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Political group Wellstone Action removing Paul Wellstone’s two sons from board

Plus: St. Paul attorney who struck and killed a jogger will not face felony charges; St. Paul City Council exempts MN United matches from neighborhood noise limits; car crash in Fridley leads to attempted stabbing — and a shooting; and more. 

The GleanWellstones out at Wellstone Action. The AP’s Kyle Potter reports: “A liberal campaign organization dedicated to the late Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone is pushing out the senator’s two sons for what leaders said were differences in organizational vision. But one son countered that the board moved against them after they raised questions about possible financial issues. Wellstone Action told the Associated Press on Wednesday that David and Mark Wellstone would be voted off the governing board in coming days following what group leaders described as months of friction. … Co-founder and board member Jeff Blodgett, who was Paul Wellstone’s campaign manager, said the “necessary but sad step” of removing the brothers from the board comes after months of tension. He said the brothers have asked that the group no longer use the family name.”

No charges. The Pioneer Press’ Sarah Horner writes: “The St. Paul attorney who struck and killed a jogger in St. Paul last winter will not face felony charges. The decision comes after the Hennepin County attorney’s office reviewed evidence in the case against Peter Berge and determined the 61-year-old was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision, nor was he on his cellphone, the office reported Wednesday morning.As such, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman found Berge’s conduct not to be grossly negligent and declined to file felony charges.”

Opioid lobbyists will not be pleased. At MPR, Jon Collins has a story saying: “Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday laid out a broad plan to tackle Minnesota’s opioid crisis, including a significant increase in funding for prevention and treatment, and a penny-a-pill fee paid by drug companies to cover costs. The officials called out the pharmaceutical industry for creating the crisis, and urged drug companies to support the legislative efforts. Opioids are a family of drugs that include everything from illegal heroin to prescription painkillers like Oxycontin. At least 395 people died of opioid overdoses last year in Minnesota, which was an 18 percent increase over the previous year.” 

Stocking the bench. In the Strib, Stephen Montemayor says, “Minnesota’s chief federal judge on Wednesday welcomed the possibility of seeing the federal bench return to full strength after nearly two years of vacancies. However, speaking to a room of federal judges, prosecutors and attorneys, Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim stopped just short of naming Hennepin County Judge Nancy Brasel and attorney Eric Tostrud, nominated this week by President Donald Trump, as a tongue-in-cheek hedge against further delaying their arrivals.”

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Bring in the noise. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says, “Everyone knows soccer matches will generate some noise in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. How much noise is the question. Minnesota United recently asked the city of St. Paul to exempt regular matches at the future Allianz Field stadium under construction in the Midway from the city’s typical daytime and nighttime noise limits. After delaying a vote for a few weeks to do further research, members of the St. Paul City Council approved the request Wednesday. They said the exemption, which does not apply to concerts and fireworks, is consistent with how TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and other metro stadiums operate.”

So much for just exchanging insurance information. MPR’s Matt Sepic has this: “A multiple-vehicle crash in Fridley was followed by an attempted stabbing, then a shooting on Highway 65 Wednesday afternoon. Fridley Police Lieutenant Jim Mork said four vehicles were involved in a rear-end crash just at 4:20 p.m. A man in one of the vehicles emerged with a knife and tried to assault one of the other drivers. ‘That’s  when another man, not involved in the crash who was driving by, pulled a handgun and shot the man with the knife multiple times,’ Mork said. The man with the handgun remained on the scene and cooperated with officers when they arrived, police said. Mork said the man who was shot suffered life-threatening injuries.” 

Make America Cold Again. Maya Rao and Jim Spencer of the Strib report, “The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, is slated for elimination in the budget President Donald Trump proposed this week. Doing so would save the federal government $3.3 billion in 2019, according to the proposal — the largest single savings in the entire spending plan. … In Minnesota, about 126,000 households rely on federal heating assistance, and three-quarters of those include seniors, children under 6, or people with disabilities. The program will cost $102 million this year, a figure that has dropped from a peak of $162 million during the financial crisis but is back to roughly the same amount as a decade ago. Households qualify if they earn half or less of the state’s median income.”