arose in the child pornography prosecution of a California physician. The doctor’s attorney contended that the FBI used Geek Squad employees as paid informants.”

Big story in OutSports about two U of M athletes. Writes Cyd Zeigler, “The two Univ. of Minnesota Golden Gophers were both struggling on their college track teams just a couple years ago when they found the courage to come out to one another via text message. That was late in 2014 — They have been together almost since that day. … Theirs is a relationship the likes of which we are hearing about more and more, between two gay teammates. Though, they weren’t exactly teammates when they first started dating, but for that story you’ll have to read the wonderful coming-out pieces these two great guys wrote for us.”

Today in the Al Franken-Ted Cruz, uh, relationship. At Jezebel, Stassa Edwards writes, “Franken’s reputation for insulting Cruz has itself become a bit of a joke. During an appearance on Samatha Bee’s Full Frontal, Franken took turns exchanging Cruz-specific insults with the host. The insults ranged from ‘The love child of Joe McCarthy and Dracula’ to ‘a terrifying fundamentalist swamp Reagan.’” 

“Both sides at fault,” declares the Strib editorial page. “The GOP’s last-minute insertion of a clause that would defund the state revenue department — which collects and processes the funds for all of state government — unless an outsized tax bill was signed by the DFL governor was a reprehensible, cynical tactic. … That’s not a negotiating strategy — it’s bullying. Dayton bears blame as well. His threat to defund much of the legislative branch unless lawmakers agree to reopen big portions of contested bills is a back door to the renegotiations he wanted without the specter of a government shutdown.”