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Judge says St. Paul trash collection system must go on ballot

MinnPost file photo by Corey Anderson

For the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “St. Paul’s new system of organized trash collection must go to ballot for voter approval, a Ramsey County District Court judge has ordered. The decision by Judge Leonardo Castro in reaction to a lawsuit presented by opponents of the new system suspends organized trash collection in the city as of June 30, more than four months before the Nov. 5 election, and throws into question how residential garbage removal will proceed until then. St. Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen said it was too soon to tell if the city will file a legal appeal of the order or hold a special election before November to settle the issue.”

At MPR, Cody Nelson and Paul Huttner tell us, “Nathan Baring’s environmental activism traces back to February 2013. He was 13 years old. … At age 15, he became one of 21 youth plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the United States, arguing the federal government has been and continues violating constitutional rights in failing to ‘preserve a habitable climate system for present and future generations.’ ‘I saw this as one of the last major channels that I could use as a young person without the right to vote at the time, so I jumped on the opportunity,’ Baring, a student at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, said of his decision to join the suit. On Tuesday, oral arguments begin in Juliana v. United States in Portland, Ore., at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has signed a $20 billion education funding bill approved by lawmakers in last week’s special session. Walz signed the bill Thursday at Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul. The bill includes an increase in per-pupil state aid to public school districts of 2% in each year of the two-year budget. The bill also includes $47 million to preserve 4,000 state-funded pre-kindergarten seats that were due to expire, and more money for tribal schools, special education and school safety. Walz, a former teacher, said he is “proud to sign this bill to increase our investment in Minnesota’s children and improve our schools.”

In the Star Tribune, Marissa Evans says, “Minneapolis City Council members are drafting a new ordinance that would limit how landlords use criminal, credit and eviction history to screen prospective tenants. As city officials search for ways out of the affordable housing crisis, they are taking aim at a long-running point of contention in the housing debate: the tenant screening process. … But property owners say restricting their ability to screen tenants would prevent them from having enough information about potentially unsuitable applicants.”

In the Sun Current, Andrew Wig writes, “The Edina City Council granted preliminary approval May 21 for a 62-unit affordable housing complex in the city’s 70th and Cahill Area. The council unanimously approved the rezoning necessary for the construction of Amundson Flats, a four-story, 62-unit affordable housing complex planned for 7075-79 Amundson Ave., the 1.25-acre site of the former Waldorf Nevens dry cleaning facility.”

Tim Harlow of the Strib says, “Smoke from Canadian wildfires blowing into Minnesota gave the sky a hazy appearance Thursday that could continue into Friday. On the upside, the tiny particles way up in the atmosphere were expected to lead to spectacular sunsets, said Brent Hewett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. ‘Red and pink, it should be vibrant,’ Hewett said. ‘We are in for a real treat. It should be pretty spectacular.’”

In the Mankato Free Press, Kristine Goodrich reports, “A man with six prior DWI convictions allegedly was drunk and high on methamphetamine when he crashed an RV through a Blue Earth County roundabout and ran away. Mitchell Lee Schultz, 38, of Lake Crystal, was charged with felony DWI, felony and gross misdemeanor drug possession and gross misdemeanor driving after license cancellation Tuesday in Blue Earth County District Court. … Schultz claimed another person was driving and also ran away after the crash.”

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rick Romell says, “Foxconn Technology Group on Wednesday announced the award of $13 million in contracts to three firms it described as ‘outstanding Wisconsin-based companies.’ One of the firms, however, has headquarters in Connecticut, while another is part of a 44,000-employee global company headquartered in the United Kingdom. … ”

Stribber Tim Harlow says, “A pair of closures on Interstate 35W in the south metro and another on Interstate 94 in Woodbury will put motorists on detour this weekend. In the overnight hours, the State Patrol will occasionally stop traffic on I-35W in the north metro for about 15 minutes at a time to allow for overhead utility work at County Roads C and I. Drivers will also have to navigate around closures near 50th and France avenues where the Edina Art Fair takes place Friday through Sunday. Grand Old Days will take over Grand Avenue between Fairview Avenue and Dale Street on Sunday in St. Paul.”

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