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In St. Paul, Carter’s budget proposes reducing police. In Minneapolis, Frey’s proposes adding 14

Plus: Minnesota AG Ellison joins suit over federal ‘public charge’ rule; Hormel introduces pumpkin spice spam; Iowa allows sports betting; and more.

St. Paul
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Says Frederick Melo in the PiPress, “St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is proposing to reduce the number of sworn officers in the St. Paul Police Department by five while cutting the 16-week fire training academy by two weeks. Carter plans to add a $5-per-day fee to the city’s after-school ‘Rec Check’ rec center program, though students on free or reduced school lunch would be exempt. In all, some $4 million in spending reductions will impact every city department. He also is asking for a 4.85 percent tax levy increase.”

Also from St. Paul, the Star Tribune’s Emma Nelson and James Walsh report: “St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s proposed 2020 budget includes millions of dollars for local street projects, including eliminating traffic on a portion of Ayd Mill Road to make space for a dedicated bikeway. Despite $20 million for road reconstruction and resurfacing, Carter said it’s not enough to rescue the city’s crumbling streets.”

Meanwhile, Alisa Roth at MPR reports, “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey presented his proposed budget to the City Council Thursday, as protesters demonstrated against police violence in the city. … The protesters disrupted the meeting several times through the mayor’s budget speech. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo had asked for 400 new officers by 2025 in order to improve police response and reduce demands on officers dealing with more social issues.  In his budget proposal, Mayor Jacob Frey offered 14 new officers for the coming year.”

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KSTP-TV reports:Sherburne County’s push to house more immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will not move forward as planned. … The agency is seeking a detention facility within 100 miles of the St. Paul office at Fort Snelling to hold about 500 detainees in a “high, medium and low custodial setting.” Sherburne County submitted its proposal in May. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned the proposal is no longer being considered. Commissioner Tim Dolan said the county didn’t meet some of the minimum federal guidelines ….”

For MPR, Ibrahim Hirsi writes: “The Trump administration announced this week new rules that would penalize legal immigrants who rely on public benefits, but many low-income immigrants and refugees in Minnesota already started withdrawing from social welfare programs months ago, according to several nonprofits serving refugee and immigrant clients.  On Thursday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that he joined 12 other attorneys general across the country in suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over the ‘public charge’ rule.

WCCO-TV says: “Minnesotans can now add pumpkin spice spam to their list of fall-flavored foods to try this year. According to USA Today, Spam is joining the pumpkin spice trend by offering a new fall flavor of the canned meat this fall. The Hormel brand jokingly teased the pumpkin spice spam back in 2017, but this year, USA Today confirms it’s real.”

FOX 9 reports: “The Minnesota Vikings are adding a new space for children with autism, Down syndrome, and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with other conditions, to relax during games. The new room is located in the space formerly occupied by the Hennepin County Medical Center First-Aid Station on the Upper Concourse near the southwest escalator. The room is a sound-protected space with a sensory active wall display, sensory toys, low lighting, bean bag chairs, and sensory bags. A restroom is also connected to the space.”

The AP reports: “Six Iowa casinos began accepting bets on sporting events Thursday, making the state the 11th in the nation and first in the Midwest to allow such wagering. Casinos in Altoona, Bettendorf, Osceola and Waterloo offered betting on-site and through a mobile app, while casinos in Burlington and Council Bluffs offered on-site betting only until their mobile systems are set up, said Brian Ohorilko, the Iowa Racing and Gaming administrator. Two more casinos were close to final approval and were expected to be authorized to take bets soon, Ohorilko said. Eventually most of the state’s 19 state-regulated casinos are expected to offer sports betting.”

Says Paul Walsh in the Star Tribune, “Kay Flynn was a bit annoyed when she had to pony up more than $300 for a dog tag for her little Joey before she could move in at the Affinity apartment complex in Eagan. … Flynn and the building’s other pet owners are required to have their animals’ DNA collected and registered with the Tennessee-based company PooPrints. Then, if there is any unattended pet poop left on the building’s grounds, it can be tested and traced back through the registry to the proper resident, who then must pay fines starting at $350 for failing to pick up the poop.”