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St. Anthony approves $675,000 settlement with Diamond Reynolds

Plus: Hennepin County approves changing name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska; SPCO and Minnesota Orchestra pick up Grammy nominations; accountant who stole $3.1 million from Cargill sentenced to prison; and more.

Diamond Reynolds weeping at a rally outside the Governor's Residence in August 2016.
REUTERS/Eric Miller

In the Strib, Pat Pheifer writes, “The St. Anthony City Council met behind closed doors Tuesday night to discuss ‘threatened litigation’ from Diamond Reynolds and her daughter in connection with the police shooting of Philando Castile. When they emerged 20 minutes later they quickly voted unanimously to approve a settlement agreement with Reynolds of $675,000. The payout will ‘resolve all civil litigation against the city and current and former employees and opens the door to healing,’ said Mayor Jerry Faust after the vote.”

Cornish out. Says the AP: “Rep. Tony Cornish submitted his resignation letter Monday evening to Gov. Mark Dayton. The Vernon Center lawmaker had represented his southwestern Minnesota District for eight terms and became the face of efforts to expand gun rights at the Capitol.Cornish was accused of making unwanted advances on several women. A female lobbyist said he repeatedly propositioned her for sex and once pushed her into a wall while trying to kiss her. His resignation was part of an agreement with the lobbyist to avert a potential lawsuit.”

Also in police work. Says Nathan Bowe for the Forum News Service, “A small town police chief in western Minnesota has been sentenced on a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge, for an incident in which he helped a friend avoid a DWI after she crashed her car into a guardrail on U.S. 59. … According to court records, at about 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 25, Stacey Marie Chasensky of Blaine crashed her vehicle into a guardrail on Highway 59 north of Callaway. …  Chasensky was friends with [Callaway Police Chief Tim] Haverkamp from when they were co-workers at the casino, before he became a Callaway police officer, and she called him on his personal phone after the crash.” 

The county signs off. Says Dave Chanen in the Strib, “The Hennepin County Board on Tuesday gave final approval as expected to changing the name of Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis’ largest lake, back to its original Dakota name. The board voted 4-3 to change the name to Bde Maka Ska (pronounced beh-DAY mah-KAH skah), meaning White Earth Lake. …The proposed change now goes to state and federal agencies, which must approve it before it becomes official.”

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Ellison vs. Enbridge. Alexander Kaufman at The Huffington Post reports, “In a Tuesday letter shared with HuffPost, the progressive congressman urged the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MNPUC) to consider climate change, downstream pollution and Native Americans’ fierce opposition before voting on the final certificates needed to begin construction of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 pipeline. The state regulators are scheduled to hold a Dec. 7 hearing on the project’s potential environmental impact. A final vote is slated for April.”

Grammy contenders. In the PiPress, Ross Raihala says, “The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra picked up nominations for the 60th annual Grammy Awards, which were announced Tuesday morning. The SPCO is up for the best chamber music/small ensemble performance award for the group’s recording of Franz Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ featuring violinist and artistic partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The Minnesota Orchestra and conductor Osmo Vanska will compete in the best orchestral performance category for the orchestra’s recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.”

But did she buy a boat? According to the AP, “An accountant who admitted to stealing $3.1 million from agribusiness giant Cargill, Inc. has been sentenced to five years in prison. Diane Backis was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Albany to mail fraud and filing a false income tax return. … Federal prosecutors say Backis, 51, not only diverted customer payments to her own accounts over 10 years, but caused at least $25 million in losses to the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company.”