Says Pat Pfeifer of the Strib, “A 40-year-old woman who family members said called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home Saturday night was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer. … The woman, Justine Damond, from Sydney, Australia, and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn. Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said.”
For MPR, Bob Collins says, “Assistant Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo confirmed that the body camera program is fully implemented in Minneapolis, but Arradondo wouldn’t say why the cameras didn’t work. In a department that increasingly struggles with credibility, one would typically hope that would be among the first questions asked of those involved.”
Plaque push-back: As Brian Bakst writes for MPR, “New biographical plaques went up this month next to portraits of all 38 past governors, paintings that had been removed during the Capitol’s recently completed $310 million restoration. None of the living former governors say they or close associates were consulted about what would be written, nor were they given an advance look at the finished product. This is the first time every portrait will include a biographical note. Previously, only deceased governors got write-ups. Now, two of those living governors are pushing back — and the Minnesota Historical Society says it’s listening to their calls for change.”
Swap. Dan Kraker at MPR writes, “Calling it a ‘very good land exchange… for the taxpayers and the citizens of our nation,’ U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Public Lands Friday in favor of a bill the 8th District DFLer authored. The legislation would authorize a federal land exchange the contentious PolyMet copper-nickel mine proposal needs in order to advance. Last January the U.S. Forest Service approved the swap which would trade 6,650 acres of federal land to PolyMet near Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes, Minn., for a similar amount of private land in northeast Minnesota.” Wait for Ted Cruz to offer an amendment to clear cut the new acreage.
The cash is beginning to move. Says David Montgomery in the PiPress, “The battle for control of Congress may run through Minnesota next year — but so far, it’s only arrived in the west metro. More than a dozen candidates for Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats raised more than $2.5 million for their 2018 campaigns in the past three months, according to reports filed this weekend with the Federal Election Commission. But the only big-dollar race so far is the west metro’s 3rd District, where incumbent Rep. Erik Paulsen and DFL challenger Dean Phillips have combined to take in more than $1 million in the last quarter.”
Face off over the Red River. The AP says, “A legal battle by North Dakota and Minnesota residents opposed to a Red River diversion project in the Fargo area has lasted nearly four years and resulted in nearly 500 court documents, with no end in sight. Both sides are expecting some clarity in the next week. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim of Minnesota will hear arguments Tuesday on whether construction of the project should be halted until the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers receive the necessary permits from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.”
Another thing ‘Murica isn’t too good at: following directions. Tim Harlow of the Strib reports on the attrition rate of light fixtures in the Lowry tunnel. “It’s getting darker inside the Lowry Hill Tunnel, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation is scrambling to find a solution. The problem is that semi-trailer trucks and other oversized vehicles have hit eight of the overhead high-pressure sodium lights used to illuminate the tunnel and damaged the fixtures that hold them in place.”