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Dayton says proudest accomplishments came late in career

Plus: DFL control of House could open door for gun-control legislation; Iowa poll good for Klobuchar’s presidential aspirations; new protocols for officers in Minnesota responding to sexual assaults; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs

From the AP: “Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton says his proudest accomplishments in his 40 years of politics came late in his career: restoring state government to financial health and funding all-day kindergarten. ‘Being governor is where I’ve have accomplished the greatest good for Minnesota,’ Dayton said in an interview with The Associated Press. Now getting ready to ‘sashay into the sunset,’ Dayton said his two terms as governor contrasted with his frustrating single term in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2007.”

Also for the AP, Steve Karnowski says, “A shift in the balance of power at the state Capitol has boosted the odds of lawmakers passing bills to reduce gun violence. The Democratic takeover of the Minnesota House includes many freshmen who support tougher gun laws. The Senate, where the GOP maintains a one-vote majority, remains a question mark. But the chamber’s top Republican, Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, has signaled some openness to discussing gun proposals that got blocked in previous sessions.”

The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick reports: “On Monday, Minnesota lawmakers got an update on an explosive allegation in May that a state child care program might have been defrauded to the tune of $100 million to fund Islamic terrorists. Did that really happen? We still don’t know yet. That was the bottom line Monday morning as the Legislature’s lead investigator briefed state House members.”

The Star Tribune’s Emma Nelson writes: “Campaign season has begun in St. Paul, where the entire City Council is up for re-election in 2019 and Council Member Dan Bostrom’s retirement has opened his East Side seat for the first time in more than 20 years. … Council President Amy Brendmoen, Council Vice President Rebecca Noecker and Council Members Jane Prince, Dai Thao, Chris Tolbert and Mitra Jalali Nelson are all running for re-election.”

KSTP-TV reports: “City council members in St. Louis Park have voted to temporarily stop enforcing part of a controversial city ordinance that forced landlords to evict tenants from their homes. … The decision comes after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation found under the ordinance, police were ordering landlords to force people from their homes, even though they were never convicted, charged or, in several cases, accused of a crime.

In Politico, Natasha Korecki says, “Sen. Amy Klobuchar is suddenly attracting the notice of potential Iowa caucus-goers, according to a new poll where the Minnesota Democrat pulled in 10 percent — placing her fourth in a crowded Democratic presidential field. Former Vice President Joe Biden led the field with 30 percent saying he was their top pick for president, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders with 13 percent and Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who captured 11 percent.”

Says Brandon Stahl in the Star Tribune, “Law enforcement officers responding to sexual assaults in Minnesota would be expected to follow strict new protocols — including the best ways to gather evidence and interview victims — under a draft policy prepared for the state’s police licensing board. The model policy could be sent to all of Minnesota’s 400-plus law enforcement agencies as soon as next month.”

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A Forum News Service story says, “The Chippewa County attorney’s office does not believe criminal charges are warranted against Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher based on an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension into his alleged social media correspondence to a woman who sought a restraining order against him. … Christopher, 47, has been on medical leave since the court granted a restraining order Nov. 15. An 18-year-old woman obtained the order after alleging that he had sent her hundreds of messages, some of a sexual nature.”

The Duluth News Tribune, “Firefighters responded to a large fire on Monday afternoon at a defunct grain elevator in Superior. Formerly the Globe Elevators, the fire was located at 2 Banks Ave., in Superior adjacent to the operational General Mills elevators. Large flames and smoke plumes were visible from places throughout the Twin Ports, blowing the trail of smoke northeast for all to see.”