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Noor sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison

Plus: VTRS to replace MNLARS; neighbors complain about property maintenance on house owned by St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter; social media posts spark conversations about race in Owatonna; taser use down by Twin Cities police forces; and more.

Mohamed Noor
Mohamed Noor
REUTERS/Adam Bettcher

Well there it is. WCCO reports:Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor will spend 12 and a half years in prison for the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. … On Friday morning, the judge brought down the sentence for Noor’s charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in connection to the July 2017 death of Ruszczyk Damond.”

Hopefully this one goes a little smoother. MPR’s Tim Pugmire writes: “It’s goodbye MNLARS and hello VTRS. Pronounced VIT-russ, it stands for Vehicle Title and Registration System. … No matter what you call it, it’s been expensive. Taxpayers have spent more than $100 million over the past decade on MNLARS, which ran into problems as soon as it was launched two years ago. And the transportation budget bill that lawmakers passed in last month’s special session spends another $53 million and raises fees to make MNLARS go away and replace it with an off-the-shelf software package.”

Never a good look for a public official. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo reports: “Angelia McQuillan and other neighbors grew tired of the slippery snow and ice in front of the vacant property at 54 Hatch Ave. in St. Paul’s North End, so one of them took it upon himself to shovel the sidewalk. … That was March 2018. Then, in July of that year, McQuillan snapped pictures of the overgrown front and back yards, as well as the boulevard. … Adding to the frustration for some residents is the fact that the registered property owner runs City Hall.

In the New York Times, a story about race, social media and conversations set in Owatonna. John Eligon writes: “‘I knew it wasn’t O.K.,’ Kloey, 16, said. ‘I knew that for sure.’ … Late one Saturday night in February in Owatonna, Minn., Kloey posted a selfie on Snapchat with two of her friends. Kloey stuck out her tongue, Candace pursed her lips and Grace wore a wide-eyed grin. While singing along to a rap song in Kloey’s car, Grace, who is white, used a hateful racial slur for what she said was the very first time. Kloey, also white, posted the photo on Snapchat to commemorate the occasion, spelling out the slur in the caption. … The post spread quickly among Owatonna High School’s small population of black students, who had felt for years that racism had been allowed to quietly fester in their school. Not again, they said to each other in anger.”

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Not shocking. MPR’s Brandt Williams reports: “A decade ago, Minneapolis police officers used Tasers in a quarter of all use of force incidents per year, according to data from the city of Minneapolis. Now that percentage is about half that. St. Paul officers have also decreased their use of Tasers from 233 deployments in 2009 to just 38 last year.”

In other news…

Not mincing words:DNR: Essar Has No Credibility With Agency” [WDIO]

Snuffed out:Snuffy’s in St. Paul announces closing” [Pioneer Press]

That’s service:Orono Police Officer Mows Woman’s Lawn After Responding To Welfare Check” [WCCO]

How you like them apples:Univ. of Minn. awarded $100k grant to research apples for state’s cidermakers” [The Growler]

Nice:Coon Rapids man plans to use $1M lottery winnings to support his clean water nonprofit” [KSTP]

More Owatonna news:‘I’m proud to be from here’: Har Mar Superstar plays his hometown of Owatonna for the first time ever” [Current]

It ain’t right:Frank Lloyd Wright house in Minnesota dismantled and moved to Pennsylvania” [dezeen]

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At Young Joni, apparently:Where to Drink in the USA This Year” [Esquire]