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Judge grants public access to most Damond trial evidence

Plus: St. Paul employers violating sick-time ordinance; Walz signs opioids bill; Great Lakes at record levels; and more.

Justine Ruszczyk Damond
Justine Ruszczyk Damond
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Some sunlight. The AP reports (via KSTP): “A judge is granting access to most of the exhibits from the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer who shot an unarmed woman in 2017. … Judge Kathryn Quaintance ruled Wednesday that she would allow the media and public to make copies of most exhibits. The exceptions are five body camera videos that show Damond’s final moments. Copies of those items will be allowed after graphic material is redacted.”

Not following the rules. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo reports: “On Wednesday, a Minneapolis-based labor advocacy organization held a speak-out at St. Paul City Hall, highlighting the cases of 14 fast-food workers who said they had been denied sick pay by the city’s private employers. Organizers said the incidents occurred at nine stores, including a Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s, Jimmy John’s and multiple McDonald’s. … The St. Paul City Council approved the citywide earned sick and safe time mandate in 2016, and the law went into effect in the summer of 2017. Since then, the mandate has been tested more than once, triggering investigations by the city’s department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO).”

One thing that got done on time. MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports:Gov. Tim Walz has signed a bipartisan bill aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic in Minnesota. … Walz says the compromise bill ‘will help more families access the treatment they need and prevent addiction in the first place.’ … The bill imposes sharply higher registration fees on drugmakers and distributors to raise around $21 million annually. Part of the money would go for grants to fund prevention strategies to reduce opioid deaths and overdoses.”

Our lakes overfloweth. The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “Three of the five Great Lakes are at or above record high water levels for May and the other two are getting close as a winter of heavy snow and a spring of heavy rains continues to flow downstream. And with wet weather now expected to continue for at least the short term, new all-time record lake levels are possible in late summer or early fall when the lakes hit their usual yearly peaks.”

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Horrific. The Star Tribune’s Chao Xiong reports: “A Minneapolis man allegedly used cocaine and marijuana before he crashed into another vehicle and slammed into a bus shelter, badly injuring three people. … Michael W. Boucher, 40, was charged Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court with three counts of criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm. He was driving with a revoked license at the time of the collision.”

Weird. KMSP’s Rob Olson reports: “A worrisome find near a very popular Minneapolis dog park led to a warning for dog owners. … A pair of spikes were found stuck in the ground a bit off the main path at Minnehaha Park. It’s hard to say if they were intended to hurt a dog, but the Minneapolis Park Board isn’t taking any chances. … A woman found the spikes Tuesday afternoon while walking her dog near a fence line at the park. The two spikes were stuck in the ground — one with a metal spike strapped to the end.”

In other news …

All wet:Lac qui Parle County flood damage tops $1 million” [West Central Tribune]

After teacher racist-language incident:Highland Park High School students planning walkout” [KARE]

Projections weren’t mere flights of fancy:Airport on course for steady growth” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Odd choice:Trump creep Seb Gorka invited to be least human thing at Minnesota Zoo” [City Pages]

Who knew:The hottest city in the Twin Cities metro area is … Blaine?” [City Pages]

Maybe too hot though:Early Morning Fire At Blaine Business Under Investigation” [WCCO]

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Good for bars, not so much eyeglasses:Allianz Field’s Neighboring Businesses Give It Mixed Reviews” [WCCO]

Deer not ticketed:

Deer on the lam:Deer make a break at Nicollet farm” [Mankato Free Press]

Fawns rescued:Firefighters use CPR after newborn fawns pulled from a creek” [MPR]

Might not have the chance again for a while:Football: U of M to tour Minnesota with Paul’s Axe” [Brainerd Dispatch]

Congratulations:Finalists named for Princess Kay of the Milky Way” [Morrison County Record]

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Finally getting to the bottom of this:Who has more lakes: Minnesota or Wisconsin?” [Politifact]

Maybe if it warms up a little:It’s patio season! Here’s the 2019 guide to our favorites in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro” [Pioneer Press]

Woolly cool:Photos: MN Zoo offering llamas unleashed (and leashed, if you want)” [MPR]

How much wild-rice hotdish can someone eat? Tower’s going to find out:Top eaters face off over hotdish in June competition” [Duluth News Tribune]