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Minneapolis landlords organize against proposed tenant-screening ordinance

Plus: More married couples taking in renters to help cover costs; Minneapolis walks back segregated staff-meeting plan; Sherburne County bids to take more ICE detainees; Stauber lauds USDA grant to Lake Country Power; and more.

South Mpls apts
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
So this is what those “safe and affordable” signs mean. City Pages’ Hannah Jones reports: “A group of landlords gathered together on the corner of Blaisdell Avenue and West 26th Street. They carried colorful signs that read ‘Safe and affordable neighborhoods Minneapolis,’ and they were marshalled by Nichol Beckstrand, president of the Minneapolis Multi-Housing Association. … The association’s concern was a new Minneapolis City Council proposal that, they argue, could put renters and managers in danger. It’s an ordinance championed by Council Members Lisa Bender and Jeremiah Ellison, and it could change the way landlords are allowed to screen potential tenants. … If this ordinance becomes law, landlords would no longer be allowed to turn applicants away because they were convicted of a felony… if that conviction took place more than five years ago. The same goes for misdemeanors more than two years old, and arrests that never resulted in convictions.”

Sign of a healthy economy. The Star Tribune’s Kevyn Burger writes: “Like a lot of married couples, Meghan McManus and Aaron Albee like to wind down after a long day, curling up on the sofa with their pets, a cocktail and a Netflix drama. … Sometimes, when they’re watching a particularly suspenseful screen scene, the mood is broken by a loud laugh coming from their basement. … That would be their roommate, Tony Cola, who, when he’s unwinding after a long day, turns to comedies. … Getting married used to mean being done with roommates and building a nest with a beloved. But today, more couples — and not only young ones — are looking to others to help them pay the mortgage or make the rent.

Some issues aren’t just black and white. City Pages’ Hannah Jones again: “The city of Minneapolis’ racial equity coordinators plan to discuss some meaty topics with city staff this summer, including race, oppression, and the struggle for freedom. … According to a post on the city’s website — which has since been removed — the original idea was to hold the discussions in groups segregated by black and white. Organizers planned on talking with black staff members and white staff members separately. … Talks for ‘white bodied’ and ‘black bodied’ staff were supposed to take place at the same time in separate locations throughout the summer.”

Well, that’s one population-growth strategy … MPR’s Kirsti Marohn reports:Sherburne County is proposing to expand its jail to provide space for up to 500 immigration detainees, an increase from the 300 beds it currently provides for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. … The county sent the preliminary proposal in response to ICE’s request for additional detention space within 100 miles of its St. Paul field office at Fort Snelling, county officials confirmed. … ICE’s deadline for proposals was May 20. It’s not clear when the federal agency will decide whether to pursue them.”

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The power of government. The Brainerd Dispatch says: “Friday, May 31, the office of Congressman Pete Stauber, R-Duluth, announced Lake Country Power will receive $52 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. … According to a news release, this investment will be used to finance 1,400 new consumer connections, build and improve 249 miles of line, and invest $17 million in smart grid technologies across Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. Lake County Power provides service to approximately 49,000 customers across 8,319 miles of line in Koochiching, Carlton, St. Louis, Cass, Aitkin, Lake, Itasca and Pine counties.”

In other news …

Medicare ruling:Allina wins Supreme Court ruling on federal hospital payments” [Star Tribune]

Still really cold, though:Report: MN safest state in America” [KARE]

It’s not pronounced  “carin’ ”:Mom asks Minnesota Sen. Karin Housley to stop blaming her diabetic son for his death” [City Pages]

Bright idea:Developers hope to build solar sound barrier wall in Lino Lakes” [KSTP]

It’s good to be king:Lakeland mayor doubles down on his position, says he will fill vacant council seat” [Pioneer Press]

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Quick-growing:MN-based Bushel Boy may expand into Iowa” [KARE]

Regardless of the outcome of the case, this trike is pretty cool:Carlton County man appeals DWI charges received on motorized trike” [Duluth News Tribune]

Pop shop:A new taproom — for craft soda! — opens in Arden Hills” [Pioneer Press]

Think the house is already sold or will that happen after the book tour?