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Inmate charged with second-degree murder for death of corrections officer at Stillwater prison

Edward Muhammad Johnson
Minnesota Department of Corrections
Edward Muhammad Johnson

MPR’s Tim Nelson reports: “Edward Muhammad Johnson was formally charged Thursday with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Stillwater prison corrections officer Joseph Gomm. Johnson, 42, was also charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput also said Thursday he intends to take the case to a grand jury, which is required for first-degree murder charges in Minnesota.”

Seems like a really wise use of city resources. KMSP-TV story says, “A contract obtained by KSTP details the agreement between the city of Minneapolis and an outside consultant to investigate the leak of a draft report that alleged Minneapolis Police Department officers repeatedly asked medics to sedate people with ketamine. According to the contract, Minneapolis will pay NeuVest $275 an hour to conduct ‘neutral workplace investigation.’ The firm’s compensation is not to exceed $100,000, the contract states.”

Feeling less north-y: For MPR, Cody Nelson writes, “Everywhere in Minnesota’s feeling the effects of climate change. And the warming climate affects each of those places a bit differently. Northern Minnesota’s Lake Superior shoreline is no exception. … Big rains and snowstorms are getting larger, and more frequent. Ask North Shore residents and they’ll probably tell you it’s getting wetter. There’s data to back it up, too.”

At the PiPress, Tad Vezner says, “The CenturyLink vendor responsible for a major 911 outage in 2014 was also responsible for the multi-state disruption that led to an untold number of unanswered emergency calls Wednesday, officials said. ‘I have never in my 30 years experienced an outage such as what we experienced yesterday,’ Dana Wahlberg, director of the Department of Public Safety’s emergency communication networks division, said during a press conference Thursday.”

Al-splainingJulia Manchester for The Hill writes, “The Minnesota senator who replaced Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) last year amid sexual misconduct allegations addressed Franken’s political future in the state on Thursday amid speculation he may run for office again. ‘People really like Al. It’s complicated,’ Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on ‘Rising’. … Smith said she did not want to speculate on Franken’s next career move. ‘That is totally up to Al,’ she said. ‘I trust him to make the best decisions for himself … .”

A bone to pick. WCCO’s John Lauritsen reports: “The head of the St. Paul police union says new K-9 restrictions are putting officers’ lives in danger. City leaders put tighter rules in place after a dog bit an innocent bystander last month. … But while [police federation head Dave] Titus doesn’t mind a closer look at policy, he doesn’t want K-9 officers handcuffed in the meantime. … Which is why he wrote a letter to Chief Todd Axtell, asking him to lift a temporary amendment that limits when K-9’s can be used. He said recent cases have highlighted the need for patrol dogs. … Chief Axtell’s office declined to comment on the union’s letter and the new K-9 restrictions.”

But it’s so inviting. The Strib’s Janet Moore writes: “Work has begun on a $25 million renovation of the Mall of America transit station — the busiest transit hub in the state. The station serves as the terminus for the Blue Line light rail and Red Line bus-rapid transit service, as well as several bus lines. It is the facility’s first major renovation in 25 years, although a more-modest upgrade was done in 2004 when the Blue Line began service.”

In the PiPress Sarah Horner writes, “A rabbi at a Jewish learning center in Minneapolis is among those implicated in a metro-area law enforcement sting aimed at combating the online solicitation of sex with children. Aryeh Cohen, 44, of St. Louis Park, was among those arrested along with several others in the undercover operation, which was carried out in the lead-up to the Super Bowl at various locations around the metro, including North St. Paul, criminal charges say.”

All those Penny’s add up. At City Pages Emily Cassell says, “[Interior style has]  helped turned Penny’s — both the Washington Avenue flagship and its Linden Hills sibling — into two of Minneapolis’ most popular coffee shops. And they’re about to get a whooole lot of company. ‘We’d like to roll out a handful of new cafes in the near-term,’ [CEO Ben] Hertz says. That means maybe two by next summer, a few over the coming years—and eventually? ‘I don’t know! It’s more than one and less than 100.’”

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