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Ilhan Omar on Coast Guard lieutenant’s ‘hit list’

Plus: man in custody after a four-hour standoff near Maplewood Mall; Twin Cities hits record for February snow; days without deliveries for some Minneapolis postal customers; and more.

Rep. Ilhan Omar
Rep. Ilhan Omar
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Rep. Ilhan Omar was on a suspected domestic terrorist’s “hit list.” At The Daily Beast, Spencer Ackerman writes, “A white-supremacist Coast Guard lieutenant is accused of stockpiling weapons, compiling a hit list of Democratic senators and left-leaning journalists and preparing for a massacre. … Specific journalists and others appear in Hasson’s search history, the filing claims, including: MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes, Joe Scarborough, and Ari Melber; Sens. Richard Blumenthal … Tim Kaine, Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker; Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Ilhan Omar; … Hasson’s arrest is likely to spark additional questions to the military about the rigor with which it screens out people with white-supremacist affiliations.”

From the Pioneer Press’ Nick Woltman: “A man is in custody after a four-hour standoff with police Wednesday night outside Maplewood Mall. Dennis Vann, 42, surrendered to police about 9:30 p.m. after authorities fired a chemical irritant into the RV he was barricaded inside, according to a news release issued by the Maplewood Police Department. Vann was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for a medical evaluation before being booked into the Ramsey County jail.”

In the Star Tribune, there is this from Stephen Montemayor: “A Minnesota legislator said Wednesday that he would introduce a proposal to toughen the penalty for falsely reporting hate crimes, citing a high-profile attack on a gay black actor in Chicago that was recently called into question. Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, described the measure, expected later this session, as ‘a reasonable step to help deter individuals from filing false police reports and to make sure that we devote law enforcement’s limited resources to investigating and prosecuting legitimate bias-motivated crimes.’”

Says Jiwon Choi at MPR, “The Twin Cities has amassed 30.4 inches of snow this month, making it the snowiest February in history. And there’s eight days left in the month with more snow in the forecast for this weekend. Wednesday’s blanket of snow helped push the metro area past the previous record of 26.5 inches recorded in 1965. Officials canceled schools — again — across the state Wednesday. For about 40 minutes Wednesday morning, fast-falling snow and low visibility forced officials to shut down runways at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”

Also in the Strib, Randy Furst writes, “In the midst of a record-breaking winter, some Minneapolis U.S. Postal Service customers say they’ve gone days without delivery to homes and businesses, while the carriers say the blame lies with a shortage of workers as much as it does with the relentless weather. … union officials representing the letter carriers say their ranks are depleted by a combination of new hires who quit, and not enough applicants to fill the vacancies. They’re also dealing with a sharp increase in the number of package deliveries that take more time.”

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Tim Pugmire at MPR says, “Minnesota lawmakers are considering higher annual fees on the owners of electric cars and new fees on hybrid vehicles. Sen. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville, is sponsoring a bill which was heard Wednesday by the Senate Transportation Committee that would raise annual fees for electric vehicles from $75 to $250. Hybrid owners would pay a new fee of $125. The aim of the measure is to offset lost gas tax revenue, which is used to fund highway projects. Howe said electric vehicle owners need to pay their fair share of the gas tax. ‘Hybrids and these electric vehicles are actually doing more damage to our roads than standard vehicles,’ Howe said.”

And one more from the Strib. This from Jeremy Olson. “College students who use marijuana regularly have lower grades — whether they think it affects them or not, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of Minnesota student survey data. … Researchers at Boynton Health, the student health service at the University of Minnesota, conducted the analysis after seeing a significant increase in marijuana use in initial data from a 2018 student survey.”

From Jay Kolls at KSTP-TV: “Minnesota Corrections Department Commissioner Paul Schnell tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his agency is reviewing and will ‘soon’ implement tougher discipline for inmates who assault prison staff. … In 2018, DOC records show there was an increase in the number of inmate assaults against corrections officers and two officers died while on the job — one at Stillwater Corrections Facility and the other at Oak Park Heights Corrections Facility.”

This from the AP, “A Wisconsin high school is ending cheerleading awards given annually to girls with the largest breasts or buttocks — dubbed ‘Big Booty’ and ‘Big Boobie’ — after the American Civil Liberties Union demanded action following repeated complaints from parents and a former coach to school and district officials. Coaches at Tremper High School in the Kenosha Unified School District give out awards each year recognizing the most improved or hardest-working cheerleaders. In at least the past two years, they have also given what they called gag awards, according to the ACLU of Wisconsin. Those awards also included one in 2018 for ‘String Bean’ — the thinnest team member.”