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Noor appears in court but enters no plea in Damond killing

Plus: Minnesota schools not regularly testing for radon; Carter launches task force to study savings accounts for St. Paul children; Cedar-Riverside to get $800,000 security upgrade; and more.

Officer Mohamed Noor
City of Minneapolis
Officer Mohamed Noor

No plea … yet. The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany reports: “Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor appeared in Hennepin County District Court Tuesday, but did not enter a plea to the charges against him in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. … Noor was charged March 20 with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the July shooting death of Damond, 40, a spiritual healer from Australia. He was fired from the department on the same day charges were announced.”

Could be a problem. KARE’s A.J. Lagoe, Jeffrey C. Kummer and Steve Eckert report: “Minnesota children, teachers and staff spend about 35 to 40 hours most weeks in school buildings across the state, many of them built on top of soil that contains some of the highest concentrations of radon in the nation. … But a KARE 11 investigation has found that most Minnesota classrooms are not routinely tested for the colorless and odorless gas, a known carcinogen that’s blamed for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year. … Why? Because unlike some other states, Minnesota schools are not required to test their buildings.”

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Never too early to start saving. The Pioneer Press reports: “St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is setting up a task force to help establish children’s savings accounts. … The 30-member group will be co-chaired by Ann Mulholland, vice president of community impact at the St. Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations, and Nichol Beckstrand, president of Sunrise Banks. Rebecca Noecker, a St. Paul city council member, will serve as a member. … The task force will handle community engagement, setting up the program and will offer funding and implementation recommendations. … Carter mentioned establishing $50 savings accounts for St. Paul children during his campaign. A number of other U.S. cities have adopted similar programs as a way to help provide college funds for children.”

Could help. The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix reports: “In the heart of Minneapolis’ Somali community, tenants of the Cedar High public housing complex gathered by the dozens Monday night to hear how the city planned to better keep them safe. … The answer: a 6-foot high fence, new key fob access and 17 security cameras. … To a standing-room-only crowd of residents, Mayor Jacob Frey, Council Member Abdi Warsame and representatives from the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority detailed their plans for an $825,000 security upgrade around the four-building complex. … The project, which will be funded through the housing authority, came in response to years of concerns from residents who say it’s been too easy for intruders to enter their community and hurt or steal from them.”

In other news…

In St. Cloud:River searched after report of man seen going under” [St. Cloud Times]

Bizarre:Two injured in ‘random’ attack outside restaurant in northeast Minneapolis” [KMSP]

Angling update:Late ice-out worries Minnesota anglers as fishing opener approaches” [AP via Pioneer Press]

Nice:Mystery benefactor returns sacred pipe tied to U.S.-Dakota war” [MPR]

Useful:List: A Guide to Midwestern Conversation” [McSweeney’s]