Willmar man charged for anti-Muslim conduct claims free speech

The GleanWell, it’s an argument. The West Central Tribune’s Anne Polta reports: “The actions may have been offensive, but a Willmar man argues he should not face prosecution for leaving a pig’s foot at a Somali booth at a farmers market this past summer. … The attorney for Joseph Fernkes is challenging the constitutionality of the disorderly conduct charge filed against him, saying Fernkes was exercising his right to free speech. … At a brief hearing Tuesday before Judge Michael Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court, the state was given until Oct. 31 to file a response to a motion for dismissal of the case.”

There’s money in it for them, too. The Star Tribune’s Mila Koumpilova reports: “The Freeborn County jail sent some local inmates to other counties to free up space for immigration detainees this summer. Sherburne County is working on a plan to house more inmates two to a cell. … The five Minnesota jails that house immigration detainees have seen those populations grow markedly in 2017 amid the Trump administration’s tighter enforcement. Through August of this year, the five jails together housed an average of 577 immigration inmates per month, after averaging about 360 detainees per month over the past two years. Meanwhile, even as deportations nationally slowed, their pace increased out of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s St. Paul office.

More of a Great thing. The Star Tribune’s Pam Louwagie writes: “Wayne Jensen sat on his narrow strip of Lake Superior shoreline last month, listening to waves crash against his small cliff and soaking in the scent of woods near Port Wing, Wis., his frequent escape from the bustle of his home in Minneapolis. … Just then, he watched a piece of his paradise disappear. A chunk of land about 15 feet long and about 6 feet wide slid into the big lake, trees and all, as he sat nearby. … With Lake Superior just 2 inches short last month of its record high water level, it wasn’t the first chunk of Jensen’s shoreline to erode recently. And if the gales of November come early, before the water level has a chance to go down as it typically does this time of year, the devastation could be widespread, Jensen and others worry.”

Businesses can’t compel staff not to be assholes. MPR’s Bob Collins reports: “A divided Minnesota Supreme Court today upheld a waiter’s court victory over the restaurant owner who fired him because he wouldn’t share his tips with the workers who clean tables. … Todd Burt was fired by Bunny’s Bar and Grill in St. Louis Park in July 2014 after he was told by his supervisor to share the tips with people clearing his tables. Burt claimed sharing the tips violated state law.”

In other news…

Makes a pretty strong case: “‘Duck, Duck, Gray Duck’ Isn’t Just A Stupid Regionalism, It’s A Better Game” [Deadspin]

Paulsen more conservative than he lets on? “The Cowardly Lion: Minnesota needs a hero. It has Erik Paulsen instead.” [City Pages]

Disappointing: “St. Paul Winter Carnival’s Super Bowl ice palace canceled” [Pioneer Press]

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